Jump to content


Photo

Shooting with the Letus


  • Please log in to reply
41 replies to this topic

#1 Timothy David Orme

Timothy David Orme
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 105 posts
  • Director
  • Boise, ID

Posted 11 February 2008 - 09:56 PM

So, I'm getting ready to shoot a short film this summer, and a friend of mine offered to let me shoot on his Canon with his Letus 35mm adapter. The only problem is, the only lens he has that's fast enough to really shoot interiors (without a million lights) is a 50mm.

I'm wondering how amateur it'd look and how much it'd really be worth shooting something with a 35mm adapter if I can only use a 50mm lens?
  • 0

#2 Adamo P Cultraro

Adamo P Cultraro
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 157 posts
  • Producer

Posted 11 February 2008 - 10:07 PM

You need to ask yourself what the point is of using just one fixed focal length for the whole movie. Are you doing it for artistic considerations or because you only have one lens?????

Also, which letus are you using. The extreme loses only a half stop compared to the 1 1/2 stops of the Flip enhanced. The extreme can handle slower lenses to a degree. I have had both the extreme and the FE.

What are the f stops of the other lenses?
  • 0

#3 Timothy David Orme

Timothy David Orme
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 105 posts
  • Director
  • Boise, ID

Posted 11 February 2008 - 10:45 PM

The other lenses are 3.5. It just seems like we'd need to do a lot of lighting inside, based off the test we ran tonight. Maybe I'm wrong?
  • 0

#4 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 12 February 2008 - 12:29 AM

It's not that big a deal to light to a bit deeper stop, as long as it's not excessive like a 16 or something. A 2.8/4 or a 4 should be perfectly attainable.

The problem I would have with only having a 50mm lens available is with shooting masters. I assume this will be all location work and that tends to be cramped and small anyway, even when you can use wider lenses. If you go that way, take it into account when you scout.
  • 0

#5 Adamo P Cultraro

Adamo P Cultraro
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 157 posts
  • Producer

Posted 12 February 2008 - 12:31 AM

Again, what letus?

The Extreme starts showing static grain from the ground glass when the taking lens is set to F4 to f5.6 depending on the light. You are cutting it close with those others even wide open.

Just make sure you have plenty of light, I suppose.
  • 0

#6 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 12 February 2008 - 01:00 AM

I would work very hard on getting ahold of an f/2.8 28mm lens, or something in the ballpark, to go with the 50mm.
  • 0

#7 Ram Shani

Ram Shani
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 735 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • isreal

Posted 12 February 2008 - 01:28 AM

you can buy a wide angel adaptur like X0.5

and put it on your 50mm fast lense then you will have 25mm fast lens

i use it all the time with great result!

and i buy it for less then 100$
  • 0

#8 Timothy David Orme

Timothy David Orme
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 105 posts
  • Director
  • Boise, ID

Posted 12 February 2008 - 10:09 AM

I'm actually not sure if it's the extreme or not.

And he does have a 28mm 2.8 that we were planning on using, but when we tested it yesterday we noticed it was vignetting way too much. Maybe there's a way we can fix that.

So, I don't know a lot about 35mm focal lengths and lenses because I've never shot 35mm. But from what I understand, 85mm is the 'standard' closeup, portrait style shot. Does that apply to film or is it different?
  • 0

#9 Adamo P Cultraro

Adamo P Cultraro
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 157 posts
  • Producer

Posted 12 February 2008 - 11:10 AM

It is my personal experience that the focal lengths of SLR lenses really have no bearing on film lenses. On my extreme, I have a 105 and a 135mm for close ups and is still seems "not close enough".

As for the vignetting, try zooming into the ground glass more. Is his Letus setup to display 35mm film size? What I mena by that is by varying the zoom on the camera, you can simulate various film sizes all the way from vista vision down to 35mm academy and below.

A rule of thumb is this: take an 8 1/2 x 11" sheet of paper, tape it up on a wall landscape orientation. Locate the camera so that the film plane (ground glass of the letus) is exactly 24" from the wall. Fit a 50mm lens (yes, it has to be a 50) on the cam, and then zoom in until the edges of the paper are just starting to be cropped. Bang - you now have a 35mm cinema size frame. Now tape down your zoom so it doesn't move.

Try that and then put on your 28mm and see if it vignettes. I bet it doesn't.

Also, Letus FEs need backfocus adjustment - it is critical. Put on the same 50mm lens, focus out to infinity shooting at an object that is "infinity" away like a distant house or tree. The object should be razor sharp. If not, adjust the backfocus by either sliding the mount in or out, or adjusting the GG on some models. The Extreme comes backfocused fromthe factory.

Edited by Adamo P Cultraro, 12 February 2008 - 11:11 AM.

  • 0

#10 Timothy David Orme

Timothy David Orme
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 105 posts
  • Director
  • Boise, ID

Posted 13 February 2008 - 09:22 AM

Thanks for your help. He tried that last night and got the 28mm to work just fine. So, it looks like we'll have 1 28mm 2.8, a 50mm 1.8, and a 35-105mm 3.5. It's not the ideal setup, but I think it'll do.

