Red Red Rocks

This is the second of four shorts I made during my time in Las Vegas. The second chronologically that I shot and the first that I made with the Letus Ultimate prototype.

I wasn’t planning on going out to film as I had spend the entire previous day in Death Valley getting some lovely footage with the Extreme but Hien arrived in Vegas the previous night so I had to try it out.

We went, thanks to Nathaniel Hansen’s recommendation to Red Rock Canyon, about 30 minutes out of town. This was the first time Hien had been out to watch someone film with his adaptor so it was quite exciting for him…I think!

The Ultimate performed really well. There were one or two shots that weren’t perfect edge to edge due to me zooming too much into the ground glass to get that extra bit of the lens, not good for flat surfaces or where the focal length is identical all the way across like it was here, infinity.

I was able to stop right down when pointing at the sun and able to widen the depth of field enormously for certain shots like the opening one. A couple of shots had high shutter in but you wouldn’t know!

Watch the film.


  1. Fantastic!
    but really, Phil, you should get some sleep sometime.
    Say, apart from being able to stop the lens down and use higher shutter speeds, did you notice any other significant difference between the extreme and the ultimate? Is the image sharper, the bokeh better…?
    Beautiful images.

  2. Hi, Phil. Wish I could’ve caught up with you at NAB. Judging by this latest piece, it looks like the spinning GG on the Ultimate has really done a great job “cleaning up” the image. I have a LEX and, as good as it is, doesn’t seem to be as good asthe Ultimate.

    Did you try shooting with it at night? A la Furs?

  3. I know! But I am getting better. Everytime I tried I could only make them purple. I just got lucky. Am hoping to be less atrocious in future!

  4. Phil,
    Did you color correct the picture of my brother (Hien). He seems to look better in that picture than in real life. Now, THAT is atrocious! 🙂

  5. Hi Phil, looking good as per usual. I thought you might do some more extreme stuff with grading but it the it was interesting to see that you let the landscape color do its own thing. I know it can be challenging shooting when it’s straight up sun did you have to do much adjusting to the contrast or gamma when you put the piece together? Did you shoot some of the wides with out a letus? and Can you name a few choice Nikon lenses that your like when you shoot with that mount, whether your are shooting people or landscapes? I sincerely appreciate your blog… keep up the good work.

  6. Hi Simon,

    Everything done with the Letus Ultimate with just two lenses. 17-35 f2.8 mm nikon and 80-200mm f2.8 nikon.

    Great lenses.

    No problems with the Sun. I used a basic preset on Magic Bullet that I used on Tramway and my upcoming Death Valley short which I am completing. Just struggling to find the right music!

  7. how do zoom lenses work with the extreme, apparently they work marvelously with the ultimate? is the light loss negligible outside with them?

    what preset did you use on “tramway” mishandled negative?

  8. as long as you use high quality f2.8 all the way through zooms they work great.

    Not sure about preset, don’t think it was, think it was ag film stock

  9. Hey Phil, long time lurker here, I’ve really enjoyed your work and have been following the EX/Letus coverage with great interest. I was curious about your bokeh comment using the spinning gg, what quality about it do you like better. Right now I’m trying to decide on the M2 or the Letus Extreme, now with your comment, I’m wondering if the spinning gg is the best way to go. Hard choices as everyone is improving.

    The EX3 looks really promising as well, do you find that you’re getting better dynamic range than with the HVX cameras? Seems like you would.

    Look forward to seeing lots more! If you’re ever in Phoenix, I’d be happy to treat you to a pint or three (I know where you can get Boddingtons on tap!).


  10. Hi Jay

    Personally I would avoid the Redrock for now, it is in serious need of updating and falling behind Brevis, SGpro and Letus. The Ultimate is of course what I would recommend as it is lovely in every way, but it will be expensive…worth it? Probably but the extreme is still great. Spinners ideally are the way forward due to the ability to stop down and use shutter but it is only one factor…

  11. You always seem to be shooting in either slow or fast frame rates. Do you have any 24p footage, perhaps shot with a 35mm lens?

    I love the colors of this shot by the way, great work.

  12. there’s hardly any overcrank or timelapse in this short, it’s almost all straight 25p.

    Tramway and Tent Rock are the only 24p pieces I have done.

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