ROI Reviews: Redrock Micro M2 Encore
A CINEMA LENS ADAPTER YOU WON’T LOSE LIGHT OVER
Watch Scott’s footage from the M2 Encore shoot here.
When Redrock announced major revisions to its already amazing M2 35mm adapter I was a bit skeptical. I had just upgraded to the new version of the CineScreen, improving my light by a few stops, and had bought a microX flip unit (www.studiomonthly.com/10158.html). I thought, this better be good or I’m not going to waste my time with it.
At first glance, the M2 Encore, or M2e, system looks the same, but let me tell you this is not your old M2. The M2e is much meatier with features and is a dream to operate. First of all, you no longer have to move the CineScreen to adjust your back focus. This was one of my biggest pet peeves with the original M2. With the M2e you can accurately set back focus with a quick and easy adjustment — this alone is worth buying the unit.
The M2e also has an improved housing that is quieter than the M2 and a vastly improved battery that now lasts all day.
My first test with the M2e was on my kitchen table, using a Panasonic HPX 170 with an EOS 50mm f1.8 and six overhead 65-watt bulbs pre-installed in my kitchen. BAM — immediately I could see a crisp image with no additional light needed! I checked the onboard scope in the HPX170 and I was at 90 percent IRE, the image sharp and clean. I placed the bottle at three feet, measured three feet with a measuring tape and slightly adjusted the back focus with a focus chart to makes sure it was set.
Next I tested the M2e outside in my back yard. It had snowed that morning and I was hoping to capture the beauty of the fresh snow on the trees. The M2e allowed me to shoot at 4.0 on the HPX170 and f4 to 5.6 on the lens. I was able to get crisp images with decent depth of field. In the past I would have to go 2.8 or wider on the camera and open the lens, but the new M2e allowed me to have less than a spot of light loss. As a volunteer firefighter I have access to a fire station and headed there to test it with shots of fire trucks and other gear. The only light in the bay was natural light coming in from the windows and garage door. With the M2e, I could easily work without additional light or reflectors. I was able to keep the camera at f4 for most shots and the result was sharp shots with clean edges.
When I first got my microX I kept my M2 on my camera for a few months. Now that the new and improved M2e has virtually no light loss, I will leave it on permanently. The Panasonic HPX170 is rated at an ASA of 500 and with the M2e, it can still fulfill its potential.
You can tell that the crew at Redrock spent a lot of time on this and listened to their customers to help them improve an already amazing product. I highly recommend the M2e to anyone sitting on the fence; this is the adapter you have been waiting for.