Ok... Impressions post MV shoot... at DVinfo.net

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Old July 2nd, 2007, 09:48 AM   #1
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Ok... Impressions post MV shoot...

Ok, so after a long day shooting, here are my thoughts on the LetusXL.

Firstly I should just say that my thoughts on this product are overwhelmingly positive. I'm sitting here batch capturing at the moment and watching bits and pieces of what was shot and I've got to say that it looks great. It's nice and sharp and clean and makes me very happy inside.

In terms of shape and size it is fantastic. The clip was shot entirely handheld and it didn't throw my back out. It feels weighty enough to not shake all over the place and is light enough that you can shoot continuously without having to stop and rest. Also, I flew it on my glidecam/smooth shooter rig perfectly and shot a beautifully steady test shot in the studio. The outdoors GC shots were a bit shaky though due to the wind.

Light loss was far less than I had expected. We had 4 x 500W worklights and 2 x 200W work lights and they were more than enough to keep a consistent level of light throughout the day. Even in the night shots all we used was a strong torch for effect and that was enough (granted the surroundings still are pitch black but the circle of light created by the torch was enough for me to get a clean, 0db image).

The image quality is absolutely fantastic! Will post some footage soon, but I basically was able to shoot with no gain pretty much all day and watching back I am really, really impressed. It is sharp and bright and great and I am very happy.

So the only negative I can think of is the magnification factor. It really killed to effectively not have anything shorter than a 48mm today. I love my wide shots and would have loved to have shot some dramatic wides. I think I didn't get enough of a sense of the space in the MV because of this. Is there anyway I can minimise the crop factor? Use DX lenses? If a PL mount were available would using PL lenses negate the magnification factor? Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I love a good set of Zeiss Superspeeds and am very much longing to see them at then end of my LetusXL.

Oh, and what's a good place to upload short video clips? I use youtube but I guess it's kinda pointless when you want to demonstrate unimportant things like as resolution.

Ok, must sleep...

- Q
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 12:01 PM   #2
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Doesn't matter which lens system goes on the front. It won't change a thing except maybe the contrast if the PL-Mount 35mm lenses you use are of better quality than your still-camera primes.

The crop factor is in the portion of the path ---- groundglass >> biconvex lens >> mirror enclosure >> achromat/Minolta relay lens >> camcorder and is something you may have to live with.

Quyen may be stuck with using the 50mm Minolta lenses for relay. He builds a device which you can afford and for which he can source commonly available components.

To use a wider lens which has the required aperture might make the appliance over-expensive for what you get and a suitable wider lens might not be readily or reliably available.

The res on www.brightcove.com seems to be better.

Last edited by Bob Hart; July 3rd, 2007 at 12:01 PM. Reason: error
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Old July 4th, 2007, 01:07 AM   #3
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G'day Bob.

Thanks for the info. So just to be clear, does that mean that even if I use those Nikon lenses that are designed for digital cameras (the ones with the reduced image circle) it won't make a difference in reducing the crop factor? I'm not too technical with this stuff so I apologise if that's vague but hopefully you understand what I mean.

And again, just so I'm perfectly clear, if a PL mount were created for the LetusXL using PL lenses would NOT affect the magnification factor. Right?

And please don't get me wrong, when I say the magnification factor is a negative it is only a small negative (and one that I was aware of before purchasing, so it's not like I didn't know what I was getting in for). The good things about Quyen's product far outweigh this issue. I'm still slightly embarrassed when I think back to my last short film that was shot on my Redrock M2, whilst the quality of that is also fantastic, the design just means that my XL2 becomes an absolute 'Canon' (bad pun intended), and we shot the whole things handheld on a warm day, I think my DP was near death...
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Old July 4th, 2007, 01:39 AM   #4
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QUOTE: "And again, just so I'm perfectly clear, if a PL mount were created for the LetusXL using PL lenses would NOT affect the magnification factor. Right?"

You are correct.

On the Canon XL1/Letus35 flip combination and my own gadget also, you only lose about 1mm either side of frame versus the Mini35-400. You are getting close but slightly smaller than the 35mm motion picture frame of 24mm wide.

For final presentation, you can steal a little image area back by scaling the full image down into a frame as you see on broadcast TV commercials.

And yes, with the M2 on front of Canon lens, by the end of the day, your DP probably thought that he would not feel any worse if he laid down on the road and let the five-fifteen bus go over him.

After all this time, I am left wondering why no one has tried putting Quyen's XL flip module and relay on back of an M2 for the XL camera family to see what happens. (Brian Valente - you listening?)

Digital still-camera lenses may not be available with the desirable f1.8 available aperture. I know the Nikon 12mm - 24mm for digital works for image area but it is f4 apertrue at its widest and likely to provoke artifacts as it does on my own home-made device

Last edited by Bob Hart; July 4th, 2007 at 03:41 AM. Reason: forgot something
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