I kidnapped the 70-200mm cine conversion lens from the office along with a 5DII and went about shooting random stuff throughout the evening. There isn’t really a story or subject, just arbitrary shots. The lens worked like a dream! Focus pulling was very precise and easy with the new focus barrel. The bokeh from this lens is just phenomenal. It’s a tad heavy with a baseplate, follow focus, mattebox, stainless steel rods, and a camera hanging off the back. But when I removed everything and just used the camera and lens, it was no different than a day of shooting stills with a Nikkor 70-200mm. Having the manual aperture ring wasn’t really a necessity for this type of shooting since light wasn’t changing drastically while rolling, but it made stopping down much, much easier than fiddling with more dials on the camera. I’m very happy with it so far. The only problem I’ve found is that with a tele-zoom you really have to have a stable tripod to avoid camera shake. Let me know what you think.
(p.s. I’m not a DP, I don’t claim to be… I’m a technical guy.)
I’ve been dropping little hints and grabbing quick iPhone pics of this bad boy. We’ve been working on it for a while now and were more than happy with it. First we were impressed by the exceptional image quality produced by this little Nikkor zoom. After the success of our 11-16mm re-house we searched for something else to tear apart. We thought about doing some mid-range zooms but that has already been done by Century and Cooke. I found a fairly large gap with the new emerging run-and-gun style shooters brought on by RED and now the DSLR revolution where there were no telephoto lenses that could be used easily with a steady-cam or any ‘lightweight’ setup. So we started looking for the best candidate. I evaluated many, many lenses including Canon, Nikon, Tamron, Sigma, and Tokina. There were a heap of really nice zooms even from the third party optics companies but none stood out as much as the Nikkor 70-200mm VRII, Nikon’s newest revision of their workhorse tele-zoom.
Continue reading Duclos 70-200mm Re-Housing.
Zeiss recently announced the addition of Nikon (official), Sony, and 4/3 mounts for their Compact Prime series. I expected this since it’s a simple mount and the interface was already interchangeable. I also expected new focal lengths which they announced just this morning. The adaptation of existing ZF/ZE 50mm f/2 macro and the 100mm f/2 macro. These are two of my favorite lenses in the series. The 50mm macro has far better image quality than the 50mm f/1,4 and focuses down to about 10 inches (1:2) but it does lose that little bit of speed over the 50mm f/1,4. Meh… And then there is the insane bokeh of the 100mm macro. With a close focus of 18 inches (1:2) the background is thrown so far out of focus, it’s gorgeous. I can’t wait to get my hands on this macro duo. Continue reading New Zeiss CP.2 Macro Duo
This will be the second year that the PhotoCine Expo is being held in L.A.. Duclos Lenses thought it would be a good opportunity to make it’s exhibiting debut. As the DSLR revolution has been gaining more and more steam it seems like an intelligent idea to display some of our products and services that interest said revolutionaries.
While Duclos Lenses’ primary field remains professional motion picture optics, the DSLR revolution can not be ignored. Anyone interested in going should do so. We will be raffling off goodies and showing some of our newest products including the prototype 70-200mm tele-cine lens. The expo is being held at the LA Film School in Hollywood on Sept. 25th and 26th (Saturday and Sunday) which is pretty soon… Hmm. I should really stop messing around on the interwebs and go make a banner for the booth. See you there!
Before you get too excited, a “universal mount” in the motion picture industry is not universal. The universal mount is what is used on lenses such as the Cooke 20-100mm or 25-250mm, and more recently on the Angenieux 24-290mm. It’s simply a sub-mount with a threaded rear that allows several different mounts to be attached, most commonly a PL or Panavision mount. These were fairly common on professional zoom lenses in the 80s, 90s, and 00s. Now, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could put a classic Cooke 25-250mm on a Canon 7D? Yes. Yes it would be awesome. Please observe the awesomeness:
Continue reading Universal Mount – Canon Eos, But Wait…
I recently gave a thumbs up to the Fotodiox Nikon – Eos adaptor as I found it to be the best combination of quality and price available. This mount allowed a lot of great Nikon glass to be used with Canon cameras with the exception of Nikons latest and greatest “G” series lenses. The G series lenses are Nikons latest effort to reduce the cost and complexity of their line up by stripping the lenses of their manual aperture control. The aperture is controlled by a small mechanical lever in the rear of the lens that interfaces with a similar small lever in a Nikon camera. Without the need for large, calibrated apart rings and fancy mechanisms for transfer a rotation, the cost to the consumer is (theoretically) lowered. Well thats great and all, but this left Nikon’s latest and greatest lenses, such as the 14-24, 24-70, and 70-200mm, at a loss since they required a Nikon camera body to operate the silly little aperture lever in the back of the lens.but now there are several work arounds for this. One of which is the new Fotodiox Nikon G – Eos mount adaptor. Basically the same construction as the current Nik-Eos adaptor, nut with a very small lever that interfaces with the lens as the camera would, but allows the operator to adjust the aperture. While this is a rather crude solution to a problem. While the lever only has travel of about 15mm, and there is no indication of F-stop, it works well enough. I found it rather difficult to obtain an accurate setting and repeat that setting. With a little bit of clever personal modification, it shouldn’t be difficult at all. So… If you have a great Nikon G lens that you love shooting with but want to use it on a 5D or 7D, then this is the mount you are looking for.
More photos after the jump > Continue reading Fotodiox Nikon G – Canon Eos mount adaptor.
CineGear was held at Paramount Pictures Studios this past weekend. Pale in comparison to NAB, but still more motion picture oriented. I had a chance to visit all the booths that I thought were important and talked to several key players in optics game. These rumors are just that… Rumors. Don’t take anything too seriously.
As I understand, Zeiss is considering a compact zoom lens pending the success of their Compact Primes. This could be nice considering Zeiss makes glass for Sony cameras. Particularly their 24-70mm f/2.8. Continue reading CineGear Expo ’09 Rumors
I was invited to the Los Angeles Harbor, for Ken Block’s newest viral video to try out a lens I’ve been working on. The day I went was a “pick-up” day with only a skeleton crew. About 15 people total shooting scenes that needed to be redone or added for one reason or another. Jay Schweitzer was there with his RED camera waiting to slap on a nice wide angle lens for some specific shots. Mayhem ensued as one would expect with Ken Block behind the wheel of a fully tuned Subaru WRX STi. Check out the video… Continue reading Ken Block’s Gymkhana Two Video