What's the difference between the Redrock M2 and Letus35? at DVinfo.net

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Old April 20th, 2007, 07:21 PM   #1
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What's the difference between the Redrock M2 and Letus35?

What's the difference between the Redrock M2 and Letus35? Besides the price and look, anyone know?
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Old April 20th, 2007, 07:24 PM   #2
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Letus and Brevis have a vibrating ground glass screen, the Redrock and other "spinners" use a disk that spins. Movement is required to hide grain and imperfections of ground glass media.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 07:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Letus and Brevis have a vibrating ground glass screen, the Redrock and other "spinners" use a disk that spins. Movement is required to hide grain and imperfections of ground glass media.
Interesting. So as far as quality which method is better? Is there really a noticable difference in output?
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Old April 20th, 2007, 07:37 PM   #4
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I noticed the M2 is 3x the price of the Letus35. Is it 3x better? :)
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Old April 20th, 2007, 08:12 PM   #5
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I have a self built spinner, made from plans I got from Redrock. See their website for that. There is a lot of debate as to what is better. I also have the Letus. I like the Letus better due to its simplicity. But there are issues discussed by many about. Look in the alternative imaging forum, and you will find a lot of background on both sides.

At this moment, I am tickled with what I am getting from the Letus and my HV20 camera.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 05:49 AM   #6
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I had the chance to test both systems accurately before choosing one.

Here are some differences:

GROUND GLASS
Letus35FE:
The ground glass is a full frame, 4:3 glass. You don't have to zoom way in to avoid vignetting. It's fast and easy to point it with your camera zoom.

RedrockM2:
The ground glass has a form of a CD and there is a huge vignetting. You have to zoom in more in order to avoid it and still you have some vignetting if you want to grab almost the full frame 35mm area. The problem is that the vignetting is not in the corners only but in the lower center too. It's annoying.



SHARPNESS
Letus35FE:
Letus35FE has so much sharpness that if you use a small aperture (large DOF) no one would know you used it. The diffusion added by the ground glass is so small that it only helps to avoid that "electronic" feel of digital cameras. I suppose that the diffusion area is as large as a camera pixel. Infinity focus is perfect, even with wide angle lenses. There is no aberration, no edge defocusing

RedrockM2:
Forget infinity focus. It's nice if you need a focused subject with unfocused background, but if you need a wide panorama, you have to detach the Redrock and shoot without it, with the added drawback that the look of the redrock is silky, So your panorama will have a totally different look. Bery bad. A slight edge defocusing is noticeable




SETUP
Letus35FE:
Setting the Letus up is as easy as mounting the camera on a tripod. Just attach it and shoot. You MUST have a rod system, because with the weight of the Letus35FE (wich per se is very light) + a heavy metal lens, the gg will be south of center. I recommend the Cavision rods because they are very rigid.

RedrockM2:
I used the M2 in 2 different days. It took 1 and half hour each day to setup it... Quite a nightmare.
The rods shipped with the M2 are elastic. So a simple tilt will move the gg in the other direction giving a "delay effect". Not only, but the lower centered vignette (it's the motor) will show up during tilt downs. you will have to zoom in further to avoid that.




GRAIN
Grain will show up with any adapter, if you shoot with auto shutter or high shutter settings. It's obvious. Shutter, with either system must be below 1/100 sec.
For shallower DOF open your photo lens, and compensate with the camera aperture. If it doesn't help but you still want the shallower DOF, use the ND filter of the camera, but NEVER rise the shutter speed.
If you observe this simple rule grain is totally absent in both systems.


Conclusion:
Letus35FE flips the image, has a totally silent motor, a wonderful image. I choosed it. Now i have the following Setup:

- Letus35 Flip Enhanced
- 58/72 adapter rings for use with almost any camera
- Cavision RS15IIM Rod support
- Nikon Nikkor 50mm 1.4 AIS lens (metallic build) (ebay)
- Nikon Nikkor 24mm 2.8 AI lens (metallic build) (ebay)
- Nikon Nikkor 24-85mm 3.5-4.5 allround reserve lens (ebay)
- Caps for letus front and rear (ebay)

Coming soon:
Matte box, Rod's grips, 85mm prime lens, Macro lens


Just my 0.2 cts
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Old April 24th, 2007, 07:40 PM   #7
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Hi giovanni

I am a little surprised by your comments, since some of them don't seem to accurately reflect the Redrock product imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giovanni Speranza View Post
I used the M2 in 2 different days. It took 1 and half hour each day to setup it... Quite a nightmare.
The rods shipped with the M2 are elastic. So a simple tilt will move the gg in the other direction giving a "delay effect". Not only, but the lower centered vignette (it's the motor) will show up during tilt downs. you will have to zoom in further to avoid that.
Redrock rods are machined aluminum, which are more rigid than the carbon fiber cavision rods you recommend (and which are advertised by cavision for the Letus anyways). The "delay effect" you are describing is most likely due to the camera's image stabilization being on (100% of the people who reported this problem to me had OIS on. when they turned it off it went away).

