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Old January 9th, 2007, 05:09 PM   #1
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Why so many M2's for sale?

Not to start any flames here, but seriously why are there so many M2's for sale on DVinfo & DVXusr?

Is the market "saturated"? Are they not living up to people's "expectations"? Do people just buy this stuff for "fun" then decide they don't need it?

So what's the deal? Anyone have any ideas....... .

Last edited by Dennis Hingsberg; January 9th, 2007 at 07:22 PM.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 06:09 PM   #2
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I noticed this as well - on a few message boards the M2 is selling, but so is the original Letus - as a side not, it seems the Canon XL2's seem to be going out of style in the camera department...
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Old January 9th, 2007, 07:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Delaney
I noticed this as well - on a few message boards the M2 is selling, but so is the original Letus - as a side not, it seems the Canon XL2's seem to be going out of style in the camera department...
No guff.

The ramp up to HD everything is getting interesting ... I can't wait for the final chapter in the distribution war to happen; right when burners get cheap along with the media and the players ... then watch the price of my XL2 drop...
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Old January 9th, 2007, 07:12 PM   #4
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If only we had faster broadband.... where the faheck is wimax? .... it would make the "disk" obsolete. Apples on track with distribution.... where's the pipe?

I tinkered with the dof adaptors.... found it to fragile and awkward to use as a "professional" piece of gear. It's stressfull enough keeping the lightstands and mic booms out of view with a bare camera.

I don't know about you guys.... but I try to squeeze every bit of resolution out of my hdv setup.... I'm sure if I won the lottery, I'd by a f950 or a red for the bigger chips. I'm 75% a still shooter, with hassleblad and 4X5 mated to a 22MP back.... and even then finding myself wanting more.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 07:26 PM   #5
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Speaking of XL2, wanna buy mine?
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Old January 9th, 2007, 08:26 PM   #6
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Maybe because they look fake?
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Old January 10th, 2007, 09:12 AM   #7
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Replying to the original poster.... for me personally - I need one (commercials/image clips) but resorted back to renting a Mini35 because of "my expections not being met" (to put it friendly) ... the Brevis/Cinevate is my last hope now... we'll see how it works out...
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Old January 10th, 2007, 10:05 AM   #8
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Soeren, anything specific you can comment on? ie. overall size, dealing with upside down image, etc..
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Old January 10th, 2007, 06:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Adams
Maybe because they look fake?
Could you possibly be any more helpfull than that?
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Old January 11th, 2007, 08:06 AM   #10
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Dennis... I have no problem with upside down shooting.. you can always find a solution for monitoring and in my HD(V) workflow it doesn't make much difference if I've got to add a combined mirror/flip ;) ... this is to be expected from the cheaper alternatives.. no problem there.

Points that were pretty problematic: ease of use/setup, pretty cumbersome setup with too many variables (things that would accidentely/unintentionally change and mess up your image) ... hotspot/vignetting/light falloff/corner (un)sharpness (these were the major problem points) ...
And high light loss (when you're interested more in a run & gun approach of filmmaking this is esp. critical) ... but vignetting/light fall off and corner softness are the biggest problems I encountered and that made it unusable in the end.
And the often read solution to "just zoom in a little more" - well if you either already have the full 35mm frame covered you wouldn't want to zoom in more and most of the time you just couldn't! Because of the combination of optics used and distances etc. you couldn't get sharp focus when you zoomed in more on the GG.
Another big point: flange focal distance... 1) this wasn't set up correctly to begin with in the pre-assembled adapter so you hat to fix this first 2) fixing or changing it meant that you would basically _disassemble the whole adapter_ basically screwing all the fine tuning setup you already had done.. you would have to do this over and over again if you'd ever change the GG for example.
If you'd mess up any of the numerous variables that came into play you were having fun for half a day or even more.

Regarding high f-stops: I really couldn't care less.. normally you'd never use a 35mm adapter with a lens stopped down more than lets say f5/f6 ... testing for f11/f22 is pretty pointless and ridiculous. It would look bad on a Mini35 too and why bother with all the added glass/groundglass etc. when the DOF doesn't differ much anymore and all you get is another coloring because of the 35mm lens used.
I guess most of these tests are done because people who get inexpensive adapters and inexpensive matte boxes etc. (or none at all) don't want to spend even more money on quite expensive 4x4" ND filters and such. But this is the way to go.

So my experience: maaaaaaaaaany wasted hours of tuning until you'd finally get an "ok" image (at least for a few runs) ... sorry but in the end this calculation simply doesn't work. At least if you're on an commercial endeavour... then I'm better off simply renting an Mini35 that "just works".
(of course it's overpriced, but it works and is damn sturdy.. that's why it's still that expensive and I guess this will not change until there's an alternative that really works too)

The newest SGPro (Rev2 I believe) and the Cinevate both seem to be quite good... I'm looking forward to check these out as well (especially the Cinevate seems promising).

