Here’s something a bit different from everyone’s favorite German lens manufacturer – Leica’s new Thalia prime lenses which tout a massive 60mm image circle. More than enough to cover any current digital cinema sensors. The new Thalia line takes aim at cinematographers looking for a more character-rich image.
The line will be launched with a 24, 30, 35, 45, 55, 70, 100, 120, and 180mm prime lens. The maximum aperture ranges from a T2.2 down to a T3.6 in the wide and tele primes. Equipped with an industry standard stainless steel PL mount, 95mm front diameter (92mm filter threads) 270° focus rotation and a absolutely beautiful 15 bladed iris, the Thalia primes focus more on romantic image rendition instead of the razor sharp accuracy of their Summilux-C cousins. The tasteful throw-back will still be accompanied by the superb build quality that Leica and CW Sonderoptic have become known for with a few modern tricks up their sleeve such as the Cooke /i Technology and uniform focus and iris gear position.
Coverage will not be an issue with any current digital cinema sensor thanks to a very generous 60mm image circle, enough to dwarf even RED’s 8K Vista Vision sensor and even work comfortably on the Alexa 65, Open Gate. While the glass is indeed inherited from the Leica S Medium Format System (except for the 55mm which is brand new optical design), it’s reputation is nothing short of stellar and will be a welcome addition to the minimal options for Vista Vision and larger format digital cameras.
“The look of these lenses answers what we have heard from many cinematographers, and not just in regards to image circle,” said managing director Gerhard Baier.
“While they are new lenses, they do offer many of the characteristics that have encouraged cinematographers to pair older lenses with digital sensors. They are clear without being overly sharp. Focus is smooth and forgiving without appearing soft. Skin tones are natural and smooth with an accurate color rendition.”
We’re looking forward to many a great projects shot with these new Thalia lenses and you can bet we’ll be doing some thorough testing and comparisons here at the shop once production models begin shipping. Naturally, Leica will be displaying the new Thalia primes at their booth (C4345) during NAB next month.