Best recommended Steadicam for XH A1 with letus35 Elite DOF adapter? - Page 2 at

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Old January 2nd, 2009, 09:13 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Dave Gish View Post
Hi Tom! Haven't seen you since the 2-day workshop. How's it going!
Don't want to drive the thread too far off topic, but I've been doing great. Having a blast up at school, and over this winter break, I've been the Steadi op on a short film, might work on a couple of other small projects, and I was a PA/Utility on a huge HD Live broadcast. They even let me run the jib while the jib op got his lunch break in (running an 18 foot jib live knowing that half of the city is watching a parade that's a huge Philly tradition - now that's pressure!)

Next time I'm in New York, I'll be sure to give you an email.

Oh, and to add some constructive info to the thread, check out this thread about the film I shot. The 3rd screen-grab down was one of my Steadicam shots, and the rest of the shots are all Redrock 35mm. I think it shows pretty well that the two really can intercut with some work by the DP and editor.

Duet -
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 06:28 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Dave Gish View Post
Charles, didn't you have a link to a site that has side-by-side comparison frames with and without the lens adapter? I looked for that link and cant find it now.
Not sure exactly which one that was--there are some comparison stills and footage from the article here I did with the JVC HD100 and Mini35 a few years back. It wasn't really intended to prove that the footage can be intercut per se. However the film that I had in mind where we did just that is not online. FYI in that instance the reason I pulled the adaptor was not because of weight, but I needed the extra exposure when the sun started to die.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 01:56 AM   #18
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Hi Charles,

I found the link I was thinking of.
The Letus Extreme By Philip Bloom On ExposureRoom

As you pointed out before, there's nothing new in terms of footage here, and it would be better if it were calibrated with charts, but I liked the side-by-side splitscreen comparisons with and without the lens adapter. The side-by-side comparisons start at 3:15 into the video.

Last edited by Dave Gish; January 4th, 2009 at 02:26 AM.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 05:03 AM   #19
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I wanted to chime in with a bit of my experience dealing with these same issues. I shoot with a Canon XLH1 and an XHA1, own a Letus extreme, an Indiecam pilot, a dolly and a Kessler jib. here are some conclusions and questions.
1-Like charles says, you can get excellent results cuuting adapter and non- adapter footage. When using my Letus, I try to keep it on the H1, and then use the A1 stock for steadycam, dolly, jib and hand help shots. I'm a novice with the indiecam rig, and like everyone says, it takes years of practice to get good ("suck less"), and it's challenging enough without adding the adapter issues. last night I did a shoot with the h1 and letus on dolly, but needed a focus puller for dollying into the subject.
2- The adapter stuff takes much more set up time, and more lighting. I try to use it selectively, although I love the look. I tried using the h1 w/ adapter on some jib shots, and found that i really needed to go with a wide prime in order to get enogh dof . Much easier with the A1 stock. I haven't even attempted to fly the camera w/ adapter. I'm not sure if the rig could handle the A1 w. adapter. Hopefully I'll be getting together with Terry Thompson (manufacturer of the Indiecam, great guy) in the near future.
3-We're currently editing a trailer and a music video, both done with a combination of stock camera and adapter. On the first day of the music video, we were in a large balck box studio all day, and I had the luxury of having all my gear set up, H1 w/ adapter and A1 without. Just for comparison, I duplicated a number of shots with with both set ups. Having used decent lighting and the same presets on both Canons, it looks like the stuff will cut together fine.
4- I saw the recent all Brevis wedding shoot that Patrick and team did, and have wanted to talk to him about how they did it. Great stuff.
So to sum it up, what you're attempting to do talkes LOTS of paractice and experimentation. We used to do weddings and similar events, and I rarely practiced techniques. Now that i'm working with all this other gear,and shooting more challenging material, I spend quite a bit of time in the back yard, practicing and experimenting.( my neighbors must think I'm crazy...)
Good luck.
Bruce s. yarock
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Old January 7th, 2009, 12:52 AM   #20
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Christopher and Bruce,


Since you have the 214 arm you should be able to put a 14 lb payload on the sled. How heavy is you A1 with the other attachments?

