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Old May 12th, 2006, 12:28 AM   #1
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M2, MPIC, etc. ... pros & cons ... for the HVX

I realiaze this could be construed as a thread for another forum but my question is specific to the HVX.

I'm looking HEAVILY (tons of late-night research) at the M2 for the HVX and I need to make sure I'm covering my bases. I know that we've got a number of guys that are in this forum every day that are HVX users and are using alternative adapters. (For the purpose of this thread I am disregarding the mini35 due to price and that it has it's own forum.) I've seen a number of threads that offer some insight but I'd like to get your opinions directly related to the HVX and the nuances, benefits and challenges this camera offers with an alternative adapter.

A couple of questions regarding HVX/alternative adapter usage:

1.) What types of 35mm lenses are you using? Why? And what are the pluses and minuses of your choices?

2.) Do you have favorite accessories to use with the HVX in this setup? Follow focus? Matte Box? Tripod? Hand-held support? Others?

3.) More specifically, what does the adapter + accessories (follow focus, matte box, etc.) + the HVX do to weight and balance ... especially in "run-n-gun" mode?

4.) How does your HVX shooting style change with and without the adapter? (maybe it doesn't ... other than the obvious ... just fishing here.)

5.) Words of wisdom/experience?? Other?

This thread may belong elsewhere and if so, please move it. Again, my main reason for putting it here is I'm really interested in the HVX experience in this area of shooting.

Thanks in advance for your time. This forum and its participants are AWESOME!

PS - Steev has already posted a lot of awesome stuff on the MPIC that I'm aware of and have devoured. I am aware of his thread and appreciate all the work he's put into it. I hope that this thread widens the HVX/Alternative Adapter "talk" a little more. One of my main questions for you, Steev, is: "Do you think the extra $2,600 is worth it for the MPIC and what are those cost/performance benefits?" Thanks! (Hope you read this thread! :o)
Hans Damkoehler
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Old May 12th, 2006, 12:35 AM   #2
Barry Wan Kenobi
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Steev Dinkins has an MPIC, and "BigMike" on DVXUser has an M2, so there are a couple of users you can look up for firsthand reports.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 11:05 PM   #3
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You and I are in the same quest for knowledge.

I've had many emails with Brian at RRM about the M2 on everything from lens compatibility (I'm trying to figure out a way to get monster teles like the 600mm f/4 to mate with the M2) to warranty issues etc.

Derek West has the HVX/M2 combo while Steve "Holy Zoo" Dinkins has the MPIC. Both have raving thinigs to say about their respective mounts.

Personally, the MPIC makes me a bit nervous mainly from a support/build perspective. The MPIC website seems messy, lacks detailed info about the adapter and the construction doesn't seem to be as well thought-out as the M2.

Based on the massive review Steve gave the MPIC with examples, plus the various reviews I've seen on the M2, I can't see the justification for the higher priced MPIC. For that matter, I can't justify the $10k for the Mini-35 either when compared to the M2.

The G35 is a strange bird; the website is completely devoid of any technical data or detailed product info, no company information, no contact other than web-mail interface and, no units available to order. Ever. I've never seen "pre-orders" available for that unit. The concept looks good but I don't trust the lack of info.

The Letus website, construction photos and customer feedback on the web all make me really nervous about paying for one. It's 50% less expensive than the M2, but you get what you pay for and I wouldn't put my trust - or my money - with it.

For the moment, I'd say the M2 is the best bet. Product questions and support are just an email away, the construction and design seem solid, there's plenty of users who rave about it, the website has very clear and defined information including accessories and, Brian Valente at RRM always answers my emails the same day - sometimes just hours after sending it!
Robert Lane
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Old May 14th, 2006, 09:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Robert Lane

You and I are in the same quest for knowledge.

For the moment, I'd say the M2 is the best bet.

I hear ya! I've been tearing up the web hits trying to get this figured out and I've come to the same conclusions as you. RedRock really seems to have their act together and they have a borderline cultish following! I guess that resonates with the "Apple" in me! :o) However, the product has had great reviews and there really is a quorum of happy and satisfied customers with the M2. I've had the same experience with e-mails, etc. which leads me to believe that on-going customer support will not be an issue.

As for the others I haven't found anything near the same amount of satisfaction or, for that matter, people actually using the devices (save maybe for the Letus.) What Steev has done with the MPIC has been great and I really appreciate his sharing and input. However, when I visit the MPIC website I can't really seem to get the information I want and I almost feel as if it would be an imposition to order one! (Just the impression I get.) I think Steev should volunteer to be the official MPIC spokesman!

Anyway, I've made my decision and will be going with the M2 within the next few days. I'm still very interested in getting answers to the questions I listed in my first post ... maybe I should repost this elsewhere.

Good luck in your search, Robert. Let me know what you decide. On a completely different note: I'm also thinking of going with the FS-100 but I'm entering into that decision with fear and trepidation!

Hans Damkoehler
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Old May 14th, 2006, 01:18 PM   #5
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I own an HVX200 and have used an M2 since the week it was launched. Originally I used the M2 with the Sony FX1 but recently purchased the HVX and have never looked back. It's a fantastic bit of kit.

Also Redrock have just released a new 72mm acromat for HD cameras. I am still using the 55mm acromat, but have ordered the new one. I hear that it gives better resolution and also gets rid of one of the problems a few people have when setting it up, slightly blurry edges. After using the M2 for months my edges are fine and I am looking forward to an even better image.

Customer serice is good, the price is excellent and the build quality top notch.

Highly recommended.
ps I did a quick shoot with the HVX and M2 a couple of weeks ago in the field behind my house. No color correction, but you can see the depth of field the HVX/M2 with Nikon lenses give.

(right mouse click and "save target as")
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Old May 14th, 2006, 06:39 PM   #6
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Wait for the achromats to be shipped to Dennis in about a month, and then buy a Cinevate Brevis35 (www.cinevate.com). The design is very solid, the parts are of very high quality and Dennis Wood is a great guy. Thumbs up.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 11:03 PM   #7
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Another thing to throw into the pot, one of the most important considerations for a dof adapter IMO is where it sits on the light loss/dof/bokeh/softness trade off scale. G35 has excellent diffusion on the bokeh. Something like the MPIC or Brevis which have a Beattie type screen have less diffusion but less light loss, which means out of focus specular lights become fuzzy rather than giving you the distinct discs of light you see in any movie: the G35 produces those discs in the footage I've seen, the MPIC or Brevis do not (except at small aperture).

Another side effect of this light loss/diffusion trade off is the apparent depth of field you achieve for a given lens. With a Beattie type screen the lens will have a much deeper apparent depth of field than on a more diffusing screen such as a wax glass because the out of focus areas are not diffused as much. Your preference is entirely a matter of taste and what light loss/grain you are willing to put up with (more diffusion = more grain, softer image generally), but personally I like more diffusion and the associated shallower depth of field.

Another thing on the grain, I'm guessing a spinner like the M2 can go to higher shutter speed before you see grain/flicker. Raise an oscillating GG above 1/50 and grain becomes visible in my experience.
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