I have been working in television for over ten years and one of my biggest challenges is to shoot engaging b-roll that catches the eye of the viewer and helps tell a story. I have always been a big fan of shallow depth of field and I would achieve it by shooting at or near the end of my television zoom lens.
Often, when I am shooting sit-down interviews for a documentary or a feature, I will physically move my camera back away from the person being interviewed so that I can use the telephoto portion of my lens to get the desired shallow depth of field effect.
Now that has all changed. 35mm shallow depth of field is available for professional 2/3 inch high definition full sized broadcast television cameras.
I had the privilege of shooting with the Letus B4 Pro relay and the Letus Ultimate 35mm lens adapters a few weeks ago and I loved it. I mounted the contraption onto a Sony HDW-730s HDCAM and walked the streets of Boston with help from Bill Travers and TJ Powers. As I shot at 135 mbps HDCAM, Bill and TJ shot some behind the scenes stills with their DSLRs for my video blog. I used a cart to move the gear around the city, but I carried my heavy camera, Letus, and Vinten tripod all by myself!
I was very impressed by the low light performance of the relay paired up with the Letus Ultimate. It was nice to be able to set the back focus on the relay and lock it out. I could also open or close an iris on the relay to help when shooting in bright lighting conditions. Again, this is lockable and you do not have to worry about it slipping. All your focus and aperture can be controlled manually on just the film lens as you shoot.
If you already own a high definition television broadcast camera and you want the shallow film-like depth of field, I highly recommend this product. It is built well, mounts and is supported safely by the Letus V2 rod system and it is super sharp at all f-stops.
For more information on this relay and 35mm lens adapter, please check out http://www.letusdirect.com
TRT: 7 minutes 42 seconds
Size: 174.7 MB
Type: Quicktime mpeg4 720p HDTV