Yes, I know I am a bit late to the party but better late than never?
The Redrock M2 was the second adaptor I bought after the Letus FE. I did quite a lot of work with it but found the set up frustrating, the edge sharpness poor and the light loss too much. I stopped using it in favour of the Brevis.
Skip forward a couple of years or so and the main camera I use with my 35mm adaptors is the Sony EX1 and EX3. I have only had great success with the Letus line of adaptors with this camera. The only ones to give me edge sharpness due to a special achromat that Letus brought out to fix the issues with the EX lens. Other manufacturers have struggled in my opinion to get that edge sharpness right with this camera. Cinevate have tried and I have still not been pleased with results from the Brevis and EX. I keep hearing they are working on something, but as an owner of 3 Brevis adaptors I find it next to useless with the EX1. Great with other cameras. Just not the EX1.
The SGBlade came close, but still that edge sharpness just wasn’t there.
This brings me onto the Redrock Encore. It’s been out a while, but it took me a while to get one, then when I did, work kept getting in the way of me testing it… that and bad English Summer weather. Finally I managed to go out and do some filming for a couple of hours this afternoon.
The Encore is based on the old M2 design with a HUGE number of improvements. This is what their website says are the main new benefits:
“Best light efficiency available in the industry at slightly less than 1/2 stop light loss (including the microX Encore flip accessory)
Completely redesigned optics for edge sharpness and vignette-free operation
Rugged high quality construction for durability and silent operation
Complete Bundle solutions
M2 Encore Technical Details
1/2 stop light loss – best efficiency in industry, and superior color contrast when stopping down
Completely reformulated optics to eliminate distortion and vignetting
Faster, easier setup (with simplified attachment to microX)
Collimating lens mount (new adapters come pre-collimated from the factory)
Universal camera support, including Sony EX series cameras FINALLY!!
Interchangeable lens mounts without opening the adapter, including PL mount
Interchangeable knob accent colors
New, more powerful motor for silent operation, faster shutter speeds
Internal dust trap
Access port for cleaning adapter internals and inserting optional internal mattes
Rechargeable battery for 18+ hours of continuous level power I SCREWED UP AND FORGOT TO CHARGE IT, SO INSERTED 2 AAs
Integrated battery charger: external sources power the adapter and charge internal batteries
Works with external battery bricks such as v-mount and Anton Bauer
Battery indicator status for charging, on, and low battery
All new screen holder with optional mattes and frame sizes for academy 35mm, SLR 35mm, 4:3, 2.35″1 (cinemascope) and more I NEED TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS!
Fast shutter speeds up to 1/500 and beyond
Legendary Redrock Bokeh from cinescreen II with cineLux BEAUTIFUL BOKEH
Intelligent power (Internal Power Regulation, Built-in battery charger, power management and fault protection, diagnostic status indicator)
Shock mounted motor to reduce vibrations and to protect the motor and gg
Full rubber gaskets in all seals for silent operation and light leak prevention
Works with existing Redrock microSupport system Baseplate and microRods
Aircraft-grade machined aluminum construction
100% glue-free assembly
Weight of complete M2 Encore Indie Bundle: 6lb 12 oz (3 kg) )including rod support, baseplate, microX Encore and all mounting equipment)”
That’s a lot of features. The most important for me was by far the edge sharpness and vignette free operation and light loss. Well the good news is I can report they are superb. Although I didn’t do any low light filming I set it up inside my house and I could use it with ambient light, something the old M2 could never do.
I also used the new LIVE LENS which lets you use L series Canon glass which has an electronic aperture. Using the new LIVE LENS mount you have a separate controller for the iris powered by a 9V battery. This is the first proper EOS lens mount for any 35mm adaptor that gives you proper iris control. A big deal.
Using lots of my new Canon glass bought for my 5dmk2 I took the rig out to my favourite spot around the corner from my house, just by Richmond Lock. I tested out the Brevis here and the Nikon D90.
I used an f1.4 24mm, a real test for edge sharpness, an f1.4 35mm, an f1.5 50mm, a shift tilt 24mm f3.5 and an 80-200 IS f2.8 Zoom.
Tripod wise I used my Vinten Vision 11 as this is quite a heavy rig and it was secured onto the Sony VCT plate using the Genus adaptor. The best I have used so far. Really solid and a great price.
Now design wise it’s very similar to the M2, from the outside. It’s all new on the inside. Do I like the old design? No? But I understand why they have kept it for now, it gives current M2 users a cheap way of upgrading. A great idea…but I would prefer a TOTAL redesign please Redrock!
I found the rods very well made, but a bit heavy, hence me having to use a big pro tripod. I would be interested to see their handheld setup to see how well they work together. I love the quick release of the adaptor from the achromat which is screwed onto the EX1. A lovely touch (take note other manufacturers, I have been asking for this for ages!). I only ever used the M2 in “soft mount” mode, this is a world away! It’s this achromat that makes a huge difference for the EX1. It has been redesigned to take into account the issues with the EX1 lens and it does an terrific job. Great edge to edge sharpness. FINALLY. I can’t tell you how excited this made me. Every adaptor I have used apart from the Letus line has been a massive disappointment in this area. I could not understand why the other manufacturers could not do what Hien from Letus had done so very quickly and create a new achromat.
Not quite sure if I had it totally set up right as I had to zoom in a bit further than I have to with my Letus. I am sure there are adjustments to make, but this was my “virgin flight” with the Encore and I have much to learn.
So we have a beautiful BOKEH, great edge sharpness, no vignettes, hardly any light loss. This really is a world away from the old M2 and finally another adaptor you can use perfectly with the Sony EX1/ EX3. Its been a long time coming!
It was fun shooting with a 35mm adaptor and the EX1 again, it’s been a few weeks as have been mostly shooting on full size cameras or my Canon 5dmkII. The image out of this combo is truly knockout. A totally different look to the 5dmk2, much softer more film like. BUT OH MY GOD IS IT HEAVIER!! You forget how much you get spoilt with the 5d. But being able to use lovely features like timelapse and overcrank was wonderful (not forgetting being able to shoot native 25p!!). Focusing was a doddle with the EX1 LCD and peaking and you gotta love not having to convert the footage into something you can edit with. Just import using XDCAM transfer and it zips in.
Now if only Redrock can take what they have done here and put it in a more modern shape, perhaps an all in one shape like the Letus then we will really be talking, especially if it could be the weight of the SG BLADE. In the meantime all us EX1 and EX3 users can now rejoice as their is a “newish” kid on the block that works brilliantly with our baby. The Encore is a world away from the old M2. This really is a great 35mm adaptor.
Click on the image below to look at the little edit I did of the footage I shot today. if you are an XR or Vimeo member you can download a full HD mp4 version. Looks V nice!