With the ever growing popularity of new and vintage photography SLR lenses being used for cinematic projects, the Cine-Mod®, popularized by Duclos Lenses back in the turn of the millennium, has become increasingly attractive to DIY users. Duclos Lenses recognized this trend and decided to bring a new product to market – Individual Grease Packs that can be used on an as-needed basis, at a fraction of the cost of more expensive German or Japanese greases. Designated: Dratsum 35, the new lubricant is the perfect material to give your project that cinematic feel it was missing. Continue reading Individual Grease Packs for DIY Iris De-Clicking
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
Duclos Lenses hosted another Duclos Lens Lab at RED Studios Hollywood several weeks ago. This time we focused on Zeiss’ new CP.3 line and the workflow associated with the eXtended Data features, exclusive to the CP.3 XD primes. Continue reading Duclos Lens Lab: Zeiss CP.3 eXtended Data Workflow Recap
A popular topic of discussion these days is whether or not certain lenses are worth their huge price tags. Moreover is there a justified correlation between a lens’ price and how “good” it is. It’s an apt time to continue this conversation since there are more lenses to choose from than ever. Also, there are some seriously high-performing cine lenses at price points that are within reach of so many filmmakers. The number of “affordable,” full frame, super speed, cinema lenses alone is incredible (Canon CN-E, Sigma Cine, Tokina Vista, Zeiss CP.2, Rokinon XEEN). It’s an exciting time to be a DP. It can also be an overwhelming time to be a DP especially if you are an aspiring cinematographer who is just scratching the surface of all the lens options out there. Continue reading How do we decide the value of a lens?
Let’s sort this out… Ever since an article went live over at www.newsshooter.com I’ve had an email or a phone call almost once a day asking me if the new Sigma Cine Zooms were parfocal. Or as many of the calls/emails referred to it: “parafocal, paranormal, parafocusing, paralegal”, etc. etc. It’s parfocal (par·fo·cal), okay?! It seems like the entire industry suddenly became hyper aware of this term which has been around for a very long time and overnight, everyone’s a lens expert. Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page… Continue reading Are Sigma’s Cine Zooms Parfocal?
One of the most frequent questions we receive at Duclos Lenses from all over the world is in regards to the different versions of the Zeiss Super Speeds. Sticking to just the 35mm format (not 16mm format) version of Zeiss’ high speed primes, we’ll discuss some of the basic differences in an attempt to clarify some common misconceptions around the heritage of illustrious prime lenses. Continue reading What’s in a Name? A Guide to Zeiss Super Speeds
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?
Arri published a new video to their YouTube channel in which Zeiss Service Trainer & Technician goes through the step-by-step process of removing the factory front and rear element and replacing them with the new uncoated flare set. The purpose of the flare set is just that, to increase the flares and imperfections, or “character” of the Arri Master Anamorphics. Continue reading Arri Shows You How To Install Their Flare Set For Master Anamorphics
Canon produced a short video that does a really good job of explaining what constitutes a 4K lens and reminds us of how much technology goes into the glass coming out of Canon. It really does drive home the need for high resolution lenses for todays demanding sensors. Check it out below and let me know what you think. What’s more important to you, sharpness or character? Continue reading Canon Video Explains 4K Lenses
In a recent newsletter, P+S Technik Managaing Director, Alfred Piffl, felt it prudent to bestow a bit of knowledge upon cinematographers keen on having some vintage lenses re-housed – something that I feel is necessary coming from one of the largest lens re-housing operations. There’s no doubt about it; vintage lenses have made a huge resurgence in the motion picture world. It’s not a fad that I have a solid explanation for. Perhaps it’s the fault of modern cameras being so crisp and sharp, a rather clinical look in a world of romance and beauty. Or maybe it’s just the hipster trend to use an old lens that would otherwise be off limits. Regardless of the reason, vintage lenses are being refurbished and re-housed in large numbers. But users expectations must be brought back down to earth and kept reasonable. Continue reading P+S Technik Conveys Challenges of Rehousing Vintage Lenses
Testing the image circle of a lens is rather simple with a test projector but it can be somewhat subjective. There isn’t always a clearly defined hard end to an image when evaluating for coverage. Sometimes a little bit of light falloff is acceptable. A natural vignette can be pleasing but it can also blend into the limit of a lens’ image and make determining maximum coverage rather difficult. I’ve spent years compiling a list of image circles based on my own subjective opinion which was met with great thanks by most – but there has always been the inevitable email or phone call from a disgruntled cinematographer who was disappointed to find that a lens clipped a fraction of a millimeter into the frame of their image despite my records. There are variables, of course, in any analog assessment such as this. Because of this, Duclos Lenses has developed a tool that records the image circle of any lens, saving a reference image for individuals such as yourself to determine to what degree the light falloff is acceptable. Continue reading ICE BOX – Image Circle Evaluation from Duclos Lenses
Rokinon just released their new Cine-DS line of cinema prime lenses with color matched optics and uniform focus and iris gears – but what’s the difference between these new lenses and the older lenses in the lineup and which ones will work well for you? Wether you’re just getting into cinematography or you’re tired of wrestling with your L Series or or crummy kit lens, there’s a better solution available. In this post we’ll take a look at the new DS line of lenses from Rokinon and how they’ll work with a range of different cameras. Continue reading Are Rokinon Primes Right For You?
Zeiss recently released a technical article written by Dr. Vladan Blahnik. The article explores the history of Zeiss lenses and what drove them to design and manufacture more accurate, high speed lenses including the now famous f/0.7 50mm prime used by Stanley Kurbick to shoot Barry Lyndon. The article continues on to discuss the physics of a lens aperture and it’s relation to optics with a wealth of formulas and illustrations. If you’re a huge lens nut and have a spare 15 or 20 minutes, give this tech article a read and appreciate the knowledge and pursuit for optical performance that is Carl Zeiss.
Read the complete article here.
Duclos Lenses has spent a few years designing and refining their very own Autocollimator Bench for measuring and adjusting back focus of precision cinema optics. Here’s a bit from their press release. Continue reading The New Duclos Autocollimator Bench
Here at Duclos Lenses we’ve devised this somewhat satirical guide for buying new cinema lens. Take a gander and see what lens you come up with. Post your results in the comments and five winners will be chosen at random at the end of the week to receive some cool lens geek swag including shirts, hats, cleaning kits, etc.
This guide is all in good fun, but if you really do want some professional advice, contact Duclos Lenses.