Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Alternative Imaging Methods

Alternative Imaging Methods
DV Info Net is the birthplace of all 35mm adapters.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 20th, 2006, 04:59 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 64
Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods

Having found it very difficult to obtain photographs of 35mm adaptors and rod systems, I decided to post some photos of my own rig.

Canon XL2 (PAL, early "film grain" model!) with:
LetusXL Enhanced
Cavision 15mm Rods & 16:9 Mattebox with French Flag.
I have the side flaps but omitted them for these photographs.
Cavision lens support (used to support front end of LetusXL)
Manfrotto 190DB Tripod
Manfrotto 128RC Fluid Head

Lenses:
Sigma 20mm f1.8 (shown in photographs)
Nikon 85mm f1.4
Nikon 50mm f1.4
Nikon 28mm f2.8
Tokina 28-80mm f2.8
Sigma 12-24mm
Sigma 16mm f2.8 Fisheye

The actual frame size of the LetusXL is smaller than DX/APS dimensions, therefore you *can* use DX lenses on the Letus, however you must force the apeture open by stuffing a bit of paper into the apeture lever on the lens.
The LetusXL magnification is in the order of 1.7-1.9

The LetusXL Enhanced shoots perfectly in 16:9 mode with no vignetting or cropping. In fact shooting 4:3 (why would anyone thesedays anyway?) substantially crops the image thus reducing the percieved depth of field, defeating the puropose of a DOF adaptor in the first place.

The adaptor requires a *lot* of light. It loses several stops IMHO, as much as 4 stops depending on the SLR lens used.
Shooting stage shows and concerts with 100k+ of available light requires 6 to 12dB of gain on the camera with everything wide open and shutter 1/50 (PAL). Outdoors on a sunny day you can easily shoot at -3dB shutter 1/50 and probably still need to stop the LetusXL's own iris ring down significantly (always a good thing for sharper images).

The images are very filmic, rivalled only by the P&S Technik system IMHO.
Of course it always boils down to the skill and eye of the cinematographer anyway.

I shoot 16:9 and crop to 2.35:1 in post. It all adds to the cinematic effect.


My favourite XL2 settings:

For maximum latitude and flexibility in post:
Gamma: Cine
Colour Matrix: Normal (very important - the Canon "cine colour" is rubbish)
Knee: Low
Black: Stretch
Colour Gain: Zero or "middle" setting
RGB Levels: All at zero or "middle"
Noise Reduction: Low
Coring: Zero or "middle"
Sharpness: Zero or "middle"
Vertical Detail: Normal (this negates the slight resolution loss of the adaptor)
Setup Level: Zero or "middle"
Master Pedestal: Zero or "middle"
Shutter 1/50 (PAL. The camera's default 1/25 is a serious oversight by Canon. Film is normally 1/48.... your camera ought to mimic this.)

For a modern high contrast look (eg. typical rock video look)
Gamma: Cine
Colour Matrix: Normal (very important - the Canon "cine colour" is rubbish)
Knee: High
Black: Press (also known as "crush" on other cameras)
Colour Gain: Somewhere between "middle" and maximum - really saturate those colours! Conversely turn the colour all the way off for a nice in-camera high contrast B&W look.
RGB Levels: All at zero or "middle" setting
Noise Reduction: Low
Coring: Zero or "middle"
Sharpness: Zero or "middle"
Vertical Detail: Normal (this negates the slight resolution loss of the adaptor)
Setup Level: All the way down. Make those blacks as black as possible!
Master Pedestal: All the way down!
Shutter 1/50 (PAL. The camera's default 1/25 is a serious oversight by Canon. Film is normally 1/48.... your camera ought to mimic this.)

Some may say "never shoot B&W in-camera - save it for post!" however, I sometimes find that by shooting in-camera B&W I am forced to percieve the image in a different way and my shooting style changes to suit the true final image. You can't get that sense for the B&W style if you're shooting in colour.
Of course I'm only referring to shooting in the field with no external monitor, just the camera's colour LCD screen. If you have a field monitor, simply turn the colour off!

My all time favourite colour management technique:
White Balance using non-white sources....
eg. For an aged earthy/golden brown look, white balance against a blue card.
This creates an image heavy in reds and greens, in a much more natural way than by post colour correction.
Alternatively, white balance against coloured light sources...
eg. if you white balance against tungsten and then shoot under flourescent lighting your image will have a cool Matrix-esque green colour cast.
All you are really doing is *removing* the white balance reference colour from the final image. You could do it in post, but you've only got 8 bit DV to play around with. Better to do it in camera with 10-14 bit latitude.
The white balance method requires you to commit to your colour scheme before you shoot, so be certain you really want your images to have a fixed colour cast and make sure everyone including your client is happy before a single frame is shot. It is very difficult to colour correct an extreme colour cast in post using 8 bit video.

