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”→
Everyone should be familiar with the price of equipment sporting a small red dot. In this particular case, the red dot is pretty large. A venerable cream of the telephoto crop, this set consists of a Leica APO-Summicron-R 180mm f/2.0, a Leica APO Telyt-R 280mm f/2.8 and finally a massive Leica APO-Telyt-R 400mm f/2.8. The set is currently owned by Samy’s Camera – but not for long as it’s being sold for $100,000.00. This is no ordinary set of rare Leica telephoto primes. Custom modified with PL mounts and integrated focus and iris gears by Duclos Lenses, this is a one-of-a-kind set making the rare even rarer.
About two years ago I was paid a visit by some fellow named Samy who claimed he was from Samy’s Camera. It took me a few seconds to realize he wasn’t just some guy from Samy’s… He was Samy’s. Samy proceeded to explain what he wanted done to these lenses, at which point I gave some examples of what something like this costs and the down-time associated with custom modifications. You see, performing this type of work isn’t something that we here at Duclos Lenses do for just any lens. There are several prerequisites for this type of work that we stick to pretty closely which usually discourage customers from advancing with bespoke engineering. The most important condition is quality. We don’t design or engineer anything that we aren’t confident putting our name on, abel to admire once completed and say “damn… that’s marvelous”. The second most important factor is the cost. I understand that there are some individuals out there that simply don’t care about the cost, and want, need, must have something despite the fee. This entire process requires a balance of these two primary factors (quality/cost) which I felt Samy understood and shared in our enthusiasm. As a result of our unrelenting crusade for precision and quality, custom conversions go through many stages within Duclos Lenses beginning with conception and going on to design, engineering, prototyping, manufacturing, and finishing.
Over the next few months we penned, plotted, rendered, caffeinated, and repeated many times over. The final result was a set of three Leica telephoto primes with stainless steel PL mounts, integrated focus and iris gears, and industry standard supports, ready to deliver to Samy. As far as I know, at the time, Samy had no plans to offer these lenses to anyone because of their rarity but I’m glad to see that they are for sale and possibly going on to shoot stunning images. I hope that whoever ends up purchasing these lenses lets me know so that I can keep an eye on them over time. It’s this desire to follow bespoke projects throughout their life, that I feel makes the work that I’m involved with special. If you’re interested in purchasing this set, check with your accountant/wife and then head on over to the eBay listing.