How much faith can I put in the new 35mm adapters? at DVinfo.net

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Old January 30th, 2007, 09:13 AM   #1
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How much faith can I put in the new 35mm adapters?

I touched on this in another thread, but felt it deserved it's own status.

Like I said I love what these guys are doing with their adapters and remember back in the day when they were just DIY dreams. But now the Brevis,SGPro,Redrock and Letus are slick productions.

I know they can never be compared with the likes of P+S that would be churlish. But are they just mass produced DIY efforts or are they a serious production tool?

Do they go beyond shallow depth of field? It would be great to get some opinions from people who own these things about the ease of use, build quality and longevity. I've read lots of posts about 'Got my adapter today and here's a quick shot of my back garden'. But not alot about long term ownership.

The other thing I wondered about was maufactures warranty and insurance. If these things fail during a shoot do the manufactures cover you?

This is not intended to be confrontaional or pooh poohing of these adapters. Like I said I love what these guys are doing but with prices of these things creeping up it makes you ask more questions.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 10:03 AM   #2
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I'd say go with the SGpro or the Brevis. At their prices, you could buy a backup (or two) and still come out cheaper than a mini35. I think the footage quality is pretty close to the mini35 and movietube... I'd like to see that shootout.

Besides, I have yet to run into a layperson who doesn't initially think well-shot adapter footage is film.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 10:54 AM   #3
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Phil Bloom just did a comparison of the adapters. See:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...909#post615909

He is shooting some TV stuff with adapters, I think.


I have made my own adapter based on Redrock design, adapting from plans and a ground disk they provide for $50.00. I am still tweeking it, but I have seen some nice footage from these adapters. What it comes down to, I think is:

1. maximize the light transmission to the ground glass, so your camera has "room" to adjust

2. having a method to physically lock everything in place to you don't have to continuously adjust things. (The Brevis seems to win that game, in my eyes.)

3. having a method of vibrating or moving ground glass so its imperfections don't stay in frame

4. Choosing the right "prime" lenses for the job.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 01:54 PM   #4
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Stephen,

This thread started over the same sort of topic may help you: www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=60104

Otherwise the only thing I can say with my experience owning and using 35mm adapters is that the right tool in the right hands can do marvels.

All tools have their degree of limitation, none makes one better than the other. Just get out there and shoot!
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Old January 31st, 2007, 02:58 AM   #5
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Thanks for your replies guys. I think I was more interested about the build quality and warranty that comes with these adapters. I can see from all the threads what results they give, obviously they all look great.

It would still be great to hear from people that have owned them for a long time or indeed the manufactures on the subject.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 05:42 AM   #6
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Hi, If you are look for adaptor. You sould read this article (see below)
It helpt me. (I have an M2 adaptor, and it works well. It takes some time to set it up, but after that it just works. I have a JVC HD PRO camera, and it works well with that camera, now when everything is on, the adapter, mattbox and more, it is a litle front hevy. So handhelds sooting is difficult. But the quality from this adptor are excellent. I have used the P+S adaptor (2/3mount) And it is good, But I feel that the Grounding Glass in that adaptor has litle more grains than the M2. And it is so costly.

Any how,

I Posted a small part of the Article talking about the adaptors, interesting reading.

Eric, the viking from Iceland.



The boys are back on set (Article from Showreel Magazine. DPs Taylor Wigton and Rodney Charters, who has been the DP on Fox’s hit show 24 since season one took the most of the HDV camcorders for a test-drive they also tested some Cine adaptors.)

"In part two of their 1/3in chip camera test, Rodney Charters and Taylor Wigton introduce the Canon XL H1 and Panasonic HVX200 to the rigours of high-end drama production on the set of 24."

Cine adaptors

Taylor Wigton: Regardless of how great the off-the-chip quality of these cameras is, until the problem of poor optical performance is resolved – and as long as the physical limitations of a tiny chip equate to near infinite depth of field – a lot of pros, particularly those working in drama, are going to steer clear of them. The ideal situation would be for there to be a healthy market in dedicated 1/3in chip lenses, and hopefully this will come. But for the time being, the only viable solution is to use better quality optics designed for S16 or 35mm stills and cine cameras.

There are a number available, and even though they may not be optically perfect, they are also likely to increase in quality daily. With the prevalence of 1/3in HD cameras, cine adaptors are likely to be used by anyone from prosumers to top cinematographers.

