Video review of new EX3 Letus Relay

9
Mar
2009

Sorry it’s been so long in the making, been rather busy testing out new bits of kit and earning my bread and butter!

ex3-relay2

This is a truly marvelous piece of kit, something I have been anxiously awaiting for almost a year! It’s taken Hien and the team a long time to make this as they really have gone to town with it. They have used the same wonderful prime lens that they have used in the B4 pro relay meaning you can go as wide open as f1.5. That’s fantastic news as when you zoom into the ground glass using the stock lens to around Z72 your iris drops down to roughly f2.8. So effectively you are gaining about 2 stops of light by using this relay.  Brilliant news for you DPs and shooters who like using as much natural light as possible and for all those indoor shoots. 2 stops is a massive difference.

Those two stops come at a cost though. I don’t know the exact pricing but it won’t be “cheap”,  but this is a pro piece of kit, you don’t have to buy it! The Letus line work great by screwing onto the stock lens and zooming in and focusing, but it is more cumbersome and effectively less professional. This is just like the mini 35, but better, faster, sharper. The build quality is very good. It weighs a tonne! You know the glass used here is top notch. The first relays Letus made in the old days were based on rubbiish Minolta prime lenses which were slow and magnified the image too much. The only magnification you get now is because they have set the relay to be optimized for Academy frame size, which is what the PL lens projects. For them to make a lens that would effectively keep the frame size for both SLR lenses and PL lenses the relay would have to be a zoom, that would mean a lot longer and most definitely slower.

In a way we have been spoiled all this time with this larger sensor size. Movie cameras, both 35mm film and Red have sensors the same size as this relay, the Academy size. So unfortunately that is the downside. But the positives more than make up for this. The extra light available, the shortening of length making the camera less like a bazooka, the ability to lock down the back focus and also the ability to still really control that DOF by having dual iris, one on the lens and one on the relay. You never know if demand is there perhaps Letus will make a 35mm SLR sensor version. Anything is possible!

ex3-relay

ex3-relay3I can’t compliment them enough. For the first time, I feel like i am shooting with a proper camera, not a Frankenstein contraption, which is what all these adaptors effectively are. By losing the stock lens it becomes a “proper” camera. This relay is the same high quality as the B4 relay and absolutely pin sharp edge to edge. It work with all three full size letus adaptors, the Extreme, Elite and Ultimate.

Available soon from CVP/ Mitcorp

Have a look for yourself and see the relay in action by clicking here

[starrater]

Comments

  1. There seems to be no mention of it on the Letus website yet.

    I got some unofficial word that the EX3 relay would be ready for purchase this week, and shipping by the end of the month.

    Have you heard anything?

  2. admin says:

    Very soon. This is a prototype. I expect an official price on their website any day now…

  3. Matthew Pugerude says:

    IT has not come soon enough. Holding pennies so I can buy whole package. I hope I have enough money!!!

  4. I sure wish there wasn’t the 1.5 crop factor. That’s a big bummer for those of us using Nikon lenses.

    I just bought a 17-35mm f2.8 lens for my Nikon D700, now it won’t be as ‘epic’.

    Maybe Letus will decide to make two different adapters.

    I’d rather crop in post (top/bottom) for academy frame size.

  5. Will it also be compatible through a reduction with the normal sized XDcams, for axample the 350, 355?

    1. pbloom says:

      yes totally compatible!

      1. Michael says:

        Hey Phil,

        Have you tried this relay lens on your Sony F350? If so, how did you like working with it on the F350?

        Does it attach directly to the F350 using the existing lens mount and nothing more?

        Do you have any comments about any difference in the way it works with the F350 as opposed to the EX-3? (Apart from the obvious size factor between the two cameras, I mean.)

        Thanks,
        Mike

        1. pbloom says:

          yes it works fine…only difference is ex3 is slightly better in low light and to go hand held with the f350 you will need some sort of grip as you lose the lens grip…zacuto do something called the zephyr plate with grip.

  6. Duarte Costa says:

    In their site, Letus says that it will be available in May.
    But tell me one thing: Even with the X/Y alignment of the Ultimate, do you need to zoom wall the way to Z72?
    That is the same amount of Zoom that you need to have in the Extreme…

    1. pbloom says:

      Z72 is safe. I have pushed it to Z69 at times…

  7. Gregg E. says:

    I am a film shooter recently taking on digital, and the adaptors interest me. About the EX-3 setup–The EX-3 literature says it has an adaptor to allow direct connection of 2/3″ lenses. Can an EX-3 owner then consider purchasing the Letus 2/3 relay lens and attaching that directly via that stock adaptor? Would that then allow one to use the Letus set-up on other 2/3 cameras and the EX3 without needing to have different relay lenses? Seems like a total “newbie question” but I am what I am…
    Thanks so much!
    ge

  8. So with the Letus adapter you typically lose 1/2 stop, but by using a relay lens you gain 2 stops?

    Perhaps a silly question (I am a novice), but just to be sure: with a Letus Ultimate you have the following set-up
    EX3 -> standard lens -> Letus Ultimate -> 35mm prime lenses

    With the relay the configuration becomes:
    EX3 -> 1/2 Lens relay -> Letus Ultimate -> 35mm prime

    Sorry for asking, I just want to make sure.

    1. pbloom says:

      you don’t gain 2 stops. when you zoom into the GG with stock lens, you effectively lose 2 stops with that stock lens as it gets darker the more you zoom in.

      yes to both