Jag35ST: Initial Thoughts

By Jag35 User: Brice Beasley

I would like to start off by thanking Jehu, Misa, and everyone else that comprises the JAG35 team. I feel it is important to emphasize the level of support they offered me—as a potential customer, with an abundance of questions—during my decision making phase. Prior to this experience, I knew absolutely nothing about DOF adapters, let alone how to use them. Jehu, and his team, went above and beyond to help me decide exactly which setup would work best for me. Even now, post purchase, any question, or concern that comes up is quickly addressed. They made the whole process very easy. Thanks guys.

The adapter I finally decided upon was the 35 ST. It was the ST that made the most sense to me, as this is my first time using a DOF adapter, I wasn't too sure what to expect, so I figured I would start off with the entry-level adapter. I was really impressed with the ST demo footage I had seen on Jag35.com, particularly the images from the "Behind the Scenes on Phillips new GH1 Short." That, combined with ST's low price, the decision pretty much made itself. I purchased the adapter, along with a Canon FD 50mm F1.4 lens, straight off of Jag35.com, and eleven days later, I was attaching the ST to the front of my Canon HV40, and capturing footage. The first couple hours were spent fumbling around with every possible combination of on-camera settings, lens aperture settings, and lighting scenarios. After a few hours of being unsuccessful at capturing a desirable image, I realized that I was clearly doing something wrong. I say this, because I have read many online posts where people are getting frustrated with the results that they are getting from their DOF adapters, focusing and vignetting issues being at the forefront. I have to admit, at this point, I felt a bit of that frustration toward what I was seeing on my LCD, but I also knew what the adapter was capable of, so I sent Jehu an email. I described to him what I was doing, and what I was seeing through my camera. He replied right back with a few remedies, and shortly thereafter, I was achieving the exact results I was after. I did a lot of experimenting with the ST over the next few days. Shooting in a variety of settings, and conditions. I captured the mandatory "go outside and film the trees and bushes footage," as well as the "make people uncomfortable by getting in their face with your camera footage," all with very impressive results. The ST may be considered, by some, as the "entry level" adapter in the Jag35 line-up, but in terms of overall image quality, to me it is anything but. With the proper settings, and a little time spent experimenting, I have been able to capture some beautiful images.

Here are few things that I have found helpful while shooting with the ST:

  • Lighting is key, the more light you can cast on your subject, the better.
  • Make sure your lens is wide open, and compensate with the on-camera exposure settings if needed. After you get your exposure to a comfortable spot, lock the exposure.
  • Zooming in past the vignetting can take a bit of finessing. Make sure you have auto-focus on. Zoom in on the grain very slowly, the moment it goes out of focus, pull it back slightly until the auto-focus corrects itself. Once you have your focus sharp, switch to manual focus and you're done. (Be careful that you don't mistakingly roll the manual focus wheel while handling your camera though, otherwise you'll have a bit of correcting to do.)
  • Shooting in "spotlight" mode will help if you are getting a lot of in-camera gain in your shots, but it is certainly not the only mode to experiment with.
  • ALWAYS make sure your glass is clean. As you'll see in this footage, I made the mistake of not checking before I started shooting. The smallest speck of dust can ruin your shots.

Equipment and settings used:
  • Canon HV40
  • Jag35ST
  • Canon FD 50mm F1.4 lens,
  • Tripod
  • 30p
  • TV Mode: Shutter speed 60
  • Image Effect: Custom (color depth = +, brightness = 0, contrast = +, sharpness = +)
  • Post: iMovie contrast/brightness boost


Unknown said...

I think I might be sold - I had the same ideas about dipping my toes in and whether you'd need a wally load of other gear like a follow focus to make it viable - sure, there might be some rules you've gotta follow to make it work but the cost is low and footage is great. Well worth the risk.

Lee said...


Great post
I too have recently purchased a JAG35ST as my first DOF adapter. As mentioned in this post it is important to have your ground glass clean and as dust free as possible but I find myself scared to touch it for fear out damaging it as I've read so many times of how soft ground glass is. Can anybody please advise on how I should clean and remove dust from the glass.
Many thanks

jehu Garcia said...

Hi Lee Ground glass screens are pretty tuff actually, Canon focusing screens are the ones you cant touch, the ones on all jag adapters can be washed with water and soap if need be.

Lee said...

Thanks Jehu That's good to know.

Jorge Samson said...

yeah, the gg is pretty tough, but anyway I always dust it off with a basic lens cleaning kit (about 10 bucks) that has a lens cleaning cloth, nylon brush and alcohol sollution (the dustblowing brush is enough so far, unless you touch it and leave some fingerprints behind hehe, then you need the alcohol sollution)

JHUSTEN™ said...

I want to buy just off this post alone. I have to get the Canon HV40 first!

Anonymous said...

can you use this adapter with a panasonic tm-700?

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