The Ultimate Anamorphic Lens Test

Yep. We did it again. Last year the folks at ShareGrid, Old Fast Glass, a brilliant, talented crew, and myself came together to test a wide variety of vintage lenses to give the cinematography world a sort of sampling, flight, if you will, of the various vintage lenses and what sort of characteristics you can expect with when using them. It’s been shared thousands of times and utilized in who knows how many pre-production meetings to determine the visual aesthetics as it pertains to lenses for a specific project.

So what’s next… ANAMORPHIC! The subject that baffles so many with a shroud of mystery. Optics designed to provide a wider field of view when bound by a specific format, fashioned by unsung geniuses from around the world – some a shining beacon of optical engineering superiority, and others a trophy of intentional flaw for the sake of introducing artifacts and characteristics that, to the average viewer, carries a subconscious nostalgia, lending honesty and legitimacy. But most importantly… They’re beautiful! Continue reading The Ultimate Anamorphic Lens Test

Leica R Primes Done Right by Cinescope and TLS.

Since the DSLR Revolution the Leica R primes have been the pinnacle of quality hybrid photo-cine prime lenses. Duclos Lenses has applied their Cine-Mod® to thousands of Leica R primes which brought a seamless focus gear, smooth  click-less aperture, common 80mm front rings and Canon EF mount. But we had never tackled the PL mount solution. There were a couple of Chinese modifications that brought PL mounts and larger, heavier housings to the R series. But it wasn’t until Cinescope teamed up with TLS in the UK to bring a proper, robust cine-style housing to the Leica R primes.  Continue reading Leica R Primes Done Right by Cinescope and TLS.

A Closer Look at Rokinon’s New ‘Special Performance’ Line of Primes

I know… Another Rokinon post. What can I say? They’re in high gear and don’t show any signs of slowing down anytime soon. Samyang, the magicians behind the Rokinon line of photo and cinema lenses have another new line of primes. Several months ago they announced their native E-mount auto-focus lenses which I completely ignored since they don’t really interest me (google it if auto-focus E-mount primes interest you), but Rokinon has just begun shipping two primes in a new line they’re calling “Speical Performance” or “SP” for short. Currently, these two lenses consist of a 14mm f/2.4 and an 85mm f/1.2. I spent a few weeks with the new 85mm so let’s give that a closer look Continue reading A Closer Look at Rokinon’s New ‘Special Performance’ Line of Primes

Leica Macro-Lux Line Expands with +0.5 and +2 Diopters

Leica announced the original +1 Macro-Lux Diopter last year and it has quickly become the go-to clamp-on diopter for a wide range of productions. If you didn’t catch the announcement at NAB 2016, I’ll recap for you really quickly… The Macro-Lux +1 is essentially a super high quality clamp-on diopter. If you’re not familiar with diopters, think of them as a very quick way to achieve closer focus than what’s normally possible. A +1 is a pretty standard magnification which is why Leica released this one first. Now you can achieve even greater artistic goals with the +0.5 and +2 Macro-Lux. Continue reading Leica Macro-Lux Line Expands with +0.5 and +2 Diopters

Tokina’s Gateway to Cinema: The 11-16mm

I’ve written about the Tokina 11-16mm many, many times. In fact, I was temporarily banned from REDUser years ago for backhandedly plugging the Duclos 11-16mm conversion – breaking the rules of the forum. I’ve since cleaned up my act (sort of). I speak often of the Duclos 11-16mm, and when I do, I always give credit to Tokina for making such a great product. I wanted to take a post here and acknowledge the original lens, it’s heritage, influence, and evolution over the past (nearly) decade.  Continue reading Tokina’s Gateway to Cinema: The 11-16mm

The Ultimate Vintage Lens Test

Over the course of two days, in a studio in Burbank, California, a band of self-proclaimed “lens geeks” set out to complete the ultimate vintage cinema lens test. The project first began as a collaboration between ShareGrid’s Brent Barbano, and Duclos Lenses’ own Matthew Duclos. Initially, Barbano and Duclos had been planning to complete a rather small-scale lens test with the industry’s most popular and widely used vintage lenses. However, upon approaching director and cinematographer Mark Lafleur to ask him to participate, they discovered that he too was getting ready to carry out his own vintage lens test. The two sides decided to join forces, and before long a whole team was assembled. With Lafleur and Barbano as Directors and Executive Producers, and Duclos as Lens Consultant, Kyle Stryker was brought on as Director of Photography. The team also came to include Camera Assistants Matthew Borek and Michelle Diaz, and Nick Ferriero as Editor. Continue reading The Ultimate Vintage Lens Test

