A1 + Letus35 FE Test Footage/Notes at DVinfo.net

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Old June 22nd, 2007, 11:41 PM   #1
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A1 + Letus35 FE Test Footage/Notes

Just got a Letus35 FE adapter and shot some test footage with my XH-A1.

First impressions are very good. Letus gives great shallow DOF, but not so much that it's hard to work with (or looks somehow fake) like some of the other adapters I've seen on the market. Plus the Letus is quite affordable, especailly given it also flips the image for you and offers both a Nikon and Canon mount on the same rig.

Footage was shot at HDV 1080 24f at 1/48 shutter. No color correction or color grading was done. This is raw footage directly from camera.

To view SD Quicktime:
http://www.blakecalhoun.com/canon_letus_test01_sdqt.htm

To view SD Windows Media:
http://www.blakecalhoun.com/canon_letus_test01_sdwm.htm

Notes/comments on test shoot:

1. Using a light meter we figured the light loss at 2 1/2 stops with the adapter and SLR lens on - giving us a rating of 50 ASA
2. Without adapter found A1 rated at 300 ASA
3. Shot with a modified VividRGB preset
4. Found color more saturated/contrasty with adapter OFF
4. Subject was 6 feet from camera on EXT. test
5. Subjects were 4 feet from camera on INT. test
6. On EXT. shots white balanced with adapter ON, but used same WB for comparison shots with adapter OFF (found shots were warmer with it off)
7. On INT. shots used tungsten WB preset (again, shots with adapter off were warmer)
8. Also on INT. shots, the ones with NO adapter are freeze frames - didn't shoot enough footage to hold shots
9. Used three Nikon lenses (28mm, 50mm, 85mm), and one Nikkor lens (24mm) - remarkably sharp
10. Found the 28mm lens vignetted a lot
11. Lenses were dirty - cleaned them - but still saw a dirt spot or two on final footage
12. Last shots in test footage are grad shots using an inexpensive Cokin system - plastic filters - colors look good/vibrant, but I noticed in the grad area it added a lot of noise to image - light loss I assume?
13. And yes, that is Jesus Jones' background music :)
14. And yes, those are action figures from a well-known TV Show on the INT. stuff :)

Again, all-in-all I found the Letus to be a nice 35mm adapter. My biggest complaint would be it comes with no instructions or lens caps/covers. However, Quyen Le is good about answering emails. I happen to get my UV filter STUCK on the Letus (still stuck actually) and he was good about giving me some advice to remove it. I'm going to work on that tomorrow. :)

Blake
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 03:47 PM   #2
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Wow looking at that footage really changed my outlook about the Letus. Footage I've seen before I hadn't been totally sold over but that looked great so I'll have to reconsider it when the time comes. Good stuff man!
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Old June 24th, 2007, 01:02 PM   #3
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Great footage - thanks for posting. What a difference with the 35m adaptor.

I'm still shopping for an adaptor and am leaning to the brevis more because it's in Canada already. But I'm stuck on hold waiting for the flip version to be made.

But your letus footage looks great.

And the toys.

Trish
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Old June 24th, 2007, 01:14 PM   #4
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Very much appreciate you posting that video Blake... good stuff and really does show a large difference... Your encoding quality looks particularly good as well. Do you mind sharing what NLE software you are using and how you encoded that file? (I viewed the Windows Media version)
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Old June 24th, 2007, 07:10 PM   #5
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Great looking stuff Blake. Really appreciate the post... I have been debating about the Letus and the M2... Leaning towards the M2 but still pondering about the Letus...

On an unrelated note... Where can I get a slate / clack board like that? Lol...
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Old June 24th, 2007, 09:21 PM   #6
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Trish, our flip module will work with existing Brevis units...and we're expecting the first set of them any day now.
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Old June 24th, 2007, 10:03 PM   #7
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I'm preparing to shoot a new project in July so we did the test for that. Happy to share the results. Hope it helps.

I've been looking at several adapters and really found this one to be the best IMHO. They all achieve a similar look though. However, I like that you don't need a rail system to use the Letus, unless of course you're using a matte box. I like that it's very reasonably priced. And actually one of the main reasons I went with this was Steven Dempsey's excellent footage he posts on this forum.

Jon - I used Avid Xpress Pro, which I love, but doesn't play well with 24f HDV yet. So, I captured 24f footage with HDVSplit, then used MPEGStream Clip to transcode to the Avid DNxHD 175 codec. From there I imported into Avid and edited, then I exported a QT reference file and used Sorenson Squeeze to compress both the Windows Media and QT file.

Doug - funny, everyone always comments about that small slate. I've used it for years. I actually bought it at Panavision in Dallas. I like it a lot. Very small and portable. Can't clap it of course, but shooting video I'm not worried about syncing sound typically. Works great and almost fits in your back pocket! :)
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Old June 24th, 2007, 10:09 PM   #8
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Hi Dennis

I just read the update tonight on your site which is great news - looks like there are quite a few people waiting to get there hands on these - a very good sign

Of course I had no idea it was it was something you added on - just assumed it was like the letus, you either get the one with or without - or maybe that's a wrong assumption as well!

: )

Trish
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Old June 26th, 2007, 12:02 PM   #9
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Great Look

Blake thanks for putting something up so we can see the difference. I have to ask about the tobacco gradient, is that an add on filter? it looked great. The action figures...too much, they were fantastic.

thanks again,

Brendan
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Old June 26th, 2007, 02:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake Calhoun View Post
Doug - funny, everyone always comments about that small slate. I've used it for years. I actually bought it at Panavision in Dallas. I like it a lot. Very small and portable. Can't clap it of course, but shooting video I'm not worried about syncing sound typically. Works great and almost fits in your back pocket! :)

Did a little research... It's called an "insert slate"... B&H has one for $17...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ert_Slate.html

Just FYI for all of us that were curious...
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Old June 26th, 2007, 05:22 PM   #11
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Brendan - yes, that grad is a Cokin tobacco grad filter. Just an inexpensive twist on lens hood with space for two, maybe three slide in filters (hood rotates too if needed). They're actually plastic, not glass. I was afraid they may not be high quality enough for HD, but I think they're okay albeit I did notice some noise in the grad area. I typically would add this in post using a great plugin called 55mm. But, it's nice to do this in camera sometimes too!
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Old July 8th, 2007, 10:24 AM   #12
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Thanks for sharing Blake.

What kind of light did you use in the kitchen ?
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Old July 8th, 2007, 11:10 AM   #13
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Very minimal lighting actually - two 400w Lowell Omnis and a 150w Pro Light.

The Omnis were the key light and background light, and the Pro Light was the back light. The key light though was literally two feet from the action figures - so if that was a live subject it would have been very uncomfortable for them. In a more real world shoot I'd probably use a 1K or even a 2K with a Chimera and back it off. Plus I'd likely put more light in the room so it wasn't so "dramatic" or dark. But it worked fine for the test.

You really need a lot of light using the Letus FE indoors as it loses 2 1/2 stops I found.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 02:58 AM   #14
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Thanks.

By the way, I ordered the Letus FE adapter because of Steven Dempsey's footage. Damn good. Actually the best I have ever seen.
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Old July 15th, 2007, 06:59 AM   #15
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Hi just a quick question...
I don;t quite understand, if there is light loss how come both the images with and wthout the adaptor looks as bright? furthermore the same shutter speed is used.

thanks for the test.
yowsiang
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