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Old October 29th, 2008, 05:55 PM   #16
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Hi Piotr

Rig looks great. How does the Manhattan LCD work for your needs? What about the size?


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Old October 29th, 2008, 06:11 PM   #17
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Thanks Brian.

The Manhattan monitor works great; however I guess I will need a deep hood when shooting in bright sunshine. As to its size - yes, it's big (but not too heavy); right now I'm only using it on the tripod, in the configuration exactly as depicted in this thread.

I will have to develop a way of mounting it to my current shoulder mount (I have the PAG Orbitor) - should it prove difficult or impossible, who knows? Perhaps I'll be buying the microShouldermount :)
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Old October 30th, 2008, 05:01 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Joy View Post
Makes sense if you need to swap those kind of things in and out a lot I guess. I was considering getting one of those little cokin filter holders designed for 35mm lenses to do the same job as I'm finding I need ND on the front most of the time with my brevis if shooting in daylight.

With regards to the light getting in, does having the extra shade make a noticeable difference to the footage? Obviously direct sunlight on the lens would cause flare etc, but I can stop that with my little 35mm lens hood. Please stop me from needing another expensive part ;)
Sorry for the thread hijack but i saw this and thought i'd add:

Paul - i am using a Lee 100mm filter system on the front of my EX (it was very compact for travelling) along with a wide screen bellows style shade. It works pretty well, i use it for grads and things on the front. Quite a bit cheaper than a full size box and the bellows folds up really small which was great for travelling (the reason i went for it). It also looks quite nice.

Minus points are that you cannot really rotate with it (although you can use a SLR rotating polariser through the box. And it's a bit more delicate than a proper box.

But it does the job and does it pretty well.

I'll see if i can take a photo later?

cheers
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And Piotr, a nice set up. Although i suspect you'd need a better tripod? How do you find the 503? I have one and think it's pretty awful, i really need to get something better...
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Old October 30th, 2008, 05:23 AM   #19
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And Piotr, a nice set up. Although i suspect you'd need a better tripod? How do you find the 503? I have one and think it's pretty awful, i really need to get something better...
You're absolutely right - even though in my humble opinion, the 503 is NOT as bad as they say, my rig is definitely becoming too heavy for it. Well, in theory at least, because -

- in reality, after it's got overloaded like this, the 503 head movements have actually become much smoother than with the camera alone; no back-springing, etc.

Also (this is not visible in the pics I posted), I'm using the Manfrotto apron (or sack), located between the 525 legs and - with some heavy stuff in it (like my PAG brick battery) - it also increases the overall stability, simply by lowering the CoG point.
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; October 30th, 2008 at 06:54 AM.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 06:19 AM   #20
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Piotr,

I have the Manhattan LCD and the Micro Shoulder mount rig. It is not too bad but I need to find a better way to balance it with the monitor onboard. My EX1 is away being upgraded at the moment but I will try post some pix when I get back.

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Old October 30th, 2008, 09:45 AM   #21
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Here's a shot of my ex1/Letus setup from earlier this week with a Cooke 25-250 zoom. By the way the v2 rod bracket is MUCH better.

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Old October 30th, 2008, 10:18 AM   #22
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Here's a shot of my ex1/Letus setup from earlier this week with a Cooke 25-250 zoom. By the way the v2 rod bracket is MUCH better.

-Sean
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Old October 30th, 2008, 01:03 PM   #23
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Sean... this is extreme !!! :)
How is the V2 rods with "normal" lenses ? handheld ?
Is it that helpfull to have half of the rig lower ?

Piotr, you're making me crazy. I'm about to buy a Letus extreme, but your post just scared me. I don't have the money (or want) to buy the ultimate, which is FAR too expensive.
Do you have any experience with other 35mm adapter, like the mini35 or the Cinevat ?

Thanks.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 03:47 PM   #24
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Do you have any experience with other 35mm adapter, like the mini35 or the Cinevat ?

Thanks.
Sebastien,

I must admit I have no hands-on experience with any other adapter. P+S Technik is something definitely a class of its own as far as build quality is concerned, but their solutions are terribly expensive.

I wouldn't like to scare you away from Letus; as I said once it's working, it can produce really marvellous picture (even with my Canon lenses, definitely not as good as Zeiss or even Nikkor). And this is what I mean: it just lacks a couple of those little touches here and there in its design and craftsmanship, that could make it a really great gear.

I haven't used my LEX for a month or so (have been busy with multi-EX1 projects that didn't require a 35mm adapter); it was stored in its nice case. Before I stowed it away, it had been adjusted perfectly (or at least as good as it only can be); now my back focus is off again, and it's as noisy as a lawnmower...

The Letus Direct support is of course willing to fix it for me under warranty, but living in EU, I somehow cannot make my mind up and send it to them - the hassle with customs (both ways) scares me away. I would send it in spite of it, but - with this design - I somehow cannot imagine the adjustment they would do lasting any longer than my own!