That's my 2 cents worth!

Happy Shooting,

Pauly
Attached Thumbnails
Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-dsc_7010-1024-camera-high-front-left-view.jpg   Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-dsc_7020-1024-letusxl-profile-view.jpg  

Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-dsc_7021-1024-mattebox-rubber-interface-letus-nikon-mount.jpg   Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-dsc_7057-1024-backfocus-ring-xl-mount.jpg  

Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-dsc_7042-1024-camera-rear-right-view.jpg   Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-dsc_7083-1024-mattebox-15mm-rods.jpg  

Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-dsc_7001-1024-camera-low-front-left-view.jpg   Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-dsc_7061-1024-camera-front-view.jpg  

Paul V Doherty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 20th, 2006, 06:12 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: glassboro, NJ
Posts: 87
please post some footage.
Paul Watkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 21st, 2006, 05:28 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Breda, Netherlands
Posts: 141
that's a cool setup. I would also love to see some footage taken with it.
__________________
www.wanah.nl
Djee Smit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 21st, 2006, 07:22 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 64
Sorry, I'm on a weak satellite uplink.... no videos :'(
Paul V Doherty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 21st, 2006, 07:25 AM   #5
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
That wouldn't be StarBand, would it, Paul?

Thanks a bunch for the excellent report and pics -- much appreciated!
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 21st, 2006, 09:48 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 64
Chris,

I'm on MTN (Marine Telecommunications Network) - I work on ships.

Here's some frame grabs from a trip to the zoo:

Canon XL2 (PAL, very early "film grain" model)
Shutter: 1/50 sec
Gain: -3dB
Gamma: Cine
Knee: Low
Black: Press
Colour Gain: Maximum
Colour Matrix: Normal
Setup: Minimum (crush blacks more)
Master Pedestal: Minimum (crush blacks more)
Vertical Detail: Normal
Sharpness: Maximum
Coring: Normal
Noise Reduction: Low
Manual white balance at approximately 30 minute intervals.

Outfitted with:

LetusXL Enhanced
Nikon 85mm f1.4 wide open
Cavision Mattebox, French Flag, 15mm Rods
Manfrotto Tripod and Fluid Head

Bright sunny day, no cloud cover.
LetusXL iris varied from 2.8 to 16, depending on subject and shade.

Pauly
Attached Thumbnails
Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-pdvd_000.jpg   Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-pdvd_003.jpg  

Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-pdvd_006.jpg   Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-pdvd_009.jpg  

Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-pdvd_011.jpg   Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-pdvd_012.jpg  

Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-pdvd_013.jpg   Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-pdvd_014.jpg  

Paul V Doherty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 21st, 2006, 09:56 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 64
Some more pics from the Zoo!
Attached Thumbnails
Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-pdvd_016.jpg   Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-pdvd_017.jpg  

Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-pdvd_018.jpg   Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-pdvd_019.jpg  

Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-pdvd_023.jpg   Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-pdvd_024.jpg  

Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-pdvd_026.jpg   Pics: XL2, LetusXL Enhanced, Cavision Mattebox & Rods-pdvd_030.jpg  

Paul V Doherty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 4th, 2006, 04:57 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Saint John, CANADA
Posts: 633
what ships do you work on?
__________________
video : xl2 / letus35xl / bogen 503
photo- canon 1dmkII - bronica etrsi
Andrew Todd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 5th, 2006, 01:26 AM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 64
Cruise ships
Paul V Doherty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 7th, 2006, 09:26 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 917
those all look a bit dark, but maybe its my new monitor.
Matthew Nayman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 27th, 2006, 07:05 PM   #11
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 22
Nice info on your rig. I posted some pix of my TRV900 (!) and my Letus35a. Check it out here.
Stephen Lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 27th, 2006, 09:08 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
Nice rig, but tell me you don't leave the carrying strap on the camera on the tirpod? It just cries out to be 'snagged' and yank the whole rig over.

Yeah, seen it happen.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 29th, 2006, 09:51 AM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 64
The Tripod is sandbagged on the spreaders. It's not going anywhere in a hurry. Besides, there's an equal probability of the power cable, BNC cables or XLR cables being snagged. You're not suggesting I omit those too are you? ;)
Paul V Doherty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 23rd, 2007, 03:58 PM   #14
New Boot
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 18
Everything looks kind of green...like going to the zoo in the Matrix or something. Intentional?

DOF looks good, though.
Frank Ward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 23rd, 2007, 04:04 PM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Virgina, USA
Posts: 276
Wha? Oh Yeah.

I was disappointed with the photos 'till I realized they were from the XL2. Yes, I saw the rig photos, but what my brain said was mini35, long lens...ooooooOOOooo...H1.....heheh.

It is a bit dark and a touch on the green side, but very nice depth. Thanks for posting those!
__________________
Jeff Butler
Butler Films
Jeffrey Butler is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Alternative Imaging Methods

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:36 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network