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Questions about using the Redrock 35mm adapter on a DVX100


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#1 Andrew Crighton

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 11:46 PM

Hey fellas,

I'm planning to shoot a documentary and narrative film using a DVX-100 w/ the Redrock 35mm adapter. Here are my questions:

Feel free to answer as many as you like...

1) Should I really buy the Redrock adapter or are there much better adapter solutions for the same price?

2) I have a Canon digital Rebel XT with a Quantaray 18-200mm zoom lens, so if I'm going to be buying more Canon compatible lenses to use with both my Rebel XT and the Redrock adapter will the Canon EOS lens mount work well to create a solid picture?

3) It seems to me that most films being shot with the Redrock 35mm adapter have employed Nikon lenses as opposed to Canon, is there a reason for this?

4) Any suggestions for lens focal lengths I should invest in to give me the most flexibility on a doc or narrative shoot?

Thanks again
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 12:00 AM

1.)

Personally, I don't think anyone should buy the redrock adapter. It's poorly built, in my opinion. The groundglass is simply attached to a motor shaft that leave the groundglass free to move much more than it should be able to move to ensure stable focus. In addition, it is built such that temperature affects it greatly. Furthermore, it is built so that adjusting flange-focal-depth is very difficult and laborius. Combine this with the instability due to temperature and you have a very annoying device.

Unfortunately, there is nothing suitable in that same price range that I know of.


2.)

The difficulty of those lenses is that they're built for auto focus. If they're like most lenses for those cameras I've seen, the entire focus range only moves the focus ring a half-turn or so. It will be very difficult to pull focus for. Image quality is fine, though. The lens may be pretty heavy for the redrock, which will only let you focus part of the image at any one time unless you give the lens proper support.


3.)

Most films that use still lenses use nikons because they are easily available, very nice quality, and made for manual focus cameras so that the focus ring usually has a turn or two of movement to cover the full focus range.


4.)

The focal length question is difficult. For a doc, you would ideally want a zoom. Unfortunately, that would be very heavy for the redrock (causing the support problem I mention with your lens) and very annoying for the operator since the redrock rig is already very unwieldy to handhold with a prime.

For narrative work, I would want at least a nice wide like a 17 or 20, a moderate wide like a 32, a normal like a 40ish, a moderate long like a 50, and something a bit longer like a 65 or 75. Those are just my preferences. Someone else may say you only need 2 lenses and a third person might say you need twice as many lenses and I listed to fill in the gaps.
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#3 Ken Minehan

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 01:34 AM

Hi Andrew. I have a HVX202 (PAL version) and the redrock. So far i have tried it with the PL mount, Canon mount (also with a canon to contax adapter), and the Nikon Mount. After trying all theses mounts and different lenses, i found that the best image was produced with the Nikon lens.
I do agree with Chris about some elements being poorly built. It seems a little rough around the edges. But for shoots where you have total control, ie films, short films etc it provides the video user a very beautiful DOF. I think for documentary work it would be handy to have a zoom lens. But I'm not too sure if the rod system of the redrock is strong enough for long zoom lenses, and also the mount itself is not very strong.

For more information you can read,
www.redrockmicro.com/forum

The setting up of the redrock is extremely tedious. The redrock does not come ready to shoot out of the box. You will have to make alot of adjustments including the position of the ground glass. You have to do this because when you measure 6ft from the adapter to subject, and you set yuor lens to 6ft, it will not be in focus. I think this is the most difficult and annoying adjustment you will have to make.

The adapter was initially not designed to be hard mounted to the camera. There was a rubber skirt between the adapter and camera. If your adapter is not at the perfect distance from camera you will not be able to get the image sharp from edge to edge (Middle of frame will be sharp but edges quite soft). Thats why they designed a hard mount that screw the adapter to the camera so the adapter is at a fixed distance. I bought this and it eliminated one of the problems.

For me. i spent alot of time trying to perfect it, so it is working quite well for me. Once set up properly, i think you will be happy with the results. But getting your camera to that ready stage might take a while.

There is another product out there that acts the same as the redrock adapter and is with in the similar price range. I have never seen it been used and have never spoken to anyone who has used it. I just happened to stumble across it. check out
http://www.cinevate.com/
and see what you think.

Hope i have answered some of your questions
cheers
Ken Minehan
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 02:06 AM

The setting up of the redrock is extremely tedious. The redrock does not come ready to shoot out of the box. You will have to make alot of adjustments including the position of the ground glass. You have to do this because when you measure 6ft from the adapter to subject, and you set yuor lens to 6ft, it will not be in focus. I think this is the most difficult and annoying adjustment you will have to make.


This is my biggest beef with the thing. It takes forever to adjust properly then you could change lenses, step outside, or do nothing to speak of and it would be off again. In my mind that is just unacceptable since eye focus with prosumer HD cameras is so imprecise.
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#5 Ken Minehan

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 02:27 AM

I totally agree. i spent many frustrated hours working on the thing. Wish it came ready to shoot out of the box.

