Red Pro Primes: Between the Lines

This project started at the Red User Party in 2010 when Mark Pederson from Off Hollywood and Ketch Rossi in all of his eccentric, awesome style. Ketch approached me about adding marks to his Red Pro Primes noting that there were a few key marks that were left out. I’m not sure why certain marks were included or excluded, but the focus scale is a non linear helix design. This means that the spacing of the focus distance marks is restricted to the mechanical travel of the helix threads. Duclos Lenses had modified focus scale in the past. Even going to the extent of fabricating and engraving an entirely new scale from scratch in some cases. But the RPP really only required a few added marks. I thought it would be nice to go over the process of adding marks so that you can see what exactly is being done

Making temporary marks in pencil for the engraver to reference.

Ketch sent me his RPP 18mm through 100mm. First thing required is to ensure all of the existing marks are accurate and the flange depth or back focus is set properly. From this point we put each lens on the projector and determine which distances can be added with the given space. The distance is measured accurately then the lens is focused critically. The position the scale is at is where the witness is temporarily pencil marked. This gives our engraver the location for the mark.

Another shot of the lens on the projector being marked with specific notes.
The final product with new engravings, all clean.

Once the lens markings are all in place the scale is removed and sent off to be engraved. When the scale comes back the lens is partially assembled in order to calibrate infinity focus and re-attach the scale in the appropriate position. After the scale is positioned the rest of the lens is put back together and everything is secured. After the lens is re-assembled entirely all of the glass and exterior surfaces are cleaned and the lens is as good as new.

Published by

Matthew Duclos

A connoisseur of fine motion picture lenses, Matthew has spent over half his life servicing, refining, selling, manufacturing, and collecting cinema lenses from around the world. Chief Operating Officer of Duclos Lenses and Founder of TheCineLens.com, Matthew has been contributing to the motion picture industry for over 15 years, and to this site for over 5 years.

2 thoughts on “Red Pro Primes: Between the Lines”

  1. Hi Matt!

    So, it’s been a year since you published this article… hope you had lots of orders 🙂
    as soon as I buy a RPP set it will go through your process first, would you do a metric scale for me? 🙂 One thing, it seems that the focus line should go all the way down to where the focus marks are so it would be clear when they line up even when looking at an odd angle while pulling focus. What do you think?
    How much does it cost to get this do-over?

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