I am at a loss for what takes you an hour to setup each day. Once configured, it takes most people I know 5 minutes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giovanni Speranza View Post
The ground glass has a form of a CD and there is a huge vignetting. You have to zoom in more in order to avoid it and still you have some vignetting if you want to grab almost the full frame 35mm area. The problem is that the vignetting is not in the corners only but in the lower center too. It's annoying
Sounds to me like your rig wasn't fully setup correctly. You can always look at the samples page on the redrock site for examples of what's possible with our gear.

Not sure what you mean by "a form of a CD". our screen is custom manufactured out of a military grade polycarb.

In short, sounds like you had a bad shoot that included Redrock gear. If you have issues, we have support. Always happy to help. Drop me a line anytime

On the price, not sure where the 3x came from. A kit from Redrock for an HD camera is $1295, which includes the rods, rod support, and quick release baseplate as well as the adapter, achromat, and lens mount. If I understand Letus pricing, its $700 for the adapter, achromat and lens mount, and you'll need to get rods from somewhere else (I don't mean to speak for Letus, so I may not be accurate here).

Cheers

Brian
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Old April 25th, 2007, 02:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Valente View Post
Hi giovanni

I am a little surprised by your comments, since some of them don't seem to accurately reflect the Redrock product imo.



Redrock rods are machined aluminum, which are more rigid than the carbon fiber cavision rods you recommend (and which are advertised by cavision for the Letus anyways). The "delay effect" you are describing is most likely due to the camera's image stabilization being on (100% of the people who reported this problem to me had OIS on. when they turned it off it went away).

I am at a loss for what takes you an hour to setup each day. Once configured, it takes most people I know 5 minutes.



Sounds to me like your rig wasn't fully setup correctly. You can always look at the samples page on the redrock site for examples of what's possible with our gear.

Not sure what you mean by "a form of a CD". our screen is custom manufactured out of a military grade polycarb.

In short, sounds like you had a bad shoot that included Redrock gear. If you have issues, we have support. Always happy to help. Drop me a line anytime

On the price, not sure where the 3x came from. A kit from Redrock for an HD camera is $1295, which includes the rods, rod support, and quick release baseplate as well as the adapter, achromat, and lens mount. If I understand Letus pricing, its $700 for the adapter, achromat and lens mount, and you'll need to get rods from somewhere else (I don't mean to speak for Letus, so I may not be accurate here).

Cheers

Brian
Hey Brian,

Nice to hear from you! What I was referencing is the Letus35 which is around $300 vs. the Redrock SD M2 that is I believe $995 last time I checked.

Neither flip the image. So I was just curious why the M2 was 3x the price roughly. I know it comes with the rods which run about $100-$200 or so. But still why is there such a large price difference.

I've seen the test footage and they seem similar. So what are the advantages of the M2? At such a pricepoint I feel one almost needs convincing to spend roughly 2-3x as much as a similar product that yields similar results from what I've seen so far.

So what else are you getting? Is it just better? Seems like nobody wants to step on toes so you don't hear any competitive sales pitches anywhere. :)
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Old April 25th, 2007, 03:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Valente View Post

Redrock rods are machined aluminum
I'm sorry to disappoint you, but i really don't care if the rods are aluminium or any other material. They are so elastic that they bend when you tilt up and down, even when you pan. Try it you can't say it's not true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Valente View Post
I am at a loss for what takes you an hour to setup each day. Once configured, it takes most people I know 5 minutes.
Maybe once one is used to that, you could be right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Valente View Post
Sounds to me like your rig wasn't fully setup correctly. Brian
Could be, but i have 20 years experience and i'm a perfectionist. I read the instructions carefully and i did everything allright.
I didn't want to bash the M2, but this is my experience and i wanted to share it.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 03:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Valente View Post

Redrock rods are machined aluminum
I'm sorry to disappoint you, but they are so elastic that they bend when you tilt up and down, even when you pan.
I have to ask my friend if the rods are the original Redrock ones or if they used third party, longer rods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Valente View Post
I am at a loss for what takes you an hour to setup each day. Once configured, it takes most people I know 5 minutes.
Maybe once one is used to that, you could be right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Valente View Post
Sounds to me like your rig wasn't fully setup correctly. Brian
Could be, but i have 20 years experience and i'm a perfectionist. I read the instructions carefully and i did everything allright.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 01:43 PM   #11
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Hi Anthony

A couple of things.

First, regarding "not hearing any competitive sales pitches" I think you are right, and I think that is a good thing. DVInfo and other online communities are great resources for information, education, a sense of community. If it suddenly becomes okay that companies can come on and make sales pitches for their products, I fear it would simply turn into another media channel for schilling. Redrock doesn't want that, and I believe many (but unfortunately not all) vendors feel similarly.

Second, this is a Letus forum, so it should be about letus products. The only reason I am posting here is because Redrock products are being discussed in a way I don't believe is accurate.

