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Did anyone see "Movie Tube" at Cine Expo?


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#1 rbg

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 11:59 PM

Hey,

I saw the Movie Tube product at Cine Expo this weekend at the Abel cinema tent on a Panasonic P2 camera.
It is meant to be a better product than the Mini-35 and the Red Rock gizmos. It looked kind of cool. From what I could see, the only problem was losing 2 stops of light. Has anybody seen or used it? Opinions, ideas, comments?

RBG
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 12:19 AM

You lose 1-2 stops of light with all of them. I haven't been able to shoot any tests with them but they all seem to work reasonably well and reasonably the same. Perhaps there's some difference in sharpness and contrast, but you'd have to test.

FWIW, I noticed that the P+S Technik Mini35 is the only one that bypasses the Canon XL's lens.
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#3 Mitch Gross

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 02:53 PM

The big difference with the MovieTube is that it uses a micro-crystaline material for it's "groundglass" imaging surface. It is so much sharper and cleaner than other surfaces that it does not need to be rotated or jiggled or whatnot in order to hide the surface. The result is a sharp, clean image with great contrast and color and no "light diffusion" effect common in all the others.

Mitch Gross
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#4 rbg

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 07:03 PM

A few questions:

The image was very clean! And no moving parts either. Pretty cool.
What camera do you recommend most with the Movie Tube unit? I saw it on the Panasonic, but I really want to shoot on some kind of tape, so maybe the JVC GY-HD100U for native 24p??? I don't have a P2 reader and I don't have one of the New Mac Lap-tops that reads them either otherwise I would. My editor has an Avid, so I figured I'd up-load by firewire directly into the system using the camera, at the end of the shoot, and I'd have the tapes as a back up. Anyhow, is there any footage available? Has anyone seen footage projected big?

RBG


The big difference with the MovieTube is that it uses a micro-crystaline material for it's "groundglass" imaging surface. It is so much sharper and cleaner than other surfaces that it does not need to be rotated or jiggled or whatnot in order to hide the surface. The result is a sharp, clean image with great contrast and color and no "light diffusion" effect common in all the others.

Mitch Gross
Abel Cine Tech


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#5 Michael Nash

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 08:51 PM

Anyhow, is there any footage available? Has anyone seen footage projected big?


Here's a sample of the movietube w/the DVX-100:
http://www.313music....vorbei_dsl.html

And the making of:
http://www.313music....kingof_dsl.html

You can only tell so much on a reduced-size window on a computer, however.

Given that you'll never get a sharper image from a relay-lens adapter than what you could get without it, your camera choice comes down to which camera gives you the picture quality that you like (taking the recording format into account, of course). For this reason I was disappointed that you have to use the Canon XL-H1's stock lens in addition to the Movietube-plus-taking lens. I wonder if all that glass plus the microcrystaline would handicap the little bit of extra picture quality you get from the Canon (vs. other HDV's). A test would show you, though.

But this comes from the standpoint of only playing with the various setups, including the same one you saw at cinegear. FWIW, it did look good.

But Mitch seems to have an inside track to the device. Anything else you can share with us, Mitch?
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#6 rbg

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 09:11 PM

Thanks Michael!

It looks pretty good in the video. Did you notice the flaring softness around the outside of the frame?
I wonder if that is the flare that the Abel Cine Tech guy said would happen if the camera's internal focal length is set much above 25mm???? Anyhow, an interesting product for low budget filmies non-the-less.

RBG




Here's a sample of the movietube w/the DVX-100:
http://www.313music....vorbei_dsl.html

And the making of:
http://www.313music....kingof_dsl.html

You can only tell so much on a reduced-size window on a computer, however.

Given that you'll never get a sharper image from a relay-lens adapter than what you could get without it, your camera choice comes down to which camera gives you the picture quality that you like (taking the recording format into account, of course). For this reason I was disappointed that you have to use the Canon XL-H1's stock lens in addition to the Movietube-plus-taking lens. I wonder if all that glass plus the microcrystaline would handicap the little bit of extra picture quality you get from the Canon (vs. other HDV's). A test would show you, though.

