First LetusExtreme Test Footage at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 12th, 2008, 05:29 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Cedar City, UT
Posts: 60
First LetusExtreme Test Footage

OK, here's a little over a minute's worth of my first shots with my new LetusEx: http://www.mediafire.com/?edzzmmflgsi

Now, I'm still "in the dark" about the various HD workflows to which people have referred on this board. I'm using Vegas 8.0, and all I've done is capture the footage with HDVSplit (using my HV20 as a playback unit), then import the footage into a Vegas project whose settings are HD 720p 24f (23.976). Then I rendered it to a .wmv, using the variable bit rate option with an average bit rate of 8M. If there are reasons for doing something differently, I'm anxious to learn them and modify my work flow accordingly. If there is a thread(s) that discusses HD workflow in Vegas, I would very much appreciate a link being posted to it/them.

And please don't give me too much grief about the shaky tilt/pan work. Believe me, I've now learned the difference between a $150 tripod head and a $700 tripod head when you've got the XH-A1/Letus and a 200mm telephoto lens all sitting on top of it and shooting in a 20 MPH wind. My new Bogen 516 is in the mail.

Needless to say, the XH-A1/Letus/lens combo constitutes quite a substantial rig. I can see it's going to take some getting used to. Also, I've learned that it's much better/easier to shoot movement than to try to create movement -- especially using as long a lens as a 200mm. (Actually, the very first clip I'm using a Canon 50mm f/1.7 then the 200mm for everything else) I'm sure I'll continue to use the 200mm for some shots, but I've got a 135mm coming that I think will shoulder most of the telephoto work I do with the Letus. I also managed to find a "near mint" Canon 85mm f/1.2 L that I'm really excited to work with once it arrives next week.

Anyway, with those apologies, excuses, explanations out of the way ...

I set out to do no more than see how easy/hard it is to get decent shots using the Letus, and also to test my preferred preset; the result of my experimentation over the last few weeks. I call the preset "RICHSOFT". It's not as color saturated as VIVIDRGB, but still quite 'rich' in color. And it reflects some influence from my working with Paolo Ciccone's TRUCOLOR preset.

I'm very pleased with this RICHSOFT preset and see myself using it as my 'standard' setting for both indoor and outdoor shooting. I'm also struggling to imagine when I would not want to have my Letus attached. I've only had it a week and I've already fallen in love with the thing. Man, it is cool!

Here are the settings for RICHSOFT:

RICHSOFT XH-A1 Preset

Color Gain 10
Red Gain 10
Green Gain 7
Blue Gain 15
RG-Matrix 5
RB-Matrix 5
GR-Matrix 5
GB-Matrix 5
BR-Matrix 5
BG-Matrix 5
Gamma Cine 2
Color Matrix Cine 2
HDF Mid
Black Mid
Knee Low
NR1 Off
NR2 Off
Color Phase 0
H/V 0
Sharpness -9
Master Pedestal -7
Setup Level -6
Coring 6
Will Schryver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2008, 04:47 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Birmingham Alabama
Posts: 259
I liked the shots... Might try uploading to Vimeo to get more views than having to download an 80+ mb file...

Outside of the things you already stated about the tripod / head combo that would be my only criticism...
__________________
"The only thing the camera sees is light..."
http://www.GoWildOlive.com
Doug Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2008, 01:38 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Cedar City, UT
Posts: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Davis View Post
I liked the shots... Might try uploading to Vimeo to get more views than having to download an 80+ mb file...

Outside of the things you already stated about the tripod / head combo that would be my only criticism...
Here's a Vimeo link: http://www.vimeo.com/895932
Will Schryver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2008, 02:03 AM   #4
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: california
Posts: 16
superb will.

i am so excited for my dof adapter.
__________________
my: website | blog
Morgan Maassen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2008, 01:15 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Posts: 131
Beautiful footage! I love the landscape!!!

I have to try out the preset. I used the one you posted last fall for our vacation trip to Utah and Arizona and I liked it a lot. Do you think this preset will be good for red rock landscape ?

Thanks so much for posting!!

Dino
Dino Leone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2008, 03:22 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Cedar City, UT
Posts: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino Leone View Post
Beautiful footage! I love the landscape!!!

I have to try out the preset. I used the one you posted last fall for our vacation trip to Utah and Arizona and I liked it a lot. Do you think this preset will be good for red rock landscape ?

