The 35mm Look
The new HD formats have given consumer and low-budget video options a much greater degree of image quality than ever before, but they still have trouble competing with some of the 35mm images that we see on our movie screens. Through tricks and post-production, many people are trying to bring up the perceived quality of their video images so that they can compete with the large budgets of Hollywood. Of a number of accessories for your video camera, one of the best known and must useful is the Letus adapter. Letus offers adapters that you can secure to your camera and it will give you a 35mm look without the price of shooting on that type of camera. Here is a look at using the Letus lens adapter, which has its own special needs that is different from filming on basic HD cameras.
The number one drawback to using the Letus lens adapter is that it requires quite a bit of light. As the adapter filters the image and adjusts it to provide the changes in depth of field, it lowers the amount of light that can reach the sensor in the same way that adjusting the aperture for depth of field would. This means that, to get a usable image with the Letus, you will need to over-light the area, or at least increase the light from what you would normally have for that camera.
The amount of light to add will depend on the situation and the type of Letus lens adapter you are using. For most adapters it is only half a stop of light loss, but you may notice that you have to increase the amount of light more than half a stop.
This may seem obvious once you actually begin using the Letus lens adapter, but you are going to have to make sure to power it up. This is different from most lens adapters since turning it on seems counter-intuitive, but the Letus does require a power source. You will either have to include batteries or connect to a power outlet, depending on the adapter, and you will have to make sure to turn it on before filming. If you do not, you will just end up with a still, heavy grain over the image that will render it unusable.
Stability and Mobility
Though the Letus lens adapter is not the most heavy and difficult thing to work with, it is going to limit the mobility of your camera. This is mainly because it can become disconnected. The Letus lens adapter needs to remain stable during use, as a lot of movement will end up throwing it off the camera and it will have to be readjusted. This is not as simple a process as on your standard HD camera, and actually requires a little training. When in production, keep the camera with the Letus lens adapter as stable as possible, usually on a tripod. Handheld is not ever going to be your best option, both because it is an awkward attachment on your camera and because of the possibility of it needing to reset it.
Source: author's own experience.