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
This one has been a long time coming and I couldn’t be happier to be breaking this news to all that have waited so patiently. For the past couple of years I would receive an email or phone call about twice a month asking if we had plans to convert the Sigma 18-35mm and/or 50-100mm to a cine lens. I would consistently, politely decline citing high cost or some other hurdle that made such a project unattractive to my organization which was generally met with the oh so annoying “Well, this other company in China does it for real cheap”. Good for them… But alas, we can finally admit to the real reason why Duclos Lenses has avoided such a project. Sigma has taken it upon themselves to carry out what so many have asked for over the past couple of years; Manufacture a high quality, fast, lightweight range of zooms and primes direct from their factory in Aizu, Japan. Let’s take a look into the future of Sigma Cine. Continue reading Sigma Steps Into The Spotlight With New Cine Zooms and Primes
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
We’ve had a good deal of success with our 11-16mm conversion. So much that there have been at least half a dozen copy-cats, including Tokina themselves. Let me be clear about this – I’m well aware that Tokina was the first and only organization to make the glass itself and there wouldn’t be any conversion without them – to which I’m very grateful and respectful. What you see here is in fact a 24 Karat Gold Duclos 11-16mm. You’re probably shaking your head thinking, why… why would you do that? Well… Continue reading Duclos Lenses Forges One-of-a-Kind 11-16mm
Duclos Lenses has developed a conversion process for the Canon Cinema Eos CN-E Primes that provides a high quality, stainless steel PL mount that allows the primes including the 14mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and 135mm to be used with any PL mount camera. Continue reading Canon CN-E PL Primes From Duclos Lenses
I get asked about shipping products to Australia quite often to which I usually have to respond based on the rules set fourth by a particular manufacturer. Most lens manufacturers have obligations to their dealers to provide a fair market price and service. This means that dealers are equally obligated to obey the rules set by such manufactures in order to respect fellow distributors. Obviously this doesn’t always happen – sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. Duclos Lenses always does their best to accommodate international customers but sometimes the rules set fourth by manufacturers are simply prohibitive. One alternative for most regional restrictions is to simply purchase your gear locally, supporting your regional market, and sending equipment to Duclos Lenses for modifications such as the Cine-Mod or the Multi-Mount. Continue reading Canon Compact Zoom Multi-Mount Down Under
Yes. But not really.
The PL mount is an excellent standard that Arri gave us several decades ago and has been the industry standard alternative to Panavision’s camera mount ever since. The PL (Positive Locking) mount is large enough to accommodate sizable rear elements and strong enough to support the largest of professional cinema lenses (with proper support of course). More and more cinema is moving over to Nikon F, Canon EF, and even the Micro 4/3 standard. So why is everyone trying to slam a PL mount on their grandfathers old set of Nikon AIS lenses? It’s simple. All three of the still photo mounts I mentioned have their limitations that can really disrupt a cinematographers flow. For example, Nikon, Canon, and M34 all have a locking pin that keeps the lens set in it’s place and you push the little button to release the pin. Most of those camera mounts have a very weak leaf spring that keeps a bit of pressure on the lens mount to stabilize the lens. Certainly not as much pressure as PL mount fully tightened. Still photo mounts usually have one position that the lens attaches to the camera in and that’s it. you can’t rotate the lens relative to the camera whereas PL mount, depending on the lens manufacturer, can have up to four mounting positions, each 90 degrees apart. Not a deal breaker but still just another reason PL is superior for cinema. I can go on all day about the benefits of PL mount over Canon or Nikon mounts but that wouldn’t help many people. Continue reading Canon EF to PL, Is It Possible?
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.
