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”→
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!”→
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”→
Canon announced their CN-E Primes back in 2011 with only a 24, 50, and 85mm. They quickly added the 14, 35, and 135mm to the line-up providing cinematographers an set of six lenses from 14 through 135mm. The lenses are plenty sharp and built rather well. Duclos Lenses saw the potential of these primes and took action. In this post, we’re going to dive into what makes the Canon CN-E Primes such great lenses and why Duclos Lenses chose these particular lenses for modification to PL mount. Continue reading “Canon CN-E Primes – An In-Depth Look”→
Micro 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”→
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”→
Photokina 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.
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?”→
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.
If you haven’t already, you should grab a copy of P3 Update. After you do that, check out a neat article by James Thompson, that explores what choosing a lens means these days and why shooters make the decisions they do. With feedback from industry professionals such as Richard Crudo, ASC, Steven Poster, ASC, and Jon Nelson, it’s a nice article that I feel taps into the direction that the motion picture lens industry is going in that you need to find what works best for you and the only way to do that is experience.
Take anyone of these lenses from any manufacturer, off any shelf in any rental house in the world, and I guarantee it will deliver an amazing image,” says Cinematographer Richard Crudo, ASC (“Justified”). “But, what does that tell us? Is it the right feel? Is it the right texture? Is it the right thing for what you are trying to do? And, that you only know when you have a script in hand and a director to talk about it with.” That chat with a director will also cover the subject of resolution. “We’re already at 4K resolution, which is more than the human eye can handle,” explains Crudo. “The only thing that really changes is apparent contrast at that point. [Manufacturers] should be worrying more and putting all their R&D into bit depth and color space [and] black level. That is where we really need to work, capturing highlights [and] the high-end of the spectrum.
Fujinon started a trend when they took their professional mid-range cinema zooms and slapped on a servo unit borrowed from their Broadcast Division. The result was the very successful 19-90mm Cabrio zoom, followed shortly by the 85-300mm Cabrio and just recently the 14-35mm Cabrio. During NAB 2014, or as I call it, Spring Christmas, Angenieux, Canon, and Zeiss all announced lenses with servo units in various practical applications. Credit where credit is due, Fujinon started it… Continue reading “2014, Year of the Servo Lenses”→
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”→