The Missing Milvus Link: 35mm f/1.4

Zeiss launched their Milvus line back in September of 2015 and has continued to add focal lengths over the past two years including the still-new 15mm, 18mm, and 135mm. Originally, the Milvus line was Zeiss’ answer to the long-in-the-tooth Classic line of primes which desperately needed an optical design overhaul. The initial line of Milvus primes included a brand new, fast 50mm and 85mm, but lacked a fan favorite; 35mm f/1.4. Until now… Continue reading The Missing Milvus Link: 35mm f/1.4

Leica Refocuses With M 0.8 Primes

Leica is known world-wide for their classic line of M lenses that have been a favorite of photographers for decades. With the worlds of still photography and motion picture becoming less and less defined as time goes on, it’s not uncommon to see a still photo lens being used for motion picture work. Leica took note of this with their extensive catalog of high quality M mount primes and decided to do a bit of blending themselves.  Continue reading Leica Refocuses With M 0.8 Primes

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?

Happy Birthday, Zeiss!

 


Whaaat? I’ve been working with Zeiss for many, many years and I’ve never seen them do such a great deal. They’re offering up to $300 off per lens! On top of that, Duclos is cutting $100 off each Cine-Mod – another unheard of offer. If you ever considered snagging a set of ZF.2 or ZE primes or have some but want to fill out a set, now is the time. Take a look at the price reductions here. Read more from Duclos Lenses: Continue reading Happy Birthday, Zeiss!

Planet5D Takes a Closer Look at Voigtlander Noktons

NoktonSet_1024x1024Micro 4/3 shooters are a great bunch. They realize the value of a lightweight, portable rig while still demanding 4K recording with image quality that rivals much more expensive rigs. The list of viable Micro 4/3 cinema cameras continues to grow and show son sign of slowing down. One of the only drawbacks to shooting Micro 4/3 has been the crop factor when compared to Super 35 format. Micro 4/3 requires wider lenses to achieve a field of view similar to that of a Super 35 format sensor, therefor increasing the depth of field of a given shot. For example, if you wanted to shoot a scene with a 50mm lens on Super 35 format, but with Micro 4/3, you would need to jump to a 25mm lens. This wider focal length is going to increase your depth of field and give you less bokeh. Most shooters struggle to compensate for this by using faster lenses. Continue reading Planet5D Takes a Closer Look at Voigtlander Noktons

New 10.5mm Nokton from Voigtlander Sure to Please Micro 4/3 Shooters

IMG_7331-0.PNGPhotokina is underway so naturally there are a ton of lens related announcements. There’s some camera news too, but who cares… Cameras are outdated dated within a few months these days anyway. One of the most interesting announcements which I’ve been waiting weeks to discuss is the new 10.5mm from Voigtlander. Not only is this a nice wide focal length, it comes in at an impressive f/0.95. That’s fast for such a wide angle lens.

Continue reading New 10.5mm Nokton from Voigtlander Sure to Please Micro 4/3 Shooters

Are Rokinon Primes Right For You?

lineupRokinon 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?

It’s Coming! The New Zeiss 55mm f/1.4… Otus?

Otus_ZFZeiss has officially released all of the details around their elite new line of lenses which they are calling Otus. Otus? That’s almost as weird as Touit. But with the kind of specs and image quality Zeiss has been touting with this new line of lenses, I don’t care what they call it. The 55mm f/1.4 is the first prime lens to be released this coming November and if Zeiss can stick to the extremely high manufacturing tolerances and quality required for such a lens, I think everyone will want one of these in their kit.

It’s going to be available in the ZF.2 (Nikon F) and ZE (Canon EF) mount just like the former ZF.2/ZE lenses. Again, the ZE version will not have a manual aperture ring but the ZF.2 version will. Duclos Lenses will be offering the full Cine-Mod and possibly the same great Leitax Canon EF mount for the ZF.2 version so that you can have the beautiful de-clicked aperture ring on your Canon EF mount camera. It makes perfect sense that Zeiss started with the 55mm focal length as it’s considered the “normal” field of view for 35mm full frame cameras (and if we’re being honest, the 50mm f/1.4 ZF.2/ZE is the weakest link in the older model line-up and deserves the refresh the most).

If you haven’t heard about why the new Otus line of lenses is so desirable, you should check out the post here. Zeiss is really talking up the superb image quality of these new lenses which are setting my expectations very high with quotes like:

…the new ZEISS Otus 1.4/55 offers ambitious photographers who do not accept any compromises in image quality…

Our goal was to bring the best standard lens for SLR cameras onto the market. The Otus 1.4/55 delivers outstanding sharpness and contrast rendition all the way into the corners of the image.

If you’re already aware of this amazing lens, Duclos Lenses is accepting Pre-Orders which should be available November 2013. As soon as these beauties begin rolling in, I assure you I’ll be taking one out for some stress testing. Exciting.