Thanks so much for posting!!

Dino
My opinion about taking footage of the redrock on the Colorado Plateau is that nature has done a better job than you can ever improve on by adjusting the sensors in your camera or by messing with color saturation in post. That said, I have found that I like my shots of "God's Country" to be fully saturated without looking like Kodachrome on steroids -- if that makes sense. So, when I first plugged Steve Dempsey's VIVIDRGB into my A1, it was just too much. I started cranking parameters down little by little until I got a color mix that met my personal tastes. Then I was convinced by Paolo Ciccone's arguments regarding turning down the "Sharpening" all the way, and I incorporated several elements of his TRUECOLOR preset into my evolving preset.

I think my preset is certainly adapted to the landscape I see around me every day, but I also designed it to be "all purpose" and I am quite satisfied with the results it gives under Tungsten lighting indoors. It's rich, and yet it's soft. Hence the name.

Anyway, that's probably more explanation than anyone wanted. I might also note that I have a second video on my Vimeo page that is a stark improvement over the original. Plus, I took delivery yesterday of my new Bogen 516 head, and I've got my A1 sitting on top of it right now waiting to go out this afternoon and find out if I can now perform a decent pan movement without it looking like I'm sitting in the back of a pickup truck driving down a washboard road. Wish me luck.
Will Schryver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2008, 05:32 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Schryver View Post
My opinion about taking footage of the redrock on the Colorado Plateau is that nature has done a better job than you can ever improve on by adjusting the sensors in your camera or by messing with color saturation in post. That said, I have found that I like my shots of "God's Country" to be fully saturated without looking like Kodachrome on steroids -- if that makes sense. So, when I first plugged Steve Dempsey's VIVIDRGB into my A1, it was just too much. I started cranking parameters down little by little until I got a color mix that met my personal tastes. Then I was convinced by Paolo Ciccone's arguments regarding turning down the "Sharpening" all the way, and I incorporated several elements of his TRUECOLOR preset into my evolving preset.
Great. That sounds exactly like what I want!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Schryver View Post
Anyway, that's probably more explanation than anyone wanted. I might also note that I have a second video on my Vimeo page that is a stark improvement over the original. Plus, I took delivery yesterday of my new Bogen 516 head, and I've got my A1 sitting on top of it right now waiting to go out this afternoon and find out if I can now perform a decent pan movement without it looking like I'm sitting in the back of a pickup truck driving down a washboard road. Wish me luck.
No, I'm actually grateful for the amount of explanation!! Good luck with the tripod. Love the idea about the pickup truck on the washboard road (reminds me of fabulous red rock landscapes seen from a dirtroad)!

Dino
Dino Leone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2008, 02:33 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 643
Letus' site claims no vignetting yet when you pan up to the sky, there is slight vignetting in the upper corners.

Is it due to the lenses you used or is it the letus?

Still new to 35 mm adapters and I'm researching which one to purchase. Your letus footage is great!

Can't wait to get a 35 mm adapter myself :).
Randy Panado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2008, 10:58 AM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Cedar City, UT
Posts: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Panado View Post
Letus' site claims no vignetting yet when you pan up to the sky, there is slight vignetting in the upper corners.

Is it due to the lenses you used or is it the letus?

Still new to 35 mm adapters and I'm researching which one to purchase. Your letus footage is great!

Can't wait to get a 35 mm adapter myself :).
The reason you see some slight vignetting in a few of my shots is that I was zooming in on the ground glass image at times, and then zooming back out to take in the full frame. However, it wasn't always easy to clearly see the edges of the frame when I was zooming back out, and so there are a few shots where I have zoomed out a little too far and didn't realize it until after I had captured the footage. I then used the zoom/crop tool in Vegas to try to cut it off, but I might have missed a few shots, or not come in quite far enough on a couple.

In any case, there is no reason to see any vignetting using the Letus -- so long as you make sure to keep your frame size well within the parameters of the ground glass.
Will Schryver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2008, 09:35 PM   #10
New Boot
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: El Dorado, Arkansas
Posts: 7
Telephoto shots using 35mm adapter

Shallow depth of field is a wonderful filmmakers trick for keeping the eyes focused on what is most important in the shot. The Letus and other DOF adapters are a great tool when used in shots where they provide real gains over the standard video lens that comes with the XH A1.

