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EX1 with LETUS35...What Else Do I Need?

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Peter Chambers
EX1 with LETUS35...What Else Do I Need?
on Dec 15, 2009 at 4:13:04 am

Hi there,

Newbie here. I'm going to be shooting a film with the EX1 and was hoping to benefit from using the Letus35 Extreme with a 35mm lens. I was reading up on some forums and it appears that I am going to need a lot more gear to pull this off...(e.g. rails, matte box, etc)

Has anyone shot on the EX1 with a Letus35 Extreme? What other peripherals do I need? Could someone give me a list of things I should use for this set up?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


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Michael Palmer
Re: EX1 with LETUS35...What Else Do I Need?
on Dec 15, 2009 at 5:27:36 am

I have never used the Letus device, I do have experience with the Red Rock Micro Encore 35mm adapter and yes you need support gear to mount any adapter. I have shot a few music videos with the Encore and it is amazing. You should look into the M2 Encore Indie Bundle, then the matte box and follow focus kits.

http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.472981/it.A/id.701/.f

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Peter Chambers
Re: EX1 with LETUS35...What Else Do I Need?
on Dec 15, 2009 at 1:58:12 pm

Thanks Michael...

I have been looking into the Redrock, Brevis and Letus. I am based in Toronto, so, I'm sure there's a rental company who can put together a bundled kit I can rent to test out. I think that's probably my best bet.


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Jeremy Wilker
Re: EX1 with LETUS35...What Else Do I Need?
on Dec 15, 2009 at 5:45:36 am

I recently finished shooting an indie feature film with the EX3 and Letus Elite this past summer (now in editing) and I can tell you that you COULD get by without a mattebox if you had to and you COULD get by without a follow focus if you had to, but you CANNOT get by without the rails. Don't even think about it.
DO think about getting the Elite so you can more easily adjust back focus or perhaps consider the RedRock or the Shoot35 adapters as well.
Also, be aware that that the Letus adapters produce vibrating noise! You will pick it up if your mics are too close to the camera (or your loose floorboards are resonating via your tripod legs -- it actually happened in one location for us).
And do NOT rely on the EX1/EX3 handle to support the entire camera with adapter and rails attached. It is a heavy rig and I've heard horror stories about the handle cracking.
You can use various 35mm lenses, but if you don't have the Ultimate or a spinning adapter you will need fast glass. Look for f1.2, f1.4, etc, up to f4. Anything over f4 on the Letus and you might be seeing grain no matter what you do. Spend the money on decent lenses!
Spend the money on decent lighting and sound. Spend the money on decent food for all the meals and snacks and coffee and energy drinks your crew will need. Spend the money on dual (or triple) hard drives for backups. You probably DO want the follow focus so have money for that. And if this is a real project (versus it being a hobby project) go out and get yourself a copy of Jon Reiss' new book "Think Outside the Box Office" before you even shoot anything so you know what you are getting into with getting your film seen/bought/distributed.
(And seriously, spend the money on the food and drinks - it goes a LONG way).


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Dave Jenkins
Re: EX1 with LETUS35...What Else Do I Need?
on Dec 15, 2009 at 6:15:40 am

A good monitor. Focus is critical with the Letus so we have a 17inch Panasonic that is great on location.

Dajen Productions, Santa Barbara, CA
MacPro Two 2.8GHz Quad Core - AJA Kona LHe
FCS 3 OS X 10.6 QT 10


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Peter Chambers
Re: EX1 with LETUS35...What Else Do I Need?
on Dec 15, 2009 at 2:04:56 pm

Thanks Dave...

Yeah, I've read that the focus thing can be a bit tricky, hence, the "follow focus". How do these things work?


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Peter Chambers
Re: EX1 with LETUS35...What Else Do I Need?
on Dec 15, 2009 at 2:03:14 pm

Thanks Jeremy...

All that info is very good. I think I'm going to pick up that book you recommended as well.

What exactly is a "follow focus"? How does it work. Also, is is difficult to "calibrate" these adapters? Keep in mind, I've never touched one before, however, I do have some basic knowledge of SLR still photography and a firm grasp on using the EX1.


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Jay Curlee
Re: EX1 with LETUS35...What Else Do I Need?
on Dec 15, 2009 at 6:43:36 pm

Re following the book: I am sure the book is something I would have benefited from if I were willing to follow its advice. In the heat of the moment you tend to think that your project is unique and the stars will line up in your favor. I made lots of friends on my feature project, had a great time at film festivals, lost a lot of money, and had a fair amount of frustration and disappointment. I would do it all again but would benefit from hard lessons learned. I could write a book.

The Letus is for an experienced operator, in my view. I have only used it on a shoot with an experienced Director of Photography and even he had some challenges when the vibrating element decided to go intermittent on us. I was a Director, not an operator on that shoot. So my best advice to you is to get as much experienced help as you can. The images you can get are very cool.

I wish you lots of luck. It quite a ride.

Jay Curlee

JC Communications
Makers of Rocking the Boat: A Musical Conversation and Journey
http://www.rockingtheboatmovie.com


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Peter Chambers
Re: EX1 with LETUS35...What Else Do I Need?
on Dec 15, 2009 at 7:21:05 pm

Thanks Jay.


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Alan Okey
Re: EX1 with LETUS35...What Else Do I Need?
on Dec 18, 2009 at 1:00:53 am

If you haven't seen it already, visit and absorb everything on Philip Bloom's website - he's an EX1 pioneer, especially when it comes to using the EX1 with 35mm adapters (and in particular, the Letus). He has a ton of great videos on the site.

http://philipbloom.co.uk



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