Ken Minehan
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#6 Jaime Toruno

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 07:07 PM

Hi every one I also been thinking about buying the M2 but after what I just read and the footage from the site I just saw I am kind changing my mind, the footage on the demo it looks great but who knows. Is too bad you can?t rent it to check it out before buying it.

Edited by Jaime Toruno, 12 July 2007 - 07:09 PM.

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#7 Chris Keth

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 07:51 PM

Hi every one I also been thinking about buying the M2 but after what I just read and the footage from the site I just saw I am kind changing my mind, the footage on the demo it looks great but who knows. Is too bad you can?t rent it to check it out before buying it.


The problm isn't the concept, it's the execution. You can get good footage out of it, I did it when I used one. The problem is just that they're a pain in the ass. The right tool for this exists, it's the P&S adapter.
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#8 Ken Minehan

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 10:10 PM

I agree. The PS Technik is Gold. Just wish i can afford it.

Ken Minehan
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#9 Chris Keth

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 10:17 PM

I agree. The PS Technik is Gold. Just wish i can afford it.

Ken Minehan


It's like everything else in this business. Rent it!
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#10 Andrew Crighton

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 02:55 AM

It's like everything else in this business. Rent it!



I totally would rent the P+S if I could but I'll be doing a semester abroad in various countries throughout Europe, so renting one out wouldn't make sense in terms of expenses and practicality. I also plan on selling the adapter or renting it out to other people as soon as I get back to the states. I'll have a DVX available to rent out for free almost all the time, so the 35 mm adapter seemed like the best idea to me, but if anyone else has any better ideas go ahead and let me know.

For anyone that knows...

If the Nikon lenses look best, do the Canon lenses look that that bad with the adapter or is it still a pretty beautiful picture?
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#11 Ken Minehan

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 04:19 AM

From my point of view the nikon lenses looked better for some reason. Maybe it was the conditions i was shooting in.

I opted for the nikon also becasue the nikon hasn't changed there mount for a very very long time. They have been using the F mount for about 50 years i think. So the lenses available on the second hand market seems to be greater.

Canon changed their mount when they started the EOS range. So i think they discontinued their EF mount lenses. Sometimes it's very hard to get good second hand canon lenses. You can get the EOS mount but that uses the EOS lenses that does not have the Exposure ring on the lens. You can still adjust exposure on the camera, but personally i like the exposure ring on the lens.

To answer your question, yes the canon does look good, but my personal preferences for the redrock is the Nikon Lenses.

Ken Minehan
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#12 Ram Shani

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 09:52 AM

hi

i Owen the letus35fe and let me tell you it's a great toll i shoot with it over 30 music video and very very happy with the result. it's very easy to use take 5 min to set up and has flip in it which means you see the image as you should and not upside down

the problem with this kind of adaptors is that they eat light so you need to light most of the indoors

the other problem is the use of zoom lens. still zoom doesnt have back focus so if you zoom in focus and zoom out you still have to adjust the focus
zoom lens need more light because it has smaller aperture opening (2.8 -3.5)

i always work with the Sony v1 because it has great gain system so i can work with 6db and even in rough condition 12db

its light

and the most important the service you will get is A++++
any problem will be answer and take care very fast thanks to the owner Quyen Le

take a look
http://www.adapterplace.com
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#13 Ken Minehan

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 12:46 AM

With that been said, i dont think i will ever use gain to boost light. If the scene is too dark, the only option should be to light it.

The only occasion i would use gain is -3db. I have used this before to help crush the black a bit.

The redrock adapter does eat alot of light, but in this case, if you want beautiful depth of field you need to hire more lights. This is a compromise i'm willing to take.

regards
Ken Minehan
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#14 Chris Keth

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 01:04 AM

With that been said, i dont think i will ever use gain to boost light. If the scene is too dark, the only option should be to light it.

The only occasion i would use gain is -3db. I have used this before to help crush the black a bit.

The redrock adapter does eat alot of light, but in this case, if you want beautiful depth of field you need to hire more lights. This is a compromise i'm willing to take.

regards
Ken Minehan


Very true. There are no free lunches. You pay for the dof control by renting more lights.
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#15 Rick Seefreid

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 08:10 AM

Very true. There are no free lunches. You pay for the dof control by renting more lights.



I'm selling mine with a few lenses if anyone is interested. Contact me off list.

Rick Seefried - SOC, SOA
owner/operator HDX900*Steadicam*DP
sazzy7@excite.com
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#16 Martin Amada

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 12:43 AM

I built the DIY version of the Redrock adaptor and modified it so that the ground glass can be moved fore and aft from outside the enclosure using an allen wrench on the two bolts that hold my custom machined motor mount. Very precise adjustment is possible.

I've never seen what the RR production model looks like on the inside, so I can't say if the mod would work on it, but mine works perfectly. And it holds the motor in place in a rock solid grip.

Here's a photo of the design/build.

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  • martins_RR_motor_mount.jpg

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