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Old April 10th, 2006, 10:13 AM   #1
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Does "low cost adapter" mean anything anymore?

I find it interesting that we have gone from the P+S $11,000+ adapter, to the redrock guides ($45.00 to start then up to $50.00 or the finished product of the micro 35 for $500 -at the time), to the original Letus ($300.00 1/2 if you beta - that $150.00!) to the Guerilla35 (sub $1000) and now the Redrock M2 ($999.00) with rails.
Now all of the adapters being sold are sub $1000.00 or more and nothing really under $500.00. Does low cost mean anything anymore? I do realise it is a relative term, but since the prices of camcorders have gone down, the cost of the adapter has gone up!
I am not taking the piss out of anyone here pushing their products because I know 1st hand it takes alot of time and effort to test and manufacture these things (even with the small progress I have made with my follow-focus unit is taking forever). But I wonder if the days of the true low cost adapter are numbered...
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Old April 10th, 2006, 10:21 AM   #2
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dirt cheap solution

Pls drop some wax on a dirty filter and get a cheap magnifier in front of ur Dv/HDV camera, mount a 35lens, glue everything together or use duct tape.
almost free
u can make a unique look
JY
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Old April 10th, 2006, 10:29 AM   #3
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Don't be surprised, we already are on the way with homedepot bags (great idea) and the nivea cream!
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Old April 10th, 2006, 12:04 PM   #4
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Not to be the unwelcomed salesman, but I am in fact selling a $209 adapter in a couple of weeks. If you do the research yourself on the cost of a good custom made achromat, you'll see that combined with a custom machined tube and lens mount, I'm not going to be carrying away bags of cash from the endeavor. It's going to be a solid, decent product -- better than many of the DIY projects I've seen around and certainly makes some of my earlier efforts seem laughable by comparison. At $550-600, the Go35Pro isn't cheap, but when compared against products of similar optical quality (e.g. the Guerilla35), it's hardly expensive.

It's really all about the quality of the achromat and diffuser that makes any of these products expensive. For instance: Dennis Wood's Brevis uses an optical acrylic micro-machined diffuser -- the machines which control this kind of process cost upward of $30k, so you have to rent, and setup fees for anyone looking to have a piece machined to spec are pretty expensive. Then there's the cost per piece, where if you're looking to save you have to buy in bulk numbers. Bill Maxwell's screens are great, but at $75-100 a piece, with the price break point at 26 units or more, you can see how quickly stuff like this adds up... so while initial adapters were made of cheap, off-the-shelf disparate parts, as we've all learned to perfect our products, component and consequently final sales costs, have risen accordingly.

Also... you've got to look at the costs of ensuring consistency -- these Home Depot bags and Nivea cream adapters are good for one-offs and personal projects, but if you aim to sell to a number of people with a short turnaround time, I think the results are questionable.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 12:43 PM   #5
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A spinner is still in my opionion a "cheap" adapter. On the other hand isn't $300 much money compared to what a lot of camcorder accessories cost, or the camcorder itself. Especially if you compare it to the dramatic difference an adapter makes...
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Old April 10th, 2006, 03:06 PM   #6
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I agree with you Jim, there is alot of cost and effort involved. I think a $209 adapter is a great place to start and brings it back down to reasonable cost. I just think that with all of these adapters filling up the marketplace, there should still be a smaller market for those that want to get it for alot less price.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 04:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Lafferty
At $550-600, the Go35Pro isn't cheap, but when compared against products of similar optical quality (e.g. the Guerilla35), it's hardly expensive.
I cant hold back my admiration. Jim did something Gue-s dreamed about for years. And without any prefacing marketing noise.
Just waiting for new footage. Jim, don't forget about fisheye and small iris samples.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 06:57 PM   #8
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when i purchased my first "commercial dvinfo" adapter (a used letus35a) i thought i was spending alot of money. With the letus35xl arriving today costing more than twice as much as what i paid for the first one i am still under the impression that i am getting a steal. Ive gone down the road of trying to make my own out of cheap DIY adapters out of readily available materials. But at this point if i want to achieve the image im going for and a proffesional looking and sturdy unit then i cant expect to pay a couple hundred dollars for it. Quality does come with a price. PRice for good parts, price for a good machined unit. And that price is now much less than $12,000. I consider my adapter to be one of the most important part of my kit, so i dont mind payng for what im getting back 100 times over in return.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 07:08 PM   #9
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also it seems that everyone who does offer these commercially originally come out with an extremely low cost first model at first. then as they discover how to improve upon their idea they relaise that with the improvements comes added cost on their end, which reflects in the higher cost on our end. Congrats to those still trying to develop something under the $300 range. Its those EXTREMELY low cost options that turned me on to these in the first place. cant wait to see what you've come up with jim.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 07:50 PM   #10
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I believe you can still buy the original Letus35 for $300...so just because he has made advances, doesn't mean he isn't still offering a cheaper version.
http://www.letus35.com/letus35.html