Now we're just going to have to run some more tests to learn the limitations of using an awkward unit like that with a glidecam, dolly, jib, etc.

Should be a good shoot.
  • 0

#11 Anna Baltl

Anna Baltl
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Vienna

Posted 13 February 2008 - 10:57 AM

ive just been acĀ“ing on a coupple of music videos using a letus and canon photo lenses. the mount of the adapter can be changed easily and the photo lenses came from ebay for about 30euros a piece. i was using a heden/fox remote focus without problems on crane and steady cam. so thats the ultra-supa-extra low budget version. and for the stuff we were shooting the optical quality was just right.
  • 0

#12 Adamo P Cultraro

Adamo P Cultraro
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 157 posts
  • Producer

Posted 13 February 2008 - 11:20 AM

Awesome!
  • 0

#13 Timothy David Orme

Timothy David Orme
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 105 posts
  • Director
  • Boise, ID

Posted 13 February 2008 - 12:11 PM

Also, he's found a 85mm 1.8 for like $170, so I might get that for us too, especially for interiors.
  • 0

#14 Timothy David Orme

Timothy David Orme
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 105 posts
  • Director
  • Boise, ID

Posted 19 February 2008 - 10:23 AM

Hello all,

We've been doing some tests with the Letus and it's all starting to come together nicely. Is there a certain aperture people tend to use/like to stay around when working with these 35mm adapters, or is it just about getting enough light for most people?

Tim.
  • 0

#15 Adamo P Cultraro

Adamo P Cultraro
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 157 posts
  • Producer

Posted 19 February 2008 - 11:28 AM

You don't want to shoot below F5.6 on the taking lens or you will introduce static grain from the adapter into your shots. ND and camera iris are your friends; use as much as needed.
  • 0

#16 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 19 February 2008 - 12:08 PM

A 50mm is a "normal" size (depending on who you ask) so I don't think it will draw attention to itself. You can change the framing by moving the camera closer or farther from your subjects. This is all real obvious stuff I'm saying, I know. The point is, the viewer may never know the difference. The significant problems will be trying to shoot indoors in tight spaces. That 50 will keep you in kind of tight. You might not be able to get any farther out than mid torso and tighter. Yet, if your director understands that, he or she may be able to work within those limits and still get enough coverage to edit later. One other problem will be in your facial close-ups. I find the 50 warps the nose out a little too much. I prefer a 75 to 105 (Glamor lenses) for faces. But, some here say they love a 50 for face.

I believe you can shoot an entire movie with only a 50 and if well considered, no one will know or care. Me? I am a slave to a large lens selection.
  • 0

#17 Leo Anthony Vale

Leo Anthony Vale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2010 posts
  • Other
  • Pittsburgh PA

Posted 19 February 2008 - 04:09 PM

I'm wondering how amateur it'd look and how much it'd really be worth shooting something with a 35mm adapter if I can only use a 50mm lens?


'The Last Picture Show' used only a 28mm lens. 'Chinatown' mostly used a 40mm.

Certainly two of the most amateurish looking movies ever.

'Robocop' used two lenses, 16mm and 24mm, so it only looks half as amateurish.

'Intolerance only had a 50mm, but it's too old to even consider.
  • 0

#18 Timothy David Orme

Timothy David Orme
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 105 posts
  • Director
  • Boise, ID

Posted 20 February 2008 - 12:19 AM

Here's what we have at this point:
28mm 2.8
50mm 1.8
35-105mm 3.5
and a 135mm 3.5.

I think we have a good enough selection of lenses. (We were thinking about getting the 85mm 1.8, but I think we've decided we can do without.)

Our main concern now is determining what aperture to shoot at or how we might determine what that is.
  • 0

#19 Adamo P Cultraro

Adamo P Cultraro
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 157 posts
  • Producer

Posted 20 February 2008 - 01:45 AM

What do you mean what aperture? This is determined by your exposure, and will vary from scene to scene based on light. Just don't shoot below f5.6 on the taking lens and you are good.

What camera will you be using? Oh, and for every"artist" that used two lenses to shoot an entire feature, there are fifty that used a proper set of primes. Shooting a movie with one or two lenses is like taking a rowboat to england. It can be done,but it is a stunt, and you have to be reaaaaaaaaaalllllllly great to pull it off. The rest of us must use primes. Or at least a couple primes and a zoom.
  • 0

#20 Timothy David Orme

Timothy David Orme
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 105 posts
  • Director
  • Boise, ID

Posted 20 February 2008 - 08:45 AM

Sure, but don't most people try to light for a particular iris setting for the entire movie?

And isn't there a certain range where the focus is best?
  • 0


FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

Opal

Metropolis Post

Technodolly

CineLab

CineTape

The Slider

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

Ritter Battery

Visual Products

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

Metropolis Post

Opal

Paralinx LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Visual Products

Glidecam

Tai Audio

The Slider

Abel Cine

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies