My DOF adapter experiences

The 35mm depth of field adapter is a popular device among indie filmers (using HD video cameras) at the moment.

I also have bought, rented, tested (and sold) several popular 35mm adapters. I’d like to update you on my experiences.

Popular adapters i’ve tested include the Redrock Micro, the Brevis, the sgBlade and the Letus Extreme.

The worst is the Brevis; it’s construction is not what you might expect from a +1500$ device, also the imaging device suffers from staticpower- and dust-accumulation, resulting in “raindrops” in the screen. It uses a vibrating groundglass to get rid of the dust problem (not very succesful). It did show a lot of vignetting and banding with my Sony EX1, although Brevis’Cinevate claims to have solved any EX1 problems. A flagrant lie… Support was not very helpful either. The tube leaks light and air (so: dust). The tube is made from a kind of (weak) carbon and it’s carbon particles are creeping everywhere. I was happy to have flogged it via eBay within a week – taking a 400 dollar loss…

The SGBlade is a very promising device; it is rugged and fits neatly to the camera and all parts are easy to setup. It uses a rotating groundglass to (succesfully) eliminate dust and groundglass artifacts. The sgBlade has been realy well developed; and being the last of the three to have hit the market, it has solved many of the problems that users of the others have been confronted with before. It works like a charm on my EX1 without vignetting or banding. Problems: bad battery charger, bad edge to edge sharpness and some CA.

I also encountered problems of a whole different kidney with the sgBlade..; during installation a thumbscrew of the rails broke off, the batterycharger malfunctioned and killed the batteries INSIDE the sgBlade and the whole front unit and charger had to be replaced. The new charger and new front unit replacements are STILL not working: now the charger doesn’t stop charging and overheats the batteries. Further, there seemed to be something wrong with groundglass, resulting in strong flicker; that was replaced too. Although their service is top (!), and the device is optically very good, i must conclude that it is not a mature product yet. Another thing: the motor inside is not electronically or microprocessor controlled, so it slows down gradually while the batteries run out; so you’ll need to trim the speedknob before and during every shot to prevent the groundglass to show when it gets in sync with your shutter…
I have not been able to use it professionally since the day it arrived, and i am not confident to do so at the moment.

Since i spent my last savings on the sgBlade and i NEEDED a DOF adapter for my job (this is not a hobby), i decided to rent a Letus Extreme for a seminar i had to conduct. That has costed me dearly, but enjoyed using it and liked the pictures it produced. I must say that i am NOT very confident with it’s construction – you should expect more from such an expensive device. I was glad that i could rent it for the time being, but would be hesistant buying one.

Since i still want (and need) to obtain a functional and reliable DOF adapter (new shoots coming up second week of april), i am now looking at the Redrock Micro M2-Encore. This adapter looks very promissing. I have ordered rails and a schouldermount from them recently and i am impressed with the quality and their product-range. UPDATE: please read our more recent articles on the RedrockMicro Encore click here.

But for the moment i am still confused over the sgBlade and am trying to find out what’s wrong with it; leaving me with the practical issue of getting rid of it again if it remains unusable… Don’t like to think of it now…

I’ll keep you posted on the ongoing quest for the ultimate 35mm / DOF adapter…



4 Responses to “My DOF adapter experiences”

  1. April 2, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Martin – you may consider checking out the M2 Encore – it’s a completely new state-of-the-art adapter and much better than the extreme.

  2. April 2, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    Just to clarify I mean the Redrock M2 Encore.



  3. April 11, 2009 at 4:45 am

    great site this marvelsfilm.wordpress.com excellent to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor 🙂

  4. 4 josefo
    April 22, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    mmmm very very worry about what you say of SG BLade.. I all ready order mine one …its come in Jun.. I hope with those problem resolves..

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