35mm Lens Adapter Shootout – Cinevate Brevis vs Redrock M2

Two popular 35mm lens adapters go mano-a-mano

35mm camcorder lens adapters are a strange breed. Part science, part art, they allow a shooter to utilize SLR still image and high-end 35mm cinema lenses on a video camera. DVXuser has an active DIY community that continually churns out home-built adapters, and a few of the more successful creations have launched companies. One of the reasons the DIY community is so active in this genre is price…commercially available adapter kits tend to be priced just north of $1000, and then you have to go lens shopping. But I personally believe that a major reason for the custom DIY creations is the “art” aspect. Each design offers unique tradeoffs, each has it’s own image signature. But I digress…

So, while PS+Technik was the company that brought the first commercial 35mm lens adapter to market, Redrock Micro is probably the most recognizable name in that genre. They have a very popular and successful product in the M2 adapter. Another company that has been making waves of late is Cinevate. The Cinevate Brevis adapter has been under a lot of active development for quite some time now, and they have recently launched several new improvements and accessories for the unit.

Thankfully, the guys over at Gear-Brain took both adapters for a ride on the Panasonic HVX-200, and you can take a gander at the comparative results for yourself (if you are so inclined). Initially, the tests seem to confirm that the Brevis has edge over the M2 on low-light performance (fairly significant loss of light is one of the tradeoffs of all 35mm adapter designs). But the article has a pretty extensive list of pros and cons for both products, and in the end it’s clear that each design offers unique features and unique tradeoffs. Suprise, suprise. There is no magic bullet. So if you are in the market, take a look at Gear-Brain’s comparison and pick your bullet of choice.

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Matt Jeppsen is a DoP based in Sydney. Reel and contact info at www.mattjeppsen.com