This video is different from all the other Letus videos I have ever made for my website. This video was shot with the Letus Ultimate 35mm lens adapter. It works brilliantly and I am very happy that I have it. I was a little worried using it so close to the waters edge, this one is a demo from Letus! I do not want to return it with water pouring out of it. You can find these adapters at letusdirect.com.
For those of you who do not know, the Letus Ultimate is much different than what I have been using, the Letus Extreme. The Ultimate uses a spinning ground glass element, instead of a vibrating one, to work its magic. The spinning glass keeps dust and debris off the film plane and also results in a sharper and cleaner picture. Unlike the vibrating glass in the Extreme, the Ultimate does not show any “wax paper” pattern ever! I tried everything and the only way I could see the ground glass in the Ultimate was to simply turn it off. Even when I stopped way down, closing the aperture on the film lens to a pin hole, my depth of field was deep and no patter appeared. I cannot do that with the Extreme.
This video was shot because the opportunity simply presented itself. I was going for a bike ride along the power lines and whilst at the parking lot getting ready, I heard a strange sound. I looked through the chain link fence behind my car and saw hundreds of frogs in a little swamp jumping on top of each other. The were expanding their necks and “screaming” their mating calls. I got back in the car, drove a few minutes to my house and got my camera.
When I returned, the frogs were not as active, but there were still plenty of them to shoot. They got use to my camera after a few minutes and some swam right to me. Most of them were on their own, making quite a bit of noise. I used the Zoom H4 solid state stereo recorder to get all the wild sound and I also used the great bit of gear for my voice over.
I shot this short with the Sony PMW-EX1, Letus Ultimate, Vinten Vision 3 tripod system, and Nikon manual 35mm film lenses.
I used three lenses: Nikon 200mm f4 tele, 105mm f4 macro, and the 16mm f2.8 fisheye.
I color graded in post with my own secret brew using Magic Bullet Looks. I also used Twixtor to slow down some of the frog footage to 26-55 percent. The ripples in the water look great when processed with the Twixtor 4.5 plug-in.
I shot most of this film in 720 30p in over crank mode (60 frames per second). A few of the shots were shot at 30p.
Look for my cameo in the reflection of the frog at the end of the film. I was about six inches from him with my face in the mud!
UPDATE: I got a few emails about this video and wanted to thank Dale Allen for pointing out the fact that these are “Eastern American Toads”. Whilst I was editing, I looked them up in a New England field guide, but was not completely sure. I had always thought that toads did not go into the water! It looks like they do when they breed. Here is more info at Wikipedia.
TRT: 2 minutes 19 seconds
Size: 49.6 MB
Type: Quicktime mpeg4 720p HDTV