I also tried to make my own adapter...and I spent about $200 on it, and weeks of tinkering and it still isn't near as good as the Letus. So, is the extra $100 worth it? To me...yes. And the extra few hundred to have a flip version that mounts onto my XL H1 without needing the stock lens is also worth it to me.

This forum DID start with tons of ideas on making your own adapters for cheap...but at that time, there were not many other options. You had P+S for $12,000 or you could make your own.

Now that there are some really nice adapters that you can buy and avoid all the trouble and reseach involved in making your own...people are doing more buying than making. Is that bad? I don't think so. Are these adapters getting better in quality and hence price? Yes...is that bad? I don't think so. There are still plenty LOW COST adapters out there. Or you can always take the time to build your own. :)
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Old April 10th, 2006, 09:19 PM   #11
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Jason and Andrew...my thoughts exactly. I think the low cost adapters like Jim's are great..they expose a lot more shooters to the "joys" of adapters. I can only speak from own experiences getting the Brevis to manufacture, and at its price point, I believe it's quite a bargain. To do a "one off" of it would easily run 2 to 3 times it's selling price, and that's assuming your own time is free.

DIY is really not about saving money IMO. It's more like a hobby. Geez, I spent over $1000 building my own dolly...mostly buying parts I later found out didn't work so well. Factor in my time at minimum wage, and that's one expensive dolly. Was I happy and satisfied with the accomplishment? Sure. Was it cheap? Nope.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 12:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Hool
Jim, don't forget about fisheye and small iris samples.
Did some testing with the DVX today. I don't have any fisheyes around, but as for small iris, let's just say at f/5.6 on the Nikon 50mm 1.4, you're going to be impressed with what you see eventually. I've also got an f/2.8 35-70mm zoom that I will be shooting with soon. Unfortunately the meeting was rushed and marred by other issues so the footage won't appear for a bit, but I'll post some stills in the Go35 footage thread while I set up more shoots.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 12:42 PM   #13
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What's a Nivea spinner?

Sorry if this has been answered. Thanks
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Old May 1st, 2006, 04:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Lafferty
At $550-600, the Go35Pro isn't cheap, but when compared against products of similar optical quality (e.g. the Guerilla35), it's hardly expensive.

I like how people compare against optical quality of a product that hasn't even been released.

Some beta G35's were released, but their design - the one you're comparing against - was completely abandoned since G35's goal was to create a higher quality image than that. So by your own admission you'll be selling a product of similar optical quality as something G35 deemed unacceptable. :o/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Hool
I cant hold back my admiration. Jim did something Gue-s dreamed about for years. And without any prefacing marketing noise.
No, some. :-)

And FWIW, from what I've gotten out of G35, what they dreamed about was creating an adapter on par with the standards they defined. Jim hasn't done that. Neither has G35 yet. I admire their principles and tenacity.

Last edited by Bill Porter; May 1st, 2006 at 05:21 PM.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 01:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Porter
I like how people compare against optical quality of a product that hasn't even been released.

Some beta G35's were released, but their design - the one you're comparing against - was completely abandoned since G35's goal was to create a higher quality image than that. So by your own admission you'll be selling a product of similar optical quality as something G35 deemed unacceptable. :o/
Actually, the G35 betas proved exciting enough that over 200 people signed up for the pre-orders. You wrote a rather glowing review of the quality of the adapter about a year ago:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Porter
All I can say is: Wow!

There is no grain, hotspot, or vignetting, whatsoever. None. Not in bright light, not in "flare" situations, not in contrasty situations, and not in dark situations.

They redefine the DIY DOF device community's phrase, "You are there!"
Either 200+ people were duped and your expressed amazement was dishonest (or not to be trusted at any rate), or the G35 betas indeed set a standard worth shooting for.

Or, perhaps your standards have changed in the time that has passed -- congratulations, I, too am a firm believer that we all should strive to improve ourselves with each day.

As for the quality of their forthcoming adapter, I wish them well.

Speaking for my own standards, the bar has been raised (see: http://cinevate.com), and I intend to release a product that stands shoulders with adapters of this quality as well.

- jim
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