We’ve been building our 11-16mm lenses as quick as we can while still maintaining the highest quality standards we can. We’ve received great feedback from a lot of satisfied customers and look forward to continuing to fill orders. There are quite a few back-orders still but rest assured, we are working diligently to fill orders as quickly as possible. This particular photo is our Nikon-F mount model. We offer the lens in PL, Nikon-F, and Canon-EF. Such a versatile little beauty. 🙂
I have to start this post by clarifying that this is NOT our project 70-200mm conversion. We developed a simple PL mount conversion for the Nikkor 80-200mm, the grandfather of the 70-200mm, a few years ago and made a handful for specific clients like Tom Lowe. Before we discontinued the short run of 80-200mm PL conversion, we built a pair for our own rental inventory. The 80-200mm is strong optically but not quite as nice as the 70-200mm. Regardless, the 80-200mm was the go-to telephoto zoom for sports and nature photographers for quite a long time. With it’s relative light weight, all manual controls, and convenient zoom range, the 80-200mm was a great candidate for our regular Cine-Mod. A lot of people wanted them for their HDSLRs but the Nikon and Canon mount just didn’t cut it after a while. We decided to develop a simple PL mount conversion that allowed our lens to be used on RED Cameras, Arri Cameras, and just about any other PL mount camera. The lens covers a full 35mm frame which is more than enough for a new RED Epic frame, and maintains an f/2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range. This simple mount conversion that we developed for our 80-200mm doesn’t sport as many features as our upcoming 70-200mm cine-conversion. Unlike our comprehensive, in-depth 70-200mm project, the 80-200mm internals remain untouched. For lack of a better comparison, the 80-200mm is the ugly step-sister of the 70-200mm… She doesn’t look or feel as pretty, but she sure does get the job done, if you know what I mean. We now have two twin PL mount tele-zoom lenses. In fact, one of them inherited some of the designs we developed for the 70-200mm project and features an interchangeable mount so it can still be used on a Nikon F or Canon Eos mount camera. Pretty versatile. If you’re wondering were this leaves us in regards to the progress of the 70-200mm project, you’re not alone. We had a few setbacks recently and had to put it on hold. The project is still in the works, so keep an eye on the blog for updates. If you’re interested in renting the PL 80-200mm, contact Matthew for availability and details. If you’re looking for more details on our yet-to-be-released 70-200mm project, subscribe to the mailing list from Duclos Lenses and be one of the first to know about release date and cost.
The 11-16mm has been doing extremely well and received a lot of good reviews especially with the release of the RED Epic camera and it’s ability to cover the entire frame. There was a small slump where the lenses were constantly in stock and just sitting on the shelf. But now we can’t build them fast enough.
A little background on the lens and our conversion can be found here: Duclos Lenses PL Mount 11-16mm. We build our conversion lenses in batches of 25-50 at a time. The base lens is a bit difficult to find since it’s such a great photo lens, making it hard to find in stores and online. Once we have all of the stock lenses ready to go we begin tearing down the plastic housings and unwanted parts. The lens is essentially stripped down to the core mechanics and glass. Our local machine shops crank out all new aluminum and stainless steel parts for the housing and components of the new lens. All of the material, machining, assembly, and testing is done right in the San Fernando Valley. When we say Made in the USA, we mean it. Kinda… (The original Tokina lens is still made in Japan).
Now that this current batch is well into production the lenses should start shipping again. We learned from our mistakes and are producing a much larger quantity of parts for the conversion. So if you’re in line for a Duclos Lenses 11-16mm, know that we are building them as fast as we can and yours is on the way.
We have been considering several lenses for our next conversion process after the 70-200mm is complete. We started with the Tokina 11-16mm that did very well and thought it would be nice to stick with Tokina. However, Tokina didn’t have any other lenses that met our criteria. Certain specifications had to be met, such as constant, fast aperture, lightweight, internal focus and zoom, optical quality, and a somewhat decent platform to start with mechanically. When I heard about Tokina making a new 16-28mm f/2.8 lens I thought it would be a bit of a short range but still fit well. Then I saw the first photos of the lens and got really excited since it looked almost identical to the 11-16mm. In my head this meant that we could save a ton of time and money on research and development for the conversion parts and simply use the existing parts from our 11-16mm conversion. One step further, Tokina was planning to make this new lens a full frame “Pro” lens, perfect for the 5D. Continue reading Tokina’s 16-28mm Prospect