After messing around a while with my own DOF adapter (an RNG35 + Brevis Flip) and a 200mm Nikon F/4, I cannot see how it provides much better DOF than with the standard XH A1 lenses. For closeups, my short focal length lenses like the Nikon 50mm f1.4 or 35mm f2.0 gives quite dramatic effects. I also find that a 135mm f2.8 lens quite useful. But a 200mm f/4 at 50-100 feet, I can get much of the same or better effect without the 35mm adapter, with less problems focusing on moving subjects (I do have a follow focus that works with my 35mm system).

I was interested in how usable you are finding the 200mm Canon f/4 lens vs. the Standard A1 lens? Is it all that different than the middle-to-longer range of the A1 lens, which can shoot at f2.6-3.0 in that range? Even at full zoom in Manual you can open the iris and get f.3.4 with the XH A1 lens. Of course, you CAN zoom in on the Ground Glass image quite a bit pf magnification using the 200mm f/4 and Letus Extreme.

Like you, I love what the 35mm DOF adapter gives me in the certain situations, but I am finding it is not a good choice for all shots. And, as you have noted, it is something of a beast to lug around and use in the field . . . especially when trying to capture wildlife that do not wish to wait for you to do a careful focus. For such shots, I find the stock A1 lens works quite nicely, with all the shallow DOF I require.

BTW - I tried your RICHSOFT preset. It is proving a very usable preset. I am finding myself switching between it and Steven Dempsey's VIVIDRGB quite a bit. I do find your sharpness setting of -7 is just a bit soft for the kinds of nature studies I like to do, but it is great for old buildings and those odd rusty bits of our crumbling civilization . . . which you capture so well!

Daniel Loomis
Curmudgeon-in-training
Daniel Loomis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2008, 09:41 AM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Cedar City, UT
Posts: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Loomis View Post
Shallow depth of field is a wonderful filmmakers trick for keeping the eyes focused on what is most important in the shot. The Letus and other DOF adapters are a great tool when used in shots where they provide real gains over the standard video lens that comes with the XH A1.

After messing around a while with my own DOF adapter (an RNG35 + Brevis Flip) and a 200mm Nikon F/4, I cannot see how it provides much better DOF than with the standard XH A1 lenses. For closeups, my short focal length lenses like the Nikon 50mm f1.4 or 35mm f2.0 gives quite dramatic effects. I also find that a 135mm f2.8 lens quite useful. But a 200mm f/4 at 50-100 feet, I can get much of the same or better effect without the 35mm adapter, with less problems focusing on moving subjects (I do have a follow focus that works with my 35mm system).

I was interested in how usable you are finding the 200mm Canon f/4 lens vs. the Standard A1 lens? Is it all that different than the middle-to-longer range of the A1 lens, which can shoot at f2.6-3.0 in that range? Even at full zoom in Manual you can open the iris and get f.3.4 with the XH A1 lens. Of course, you CAN zoom in on the Ground Glass image quite a bit pf magnification using the 200mm f/4 and Letus Extreme.

Like you, I love what the 35mm DOF adapter gives me in the certain situations, but I am finding it is not a good choice for all shots. And, as you have noted, it is something of a beast to lug around and use in the field . . . especially when trying to capture wildlife that do not wish to wait for you to do a careful focus. For such shots, I find the stock A1 lens works quite nicely, with all the shallow DOF I require.

BTW - I tried your RICHSOFT preset. It is proving a very usable preset. I am finding myself switching between it and Steven Dempsey's VIVIDRGB quite a bit. I do find your sharpness setting of -7 is just a bit soft for the kinds of nature studies I like to do, but it is great for old buildings and those odd rusty bits of our crumbling civilization . . . which you capture so well!

Daniel Loomis
Curmudgeon-in-training
It's somewhat ironic you should make the observation that you do. Because, as I have worked with my Letus over the last month, I'm increasingly finding that I have little use for my 200mm lens. I have been using the 85mm, the 50mm, and the 24mm. When I've needed a little extra telephoto, I just zoom in on the GG with the 85mm attached.

Glad you were able to profit somewhat from the RICHSOFT preset. The fact is that everyone needs to adapt the camera to their own environment.
Will Schryver is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:38 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network