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Old April 11th, 2012, 09:39 PM   #1
Regular Crew
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Chicago Illinois
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35mm adapter with NX5U?

Hello Everyone,

I have a short film that is coming up and i am deciding whether i should purchase a 35mm adapter for my NX5 or if i should just go the route of buying a canon 5D mark ii? i really love the output from the 5D, but currently it is just a tad bit out of my budget.. I'm curious to know what anyones thoughts are on what route i should go?

Im on the hunt for a 35mm adapter but I'm trying to keep my cost relatively low, i don't want to spend too much on the adapter because if thats the case, i mine as well get a 5D.

Any solutions are greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
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Old April 11th, 2012, 11:11 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,299
Re: 35mm adapter with NX5U?

I am one of the few who still think 35mm adaptors have useful life left in them for small chip camcorders.

If you do go for a used one for the sake of cost, make sure it is the last model of the type and that it has an erecting or "flipped" optical path. You are destined for a journey of frustration and underachievement unless your camera itself has the "flip" capablity built in.

Some earlier examples were not quite matured products but towards the end, the popular ones shook down to a more or less common ideal. Just how good they could be in their final evolution is evidenced by the feature movies, Monsters, Merantau, Kandahar Break, Dear Wendy.

Adaptors impose rules and limitations. Shutter no faster than 1/100th sec, iris no tighter than f5.6, two optical systems which each require close focus and exposure management for best results. Compared to digital SLR cameras, adaptors need lots more light. This is not necessarily a bad thing if it forces you to add artifical lighting and therefore to creatively manage light. Most camcorders are not structurally up to integrating with 35mm adaptors unless they are commonly mounted on a rods and bridgeplate system, which some of the vendors marketed with their adaptors as a "production bundle". These vendors embraced the DSLR revolution by adjusting their camera and accessory support systems to suit the new cameras.

Common to 35mm adaptors and the 35mm digital SLRs is the necessity to become trained in the management of lens focus and the creative choices which determine whether narrow depths-of-field are suited or not. - one of those "just because you can, does not mean you should" type of situations. One of the signatures of newbie 35mm adaptor and 35mm DSLR users is everything being shot with tight frames and narrow depths-of-field. Read older posts by Charles Papert and Chris Barcellos for some good advice.

Unless you are prepared to do some of the other production value-adding like lighting and good sound, there is little point in going the digital SLR or 35mm adaptor route as you will be adding complexity for little extra result.

If you are tasked with directing and camera operating, then you need to keep things simple. If using a DSLR or camera/35mm adaptor, then you really need to delegate the camerawork to someone who is not encumbered with other tasking except talking to the lighting guy.

You will otherwise neglect your actors and the finessing directors need to engage in, possibly lose your way creatively, make mistakes and then have to claw back your situational awareness under pressure. The schedule will inevitably slip to the frustration of all whilst you and/or others become unconfused.

Finally, please do not pay too much heed to my comments. There are others, wiser and more technically and creatively agile than myself. Take their advice.

An example of what can go right and wrong when doing it all yourself with 35mm adaptors, in this case, an AGUS35 on a Sony DSR PD150 with Sony C74 mike in a wind-muff and bounceboards for some effort at light control. Made about six years ago. Please forgive the fake "film splices' between shots. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Last edited by Bob Hart; April 11th, 2012 at 11:34 PM. Reason: error
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