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Old May 18th, 2006, 03:10 PM   #1
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Letus35XL Arrived - Help Needed

Big Thanks to Quyen for getting it to me quickly.

I have some questions:
I'm mounting on an XL2 with a Canon FD 50mm 1.4. Shooting 24p at 1/48 Shutter.

1 - When mounted (adapter is locked in the XL2 properly) on start up a warning in the EVF says "Check the Lens" then in the EVF the word "LENS" continues blinking in red. is this warning normal?

2 - The iris control markings on the rear of the adapter has a range between 1.9 and 16. The physical range that the adapter can reach is (almost but not quite) 4.0 to 16. Is this normal? If Yes, Why is it marked for Iris settings that cannot be achieved? Note: The images of the Letus35 XL that Quyen posted on the DVi forum show the iris on the back of the adapter is set at almost 2.8. This looks like a full stop more than the adapter I have.

3 - As I said I am using a Canon FD 50mm 1.4 lens. It appears the depth of field remains the same (very shallow) no matter what F-stop i select on the lens. F1.4 has the same Shallow DOF as F16. Is this Normal?

4 - When adjusting the Fstop on the Canon Lens, The Exposure (based on the meter in the EVF) remains constant. It seems that only the iris control on the rear of the adapter has any effect on the exposure. Is this normal?

5 - Do you think it would be ok for me to move the battery to the top of the adapter and grip the Letus35 XL with my left hand in order to steady the camera for handheld shots?

IMHO Item #1 is just annoying but If I turn off the extras in the EVF it goes away. Items #2 through #4 are Big Limitations of the product. I would like to have greater control of DOF. Focus is not easy with such a shallow DOF. It seems there is some light loss (1.5 stops maybe as much as 2 stops) #5 is just a personal preference. Have not seen any evidence of Vignetting (sp?) yet. I think the images do look nice.

Thanks Again to Quyen for rushing the delivery.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 03:49 PM   #2
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1. Yes, that is very normal. Do not worry about it. Official Canon lenses communicate info and control certain functions when attached to the camera body via small brass terminals on the mount. The LetusXL does not have these terminals so it will always tell you to "Check the lens"

2. Not sure why that is, but you're not alone mine does the same thing. I think the markings are nothing more than a redundancy with the design. Don't sweat it.

3. The DOF probably isn't changing because the iris on the Canon lens stays at full open once you lock it on the mount. Look directly into the lens and try to change the iris on the Canon lens, nothing happens right? Apparrently there's a lever on the back of the lens that you have to shim to get the iris to work properly. I have yet to do it myself so I can't tell you how it's done. A small work around I've used is to rotate the lens slightly to the right like you would to take it off. This closes down the iris slightly on the canon lens. I peronally think you get better images by stopping down on the relay lens more than the actual Canon lens.

4. See answer to questions 1 and 3. The adapter doesn't communicate with nor does it control the functions of the adapter when connected to the camera body. So the meter on the EVF isn't going to give you a proper reading.

5. Yes, I don't see why not.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 03:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Tibbetts

3. The DOF probably isn't changing because the iris on the Canon lens stays at full open once you lock it on the mount. Look directly into the lens and try to change the iris on the Canon lens, nothing happens right? Apparrently there's a lever on the back of the lens that you have to shim to get the iris to work properly. I have yet to do it myself so I can't tell you how it's done.
Thanks Tony.

Does anyone know how to shim the lever on the back of the lens? Shooting at 1.4 all the time is not desirable.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 05:24 PM   #4
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Not very happy right now

I hope Quyen gets back to me with something I can do to make this work better.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 05:24 PM   #5
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http://www.letus35.com/type1.JPG
Slide and shim this one, thanks.

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Old May 18th, 2006, 05:27 PM   #6
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How do I shim?

What do i use to shim this lever. Please be specific on how to do this?
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Old May 18th, 2006, 05:29 PM   #7
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Slide it over and use toothpick or whatever you find to put in that hole to prevent it to slide back, thanks.