But this comes from the standpoint of only playing with the various setups, including the same one you saw at cinegear. FWIW, it did look good.

But Mitch seems to have an inside track to the device. Anything else you can share with us, Mitch?


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#7 Keith Mottram

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 11:34 AM

A friend shot a commercial on it for british broadcast and to be honest once it's been played around with in post it looks bloody good. The image is very clean and the falloff clears up alot of issues that stick out horribly with a vanilla Z1 (this was the camera it was used with along with arri primes). Only major problem encountered was when using the rig handheld- after a while the camera became a little bit loose at the mount between the camera lens and the movietube. this wasn't imediatly noticeable but created a nasty paralaxish wobble. if this is regularly checked then it is a fine piece of kit.

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#8 Nathan Chaszeyka

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 12:04 PM

I don't have a P2 reader and I don't have one of the New Mac Lap-tops that reads them either otherwise I would.



Just a quick note, the NEW mac laptops don't read P2 cards. It actually the G4 Powerbooks (15" and 17" specifically) and the fair majority of PC laptops that have the correct PC card slot for the P2 cards.

I just wanted to point that out because it sounds like misinformation may be one of the things that's holding you back from the HVX.
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#9 Mitch Gross

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 03:56 PM

My bit of extra info on the MovieTube is that it is an excellent piece of gear. There are now additional lighttraps for using cameras that have larger lenses such as the HVX200. The design of the MovieTube is to be as optically simple and clean a device as possible. That's why it requires the use of the original camera's lens. In time there will be optical relay lenses that will take the place of the standard camera lens on models that have removeable glass such as the JVC HD100 and the Canon XL-H1. Until then the MovieTube is not particularly suitable for these large cameras.

There are two MovieTube models, the LT and the ST. The ST has a pro electronic breakout box, viewfinder and handgrips for shouldermount work. There are some great illustrations on the MovieTube website and soon there will be a bevy of information on the Abel website. And we have both models available for rental.
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#10 Michael Nash

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 04:41 PM

My bit of extra info on the MovieTube is that it is an excellent piece of gear. ... And we have both models available for rental.


Thanks Mitch! Do you know if Abel here in LA will have them (I'll call them eventually anyway...)?
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#11 Daniel Stigler

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 07:27 PM

Today was day #1 of a two day musicvideo shoot we are doing with the Movie Tube with a Z1. It does the job, but it has some flaws. The camera can't be fixed properly on the adapter. This is problematic as the adapter itself has no handgrip and using the cameras grip can easily cause flange focal depth to shift. And the lens mount is poorly engineered.
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#12 Mitch Gross

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 03:24 PM

Abel NY & Abel LA ship back & forth on a daily basis, so yes, they have the MovieTube.

As for Daniel's issues with the unit, he apparently used an LT model instead of the ST model. The ST has handgrips, a viewfinder, etc. and is very handholdable. The camera is pretty solidly resting on the rig but one should certainly not lift or support the complete setup from the camera handle. The same is true on the Mini35.
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#13 Ed Moore

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 07:10 PM

These adaptors fascinate me. The cameras used are so cheap compared to the 35mm lenses that get put on the front that it seems more accurate to say you've hired a lens with a record facility rather than a camera with a great lens. Says something for the immutability of the laws of physics that everything that doesn't need to work optically - i.e. the camera - is now becoming actually hard to even SEE on a fully kitted out mini35/MovieTube rig. Unless they come up with some amazing new way to bend light into a single point, I expect eventually we'll have little postage stamp sized disposable CCDs that you just whack on the back of an S4 and it Wi-fis the picture straight to your laptop...
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#14 Daniel Stigler

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 06:23 PM

As for Daniel's issues with the unit, he apparently used an LT model instead of the ST model. The ST has handgrips, a viewfinder, etc. and is very handholdable. The camera is pretty solidly resting on the rig but one should certainly not lift or support the complete setup from the camera handle. The same is true on the Mini35.


You're right Mitch, it was the LT version. It was a real pain in the ass to take this thing on and off the tripod or carry it around.
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