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Old June 30th, 2007, 09:28 AM   #1
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Who is using a 35mm adapter with HDV?

I am interested if anyone is using a 35mm adapter with the Xh-A1(for weddings)?

If so, which adapter?

How nasty is the light loss, and how are dealing with it?

I am wary of using an adapter for the following reasons:

1)cutting between adapter and non-adapter footage would probably seem too jarring. I would use the adapter for the entire pre-ceremony/formal montage, but when quality lighting is absent there would be no choice but to throw the adapter off to get back the 3-4 stops of light.

2)The only adapter I have found that doesn't need a rig is the Letus(which just screws on), which doesn't seem to be as good as the Redrock, etc. (I own the Redrock and it is just too cumbersome to worry about it taking it on and off.)
*The letus adapter also has a flip-option

The obvious reason for wanting to use the 35mm adapter is to enhance the cinematic image quality. It really elevates production value, and opens up editing and storytelling options. I have used one on a short film, when I was still shooting SD, and it really added depth to compositions.
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Old June 30th, 2007, 06:58 PM   #2
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I use the Brevis adapter but haven't used it yet at a wedding. It does not lose 3-4 stops of light, but HDV is already weak indoors and you will definitely need gain even during daylight indoors. It would not be usable at the reception unless the room is lit very brightly. I would estimate that you could use the Brevis with the Sony V1U at 9db of gain indoors with decent lighting. More sensitive cameras might do better so the Canon XH-A1 might only need 6db of gain. Around here, most churches have windows and a few track lights aimed at the altar. That should provide just enough light to use the Brevis and it's most efficient (CF1) diffuser. I would experiment with a 35mm adapter with an extra camera and operator and not on a paying job with only one or two cameras.

The Brevis is also a screw-on adapter that uses an oscillating ground glass like the Letus. I am more impressed with the build quality of the Brevis as it is CNC machined. Of course, the quality is reflected in the greater price. Although I recommend rails with any adapter, you could get by without them with the Brevis if you use fairly small lenses. I used mine last weekend on a shoot and used the rails and just the bottom part of the Brevis mount to act as a cradle to help hold the weight. It worked just fine that way and I could unscrew the adapter if necessary.
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Old June 30th, 2007, 08:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Klatt View Post

How nasty is the light loss, and how are dealing with it?
I use the Brevis and, like already mentioned, it barely loses a stop if light. I finding cutting between that cam and another without the adapter to work very well. It takes some getting used to in dealing with the image inversion, but it becomes natural quickly and the monitor on my A1 is easy to invert by tilting.

Here is a bridal elegance video shot with a steadicam and no adapter plus a 35mm adapter on a tripod so you can see how they cut together:

http://stillmotionblog.com/?p=85

That clip was only done with the 50 f1.8, so it really doesn't get as much as you can from the adapter.

Here is a highlights clip, probably our best in terms of cinematography, that used the brevis with a 100mm macro and some of the shots are really wild.

http://stillmotionblog.com/?p=104

In my opinion, the value added by the adapter is really quite huge Even a couple shots sprinkled in really adds a lot to the overall project.

Patrick
www.still-motion.ca
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Old June 30th, 2007, 10:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Moreau View Post

In my opinion, the value added by the adapter is really quite huge Even a couple shots sprinkled in really adds a lot to the overall project.

Patrick
www.still-motion.ca
Wow, I was going to say almost the exact opposite- that it really isn't worth it. Guess it just goes to show how much opinions can differ. I agree, the adapter makes it easier to get more pleasing dof while shooting. Personally I just wouldn't want to deal with that extra weight and bulk while running around a wedding, and the added poor low light performance doesn't sound fun. If I had an extra camera that I could have the adapter attached to and use it just for specific beauty/artsy shots to sprinkle through the project I could see that working out real well. However, they way I shoot with only two cameras I would hate to have to deal with a 35mm adapter attached to one of them.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 08:48 AM   #5
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I think the value added by the adpater also depends what market your in. Certain clients won't notice and won't care, but for those who want something different and something better, the adapter sure doe bring a new dimension to your work. I always shoot with multiple cams thogh, so I have one on a stbailizer and another on the adpater. I often use the adapter for most of the preps though.

Patrick
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Old July 1st, 2007, 09:39 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies...and the clips! :)

"It does not lose 3-4 stops of light"

I was combining the loss from the adapter and the 35mm lens. Plus shooting wide open isn't as desirable in sharpness as stopping down a little to find the lense sweet spot. Another issue with the Xha1 is that you lose many stops zooming into the ground glass.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 10:05 AM   #7
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If your talking about shooting for weddings, there are plenty of lenses that are sharp wide open- at least in terms of HD. They may be slightly soft when shot on a 5D, but I am very happy with the sharpness on nearly all of my lenses when they are wide open. I think my A1, is down to about f2.4 when zoomed in on the ground glass, however, you would lose that amount of light if you zoomed in to get tighter with the camera. Since most lenses we would use, 50, 85 and up, would be much tighter than the A1 on full wide, I wouldn't count that as an extra stop o fligh loss.

I find the brevis very useable for preps, photo-session and lots of reception details. I haven't tried it for other things. The second clip I posted has some shots at 12 gain, some at 6 and others at none- and I think it is pretty touch to pick out which is which. This is my own personal opinion bnut I also think the grain from the gainon the A1 can look pretty good with the 35mm adapter.

Patrick
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Old July 1st, 2007, 09:36 PM   #8
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thanks Patrick. That was very helpful.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 08:58 AM   #9
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Not to hijack your thread, but I've got a few questions about 35mm adapters.

You've been talking about how they perform with HD cameras, but how would a 35mm perform on an XL2?

I suppose you'd want support for the lens - what support system would you recommend using and would I still be able to do hand-held or would the camera have to be on a tripod or steady-cam?

What lens would you recommend for all around versatile usage and where would I find it?

Thanks,

Dale
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 11:02 AM   #10
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Dale, you should check around the forums at the various 35mm adapters and they could probably answer your query more specific to your setup. RedRock Micro has a big community forum.

Each adapter has different support systems, and the lens is gonna differ because there are different mounts for Nikon, Canon, etc.
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