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Old July 26th, 2007, 11:30 PM   #1
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making vs. buying

i have searched through a lot of posts and cant figure out why someone wouldnt just buy the parts and build one themself.....instead of paying high dollars.

Pros and cons of building one yourself? If you have built one yourself, are you happy with the outcome?

thanks
wes
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Old July 26th, 2007, 11:56 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Wes Powell View Post
i have searched through a lot of posts and cant figure out why someone wouldnt just buy the parts and build one themself.....instead of paying high dollars.

Pros and cons of building one yourself? If you have built one yourself, are you happy with the outcome?

thanks
wes
Hey Wes,
Absolutely, building it yourself can be a lot of fun and the results can be great. I built my own static Optosigma adapter about two years ago based on Richard Mellor's design and made this music video with it. I was very pleased with my results, and had I known what I do now about adapters, I could've gotten an even better image from that.

But over time, after some fiddling, your homemade thrown-together solution starts to fall apart. Those step rings you JB-welded together just break in two after the punishment of all that weight. Dust starts to get onto the optical elements because, well, it's homemade, and that's what happens. That chroma aberration you said you'd just put up with because you didn't want to invest in the $400 achromat from Century Optics starts to annoy you. You begin to notice what "real bokeh" should look like, and that ugly honeycomb bokeh you're getting on that Canon Ee-S screen just doesn't cut it. Frankly, you begin to just want more. And rather than spend even more to upgrade, you just buy a "pro", pre-built model that has all those kinks already sorted out.

I have a Brevis now, and before that, I had two different Letus35 models, one of which I tweaked heavily. Building's a great way to go to get started, and to familiarize yourself with adapters...so when you inevitably buy one, you know how to use it to its full potential, fix it if it breaks down, and improve it if you don't like it. :)

That's not to say there aren't people who've built their own and stuck with them for a while. And a lot of DIY designs have emerged since I built mine. It depends on your handiwork, your willingness to stick with it and devote many hours to fine-tuning it, and the size of your wallet.

I can tell you right now that thinking it's a small investment ($$) is a bad start! :)
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Old July 27th, 2007, 01:13 AM   #3
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yeah, hmmmm. When I first heard about adaptors, I was thinking they were around $200 to buy......pfftt, was I wrong. The camera house in my city rents them for $400 a day and that even makes me mad because I could build one on my own for cheaper. So, just trying to figure out what to do.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 01:47 AM   #4
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How much are you worth per hour? After building and the try and errors and wanting to upgrade the achromat lens. It comes down to it being more expensive.

I self build one and bought three. I went throught 4 adapters and I wish I had gotten my last one first.( not telling you which one, because it a matter of choice for my shooting style, and is unfair to the manufactures) The time spend on researchs and building means down time for me to earn money.

If you want, just buy a Letus, it is not really expensive. Get the handy man set .

I think the rental house that you mention is renting the mini35 from P+S. Well that unit alone cost a few thousand.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 07:46 PM   #5
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ahh theres way to many things that can go wrong with these things, from the vignetting, to rainbow stripes, to not being able to zoom in far enough, to a soft image, to a shaky image.....

i just wish they were cheaper to someone like myself could afford them
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 10:10 PM   #6
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yeah understandable. If you bought one and it had problems, could you fix it? you know, by moving the GG or the ahcromat lens?

wes
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 09:32 AM   #7
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I'm still working on mine...time=money...spend one so you don't have to spend the other. The caveat is that with money, you get guarantees of craftsmanship etc. With DIY projects (Keep in mind that I'm a HUGE proponent of DIY projects), you can run into problems...like not accounting for the minimum focal distance of a lens changing with the focal length (on the XL1s, it jumps right in the middle of the zoom range from being able to focus on the front glass to 3 feet)...I had to build huge rails to account for this shift (parts I have laying around are cheaper than the achromat to avoid this problem).

If you can afford to get one of these pre-made, do so...if not, do it yourself given the aptitude to do so.
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