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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 August 4th, 2011, 07:01 AM   #1
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questions: Letus Extreme or SG pro?

Id like to purchase a 35mm adapter. Ive read some of the "older" posts regarding 35mm adapters.

Im using a XH A1 rig on shoulder mount.

1. I dont really need the "flip" option, since I can mount my 7"monitor upside down.(save money). Looks to me like the SG pro is less expensive.
2. If I purchased a new camera such as the XF 100 or 305 can I use the same 35mm adapter?

If anyone has either for sale please email downsouthstudio@yahoo.com

thanks,
Jeff
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Old August 10th, 2011, 10:41 PM   #2
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Re: questions: Letus Extreme or SG pro?

I've got a Letus Extreme on my A1s, and I love it. Amazing tool, highly recommended.

That said, I'm not sure how well it would work on a shoulder mount rig. The shallow DOF is great, but I never use it handheld. It would be very difficult to maintain a good focus. It's also a lot of extra weight, plus the weight of the rails.

What type of shooting are you planning on doing with it? If it's anything live (weddings, etc) a 35mm adapter rig would be a handful.

Not trying to discourage you at all. Just sharing my experience.

As far as the cameras go, you could definitely mount it on a 305. The XF 100 I'm not sure about.

Best of luck!
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Old August 11th, 2011, 12:07 AM   #3
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Re: questions: Letus Extreme or SG pro?

Jeff.


If you hunt back through Philip Bloom's website, his shootout of some of the 35mm adaptors might still be available. As far as I recall, he tested the Letus Extreme, Letus Ultimate, Cinevate Brevis and SGPro.

The Letus Extreme has one groundglass grade, the Brevis and SGPro, depending on which version have swappable groundglass grades.

Philip's website is as far as I recall :-

Philip Bloom - DP, Director, Filmmaker


A non-flip adaptor will pass more light but my personal preference is to use the flip adaptor for ease of operation and if need be, not having to lump a monitor around, plus its battery and cables.

If you just casually want the 35mm look then that is fine. If you are serious about adding production value to your efforts, think about a camera assistant, the monitor you already intend to use, follow focus kit, mattebox and filters, setting your relay focus accurately, setting your 35mm backfocus (collimation) accurately, maintaining frequent checks on your relay focus, good lighting.

Just how good groundglass relay work can be is seen in the movie "Monsters" shot with the Letus UItimate/Sony PMW-EX3 with Nikon stills lenses. "Merantau" and "Kandahar Break" were also shot as far as I know with the P+S Technik Pro35 adaptor as was the "Exile" trailer (mixed adaptor and direct-to-camera) and "Dear Wendy".
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Old August 11th, 2011, 03:01 AM   #4
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Re: questions: Letus Extreme or SG pro?

thanks
Bob and Josh...

I want the 35mm adapter for my music videos....

Letus Extreme looks like the on I should get.

Thanks for your input.

Jeff
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Old August 11th, 2011, 09:54 AM   #5
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Re: questions: Letus Extreme or SG pro?

If you can spring for the Elite or Ultimate, you might find either a bit easier to set up and use. The Ultimate apparently has x-y axis adjustment. The Elite and Extreme are nearly the same. The Elite has a backfocus adjuster (blue ring) and the Extreme can be retrofitted with this part.

Last edited by Bob Hart; August 11th, 2011 at 09:55 AM. Reason: added text
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Old August 11th, 2011, 10:16 AM   #6
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Re: questions: Letus Extreme or SG pro?

There are some great deals out there on used Letus kits. I got mine here from another member for a great price. Just make sure they do a good job of padding it when they ship it. Ask me why I know ;)

Be prepared to do a lot of research and testing with your Letus. It's not exactly plug-and-play. With a little practice it can yield some great results. Tap the resource people's experience here and you'll save yourself a lot of headaches down the road.

When you get it all up and running, post up some of your stuff!
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Old August 11th, 2011, 11:42 AM   #7
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Re: questions: Letus Extreme or SG pro?

Second that on the careful padding. Box inside a box preferably, loose rubber foam for the inner box to allow a bit of controlled float in the packaging, ( rear cargo area of 747s can be quite violent, enogh to shake the lens out of its mount on a CP16R camera ) blisters or beans for the outer box for hard shocks.

Like all good optical glass, the corners of the small prisms of the compound prism can be injured by impacts, also the edges of the sides and the centre of the big prism where it contacts the centre spine.

The achromat in the back also needs to be respected.

In use, good sharp lenses make all the difference. A groundglass by diffusion in combination with pixel arrangement in a camera sensor multiplies any softness in a lens image in a sort of logarithmic scale, which is also why bad focus looks so crook. Your lenses preferably should be f1.4 if you can get them. This gives you more room to move between wide-open and the f5.6 limit. Iris set at about f2.8 to about f3.5 is about as wide as you need to go routinely. Any wider and the depths-of-field are too narrow and focus difficult to manage. Why not use a f3.5 lens. Characteristically still lenses lose a bit of sharpness and likely flare in that last half-to one stop before wide-open. With a faster lens like a f1.4 or even f1.2, the iris set at f3.5 puts you closer to or within the sweet spot of that lens.

Last edited by Bob Hart; August 11th, 2011 at 11:51 AM. Reason: error
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Old August 12th, 2011, 06:31 PM   #8
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Re: questions: Letus Extreme or SG pro?

Thanks to you all for you informative replies.
(After hearing the "packing" information, I think I will avoid buying a used one) ha

Im seriously looking at going the DSLR route. Since my main use of video is producting music videos, commercial spots, with an occasional wedding (which I hate BTW). My Canon A1 is quickly becoming outdated and I dont know that an investment in a 35mm adapter for the A1 is a wise investment.

Technology is changing so rapidly, I find myself "caught up in the madness". Im spending more than Im making....not good.

I have appreciated all your great comments and advice.
Thanks,
Jeff
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Old August 15th, 2011, 10:16 AM   #9
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Re: questions: Letus Extreme or SG pro?

I had a Letus adapter for my xh a1 - Yes, had some impressive results but I found the whole rig cumbersome and unwieldy to say the least. Would only use it under controlled circumstances which meant mounting, unmounting....Knowing what I now know, DSLR rig makes much more sense - I sold my Letus.
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Old August 15th, 2011, 11:24 AM   #10
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Re: questions: Letus Extreme or SG pro?

Yep...Ive decided the 35mm adapters are not for me for basically the same reason. Since I have only 1 XHA1 to use I think the next purchase will be a DSLR to take short clips and photos when DOF adds to the production. Overdoing DOF effects is getting a little "too common" anyway. Similar to "dissolve transitions"....I never use them now.

Jeff
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