Leica R Primes Done Right by Cinescope and TLS.

Since the DSLR Revolution the Leica R primes have been the pinnacle of quality hybrid photo-cine prime lenses. Duclos Lenses has applied their Cine-Mod¬ģ to thousands of Leica R primes which brought a seamless focus gear, smooth ¬†click-less aperture, common 80mm front rings and Canon EF mount. But we had never tackled the PL mount solution. There were a couple of Chinese modifications that brought PL mounts and larger, heavier housings to the R series. But it wasn’t until Cinescope teamed up with TLS in the UK to bring a proper, robust cine-style housing to the Leica R primes.¬† Continue reading Leica R Primes Done Right by Cinescope and TLS.

Leica Announces New Thalia Line Ahead of NAB

Here’s something a bit different from everyone’s favorite German lens manufacturer – Leica’s new Thalia prime lenses which tout a massive 60mm image circle. More than enough to cover any current digital cinema sensors. The new Thalia line takes aim at cinematographers looking for a more character-rich image.  Continue reading Leica Announces New Thalia Line Ahead of NAB

Leica Macro-Lux Line Expands with +0.5 and +2 Diopters

Leica announced the original +1 Macro-Lux Diopter last year and it has quickly become the go-to clamp-on diopter for a wide range of productions. If you didn’t catch the announcement at NAB 2016, I’ll recap for you really quickly… The Macro-Lux +1 is essentially a super high quality clamp-on diopter. If you’re not familiar with diopters, think of them as a very quick way to achieve closer focus than what’s normally possible. A +1 is a pretty standard magnification which is why Leica released this one first. Now you can achieve even greater artistic goals with the +0.5 and +2 Macro-Lux. Continue reading Leica Macro-Lux Line Expands with +0.5 and +2 Diopters

The Ultimate Vintage Lens Test

Over the course of two days, in a studio in Burbank, California, a band of self-proclaimed “lens geeks” set out to complete the ultimate vintage cinema lens test. The project first began as a collaboration between ShareGrid’s Brent Barbano, and Duclos Lenses’ own Matthew Duclos. Initially, Barbano and Duclos had been planning to complete a rather small-scale lens test with the industry’s most popular and widely used vintage lenses. However, upon approaching director and cinematographer Mark Lafleur to ask him to participate, they discovered that he too was getting ready to carry out his own vintage lens test. The two sides decided to join forces, and before long a whole team was assembled. With Lafleur and Barbano as Directors and Executive Producers, and Duclos as Lens Consultant, Kyle Stryker was brought on as Director of Photography. The team also came to include Camera Assistants Matthew Borek and Michelle Diaz, and Nick Ferriero as Editor. Continue reading The Ultimate Vintage Lens Test

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

Leica’s Summicron-C Line Grows with 15mm and 40mm

At this rate, we won’t have any products left to announce during NAB. CW Sonderoptic, Leica’s sister company that manufactures their cine lenses, has announced the addition of two new prime lenses that really round out and fill the gaps in the Summicron-C line of lenses. Taking up the wide end we’ll see a nice, fast, 15mm. And then, to prove that they’re really listening to their customers, the coveted 40mm is added right in the middle of the range. A favorite focal length of many cinematographers that gives just a tad more reach than a 35mm, but doesn’t quite punch in to the tight field you would get with a 50mm. Beautiful!¬† Continue reading Leica’s Summicron-C Line Grows with 15mm and 40mm

Leica 70-180mm Cinema Conversion from Duclos Lenses

Duclos-70-180mm

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

Duclos Lenses Adds Leica, CW Sonderoptic To Authorized Service Schedule

cwdlLeica, CW Sonderoptic have approved Duclos Lenses for complete factory authorized service of¬†the Summilux-C and Summicron-C cinema prime lenses.¬†To celebrate the cooperative milestone, Duclos Lenses¬†will be offering a free diagnostic check for any Leica cinema lens through the month of July. Bring your lenses in today for a free check up.¬†For additional information, call or email – (818) 773-0600, service@ducloslenses.com Continue reading Duclos Lenses Adds Leica, CW Sonderoptic To Authorized Service Schedule

$100k Gets You a Few Leica Primes

leica-set

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.

Leica 280
A view of the Leica 280mm f/2.0 PL mount and iris ring.