Cheers
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Old January 11th, 2007, 10:54 AM   #11
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Well at least someone is honest about sharing their experiences.

I've owned and been using my mini35 (series 300) with the Canon XL1se (PAL version to get 24p back in the day) since 2004 and now XL2 and it's been great but I find it hard to shoot f4 - f5.6 under most lighting conditions.. but I don't mean it in the sense that I don't ever use lighting! My best work has been, and always will be with use of lighting!

If you read any of my posts regarding 35mm shooting you'll see that I'm an advocate of shooting in the neighbourhood of f4 - f5.6. Anything much lower in my opinion is no longer "film like" in terms of 35mm adapter use (or film) and technically becomes extremely challenging for a film style production. F2.8 is not bad either but your DOF becomes very small.

So in my prospect of moving into the HVX and chosing a new 35mm adapter has me plagued. I'm spoiled having worked exclusively with the mini35. A sturdy piece if equipment which is by no means is finicky or has ever produced unpredictable results as Soeren has somewhat indicated. It also offers industry standard support rods so follow focus, remote focus, matte boxes, etc.. all work with it without fail. Built in flip image means no external monitor, this makes everything about run'n gun production easy, especially steadicam use.

My last shoot was up in Bancroft, Ontario for a 3 day shoot towards the end of December. All outdoor, extremely cold and my mini35 held up without ANY issues whatsover. I was extremely impressed!

Since a new mini35 series 400 is costly (mine is currently series 300 and won't work with HD) and still has the light loss issue I've considered an alternative 35mm adapter for the time being. I noticed a lot of M2's for sale which is why I started this thread, I'm not sure what I think of the Letus HD version except I think it loses as much light as the mini35 and I'm more a fan of spinning or rotating GG's because you can stop higher and not see any visable GG grain in your image.

This leaves the M2 or SGPro r2. I'm eager to try both but there is no real "try before you buy" option out there.

Anyway I'm leaning more towards the SGPro and Wayne has been extremely helpful providing information about his unit.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 02:55 PM   #12
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I hear what you're saying and can fully understand the position you're in - I'm basically in the same boat. If you absolutely want a rotating ground glass then I'd say go with the SGPro in its newest incarnation. If a vibrating GG is ok too then I'd give the Cinevate a try. I hope you get the point and I won't need to get more "explicit". ;o)
Of course you won't get the same level of sturdyness and compatibility with 3rd party accessories with any of the cheaper ones. But at least you should make sure to get a good picture. ;)
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Old January 11th, 2007, 11:09 PM   #13
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Soeren I never asked, what camera have you been using with the M2 and what camera do you intend on using with the Brevis?

Did you ever manage to work out an "effective ASA" when you were using the M2?
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Old January 12th, 2007, 03:25 AM   #14
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I was using (or tried to use ;o) the Panasonic DVX100A and the Sony Z1 with it. I intend to use the Brevis on the DVX, HVX and the Canon XH A1 ...

No ASA sorry.. but I'd say there was a loss of about 2 f-stops at least... of course also depending on which groundglass you were using (they all had their pros and cons).

Btw did you see the test video from Richard Darge?
http://gearbrain.blogspot.com/

It's by no means a "scientific" review or "experiment" but to me it really sums it up quite nicely. It really shows the problems I mentioned...
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Old January 12th, 2007, 07:50 AM   #15
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Somewhat off topic...

I read the gearbrain article/review a couple weeks ago as well as a lot of other posts regarding 35mm adapters and their amount of light loss. There seems to be a lot of discrepancy about the amount of light loss between users of them and the specs issued by the makers (ie. Letus, Brevis, M2, SGpro, mini35). This is likely why:

When calculating the light loss of an adapter the taking lens (or 35mm) lens should not be factored into the equation when determining the light loss of the adapter! You have to subtract the lens when making your calculation. I think many people are looking at their camera's f-stop rating before and after they put on the 35mm adapter and calling the difference their adapter light loss. This is wrong.

Overall light loss is one thing (still a usefull thing to know), but asking "how much light loss is that adapter" is another.

The article on gearbrain is a perfect example this discrepancy. It states the Brevis is 1.5 to 2.5 stops brighter than the M2 but in the video the first scene shot at 28mm yields f2.8 on the M2 and f4 on the Brevis. Sorry folks but this is ONE stop (see chart below) not 1.5 to 2.5.

And if M2 claims a light loss of 1 stop and the Brevis is in fact 1.5 to 2.5 brighter than the M2, then the Brevis is actually amplifying light - wow, that's cool where can I get one?

Handy F-STOP Chart

1.4 2.0 2.8 4 5.6 8 11 16 22

eg. going from f4 to f5.6 is one stop
going from f5.6 to f8 is one stop

You most certainly NEVER subtract f-stops from each other to determine the f-stop difference. The difference between 5.6 and 8 is not 2.4! It is ONE f-stop.
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