The three units we brought on set for our second round of tests were: the Movietube from South London Filters in the UK, the P+S Technik Mini35 and the Red Rock Micro M2. We had previously looked at the Cinemek (Guerilla 35), but in the form we saw it, it still needed work.

When attaching these units to the front of the cameras, it is worth noting that the cameras’ existing lenses (where required) remain at a fixed focusing distance (basically, they are used to focus the image that passes through the 35mm lens on to the ground glass inside the cine adaptor, then on to the 1/3in CCDs. This means all focusing 'in the field' is carried out on the cine or SLR lens you use, so weaknesses in focusing control inherent in the lenses supplied with the cameras is no longer an issue. Similarly, because the supplied lenses don’t change focal length, this also overcomes any breathing issues. However, I don't want to oversimplify the cine adaptor situation, as they can require some training to get the best results.

Movietube: The most impressive unit from a construction standpoint is the German-made Movietube supplied to us by South London Filters in the UK. It looks like it was made by the same team who constructed the ArriCam series of 35mm cameras. The Movietube uses a patented static film screen rather than ground glass, and it seems so well protected that you feel it would take a shoulder-fired missile to crack it open and get dust and hair into it. The Movietube is a 35mm adaptor that can only be used with fixed lens cameras at this point, making it suitable for the Sony Z1 and Panasonic HVX200. When a 35mm lens is attached, the iris has a minimum stop of T5.6 before the ground glass can be seen, making it a solid yet limited system (although I know Rodney would rarely stop down further than this). I would happily combine this with the HVX200 at 60fps if I were shooting a commercial or music video and wanted both shallow DOF and high frame rates (as the HVX offers variable frame rates). I would also use it in any environment where there was a possibility of being knocked about.

The current limitation is that the Movietube would not allow me to use the entire range of T-stops, so while I could achieve a shallow DOF (at T1.2 the DOF is a focus puller-challenging 2in), it would be difficult to shoot wide DOF shots using the same optics.

Mini35: At $10,000 without 35mm lenses or any accessories, I was certain the P+S Technik Mini35 would be able to demolish even 2/3inch HD cameras. Like the Movietube, it has the advantage over the other adaptors of shooting an upright image, whereas with the other two the viewfinder (and footage) has to be flipped. This isn’t that much of a problem to overcome, though, and hopefuly the camera manufacturers will add ‘flip’ functions to their cameras sooner rather than later.

The Mini35 was kindly loaned to us by Eric MacIver of Indie Rentals in LA, who also supplied us with a set of Zeiss Superspeeds to test with the Movietube. Given how impressive the HDV images alone were proving themselves to be – even without the results pouring in from Canon XL H1’s HD-SDI-out, which bypasses the MPEG2 encoder and sends out 4:2:2 10bit HD at 100mbs – the first year of 1/3inch HD was looking menacing when you put the P+S Technik into the picture.

We did find one or two issues, though. First, you have to be aware that the Mini35 loses quite a bit of light. In addition, with the HDV signals we could detect the oscillating movement of the ground glass grains – this swirling was most noticeable in the dark areas of the frame, but becomes discernible in the lighter areas the further the lens is stopped down. This was evident even before we captured to tape, as we were looking at live component-out images, so we fervently hope P+S can fix this – and soon.

M2: This $500 unit was something of a shock. Who would have thought an engineering genius from Texas could design and set in motion a patent for his M2 adaptor that is actually quite suited to drama – and which is designed to work with old Nikon and Canon SLR lenses, of which there are legion sitting round the world gathering dust since the advent of digital photography, but which still feature exceptionally good optics?

The Redrock M2 is the only 35mm cine adaptor that exhibits a nearly lossless resolution and no image degradation, as there are no visible grains to throw a wrench into the MPEG2 HDV encoder. There is no artifacting and no soft edges.

The M2 can be notched down to T16, and I have even closed down to T22 with a Nikon 80-200mm SLR lens. No grain visible, no breakdown from MPEG and grain battling it out, and no visual loss of resolution.

Taylor Wigton // Reel Magazine
http://www.showreel.org/memberarea/article.php?172
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Old January 31st, 2007, 10:58 AM   #7
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Thanks Eirikur for the article.