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Old May 18th, 2006, 05:40 PM   #8
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I'm Much Happier Now

I used A small piece of a plastic coated wire twist tie. My Lens Fstops are all working now!!! Big Thanks Quyen!

This could be the coolest product ever.

I'm off to play!
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Old May 19th, 2006, 06:40 PM   #9
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Letus 35XL My Feedback

So I shimmed the lens and took some shots. here is my initial feedback on the Letus 35XL.

(from an email to Quyen)

Even after shimming the lens the DOF still seems very shallow. The Fstops all are working on the lens. Light loss eliminates the ability to use anything over f5.6

Focus seems very soft all around. The Canon Lens FD 50mm 1.4 has a great reputation for being sharp but the adapter seems to make focusing very difficult. Any ideas on how to improve this? I saw on DVi that some of the Letus35XL's required a back focus adjustment.

The iris control on the back of adapter does not give a very wide range of adjustments. It seems to go to all dark very quickly. I would consider these adjustments almost unusable in the current state.

Thinking of going back to my 20x that came with the camera. The applications for the Letus35XL seem somewhat limited.

(Quyen's Response)

People using SLR lens and adapter to get the shallow DOF that they see in 35mm films. This DOF will vary depend on distance to the subject. My Letus35XL uses the same cine lens frame, therefore will get about the same DOF that cine lens would get. When your shots require deeper DOF, try your 20x lens instead, thanks.

(My Follow Up Email To Quyen)

there should be a difference between the shallow DOF @ f1.4 and 4.0.

Based on the charts in the American Cinematographers Manual on a 50mm lens 6 feet from the subject at f1.4 subjects between 5'10" and 6'2" are at an acceptable focus (this is a 4 inch DOF) the same subject at the same distance at f4.0 are at an acceptable focus between 5' 7" and 6' 6" (this is an 11 inch DOF).

I am a photographer and own 2 16mm Film cameras. I understand DOF.

If this adapter is meant to provide "about the same DOF a cine lens would get" then that is not happening here.

I took the time to write an email asking for help with several specific issues i'm having with your product. Please take the time to respond and address each of my issues with specifics.

On Cine lenses I can shoot at f11 and f16. There is way too much light loss with this product.

You didn't even address my concerns with the Minimal adjustments available to me on the iris at the rear of the adapter.

Maybe I have unrealistic expectations but I am not getting anywhere near cine like performance from the LetusXL35. Maybe your product just isn't there yet and I should try an M2 or something else. Please reread my email and address each of my concerns. Thank You!

________________________________________

Quyen has not responded.

_______________________________________

To DVi - Maybe I just don't get it or I have a bad copy of the Letus35 XL but this Adapter is not what I thought it would be.

Your thoughts are appreciated.
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Old May 19th, 2006, 07:46 PM   #10
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You've said nothing about your shooting conditions, especially in regards to what lighting set up you are using. Also, I'd like to add that the LetusXL is a beta unit, those that have been sold are for the purpose of evaluating and getting feedback so that Quyen can improve his final design. The adapter is not perfect, but if you know what you are doing you can get some great footage with it.
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Old May 19th, 2006, 08:51 PM   #11
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Tucker,

Your posts are confusing. What is your problem?

It sounds like your biggest problem is you are not using manual lenses. The auto/manual lenses don't seem to work very well on any of these adapters.

I have used a couple of Quyen's different adapters and I should be recieving my Letus35HD100 soon. They are not perfect, but the work pretty darn good.

With my Letus35 and Letus35flip, my 55mm Nikon f1.2 lens is great and there is a noticable different between f1.2 and f4. Once the focus on the screen is correct, focus is pretty sharp. There is a noticable difference with an dwithout the Letus though. I have read there is a way to adjust the focus on the relay lens. Maybe that is part of your problem.

