WD-H72 Wide-Angle Adapter or Letus35 DoF Adapter + WA Lens mount 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 January 18th, 2009, 01:45 PM   #1
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WD-H72 Wide-Angle Adapter or Letus35 DoF Adapter + WA Lens mount

Hi folks,

After spending over an hour reading the extensive 22 page thread on the WA-H72 wide angle lens adapter specifically for the Canon XH A1, I'm totally sold on this piece of glass. And because I've ordered the Redrock MicroMattebox, it won't be a problem putting any filters in front of it either.

However, I have also ordered a Letus 35 Elite DoF adapter and will be ordering some lenses to be mounted on this also.

My question is, does the Letus adapter purchase negate the need for the WA-H72 Canon glass? Surely I can mount any 35mm wide angle lens on the end of the Letus and achieve the same field of view? Of course I'm not going to be able to screw the letus onto the WA-H72 in any case!

I will need some wide angle shots in my productions. Although I've heard nothing but good things about the WA-H72, I don't want to chuck important money on it if I can achieve the same effect with a lens on the Letus.

Thank you for any advice offered,

Christopher
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Old January 18th, 2009, 03:22 PM   #2
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I can offer a little bit of insight as to the differences when considering these two options. I have both the WD-H72 and a Letus Extreme with 100mm, 50mm, and 28mm nikon AI lenses, as well as the MicroMatte box.

While you can slap on any given wide angle lense onto the Letus I have found that the WD-H72 when zoomed all the way out on the XHA1 gives about the same field of view as the Letus with my 28mm lens. There are some trade offs where the Letus will generally eat up more light. Using a large aperature on the taking lense on the Letus gets you close but then you also start to get a shallower depth of field (although dof with a wide angle lense is still generally fairly deep).

The WD-H72 has a weight advantage. It's a fair chunk of glass but compared to the Letus Extreme/rods and lens the WD-H72 is the lighter option. For me this is important as I typically use my WD-H72 in conjunction with my Glidecam 4000/smooth shooter. It is a more compact package and balances beter (I can actually put the Letus on the same rig but it is a bit unwieldly).

It's a quick setup to unscrew my UV filter and slap on the WD-H72. Compare that to the set up of the Letus which generally takes a few minutes (easy to do but more involved) and it can be a better option for run and gun stuff.

Using the MicroMatte box with the WD-H72 is quite do-able but I really have to reconfigure the placement of my quick release mounts, and take some extensions off my rail system (Letus version 1 rails) to accomodate the camera, WD-H72, matebox. It works fine but I would have to be in real need of filters and the french flag before I bother going through all the tweaking to my rod system to accomodate it. One thing to mention here though is that you do need to zoom in just a little when using the MicroMatte with the WD-H72 if I recall correctly. I remember seeing just a bit of the top and bottom of the mattebox in the viewfinder....and keep in mind that the LCD/viewfinder underscans so you should do some test shots and then look at the video in your NLE to see an appropriate workable zoom level.

In a nutshell I almost exclusively use the two as seperate entities. The WD-H72 is my run and gun wide angle option and my choice when using my stabablizer rig. The Letus and the MicroMattebox is my short film and specific use rig for shallow depth of field.

While any and all of what I have mentioned does not give a direct yes/no answer to your question it is more food for thought. Depending on your given needs at any time they are all usefull tools and each have their strengths and weaknesses.

Hope that helps a bit!

James Hooey
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Old January 18th, 2009, 04:17 PM   #3
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James, thank you. Not a little help, but a huge help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Hooey View Post
I can offer a little bit of insight as to the differences when considering these two options. I have both the WD-H72 and a Letus Extreme with 100mm, 50mm, and 28mm nikon AI lenses, as well as the MicroMatte box.
A perfect correspondant! I'm about to buy most of this gear, so I'm desperate for opinions.

Quote:
While you can slap on any given wide angle lense onto the Letus I have found that the WD-H72 when zoomed all the way out on the XHA1 gives about the same field of view as the Letus with my 28mm lens. There are some trade offs where the Letus will generally eat up more light.
Perfect, very useful to know... Although suspected as much that the DOF adapter would steal a lot more light.

Quote:
I typically use my WD-H72 in conjunction with my Glidecam 4000/smooth shooter. It is a more compact package and balances beter (I can actually put the Letus on the same rig but it is a bit unwieldly).
Interesting you should say that. I have been considering a Steadicam rig with or without the Letus setup and explored that in another thread here http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/stabilize...f-adapter.html They tell me a Pilot still won't take it, I'd need a Flyer at least... Can't afford that, not yet. My concerns were intercutting the DoF/Non-DoF adapter footage between takes/scenes. But I digress...

Quote:
It's a quick setup to unscrew my UV filter and slap on the WD-H72. Compare that to the set up of the Letus which generally takes a few minutes (easy to do but more involved) and it can be a better option for run and gun stuff.
Well this is why I'm considering both setups myself. I'm a filmmaker at heart and intend to use the letus rig for short drama films. But my bread 'n butter is ENG work and surly docus for local TV network company. I visualise the WD-H72 for run and gun and the letus rig for my film work but my primary concern was that I didn't want to duplicate equipment unnecessarily. My thought was, would the WD-H72 gather dust in my gear bag?

Quote:
Using the MicroMatte box with the WD-H72 is quite do-able but I really have to reconfigure the placement of my quick release mounts, and take some extensions off my rail system (Letus version 1 rails) to accomodate the camera, WD-H72, matebox.
I plan on buying the 60cm Proteus Rails System by Cinevate for the Letus and Mattebox.

Quote:
In a nutshell I almost exclusively use the two as seperate entities. The WD-H72 is my run and gun wide angle option and my choice when using my stabablizer rig. The Letus and the MicroMattebox is my short film and specific use rig for shallow depth of field.
In a nutshell, that's exactly what I would be using my equipment for also. If you could buy all your equipment over again, would you choose the same gear?

Chris
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Old January 19th, 2009, 12:29 AM   #4
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I think my choices would likely remain the same if I had to buy my equipment again. In particular I love the WD-H72 so it's a lock...

the MicroMatte is fabulous for the money, a definte lock...

the Glidecam 4000 - if I could have afforded Stedicam I probably would have went that way but the Glidecam is a pretty solid piece of gear for the money and I've gotten great use out of it....

the Letus is the hardest call...given the other options here that were not available at the time it would be a hard call. I have some build issues with the Letus...my front glass (dust protection in front of the GG) has fallen off inside the unit due to very minimal glue during assembly. After having a little look around inside the unit to I see some glaring weak points with thin wiring and questionable solders that make me worry a bit. It has never failed me but I would hate to have a major issue with it too. I've fixed the unit myself and it operates fine and creates some great results so as long as nothing major goes down with it I am happy. I'd have to investigate long and hard at other current options like the SG Blade, M2 with MicroX, or mabey Brevis to make the choice over again.

Two things I will also mention to clarify my original post....you cannot put ANY lense on the Letus without considering issues like vignetting and soft edges. Wide lenses tend to exhibt these issues more than longer focal lengths so check out some forums for good lense choices.

It's been a while since I've done a head to head comparison in light lose between the WD-H72 and my fastest 1.8f lense. If I had to go by memory I would think that the WD-H72 has about a 1.2stop leg up over the Letus/nikon combo. In particular I found one time shooting a sparsly lit concert with the XHA1/WD-H72 I was very pleased with the performance (gain set to +0). Non lit areas were certainly black but areas with stage lighting were vivid and clean and the whole shot worked very well.

All the best.
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