It would still be great to hear from longterm owners of the Brevis,Redrock SGPro etc or their creators.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 02:50 PM   #8
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Stephen, we cover the Brevis and parts for one year. The longest units have been out there is about 10-11 months, so long term reliability cannot be established properly yet. What I can say is that every problem reported is analysed and because our production model is very intimate, usually a fix is implemented immediately. The differences between the 10 beta units that went out and today's units, are extensive. Since the Rev2 adapters, shipping damage and problems after delivery have been reduced to near zero. Our current units should really be called Rev120 or so :-)

One of the issues that does come up is what happens in the middle of a shoot if there's a problem? For critical shoots, we really encourage folks to have a second unit at close range, to guarantee the entire production is not halted by one link in the chain (the adapter) not working. It's a timely question as we are finally in a position to set aside an adapter or two as the "emergency" unit that can be overnighted anywhere if required. So far, we have not had to do this, but having the program in place is important. I have a new appreciation for how critical it is to have all hardware working flawlessly during a shoot, particularly given the tight budgets most of us are working with.
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Old January 31st, 2007, 05:18 PM   #9
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Dennis

Thanks for the honest response. I definatly think this would give myself as well as others confidence in your products.

Stephen
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 01:25 AM   #10
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How very dissapointing that I posted this qustion 3 days ago and only one maufacturer and no longterm owners have decided to reply.

Can I take from this that Dennis and his Brevis are the only one's bothered about customers once they've parted with their money?
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 03:37 AM   #11
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Hi Stephen, how are you, long time no see.

I remember us meeting up a couple of times over a year ago when you came to test the old SG35. The good old days, but were all baby steps to where the SGpro is today. I've tried contacting you several times over the year to see if you were interested in testing the new SGpro but I have not got any replies.

I pride myself on my customer service, particularly with after sales support. Many times I have gone to the length of giving live support over MSN messenger to help people with first time setup. Im sure if you ask any of my customers, they will insure what I have said.

Sorry for not replying sooner, my grandmother passed away just over a week ago, we have the funneral today in about 3 hours time. Fitting in posts and emails has been hard this week.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 03:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Pipe
How very dissapointing that I posted this qustion 3 days ago and only one maufacturer and no longterm owners have decided to reply.

Can I take from this that Dennis and his Brevis are the only one's bothered about customers once they've parted with their money?
As far as I know, Dennis always respond to my questions=) Very good aftersales!
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 04:45 AM   #13
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Hi Wayne

I'm really sorry to hear about your Grandmother.

Sorry that we seem to miss each other, I also sent you a couple of emails with no reply. But life doesn't get any less busy.

It would be great when you feel you have more time and feel up to it to tell us a bit more about the warranty that your unit comes with.

I know Dennis said he covers his for 12 months and is implementing a service that would offer an overnight replacement unit if one fails during shooting.


Regards Stephen
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 07:42 AM   #14
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Are we being realistic here?

Don't take this the wrong way but I really don't think it's very realistic to expect various manufacturers to sit around looking for threads they can reply too.. remember these guys have forums of their own, post on other various forums, get emails, update their FAQ, etc...

I think the best bet it so contact each manufacturer directly or look on their site. Perhaps Dvinfo alone is not the appropriate forum for this.

On a side note I know Redrock offers a warranty statement regarding their equipment when you hit the purchase page and I'm sure if you emailed SGPro Wayne would give you some kind of information as well - I know he did with me when I inquired about his products.

At the end of the day if you drop your 35mm adapater on the floor it doesn't matter how cheap or expensive it was - something will break and NO manufacturer is going to give you some kind of insurance against this type of situation. These are just unrealistic expectations. If you're involved in a professional shoot or one with a budget I would suggest you have a backup camera and if are actually renting your equipment then you can find out from the rental house if they keep anything in reserve for emergencies and what your chance of access to it is should something go wrong.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 08:30 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=Dennis Hingsberg]"Don't take this the wrong way but I really don't think it's very realistic to expect various manufacturers to sit around looking for threads they can reply too.. remember these guys have forums of their own, post on other various forums, get emails, update their FAQ, etc... "
QUOTE]



Thanks for the reply Dennis

I don't take it the wrong way but if you look who's online and in the forum most days, most of them are.



(QUOTE=Dennis Hingsberg)"At the end of the day if you drop your 35mm adapater on the floor it doesn't matter how cheap or expensive it was - something will break and NO manufacturer is going to give you some kind of insurance against this type of situation. These are just unrealistic expectations."



Don't take this the wrong way. But if you have another read of my post I've never once referred to dropping an adapter on the floor. Well of course I wouldn't expect anyone to cover that. I'm asking a simple question like you would of any equipment you buy. It didn't seem that unrealistic for Dennis Wood to answer.

Thanks
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