As for light loss. On my FX1 I have to zoom in until I am at f2.8, so I get some light loss there. Then the adapter itself looses a stop or two, and the lens I put on the end is f1.2 - f1.8. So when you add all those us there is maybe 4 stops of light loss. If you are shooting night or in a dark location, bring lots of light. I have shot night and dark locations with my Letus35flip and it is possible, but in full sunlight these adapter are great.

Here is an example of a short I shot at night with the FX1 and Letus35flip. We used three 1k lights and blasted everything we wanted to see.
http://www.scottleemason.com/movies/thecomb.mov

I have let a couple experienced camera people use my Letus and they couldn't get anything useful out of it. I have been impressed with the footage I have gotten from my Letus.

I don't shoot above f4 with my Letus, because the GG noise starts to show. But with good light I have been able to get my Nikon manual lenses down to f22. The only adapter I know of that can shoot usable footage above f4 and not get noise is the M2. The M2 is a great adapter, but it doesn't have a relay lens and it doesn't flip the image. The reason I use these adapter is for the shallow dof. If I want more depth I put on my 20mm lens and set it to f4 and almost everything to infinity is in focus.

I haven't had a chance to use the iris on the relay lens, but it sounds like you would be better off using ND filters in front of your SLR lenses. The iris on the relay doesn't have any effect on dof and was just a nice to have Quyen added.

Hopefully that is useful.
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Old May 19th, 2006, 08:52 PM   #12
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This is Not the Beta Unit

I paid full price of $850. This is not the Beta unit. It is the final product or so I was told by Quyen. If I had paid Beta Prices I might not feel I was over sold on it's capabilities. With it's current capabilities it is not worth $850.

I have been shooting in a variety of conditions. Sunny Exterior. Interior Studio shots and Overcast exteriors.

If you have a lot of light ie... Bright and sunny... it performs pretty well.
Anything else is not so great. Very Soft focus, Very shallow depth of field and too much light loss.
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Old May 19th, 2006, 09:21 PM   #13
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Dustin,

Thanks for your feedback. I would like to address some of the points you have tried to convey.

Tucker,

"Your posts are confusing. What is your problem?"

- I feel i was oversold a product that doesn't meet the expectations I had for it. Also It is very difficult to get prompt, clear communication from Quyen to addres these issues with SPECIFIC answers.

"It sounds like your biggest problem is you are not using manual lenses. The auto/manual lenses don't seem to work very well on any of these adapters."

- The Canon FD 50mm 1.4 is a manual lens. I am very familiar with manual lenses. I have been shooting with Zeiss manual lenses on my 16mm film cameras (Arriflex, Eclair ACL 2) for years.

"I have used a couple of Quyen's different adapters and I should be recieving my Letus35HD100 soon. They are not perfect, but the work pretty darn good."

- So that means you have no specific experience with the adapter that i am using (Letus 35XL)

"With my Letus35 and Letus35flip, my 55mm Nikon f1.2 lens is great and there is a noticable different between f1.2 and f4. Once the focus on the screen is correct, focus is pretty sharp. There is a noticable difference with an dwithout the Letus though. I have read there is a way to adjust the focus on the relay lens. Maybe that is part of your problem."

- If you read my email to Quyen you will see that I asked about a back focus adjustment and he did not acknowledge / address the question. So Yes, I agree, this could be my problem

"As for light loss. On my FX1 I have to zoom in until I am at f2.8, so I get some light loss there. Then the adapter itself looses a stop or two, and the lens I put on the end is f1.2 - f1.8. So when you add all those us there is maybe 4 stops of light loss. If you are shooting night or in a dark location, bring lots of light. I have shot night and dark locations with my Letus35flip and it is possible, but in full sunlight these adapter are great."

- one stop is ok. two or more is not. A product that can only be used in bright sunlight is very limited as far as practical applications are concerned

"Here is an example of a short I shot at night with the FX1 and Letus35flip. We used three 1k lights and blasted everything we wanted to see.
http://www.scottleemason.com/movies/thecomb.mov"

- blasting three 1k lights to see everything i want to see...is not the answer i'm looking for

"I have let a couple experienced camera people use my Letus and they couldn't get anything useful out of it. I have been impressed with the footage I have gotten from my Letus."