The only problem I can foresee is getting the camera and lens system to balance at the center of gravity between them. I think I have seen variable mounting points on the rails of some of these systems. The lens system makes the camera very front heavy kind of like a Canon XL series camera.

We just bought an A1 to replace our Sony Z1u which was stolen at the San Francisco Airport. Haven't used it much yet be we do like many things about the A1 that we didn't have on the Z1. We did love the Z1s monitor though which was excellent - even in full sunlight. We also loved it's clean low light abilities.

By the way, it's Indicam and not Indiecam (I know you already know that). Someone had already registered the name Indiecam so we the Steadicam thing and just misspelled our name Indicam. It's kind of caught on. At least it's better than the name that Martin Stevens (president of Glidecam) suggested we use when we found out we couldn't use the name "Steadiglide" because it had "glide" in the name.


We commend you in seeking to learn the skill of steadicam operations. Even though it takes time to learn it, the time is well spent. Who knows, you may be a natural. Some people we have sold rigs to caught on to the basic principles right away. They say our training DVD helped them a lot as well.

I do concur with the others about not using the 35mm adaptor on whatever rig you end up buying - at least not right away. It's hard enough to just operate the thing without worrying about a shallow DOF.

Smooth shooting!

He's only mostly sDEADy.

sort of from "The Princess Bride"
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Old January 12th, 2009, 06:11 PM   #21
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I wanted to thank everyone for their valuable contribution to helping me make some very difficult decisions. I've re-read the entire thread a few times and everyone's experience in the field has helped me to realise a few hard truths.

I don't plan on buying a Steadicam right away. As suggested, I will take the 2-day workshop mentioned first and experience the different rigs firsthand.

Secondly, it's hugely helpful (and a relief) to know I can intercut the shots without it looking odd. I was convinced slicing 35mm DoF Adapter footage with the A1's stock lens wouldn't work. If that were the case, I'd have no choice but to be forced to use that rig on the Steadicam.

Although I won't know for sure until taking the workshop, I think the Pilot is the likely choice for me. Whilst I'd love the luxury of 'future proofing' myself with a Flyer, my budget is pushing it as it is with a Pilot. (Although a little voice keeps nagging; 'As I'm not rigging the A1 with a DoF adapter now, wouldn't a Merlin do the job?')

Thanks again for the superb advice, this forum is excellent.

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Old January 12th, 2009, 08:31 PM   #22
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Ranking somewhere between total beginner and rank amateur, I'd like to ask if editors would grade (degrade?) the naked cam stabilizer footage with added grain and diffusion, and contrast adjustments to try to match the adapter footage?

Perhaps the answer is obvious.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 10:28 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Dave Therault View Post
I'd like to ask if editors would grade (degrade?) the naked cam stabilizer footage with added grain and diffusion, and contrast adjustments to try to match the adapter footage?
Since the lens adapter cuts down the light by a certain amount, you might need to match that in post if you didn't correct for it on set. Contrast and color correction would probably be about the same with and without the lens adapter, but it all depends on the specific shot.

As for adding grain or diffusion, I would think not. You could theoretically select the area of the naked cam frame that you want to keep in focus, and then blur the rest of the frame to try and match the lens adapter, but that would probably be more trouble than it's worth to make it work.

Another idea is to try to add some visual depth though lighting on the naked cam shots. Tom's example link above shows this pretty well.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 07:40 PM   #24
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Thank you, Dave.

In intercutting, I want to learn how to address the overall softness of the adapter image when compared to naked (as evident in even the small lo-res grab that Philip's exposureroom post displays), and not the areas out of focus. Is it best to just leave that difference, or would you try to soften the naked image?
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