Landscape study “Dungeness” using EX1 and Letus Extreme

I made another short using my sony XDCAM EX1 and the Letus Extreme.

It’s very different to my last one “South Bank” in that it barely features any people. It’s almost entirely just landscapes, buildings and objects. Although shallow DOF is prominent in many shots I wanted to show that adaptors can be used for much more than that. They give a beautiful organic look to everything, even if the DOF is wide. I also wanted to do something in black and white, so although it was colour to start with I have since regraded it. Now it looks much better, the mood works better, the feel of the place is easier to get.

Dungeness in on the South Coast of England, it’s part of Romney Marsh. A massive expanse of flat land. On this land is Dungeness Nuclear Power Station. Recently the Nuclear part was turned off as it had reached the end of it’s life, just over 40 years of use. It’s going to take another 100 years to fully decommission it.

When you go to the “village” it looms over everything. I tried to capture this in the film as you catch many glimpses of it before finally seeing it properly.

The small house with the yellow door and window frames in “Prospect Cottage”, the former home of the late film maker Derek Jarman. He lived there until his death 13 years ago.

I used 5 lenses. Sigma 20mm f1.8, Arrax 35mm swing tilt, Zeiss 50mm t2, Zeiss 85mm F1.4, Hartblei 85mm swing tilt and Nikon 105mm DC f2.

I had to use my Vinten Vision 11 tripod as it was so windy that my normal EX1 tripod, the Miller Solo DS20 would not have withstood the extreme wind. I also had to use “smoothcam” on Final Cut Pro 6 to remove some of the wind wobbles.

I think I achieved my best edge to edge sharpness today on this short. I have played around a lot and I think with the right combination of zoom, focus on the camera and focus on the lens you can get great edge to edge. This unfortunately needs tweaking for every lens though. I also, as usual, didn’t use an external monitor. All focusing was done using the ex1 lcd screen,


  1. Hey Phil!

    Extremely good short! I must say! You are one of the greatest out there.

    Could you please post your settings for combination of zoom and focus. I’m going to use canon or nikon 50mm 1.4 mostly so the closes to that might be the setting you use for zeiss 50mm t2.

    Getting my ex1 and letus next week so i am really looking forward to playing around!


  2. Hy Philip, Nice job. The BW version really gives off an ominous feel. I know you use Magic Bullet a lot for grading your images. Just curious if you have given Color much of a try? I’ve played with it a little and it seems to be a pretty powerful application.

    I hope Linda Blair is out of your life now?

  3. Hi Tom, I haven’t tried the SGPro3 yet. Wayne wants to meet up so I can try it out, but my schedule is so hectic that I couldn’t specify a time or date. Shame he can’t lend me one for a bit. Am sure I can sell a few for him!

    James, I have just bought a book on Colour, but not read it yet. It’s something I really want to use. It looks amazing.

    Linda Blair has been exorcised, but the priest didn’t make it unfortunately. I kept on playing Tubular Bells when i was sick, had a certain dark humour about it!

  4. Hi Philip, thanks for sharing your tests with the community. How does the camera react with moving pictures and pans? Is it in the same way of HDV? I really hope not…but I’m afraid yes. If you can please share this test too.

    Keep cool!

  5. not sure rob about autofocus. I guess so. but i dont have a nikon stills camera to try it on! i use it all the time. great lens!

    not done much handheld yet. but need to sort it out soon!

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