Regarding the price difference, I think an apples-to-apples comparison is better. First the redrock kit:

1. Redrock M2 adapter - $550
2. Redrock SD achromat - $160
3. Rods (18" machined aluminum) - $99
4. Rod support system (including baseplate and quick release plate) - $250
5. lens mount - $90

(bundles are discounted, so while the individual items add up to more, it is sold for $995)


From what I understand of the Letus (again, I'm not a representative of their company, so if I'm mistaken I hope someone will correct me) a comparable package would be:

Letus35 - $300
achromat - $50
black anodized (all redrock gear is anodized) - $50
swappable metal mount (the Redrock M2 has interchangeable mounts) - $100

If you remove the rods and rod support system you end up with a (imo more accurate) price comparison of $700 for the Redrock (factoring the discount) and $500 for the Letus. From the Redrock perspective, we put a lot of time and effort into the build quality. our gear is on everything from student desks to professional production environments, where the reliability and consistency of the adapter are important. We feel Redrock is the best balance between low price, results, and quality gear.


Also, regarding the whole discussion on rods, the Redrock gear requires rod support. It's great to strap on a 35mm adapter without any rods and do some run and gun. When you really need to control focus, you need a follow focus, and when you need that you also need rods. When you work with larger lenses (everyone has their own definition, but anything above about 135mm lenses to me is a larger lens) you also need rod support for the lenses. So we see them being needed almost out of the gate.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 01:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giovanni Speranza View Post
I'm sorry to disappoint you, but they are so elastic that they bend when you tilt up and down, even when you pan.
I have to ask my friend if the rods are the original Redrock ones or if they used third party, longer rods.


Maybe once one is used to that, you could be right.



Could be, but i have 20 years experience and i'm a perfectionist. I read the instructions carefully and i did everything allright.
Giovanni, since I wasn't at your shoot I am at a disadvantage to know your situation and how much was redrock gear vs. not. I can only say that what you describe on our rods as "so elastic they bend when you tilt up and down" is not possible with our gear. Representatives from Arri and Panavision and other equally reputable companies who have seen, held, and worked with Redrock gear, and they say the rods are comparable to their own (but much less expensive). I just dropped off a rod support kit to Century Optics for one of their high-end customers who needed a rod support for his Canon 300mm f2.8 lens re-housed by Century. It's a 10lb+ lens and costs upwards of $10k. The Century engineers reviewed our rod kit and recommended it to their customer. If we produced rods as you've described we wouldn't sell them.

Thanks again for the opportunity to respond


Brian
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Old April 25th, 2007, 04:57 PM   #13
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Maybe those rods where from another manufacturer.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 05:47 PM   #14
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Hi Giovanni

I'm suspecting that's the case. Please respond to my PM and let me know who the Redrock owner is and we can get to the bottom of this. We may be able to help him/her out.


Cheers

Brian
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Old April 26th, 2007, 01:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Valente View Post
Hi Anthony

A couple of things.

First, regarding "not hearing any competitive sales pitches" I think you are right, and I think that is a good thing. DVInfo and other online communities are great resources for information, education, a sense of community. If it suddenly becomes okay that companies can come on and make sales pitches for their products, I fear it would simply turn into another media channel for schilling. Redrock doesn't want that, and I believe many (but unfortunately not all) vendors feel similarly.

Second, this is a Letus forum, so it should be about letus products. The only reason I am posting here is because Redrock products are being discussed in a way I don't believe is accurate.

Regarding the price difference, I think an apples-to-apples comparison is better. First the redrock kit:

1. Redrock M2 adapter - $550
2. Redrock SD achromat - $160
3. Rods (18" machined aluminum) - $99
4. Rod support system (including baseplate and quick release plate) - $250
5. lens mount - $90

(bundles are discounted, so while the individual items add up to more, it is sold for $995)


From what I understand of the Letus (again, I'm not a representative of their company, so if I'm mistaken I hope someone will correct me) a comparable package would be:

Letus35 - $300
achromat - $50
black anodized (all redrock gear is anodized) - $50
swappable metal mount (the Redrock M2 has interchangeable mounts) - $100

If you remove the rods and rod support system you end up with a (imo more accurate) price comparison of $700 for the Redrock (factoring the discount) and $500 for the Letus. From the Redrock perspective, we put a lot of time and effort into the build quality. our gear is on everything from student desks to professional production environments, where the reliability and consistency of the adapter are important. We feel Redrock is the best balance between low price, results, and quality gear.


Also, regarding the whole discussion on rods, the Redrock gear requires rod support. It's great to strap on a 35mm adapter without any rods and do some run and gun. When you really need to control focus, you need a follow focus, and when you need that you also need rods. When you work with larger lenses (everyone has their own definition, but anything above about 135mm lenses to me is a larger lens) you also need rod support for the lenses. So we see them being needed almost out of the gate.

Thanks for the price breakdown that really clears this up for me! I appreciate it!
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