But you're right - the Ultimate is definitely too expensive. As I said before, the changes between the Ultimate and Extreme versions are such that they should be part of a natural Extreme "evolution", not something justifying the almost 4x higher price tag!
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; October 30th, 2008 at 04:25 PM.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 04:14 PM   #25
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I'm in the EU too (France) and I'm really disapointed with the Letus Extreme.
I know that once perfectly adjusted it can be damn good, like Philip Bloom shorts.
I only have one EX1, and I may have to switch with/without the Lex often. I can't spend time on adjustments each time, especialy if a so simple back focus problem leads to a one hour adjustements....

I was near ready to order, but (and it's not only your words) I really think I'll wait a little bit and try to get more informations about other adaptors.
Maybe the real problem is that a good 35mm converter is really expensive and the ultimate is in the right price range. So the extreme is just a cheap indy gear, kind of cool regarding its price.

Is the solution to wait and get more money to afford an Ultimate... ?
(While I'm at it, rigs are also TOO expensive, and the ultimate need a V2, almost twice the price of the V1 Letus rods... )
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Old October 31st, 2008, 07:34 AM   #26
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The v2 rods effectively do what the zacuto rig does, and have close to the same build quality so they work great with whatever lenses you want to use. In addition to the Cooke I had zeiss super speed primes on there as well for that job. As far as handheld, the v2 rods have much less twist in them, and I'm ordering a redrock handheld kit to mount to them. I prefer to flip the Letus 180 degrees to lower the camera, although I couldn't in this case because I needed the length to support the zoom. I've been using the extreme for about 6 months, and have had similar experiences to other users including edge softness, etc. however it has yet to be a deal breaker. The ultimate is a different adapter, and it's a bit unfair to compare the extreme to it and say that the features it has should have been on the extreme to start. Precision engineering costs more, and if you want that expect to pay several thousand dollars for it (an arri FF4 follow focus costs more than the ultimate anyway). I agree Piotr that the depth adjustment is a joke, and at first was a bit annoyed, but I've come to terms with it. Using a 50mm super speed, a resolution chart, and a digital caliper I have my depth set fairly close, and to get it any closer I'll purchase the upgrade to the Letus Elite ($599). Once the ground glass is set and clean, it works very well considering the price point. I will quite often remove it when the job doesn't warrant it, and the only adjustments I have to make are fine tuning the rotation and focusing the camera on the GG, which you have to do anyway when you power down the camera. Including time to mount the rod bracket it's about 10 minutes before I'm ready to shoot. At this point I've done several smaller jobs and a feature length film with this setup, and I'm overall very pleased with it.
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Old October 31st, 2008, 08:04 AM   #27
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In terms of build quality I have to say that Cinevate are way up there in this respect. Both the Brevis and and the Proteus rods are very well put together. The rods are solid carbon fibre, so as well as being lighter and stronger, they are cool looking too!

I am having some issues with the Brevis though, which is more related to it's combination with the EX1 than build quality etc. More info on my blog at Brevis and the dark side(s) | Paul Joy
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Old October 31st, 2008, 08:37 AM   #28
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Thanks Sean and Paul.
It effectively seems the Cinevate rods are cool, solid etc.
As stated on you forum, it's strange you're having problems with the Brevis, as Philip don't...
Whatever, the Brevis seems to be longer than the Letus, which can also be a problem in some cases. Would this also have an impact on the light lost in the adaptor ?

It seems the real answer is waiting to have the money for the Ultimate :(

How about the Letus Elite, with the backfocus ring (http://www.store.zacuto.com/letus35-...ustment.html)? Is it the same as the Extreme + the back focus ? Will this solve most of the problems ?
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Old October 31st, 2008, 09:44 AM   #29
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I've got to play devils advocate here a bit.

I've not seen any really good footage from any of these adaptors (and i'd been looking) and i would urge people to really consider whether they really need one. I believe they are a short term solution and quite over played. All show various aberations and have serious limitations (stopping down) making them quite impractical for day to day shooting. If you have a real paying reason for one then sure. And while i'm as obsessed with shallow DOF as the next of us, there's a lot more to a composition than that and you can achieve great results with lighting and traditional production values.

Commonplace 2/3rds sensors are just around the corner and the prospect of 35mm aren't that far behind. Look at the ikonoscope camera, which is probably the price of an EX1 + adaptor but looks a whole lot more practical.

A lot of these demo videos are low resolution and even then you can see the distortions even in the bokeh. Philip Blooms work is excellent because of him, not the adaptors.

this is all imho and i don't mean to offend anyone but how many of you actually have the adaptor on all the time and take it out of shoots? Even piotr mentions having it in a case.

Buy some nice lights instead :)

cheers
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Old October 31st, 2008, 09:57 AM   #30
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Paul,

having the best hardware will not make you a better cameraman. Composition, light, action and play are also part of the beauty.
There are some time where, for the EX1, but most of not 35mm sensors too, you REALLY want to have some DOF. This DOF you can't have with the original lens.
I may not be as good a Philip Bloom, of course, but even if I'm doing crap, I just would like my crap to look like I think it should.
That's it :)

Then, I bought the EX1 less than a year ago, and I don't think I will wait and spend again for the next generation. Moreover, I still dont use half of the possibilities of the EX1.
But thank you for having pointed that out (and sorry for all the others for beeing so far from the original subject of this thread.)
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