Field Test – Duclos 2x Extender

For many years now I have used 1.4x and 2x extenders with my still lenses for both photography and video, and I am familiar with their advantages as well as their shortcomings.  Since PL mount lenses have really become my gear of choice lately, I was in the market for a good PL mount 2x extender. I am now the happy owner of the Duclos 2x Extender and I wanted to take a minute to share my first impressions of it. Continue reading Field Test – Duclos 2x Extender

Rokinon Reveals Two New Xeen Primes

Not even six months ago, Rokinon announced a new line of cinema prime lenses deemed Xeen. This new prime lens set consisted of a 24mm, 50mm, and 85mm – intended to compete with the likes of Zeiss, Schneider, and Canon in terms of tech specs, features, and image quality. But there was no competition when it came to price. The Xeen primes halved the price of any of the aforementioned brands with little to no compromise elsewhere. Rokinon has filled in the obvious gaps with a 35mm T1.5 and a 14mm T3.1. Continue reading Rokinon Reveals Two New Xeen Primes

Phil Holland Takes The Otus Trio Out For A Spin

Phil Holland, a friend and Zeiss Embassador, recently published an article on Zeiss’ cleverly titled blog – LENSPIRE. The post explores the conditions in which Phil finds himself needing the absolute best image quality possible, and how the Zeiss Otus primes allow him to achieve his vision. With an ever growing line up, 28mm f/1.4, 55mm f/1.4, and 85mm f/1.4, the Otus line continues to set the bar for photographers and cinematographers alike. Continue reading Phil Holland Takes The Otus Trio Out For A Spin

Rokinon, Cine, Cine DS, and Xeen – What’s The Difference?

As with many lens manufacturers, Rokinon tapped into a market they may or may not have anticipated and as a result, their product line evolved along with user demand. The same thing happened with Zeiss when they realized that we were modifying their ZF line of lenses for cinema use. Back at headquarters in Germany, a quick visit to the engineering department and, BAM! Compact Primes. So what’s the difference between the Rokinon Cine, Cine DS, and Xeen primes? Is one better than the other? Why the big price difference? Should I sell my Cine lenses and get the DS lenses? Let’s take a more in-depth look at the line and try to answer these questions. Continue reading Rokinon, Cine, Cine DS, and Xeen – What’s The Difference?

PL Macro Extension Tube from Duclos Lenses

Ext Tube

Duclos Lenses has released a new Macro Extension Tube for PL mount lenses. If you’ve never used an extension tube before, head on over to Cambridge in Colour and soak up some knowledge. Continue reading PL Macro Extension Tube from Duclos Lenses

Micro 4/3 Wide Angle Comparo

wide angle comparo

Here’s a quick one for ya.
Veydra just began shipping the 12mm Mini Prime which completes the full set. I’ve had some time to play with it and I have to say it’s impressive considering it’s wide angle nature and the fact that it’s coming out of China. Like I said in previous posts with the other Veydra Mini Primes, these are probably the only Chinese lenses that I enjoy using. But how does it stack up to a few other options? Continue reading Micro 4/3 Wide Angle Comparo

Quick Look: Canon 50-1000mm Close Focus Performance

In this post, we’re going to take a quick look at the Canon 50-1000mm Cine-Servo – a lens that some may consider impractical or unnecessary. I disagree! A few weeks back I had a client that was considering adding Canon’s new super zoom to his kit. He does a lot of wildlife and nature documentary work but didn’t think that 1,000mm was a reasonable range. If you asked me that same question six months ago I probably would have agreed. However, after some hands-on time with the lens here in the shop, I’ve definitely found the silver lining. Continue reading Quick Look: Canon 50-1000mm Close Focus Performance

Rokinon Takes Aim with New Xeen Cinema Prime Lenses

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Rokinon posted a not-so-subtle hint at their upcoming Xeen product line to their Facebook page earlier today. The photo shows a Xeen branded pirate ship blasting a Zeiss CP.2 and Canon CN-E out of the water. Not much mincing of words there. Continue reading Rokinon Takes Aim with New Xeen Cinema Prime Lenses

Leica 70-180mm Cinema Conversion from Duclos Lenses

Duclos-70-180mm

Back in 2009 we began shipping our Tokina 11-16mm cine conversion. We honestly had no idea it would be so successful. About a week after we initially started shipping our 11-16mm lens, customers began asking what our next project was. You see… We don’t just convert any lens. We look for something different – something unique. At the time we released our 11-16mm lens, there really wasn’t anything else in the same category. There were a few high-end options that were 6x – 8x the price of our lens or some vintage lenses that simply didn’t perform very well when compared to the 11-16mm. These days you can find the 11-16mm with cinema features from any number of companies including lens shops in Germany, China, and even from Tokina themselves. I can confidently say that our cinema conversion is still the best option out there by a large margin. So – the next project… Continue reading Leica 70-180mm Cinema Conversion from Duclos Lenses