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Old July 19th, 2006, 09:24 AM   #1
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Paris experiance with Letus


just got back from a trip to Paris where I had chance to use the Letus in earnest.

I have a ball joint monopod with a trigger grip -this coupled with the 'silencer-like' nature of the matt black Letus unit made my setup look like a sub machine gun. Thankfully I was not stopped by any Gendarmes while shooting the French...

I shot about 80% of the weekend on the Letus. In total about 70 minutes worth. I have had a look at the footage and it looks great (I will post some stills when I get chance).

The image is warm and less sharp than the non-Letus image. I am getting used to the flipped nature of the image although several times panned by mistake away from the action not with it. Also, to my horror, about 2/3rds way through shooting I realized I had left the image stabilizer function on and from what I have read this should NOT be on with the flipped version. My footage was mostly shot using the tripod for stabilization so any reverse compensation effects should be minimal (fingers crossed).

The filming technique was pretty 'guerilla' style as there was a bunch of us(8) and I was getting complaints early on of 'wasting too much time' setting up shots etc. From then on it was pretty much a 5-10 second prep then shoot and move-on. Sometimes I just took a photo with the unit camera style.

Due to need for fast setup I left the camera exposure in auto mode, manual speed at 1/50th (PAL), mostly shot at F1.4 on the Canon 50mm. Exposure was usually adjusted manually and set at "minimal 100% zebra" which has resulted in some good saturated scenes that probably need a tweak to add some brightness in post. White balance was not done as often as I should have(!) and was mostly left on auto. I set the camera focus to manual to avoid the camera 'hunting' focus when the image on the GG was not in focus, I noticed this drifted off focus after a while and need me to switch the unit briefly to auto-focus to get a crisp refocus on the GG. Again fingers crossed I have not got too much footage where the image is not sharp due to this.

I have some excellant footage of friends eating snails with shallow DOF -snails are blurred in foreground, person sharp, background blurred. Food on the table also looks good -the shallow DOF really helps focus the attention on the subject rather than having a mass of objects to view. Analogy is it's rather like the differece between looking at a page whole and looking at a single line, you just can't take in a whole page of text but you can a line. I found myself using this 'extra-dimension' in some shots -pulling the focus in the 'z-axis' of people when speaking being the classic example.

I forgot to switch the GG vibrator on in some sequences but I am hoping to 'rescue' these by adding a grain filter / turn B&W and treating them like old-movie footage (a thought I had shortly after cursing my forgetfullnes, what a wonderful thing is creativity for hiding a screw-up!)

My HC1 creates quite a bit of vignetting. I experimented with an anti-vignetting mask in Vegas but it is not so succesfull. I think I am going to have to manually zoom in on each clip a little and optimise the pan/crop. I had manually zoomed in a little b4 shooting on many shots so I will get the full HD resolution on those ones.

All in all a worthwhile experiance and I gained a lot from it. When I look back at my last major attempt 8 years ago when I basically just left the Hi8 camera to do all the work on full-auto I realize how far I have come. I now have to up my editing skills in Vegas and plan a 4 1/2 minute edited sequence for 'friendly premier' by end-August.

Regards, Nick.
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Old July 20th, 2006, 08:03 AM   #2
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Excellent would love to see a short film and some stills, can't wait!
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Old July 20th, 2006, 04:22 PM   #3
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Paris stills -Letus35+50mm Canon F1.4

OK, finally maged to work out how to extract some images in Vegas and post them so here you go.

Video was zoomed a little to crop the vignetting. I also brightened the image a little and added a gentle 's' curve in Vegas colour corrector.

The bar shot is part of a focus pull the length of the bar, this still focusus the attention on the 2nd and third positions in...

Regards, Nick.
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Paris experiance with Letus-gardensnails1.jpg   Paris experiance with Letus-cafe1.jpg  

Paris experiance with Letus-cafe2.jpg  
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Old July 21st, 2006, 03:19 AM   #4
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cafe2 pic is very impressive. Shows it has good bokeh, surprised it came out nice indoor. Normally the letus have high light loss.
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