35mm Adaptor and lense advise needed at DVinfo.net

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old September 12th, 2007, 10:58 PM   #1
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35mm Adaptor and lense advise needed

I'm in the market for a 35mm adaptor for my XH A1. I don't have a fast 35mm lense that I could use either. So in other words I'll need a good lense suitable for the adaptor.

I plan on doing some 1-2 people interviews (in offices and homes) and generally other stuff as well. Not sure if I should go in for a 28mm, 50mm, 100mm lense.

I read some great reviews on the Letus, RedRock, Brevis and SGPro adaptors but I'm all the more confused since they each have their pros and cons and I can't figure out what I gain or loose from either.

Some other things I'm not clear about are:
1. Is one able to continue to use the exposure "meter" of the camera with one of these adaptors attached? Or do you have to use a light meter?

2. What about the others controls of the camera (apature, shutter, focus, zoom, auto focus/push AF etc.).

In other words I'm confused about the way one would/should set exposure and in general operate the camera and what functions/features does one not get to use and what one can etc.

I need to buy the adaptor and lense in the next 2-3 days, and have read almost everything "searchable" on various websites (not been able to find the letus website) and in these forums. So I've done a lot of research, have learnt a lot but am (probably as a result) more confused.

Thanks in advance for your input/suggestions.

Shiv.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 12:41 AM   #2
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Hey Shiv,

I'm no expert but since you seem to be in a hurry I will try to help :)

From what I've seen it's pretty much a tie between the Brevis and the SGpro. I live in Europe so I ordered an SGpro (Shipping late October) - if I lived in the states I would propably be partial to the Brevis. Besides, the next batch of SGpro's doesn't ship till December 15th.

I went with a Canon EOS mount. Oddly enough not because I wan't to use Canon EOS lenses (no aperture ring on those) but because it's a very flexible mount. Using cheap adapters ($5-30 on E-bay) you can convert the EOS mount to Contax/Yashica, Olympus, Pentax, Leica and others.

I am currently scouting for glass myself - checking E-bay etc. I will be going with either Contax/Yashica mount Zeiss or Olympus Zuikos. Affordable and sharp lenses that will not lose value if treated properly.
My first lens will be a 50mm - either the Zeiss Planar 50 1.4 or the Zuiko 50 1.2.
For interviews I would suggest you start with a 50mm aswell.

ad 1) In camera exposure meter should work just fine.

ad 2) Zoom is locked on the image projected onto the adapter groundglass - if you want zoom you will have to use a 35mm zoom lens on the adapter (these are usally slow - f2.8 and up - which means lots of light required).
Focus is done on the 35mm lens - all manual. No autofocus, no push.
Shutter/aperture works the same. You will have to balance the 2 apertures on the lenses - you will want to keep the Canon in the f2-f5.6 range for optimal sharpness and work with internal/external ND's if needed.

Hope I've cleared up a few things, not just added to the confusion :)

Best of luck.

Edit: If you decide to go with EOS mount for your 35mm adapter make sure to ask if it will take mountadapters without problems (flange distance etc..)
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Old September 13th, 2007, 02:21 AM   #3
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Rene,

Thank you for your reply and information. The bits about the exposure control and ability or inability to use some of the camera's own features make total sense now. So I think that part is clear.

I'm tending towards the Letus35 FE due to:
1. The price
2. Easy mounting (I believe)

I'm also tending towards fast lense (f1.2). I'm looking at the Nikon 50mm f/1.2 prime (haven't found too many reviews however) and the newer Canon 50mm f/1.2 L USM (much more expensive but some really great reviews).

It also looks like the Letus35 FE only supports the FD mount (I thought the FD mount was obsolete).
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Old September 13th, 2007, 04:03 AM   #4
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consider the Brevis, although it is a little steep in price, but it works out better. you can use a zoom lens instead of a few prime lenses. so that is where you save. and If you get a F2.8 , then all you range will be the same. and it makes it easier then to match all the prime lenses that you have to get.

with one zoom lens with a good range. you don't need to change lenses and hence keeping dust out and saving setup time.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 04:03 AM   #5
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Hi Shiv,

I unfortunately agree with you. It's very hard to make a choice about a 35mm adapter, I'm in the same situation and I'm also still not sure which one to get ;)

Have you read Phill Bloom's review at http://web.mac.com/philip.bloom/Shootout/Intro.html?

His review is from a cameraman's perspective and I like that. He clearly states the pros and cons from the tested adapters in a practical environment. It's up to you to decide which of those cons you definitely cannot live with...
As for easy mounting the Cinevate Brevis35 adapter seems to be a good choice.

For used lenses check out http://www.keh.com/onlinestore/home.aspx.

For interview work I think a 50mm and 100mm lens (for close ups and shallow DOF if needed) should get you the results you need.

Andre.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 04:26 AM   #6
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David, Andre,

Thank you both for your inputs. It is greatly appreciated.

David, I understand your logic completely, unfortunately shelling out that kind of money on just the adaptor (at this time) while I have to purchase various other "toys" as well, has made me go out and buy the Letus35 FE (for better or worse :)).

