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Joe Kaczorowski
35mm lens adapters
on Feb 29, 2008 at 7:36:03 am

I am shooting a short film next week and am interested in what different options there are as far as lens adapters. I would love to use the P+S but our budget can't handle the 250 dollars a day rental for a week. Are other brands available to rent for cheaper? Is that too high to pay for that one? I am in Los Angeles so finding something i'm sure won't be a problem. Any suggestions on what there is out there and where i can find it, and how much is okay to pay would be greatly appreciated.


The shoot is thurs. march 6th, friday march 7th. in L.A.
Shooting on Canon XL-2 camera and i would like to get it with a PL mount.

Thank you very much for your input. it's been a long time since i've shot anything and want it to look amazing. I went to school for cinematography but have been in an editing career for the past five years.

-Joe

PS. anyone have one i could borrow free of charge to try out? We do have production insurance and could put you down as additionally insured loss/payee.


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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: 35mm lens adapters
on Feb 29, 2008 at 2:55:39 pm

Hey Joe...

I have a fair bit of experience with adapaters (I have shot with the P+S Technik at least three or four times a week for the last two years) and while I can't tell you where to get a different adapter, I did want to speak to an issue or two...

A couple of things concern me a little....

[Joe Kaczorowski] "I am shooting a short film next week"

and...

[Joe Kaczorowski] "it's been a long time since i've shot anything"

and...

[Joe Kaczorowski] "want it to look amazing"

All that is doable, but just please know that shooting with a 35mm converter is not as simple and screwing it on your camera and pulling trigger. They take a fair bit of practice and some real cinematography skill to use and use well. Now, you may indeed be a top-notch DP, but the fact that you say you haven't shot anything in a long time leads me to believe that is not your chief area of expertise. The guys who adapt fastest to the lens converters are cinematographers who have had some decent experience shooting 35mm film... for them, using a converter comes fairly naturally. Guys who have limited experience or are just used to shooting video will find the learning curve a tad steeper.

You need to know how to light for film, not video... you need to know how to make filmic camera moves... and perhaps most importantly you need to know how to very very accurately pull focus. Your video camera has an almost infinite depth of field... but now you are going to find yourself having to pull focus and track moving objects within a depth of field that can literally be only a couple of inches deep. It's not easy. And a very good follow focus unit (not one of the cheap plastic "Fisher Price" units... they have too much slop) is almost a must-have.

I am not trying to discourage you... I hope you make your movie and it turns out great. I just want you to be well prepared going in. I speak from experience... I shot 35mm film for years and years, but when we started using our lens converter it still probably took me two or three weeks to get top-notch proficient at using it. It's just a different animal... and you really have to know how to use it to get those "amazing" results.

Now, all that being said, which converter to use? The P+S Technik is indeed the Rolls Royce of the converters, and it is worth every penny. It is expensive though and I can understand that it might not be in your budget (remember you're talking about a $10K+ piece of hardware, so the $250/day is reasonable). The MovieTube is also a good unit, but it is up there approaching the P+S in cost (and I don't think it will work with the Canon). However, some other converters do a good job as well (the M2 from Redrock is a decent unit... a bit more difficult to use and not all the bells and whistles of the P+S, but is a tenth the price and does a good job). The low-end units (the Letus35, the Brevis, etc.), get wildly varying reviews. Some people love them, some people think they are junk. I've seen some great footage from them, but you can't go 100 percent by that... after all, most people don't demo their bad footage. I'm not sure if you can find the lower-end units in rental houses, though... the P+S Technik is fairly readily available for rental (expecially with the Canon adapter fittings), but the other units...not so much.

At bare minimum I would suggest you get a unit (rent, buy, beg, or borrow) and play with it as much as you can to get as comfortable with it as possible before you pull trigger on a real project.

Hope I didn't rain on your parade, I just want you to go in prepared.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Rick Amundson
Re: 35mm lens adapters
on Feb 29, 2008 at 3:44:07 pm

I, too, am a P+S user and have been for years. I think it might be worth your time to try and negotiate a lower price with a rental house to get one. It will be worth it in the end.

Having said that, do a search for lens converters on this forum. There have been countless discussions on this topic and you should find the answers you're looking for including links to some examples.

Best of luck!

Rick Amundson
Producer/Director/DP
Screenscape Studios
Bravo Romeo Entertainment
http://www.screenscapestudios.com
http://www.bravoromeo.com
http://www.indeliblemovie.com


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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: 35mm lens adapters
on Feb 29, 2008 at 4:55:15 pm

[Rick Amundson] "I think it might be worth your time to try and negotiate a lower price with a rental house"

I will second what Rick said, and add that if you need it for a week, as you said, you are probably not looking at 7x$250. A lot of rental houses work on a "three day week"... i.e., you pay for three days, keep it a week. And, do you have to do your shooting on weekdays?... if you rent on Friday and return on Monday many places count that as one day.

At any rate, though, you'll need some time to play with the thing, thoroughly test ALL your lenses, make sure the backfocus is set right (use a monitor not the viewfinder and a test chart)...

And I would NOT suggest focusing by eyeball... your viewfinder's resolution is way too low for that considering the shallow depth of field. Best focusing is done the old-fashioned "Hollywood" way ... with a tape measure. The P+S has a tape measure hook on the side of it right at the "film" plane. We also use a Stanley "Fat Max" laser tape measure which is extremely accurate (Home Depot or Lowes, 'bout a hundred bucks).

I believe you said you were looking for PL mount so I'm guessing you have real cine lenses that you plan to use. If so, that's a good thing... most of their focus scales are accurate. Many people use still camera SLR lenses though, and often their focus scales are very inaccurate, even with expensive lenses. Infinity and the nearest mark are usually right, but the numbers in the middle can be a crapshoot. Superspeeds are recommended... most of the converters suck up a fair bit of light (a stop or more).



T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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alex ezorsky
Re: 35mm lens adapters
on Nov 6, 2010 at 12:32:12 am

Hi there,

I have a question that should be quick to answer for one of you adapter pros.

I just purchased a Brevis Flip on ebay. Now I am looking for lenses. I find the Nikon brand and consider purchasing, but then find Tamron and Sigmas that are almost half the price. The biggest difference, besides the general difference in material quality is the fact that some of the Tamron/Sigma ads mention that they will "create a vignette when used on 35mm SLR image sensors". I figured a 35mm adapter had a 35mm acromat and thus those not suited for 35mm cameras would be worse. Yet I have also seen many video sample videos of users using Sigmas and it looks fine.

Is this "not for SLR or 35mm" comment a big issue?

Thanks


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