Duclos Zeiss ZF.2 Speed Prime Set Now Available

Zeiss CP.2 Super Speeds a bit out of your price range or simply too bulky for your run-n-gun style of shooting? Get the same results in a lighter, smaller, and more affordable package with the Zeiss ZF.2 Speed Prime Set by Duclos Lenses. Continue reading Duclos Zeiss ZF.2 Speed Prime Set Now Available

Under Construction: The New Lens Lab

As many of you know, several months ago our facility was broken into, setting us back in orders with our 11-16mm lens and leaving us violated and insulted. Since then, we’ve been planning, researching, and  pursuing a facility more suitable for our needs. If you had visited our old shop in Canoga Park, it was just that… A shop in an industrial park. Our new facility which I have endearingly titled The Lens Lab, is far more appropriate for our ever growing company. This will allow Duclos Lenses to accept more service work as well as technicians to increase turn around time and speed up production of our 11-16mm lens and future products. With dedicated test and tech areas such as dual independent test projectors and optical calibration benches, Duclos Lenses has never been better equipped to repair and maintain the motion picture industries most valuable optics. Located in Chatsworth, CA, The new Lens Lab should house Duclos Lenses for decades to come. Don’t forget to update your phonebook with our new address and phone number. Contact us today to have your lenses serviced in the all-new Lens Lab.

Duclos Lenses – 20222 Bahama St. Chatsworth CA, 91311 –  Tel (818) 773-0600  –  Fax(818) 773-0601

As most of the building is still being put together, I snapped a photo of the dual projector rooms being built for versatility as well as consistency.

Still Lens Mount Swapping

The DSLR Revolution is in full swing at the moment and everyone is scrambling to get the glass they love on the camera they are stuck with. It doesn’t sound too difficult to simply change a piece of metal, but there are a lot of things to consider when attempting to change a mount. After-all, lenses are a precision tool, naturally. Lens and camera manufacturers all have their own mount system which specifies a flange depth, the distance from the mount flange to the film/sensor plane. When this number is accurate, the image that the lens produces falls on the sensor in perfect focus. Move it forward or backward by the smallest amount (.0005″) and your collimation will be completely off, throwing out your focus marks and destroying the accuracy of a lens, especially a zoom lens. All of the different SLR camera manufacturers had a similar theory and design, but just slightly different numbers for the flange depth. Wouldn’t it be great if they all agreed on a standardized mount that would allow any lens to be used on any camera? Yeah, it would be great. But that’s not how it works.

Another angle of the Leica-R 35mm f/1.4 Summilux with Leitax Eos mount installed.

Continue reading Still Lens Mount Swapping

Zeiss CP.2 vs. ZF.2

Zeiss released their CP.2 (Compact Primes) cinema lenses about a year ago, not long after they dropped their original Compact Primes on the market. There has been a lot of debate about the value of the Compact Primes. With an influx of new primes with a range of price tags, there is no shortage of choices for the budding cinematographer or even the veteran looking to invest in some glass. At $3,900 a piece, or a set of five lenses just shy of $20k, the Compact Primes are some of the cheapest options out there for what I would consider professional cinema lenses. However, a lot of cinematographers are opting for the ultra budget conscious still photo lenses with Cine-Mods to bring them up to cinema spec. But what makes the Compact Primes so much more expensive than, say, a Zeiss ZF.2? After all, they are in fact the exact same glass but in a different housing, right? Sort of… There are quite a few features that really separate the two lenses no matter how similar their heritage is. The ZF.2s are Zeiss’ latest all manual still photo lenses. They just happen to make very pretty images when mounted to a motion picture camera as well as a still photo camera. The Compact Primes take it a step beyond pretty images and provide a professional set of features that can be very valuable to a cinematographer and his/her crew. I’ll start with the optics. Zeiss says that the CP.2 lenses use hand-picked elements that really increase the consistency and accuracy of the lenses. I can’t attest to this as I haven’t seen any difference in the glass or the test results produced by the Compact Primes, but it looks good on a brochure.

It may not be obvious, but these two 85mm primes are share the exact same optical design.

Continue reading Zeiss CP.2 vs. ZF.2

Leica-R Cine-Mod

A few quick picks from my bench of a Leica 60mm Macro lens being Cine-Modded. I’m sure you’ve all read countless posts about the Duclos Lenses Cine-Mod, but I use find the applications so interesting. People are finding the coolest old glass to use for cinema work and it just intrigues me so much. Have I mentioned that I love my job?  –  This specific lens received the works: An 80mm front ring, 32-pitch focus gear, damped/de-clicked aperture ring, and a fixed Eos mount. This little beauty will work great on just about an Eos mount camera including a RED Epic. Would love to see those results. Here are a few more pics.

Leica-R 60mm f/2.8 Elmarit Macro with focus gear and 80mm front ring.
A little look inside the rear focus assembly. A good amount of threads for extended macro travel.

Zeiss 85mm Plays Nice With Sony FS100

A perfect example of the versatility of the Zeiss ZF.2 series. This 85mm f1/.4 comes in a Nikon mount from the factory. With a few upgrades and modifications, it’s perfectly suited for motion picture use. I performed the standard three part Cine-Mod which includes an 80mm front ring (77mm filter thread), 32-pich (0.8 module) seamless focus gear, and of course the de-clicked, dampened aperture ring. In addition to the standard Cine-Mod, I also added one of our semi-permanent Canon Eos mounts. This mount conversion physically attaches to the body of the lens and essentially takes the place of the original Nikon mount, effectively making the Zeiss ZF.2 a native Canon Eos mount lens. An excellent mount modification for use on a 5D or 7D. I just happened to have received a Canon Eos mount for my FS100 that I thought I would try out with this lens and it worked great. There is a little bit of play between the mounts, but no more motion than I would expect from a Canon lens attached to a Canon camera. The focus and aperture movement on this lens are like soft butter, creamy smooth. With a Super 35mm sized sensor on the FS100, the bokeh from this f/1.4 85mm is simply dreamy. I love it! I’ll be shooting some test footage in the near future with a few different lens makes and models. I just need to find an interesting topic and create some decent content. I’m tired of test charts… 😉