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Letus for HPX170, Optimization kit relevant?

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Eric Ruff
Letus for HPX170, Optimization kit relevant?
on Dec 9, 2009 at 11:59:47 pm

Thinking about springing for a Letus Extreme 35mm adapter kit for an HPX-170. If, instead, one buys the adapter for an HVX200, Letus also encourages you to buy, for an extra couple of hundred or so, a

Letus35 LTHVX200 Panasonic AG-HVX200 Optimization Kit

There is no mention of a kit for the HPX170 (although there is different Optimization Kit for the EX-1, I think). Letus doesn't answer phone calls as far as I can tell; neither does LetusDirect, which may be an arm of the same company, not sure. B&H rep wasnt' sure about the Optimization Kit. Videographer Philip Bloom, who extols the virtues of the Letus Systems, "strongly" recommends the optimization kit for the HVX, saying it makes the image sharp side to side.

Does anyone know whether this is something I need to be concerned about? Why was the optimization kit for the HVX necessary? Is it a Panasonic thing that would apply to the HPX170 or is "the issue" limited to the HVX? I know these two cameras take different size lens adapters, but more has to be involved than that; that could be addressed with simple step down/up rings.

Anyone?



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Jeff Regan
Re: Letus for HPX170, Optimization kit relevant?
on Dec 10, 2009 at 12:24:37 am

We have an HPX170 and EX1 and Letus Ultimates. The HVX200 and EX1 optimization kits consist of a step down ring, 82mm and 77mm, respectively and achromat closeup lens(same lens for both).

The HPX170 requires a 72mm step down ring and uses the same achromat as above. The achromat comes with the Ultimate, but costs extra with other Letus adapters, I believe.

Letus Direct is not part of Letus Corporation. Email or open a support ticket to either and you will get a reply.

Without the achromat, even if you can get proper close focus, it won't be good edge to edge.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
http://www.ssv.com


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Eric Ruff
Re: Letus for HPX170, Optimization kit relevant?
on Dec 10, 2009 at 1:09:27 am

Thanks Jeff!

-Eric


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Dan Brockett
Re: Letus for HPX170, Optimization kit relevant?
on Dec 10, 2009 at 3:20:50 pm

Eric:

I have spoken with both Letus' on the phone about this (they occasionally answer the phone ;-) and yes, they too feel that edge to edge sharpness can be improved on the 170 as well as the 200 with the optimized achromat. You will want it.

They decided to not come up with a separate 170 kit because the 200 achromat worked fine. I have the Letus Extreme and a 170, this is money well spent. If I am not mistaken, the achromat is physically the same as the EX1 achromat too, it just has different sized adapter rings.

Dan



Providing value added material to all of your favorite DVDs


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Jeff Regan
Re: Letus for HPX170, Optimization kit relevant?
on Dec 10, 2009 at 4:52:35 pm

That's right Dan, I use the same optimized achromat on HVX200, 200A, HPX170 and EX1. The rings are separate, so the achromat just stays on our Ultimates unless I'm using them with our B4 Pro 2/3" relay lens.

I always check every camera/Ultimate rig on a resolution chart wide open for camera and taking lens for good edge to edge focus. I have found some 200's with more CA than others, before putting a 35mm DOF adapter on and I've seen some edge to edge issues with 200A's and a 170, again without the 35mm adapter, so there are differences in tolerances in the "Leica" built-in lenses. When they are good, they are completely free of CA and have great edge to edge--better than most 2/3" HD ENG zoom lenses. I actually think Panasonic has been using a CAC circuit on these little cameras, I'm amazed at how little CA most of them have.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
http://www.ssv.com


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Letus for HPX170, Optimization kit relevant?
on Dec 10, 2009 at 6:36:42 pm

I've been using my HVX200 w/ Letus Extreme for two years now... without an optimization kit. No it's not perfectly sharp from edge to edge, but in my mind, a lens adapter is not about razor sharp footage, it's about artsy, organic looking footage. However, if I were going to buy a lens adapter today, and I only had a couple grand to spend, I would get the Redrock Micro M2Encore. It utilizes a spinning ground glass design and will give you much greater fstop/depth of field flexibility. With the Letus Extreme/Elite, once you hit f5, you are seeing grain from the ground glass.

Jason Jenkins

Flowmotion Media

Video production... with style!


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Jeff Regan
Re: Letus for HPX170, Optimization kit relevant?
on Dec 10, 2009 at 7:21:45 pm

In the rental business, if a client is spending the money on Zeiss Super Speeds, edge to edge focus is important. I don't want the adapter to add any more softness than the ground glass already does, but I understand your perspective.

Yes, the spinning ground glass adapters offer more flexibility in closing down the iris, this is why Letus built the Ultimate a year and a half ago. Now there's the M2E, as you pont out, and the SG Pro.

The advantage of any of the Letus adapter models is that they can be used with the 1/3", 1/2" and 2/3" Letus relay lenses, unlike other brands.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
http://www.ssv.com


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Eric Ruff
Re: Letus for HPX170, Optimization kit relevant?
on Dec 11, 2009 at 3:08:18 am

"However, if I were going to buy a lens adapter today, and I only had a couple grand to spend, I would get the Redrock Micro M2Encore. It utilizes a spinning ground glass design and will give you much greater fstop/depth of field flexibility. With the Letus Extreme/Elite, once you hit f5, you are seeing grain from the ground glass."

Jason,

I read your post just a little too late I think. I had already gone ahead and ordered a Letus Elite. Now you've got me thinking I should have gotten the Redrock instead, spinnning glass and so forth. O well. Somebody cheer me up! Choosing equipment is a minefield...

-Eric


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Letus for HPX170, Optimization kit relevant?
on Dec 11, 2009 at 5:58:15 pm

You can get great footage with the Elite, you're just limited to a shallower depth of field. Maybe you can cancel the order. Don't do it on my recommendation alone, though.

Jason Jenkins

Flowmotion Media

Video production... with style!


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Eric Ruff
Re: Letus for HPX170, Optimization kit relevant?
on Dec 17, 2009 at 2:57:57 am

Well, I feel like a complete idiot. I have jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire by changing my order from a Letus Elite to a Letus Ultimate. The price is indefensible, of course. It will be an obsolete piece of equipment probably in the near future. Probably would have been spent better on a thousand other things or not at all. Probably should have waited and bought a Red Scarlett or something... probably..probably..
But it will be here Friday and I won't be limited to the shallow depth of field I guess. Equipment selection and purchase is truly a slippery slope.. Thanks for your advice.

-Eric


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