Andre, yes I had read that review but it didn't really help me decide (I guess having seem some really great footage by Steven Demsey here and a few others using the Letus35 FE and my budget constraints kind of kept pulling me towards the Letus35 FE :).

Is there some way I can simulate a 50mm and 100mm with the existing camera lense so I can get a feel for the kind of composition I will be able to do?

I've gone ahead and purchased the Letus. So that's that. Now I'm hunting around for a good lens. For some reason I feel better going for a new Nikon 50mm f/1.2 than an older Canon (FD mount) 50mm f/1.2. I've started another thread for that. It's 5 am here and I'm about dead beat and getting very light headed :).

Thanks once again for your help.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 08:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Chia View Post
consider the Brevis, although it is a little steep in price, but it works out better. you can use a zoom lens instead of a few prime lenses. so that is where you save. and If you get a F2.8 , then all you range will be the same. and it makes it easier then to match all the prime lenses that you have to get.

with one zoom lens with a good range. you don't need to change lenses and hence keeping dust out and saving setup time.
I didn't know this about the brevis. What is it about the brevis design vs the letus that makes the zoom an option?

Still considering either of these 2 adaptors myself.

For Shiv going with the letus if he's on a budget - he won't immediately need to address the upside image issue that the other adaptors require an add-on or monitor solution for.

Trish
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Old September 13th, 2007, 10:31 AM   #8
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Vignetting is an issue with other adapetes when using a zoom lens. However Brevis got the CFL1 to fix this problem. And that is why if you think about buying a ,35mm ,50mm ,105mm and so on. the cost of these lenses with mount up to alot, sometimes more then your adapter.

Last edited by David Chia; September 14th, 2007 at 09:52 AM.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 10:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiv Kumar View Post
David, Andre,

I've gone ahead and purchased the Letus. So that's that. Now I'm hunting around for a good lens. For some reason I feel better going for a new Nikon 50mm f/1.2 than an older Canon (FD mount) 50mm f/1.2. I've started another thread for that. It's 5 am here and I'm about dead beat and getting very light headed :).

Thanks once again for your help.
The cost of a f1.2 nikon alone is killing and later you would like to also have a 28mm and then a 85mm and so on. Well if they are all going to be at least f 1.4 to match your f1.2 50mm. You are going to pay more then the Letus

How sure are you going to get the same look through out all your different lenses.Every lens have different looks. (yes there is colour correction but the time and effort) But with one zoom lens, I get the same look throughout. I carry only one lens to a shoot instead of 4 lenses. I keep the lens on and don't need to back focus everytime i change my zoom range. I keep the dust out because the lens is always on. Time = money when you are on a location. Have fun cleaning dust when you change lenses. ;)
Anyway these are just my point of view.

Last edited by David Chia; September 14th, 2007 at 10:00 AM.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 10:56 AM   #10
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You can get used Nikkor lenses on eBay and at used camera stores pretty cheaply. I think you could get by with 3 basic lenses--a 24mm would be nice for wide angle, though you can live with a 28...a 35mm for "normal" and an 85 for closer shots. Then maybe a zoom for outdoor work, or a 105 and a 135.

Doesn't the Letus have the image flip function? I think Brevis does too. That's a must, in my opinion.

From what I've read about these, you have to stop down your camera's lens a certain amount, ie., you can't shoot wide open. I don't know what that might be, but say for the sake of discussion it's f3.5. Then the adapter is going to eat about a stop, plus the lens you attach to the front. So in most cases you probably are going to be shooting at an f5.6 or lower equivalent, I'm guessing. Just something to be aware of.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 02:00 PM   #11
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David,

Yes, point taken. I'll probably regret my decision in a month or so (at least as regards the cost of things).

Bill,
The Letus35 FE (FE - Flip Enhanced) does flip the image for you. You loose about 2-2.5 stops in all. However, (I think) since the DOF effect is really a factor of the 35mm lens and it's apature setting if you buy a fast lens you kind of hit two birds with one stone in that the loss of f stops shouldn't be much of an issue and two the DOF aspect is not lost due to the loss of f stops. At least that's my understanding :).
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Old September 13th, 2007, 02:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
Doesn't the Letus have the image flip function? I think Brevis does too. That's a must, in my opinion.
From what I understand the brevis image flip will be an add-on item. (you'd be getting into needing rails at that point I would imagine) I know it's close to being available, or may already be.

Using one lens to cover all situations does sound like a sweet idea though.

Trish
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Old September 13th, 2007, 04:29 PM   #13
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You need rails anyway for these adapters. That's too much weight to be hanging off the end of the lens.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 05:57 PM   #14
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You need rails anyway for these adapters. That's too much weight to be hanging off the end of the lens.
I thought some people were going 'rail-less' on the letus flip - assuming a very short lens attached of course

Bill, are you thinking even that's not wise?

Trish
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Old September 14th, 2007, 03:49 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Trish Kerr View Post
I thought some people were going 'rail-less' on the letus flip - assuming a very short lens attached of course
Trish
True. Personally I would get a rail system.
It will get the strain (however small it may be) of the camera lens and if you get bigger lenses or a matte box in the future you're going to need a rail system to support all of that anyway.

This is a issue with the Brevis and the Letus. The M2 and SGPro need a rail system to be mounted on.
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