I popped out for a couple of hours into my home town of Richmond, where I have done loads of filming before. Autumn in Richmond, 3 Days in April etc…to test the new Shoot 35 SGBlade.
It was easy to set up, personally I think Wayne should bring out a 77mm version rather than use step up rings as they are horrible things that can easily get stuck on cameras. But I mounted it onto the ex1 using the ring very easily, adjusted the X/Y very simply using the grub screws on the flip module and had a perfectly aligned image.
I was zooming into about z70 to lose the edges clearly, maybe about z72 to be safe. A feature that I am glad this had that the Letus line has but the brevis doesn’t with the EX1 is the ability to be able to zoom all the way in and maintain focus without really soft edges. Useful if you need a tighter shot quickly! Oh and there is no vignetting here fellas!!! Just the ones I always stick in during post!
One thing I was warned to expect was edge sharpness, with wide lenses especially, you need to have the ex1 closed down a lot to get it. Not so much on normal lenses. Buy on my 17-35mm I struggled to get edge to edge sharpness, but this is a very wide lens! It took Letus to bring out an EX1 optimisation kit to fix this on the Extreme, Brevis still haven’t got it fully sorted yet. The Blade is pretty good edge sharpness on the EX1 considering it isn’t optimised.
I stopped down to f11 and it looked fine, I also managed to put 1/500th shutter in. But not at the same time! Bit difficult with the light in London today!
Looking at the rushes I was very impressed. Really nice sharpness, no obvious noise, nice colour rendition. I couldn’t see any patterning on any shots but I didn’t push it shutter wise, am sure my US friends will have more luck in their brighter country! F11 stuff looked fine, no problems at all!
It was a pleasure to shoot with, I honestly had no issues with it on it’s maiden voyage! tt looked very professional too which I feel is very important.
I even had someone recognise me on the street and asked if I was Philip Bloom. John from St. Margarets, good to meet you. Hope you make some good stuff with the Canon 5dmk2 and good luck with Film Unit photography work!
I honestly think this is a massive step up for Shoot 35. They have taken a good product and redesigned it from the ground up to make a superior product in the SGBlade.
Do we have a new challenger to the 35mm market? Absolutely. No single manufacturer should have market domination, competition is key! That is why I am being dying for Panasonic to really step up their game with a 1/2″ HD camera like the EX1, they bring out something better and I will switch to Panasonic. I want the best product for my clients…Also nice to see JVC haven’t given up and have got two new cameras coming out!
For me there was only one manufacturer of 35mm adaptors who really had the best product and that is Letus. To be honest, they still do. The Ultimate for me is still is at the top of the tree, even more so with the relay coming out. It is a truly pro product for a pro market, which is where my work lies. But for the more affordable adaptors out there this really does challenge everyone! Letus, Brevis, Cinemek and Redrock. It is well made, has great picture quality. Lets you stop down or use shutter to a point and has X/Y adjustment and collimation. Very few adaptors at this price point have all of these or implement them in such an easy to adjust way. The Backfocus on the Elite/ Ultimate is still the best in my opinion. But the SGBlade brings lots of great features at at a terrific price and for UK users who are being hammered by our weak pound this makes the SGBlade something to seriously look at, it’s like a budget Ultimate! There really is very little negative I can write about it.
I am certain I am going to get bombarded with questions asking what should I buy? Letus Elite/ Extreme or Blade etc… I can’t answer that for you. I have used the Extreme for 18 months and it is a tried and tested beast, what i do say to everyone is spend the extra cash and get the Elite. Backfocus adjustment is very important. Now the Blade has come along and offers so much. At this point in time after my limited use of it I do certainly thoroughly recommend it, but I have received complaints in the past about recommending something after limited testing, only for it to have problems down the line. I can’t offer any guarantees on any product I review, you can only take it at face value at this point in time. Am not saying the Blade will have any problems down the line, but I can’t tell you what to buy. There will be more and more people getting Blades, testing them and posting results. If you are unsure, wait for these and make your mind up. I am very happy with the Blade and plan to use it a fair old bit! Next up will be a test of the Roto 2.
Wayne and the team…congratulations I am REALLY impressed!!
The SGBlade will certainly not go back in the box. I have a new toy and it’s great!
You can see the little short “The Magic Bus” here