- maybe i'm like the experience camera people you refer too. I can only get useful footage in bright sunlight. I don't like to shoot at high noon.

"I don't shoot above f4 with my Letus, because the GG noise starts to show. But with good light I have been able to get my Nikon manual lenses down to f22. The only adapter I know of that can shoot usable footage above f4 and not get noise is the M2. The M2 is a great adapter, but it doesn't have a relay lens and it doesn't flip the image. The reason I use these adapter is for the shallow dof. If I want more depth I put on my 20mm lens and set it to f4 and almost everything to infinity is in focus."

- Maybe the M2 is the best product for me. i'll have to deal with the flip issue on an external monitor and in post.

"I haven't had a chance to use the iris on the relay lens, but it sounds like you would be better off using ND filters in front of your SLR lenses. The iris on the relay doesn't have any effect on dof and was just a nice to have Quyen added."

- my issue with the iris on the relay lens has nothing to do with DOF. One DVi recommendation was to slightly stop down the iris on the relay to get the best image. The iris adjustment goes to black with a very slight adjustment. It only makes the light loss problem that much worse.

Thanks for the feedback but I still have issues with this product. If I had paid $400 I might feel different but I paid $850. For an extra $145 I could have had an M2.

Give my best to Sunset Beach. I used to live there!
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Old May 20th, 2006, 02:44 AM   #14
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Tucker Wright

When you said f5.6, do you mean SLR lens? I have tried my unit stopping down to f16 on my SLR lens on nice days without any problem. The point of using this adapter is to gain 35mm Shallow DOF, not a replacement for your 20X lens. If you need deeper DOF on your shots, use your 20x lens.
Back focus was only needed on the very first version of the Letus35XL. Units sent out lately have been calibrated. To get sharper focus, close down the IRIS on the adapter. Even mini35 has soft focus at wide open.
I suggest using manual and set shutter speed at 60 then dial the IRIS and keep your eye on the bar on the upper left of the screen so you can have right amount of light to the CCDs.
This adapter is not a replacement for cine lens, this adapter is to achive the Shallow DOF that cine lens can get but DV camera can't.
With f1.4, 4" focus at 6' but at 10', it would be much more than 4", try to play with it to plan and get the best for your shots.
Thanks.

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Old May 20th, 2006, 04:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tucker Wright
I paid full price of $850. This is not the Beta unit. It is the final product or so I was told by Quyen. If I had paid Beta Prices I might not feel I was over sold on it's capabilities. With it's current capabilities it is not worth $850. If you have a lot of light ie... Bright and sunny... it performs pretty well. Anything else is not so great. Very Soft focus, Very shallow depth of field and too much light loss.
Tell me Tucker, what other comparable adapter can you get for that price? What makes you so sure Quyen isn't losing money at that price? Can you buy it off Quyens main page? Is it advertised there?

Any flip style adapter with a relay lens is gonna need some light. Did you think you were going to be able to light a scene with a couple of 60 watt light bulbs? Maybe you should have gotten the M2, They seem to have good low light capabilities.

The point here is that it's nobodys fault but your own for not investigating these various adapters in more detail, so that you could figure out exactly what you needed. Quyen hasn't made any false claims about the adapters performance. He states specifically that it loses around 1.5 stops of light. Well, guess what? You need more light to achieve a deeper DOF. It's just that simple.

You don't like the adapter? Then sell it. I'm sure someone would love to have it. You'll make most of your money back and then you can buy whatever adapter you like. You insinuate that you were misled in some way and that isn't the case. You insinuate the adapter isn't worth the price and that isn't the case.

...and still, know one has heard what your interior lighting conditions were. Do you want help or do you want to mudsling because you're upset?

Last edited by Tony Tibbetts; May 20th, 2006 at 01:45 PM.
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