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.

Leica Cases
You can’t have such nice lenses and not provide appropriate protection. The set comes with custom foamed travel cases.

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.

Leica’s New T-Mount Lenses (and some new camera too)

Leica T LensesI don’t usually cover too much still photo lens news but let’s face it.. It’s all merging these days. Yes, I’ve devoted my entire professional life to cinema lenses. Yes, there’s a large difference in design, manufacturing, and application between photo in motion lenses. But I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t equally interested (and invested) in still photography. I believe a bit of background is due before we get to the news. I’ve shot with a good range of cameras just like most hipste… I mean, people… Everything from a 120 twin lens reflex camera, to Leica rangefinders, to my shiny new Fuji X system. At the moment, most of my personal lens investment is in the Fuji X System including Fujinon, Zeiss, and Rokinon lenses. Leica is a system that I’ve always loved but never had the means to dive into beyond a vintage M3 with 50mm ‘Cron. I used to feel that Leica had lost some of it’s magic in the recent past due to it’s partnership with Panasonic. But I’ve since come to learn that some organizations make better products than others and when you recognize the quality and efforts of a fellow manufacturer and are able to collaborate successfully, it can sometimes lead to magical new products that consumers would otherwise never had access to. On top of that, Leica has proven that they still have the magic touch when they unveiled their Summilux-C Primes – one of the most advanced, highest performing cinema prime lens systems one can wish for. That said, the new products announced by Leica today are a gesture to the rest of us that Leica is paying attention to what photographers want and injecting it with a bit of that Leica design and manufacturing that has set them apart from their competition time and time again.

T-Mount Lenses

Leica is launching the new system with two lenses; a 23mm f/2 prime and an 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom. As one would expect, the optics are very nice. The build quality is fine considering their compact, portable form factor – reminiscent of the older Leica R mixed with Panasonic Lumix / Leica lenses in a way. The new lenses which, needless to say, are designed for the new camera. When I say they are “designed” for the new camera, I don’t mean that they’re custom tailored to some unicorn sensor that benefits from a uniquely manufactured lens… All that really means is that these lenses are APS-C format. Leica designs and manufactures lenses for a variety of other formats including their compact point and shoot cameras with tiny little sensors, Micro 4/3 sensors in the form of their Panasonic partnership, 35mm Full Frame that everyone knows as their vintage R Series and broad range of M Series lenses, and of course their medium format S System lenses. These two new lenses are designed specifically for the APS-C T Mount system of their new camera which somewhat new territory for Leica (unless you consider the Super35 format Summicron and Summilux-C primes as APS-C). Personally, I think this is a great intro to an underutilized format. APS-C (very similar to Super35) is the standard in the motion picture world but it gets a bad wrap in the world of still photography which is why everyone is still comparing APS-C lenses to 35mm equivalents. I won’t go down this path too much because it’s a topic that has plagued¬†the motion picture industry and fueled countless internet forum wars and I simply can’t stand all of the incorrect, uneducated information that is floating around. I digress.

Future Leica T lenses

 More Lenses to Come

Two lenses at launch isn’t really anything great but you have to start somewhere. Fuji did the same thing with their X system and even now after a few years only offers a limited selection of lenses. Leica also showed two additional lenses that are begin developed which are a¬†11-23mm f/3.5-4.5 and 55-135mm f/3.5-4.5 due out later this year. You can bet that Leica has a few aces of their sleeve including some fine Summilux and even Noctilux primes in the near future. In addition to the new T Mount System, Leica is also supporting their legacy M Mount lenses with a very nice adapter. I’m sure with it’s mirrorless, shallow flange depth, there will be plenty of other adapters to come from other manufacturers as well.¬†Here’s some of the nerdy specs we all love:

Leica T Type 702 with Leica M series lenses usable with Leica adapter
Leica Summicron-T 23mm f/2 ASPH specs:
Compatible cameras All Leica T models
Field angle (diagonal, horizontal, vertical) Approx. 64¬į, 53¬į, 35¬į, corresponding to around 35 mm focal length in 35 mm format
Optical design
Number of lenses / groups 9/6
Aspherical surfaces 2
Position of entrance pupil (at infinity / at close up limit) -22,7/10,5 mm (in direction of light incidence behind /in front of bayonet mount)
Distance setting
Setting / Function Electronically controlled, mode selectable using camera menu: Automatic (AF) or manual (M), in AF mode manual override possible at any times with setting dial
Focusing range 0.3 m to ‚ąě
Smallest object field / Largest scale Approx.: 295 x 196 mm / 1:12.6
Aperture
Setting / Function Electronically controlled, adjustment using dial on camera, third values also available
Lowest value 16
Bayonet fitting Leica T quick-change bayonet with contact strip for Leica T models
Filter mount / Lens hood External bayonet fitting for lens hood (included), internal thread for E52 filters, filter mount does not rotate
Finish Black anodized
Dimensions and weight
Length to bayonet mount Approx. 37/69 mm (without/with lens hood)
Largest diameter Approx. 63/73 mm (without/with lens hood)
Weight Approx. 154/186 g (without/with lens hood)

 

Leica Vario-Elmar-T 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 specs:
Compatible cameras All Leica T models
Field angle (diagonal, horizontal, vertical) At 18 mm: Approx. 75¬į, 62¬į, 41¬į, At 56 mm: Approx. 28¬į, 23¬į, 15¬į, corresponding to around 27-84 mm focal length in 35 mm format
Optical design
Number of lenses / groups 10/7
Aspherical surfaces 4
Position of entrance pupil (at infinity / at close up limit) At 18 mm: -37.8/19.9 mm, at 56 mm: -28/49.7 mm (in direction of light incidence behind / in front of bayonet mount)
Distance setting
Setting / Function Electronically controlled, mode selectable using camera menu: Automatic (AF) or manual (M), in AF mode manual override possible at any times with setting dial
Focusing range 0.3/0.45 m (at 18/56 mm) to ‚ąě
Smallest object field / Largest scale At 18 mm: Approx. 312 x 207 mm / 1:13.2, at 56 mm: Approx. 110 x 73 mm / 1:7.5
Aperture
Setting / Function Electronically controlled, adjustment using dial on camera, third values also available
Lowest value 16
Bayonet fitting Leica T quick-change bayonet with contact strip for Leica T models
Filter mount / Lens hood External bayonet fitting for lens hood (included), internal thread for E52 filters, filter mount does not rotate
Finish Black anodized
Dimensions and weight
Length to bayonet mount Approx. 60/99 mm (without/with lens hood)
Largest diameter Approx. 63/73 mm (without/with lens hood)
Weight Approx. 256/287 g (without/with lens hood)
Leica T Type 701

The camera is what it is. There will be a new one to replace it in a few months. I had a chance to play with it and I really do like the build quality. The mono chassis that Leica is touting so much really does make this a solid, well balanced camera. The large touchscreen at the rear is a nice way to keep the camera clean and uncluttered. The optional EVF is a bit on the sluggish side especially when compared to something like the XT-1 from Fuji. ¬†Overall, this is a very strong camera with some impressive specs and quite an attractive price. I think this camera line will keep Leica competitive in the current camera space for at least the next decade or so. Here’s the specs:

 

Leica T detailed specifications:

Camera type Leica T (Type 701)
Lens connection Leica T bayonet fitting with contact strip for communication between lens and camera
Lens system Leica T lenses
Sensor CMOS sensor, size APS-C (23.6 x 15.7 mm) with 16.5/16.3 million pixels (total/effective), format aspect ratio 3:2
Resolution JPEG: 4928 x 3264 (16 megapixels), 4272 x 2856 (12.2 megapixels), 3264 x 2160 (7 megapixels), 2144 x 1424 (3 megapixels), 1632 x 1080 (1.8 megapixel), DNG: 4944 x 3278 pixels
Picture data file formats / compression rates Selectable: JPG Superfine, JPG Fine, DNG + JPG Superfine, DNG + JPG Fine
Video recording format MP4
Video resolution / frame rate Selectable: 1920 x 1080 p, 30 fps or 1280 x 720 p, 30 fps
Storage media 16 GB internal memory; SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, multimedia cards
ISO range Automatic, ISO 100 to ISO 12500
White balance Automatic, presets for daylight, cloud, halogen lighting, shadow, electronic flash, two manual settings, manual color temperature setting
Autofocus system Contrast based
Autofocus metering methods Single point, multiple point, spot, face detection, touch AF
Exposure modes Automatic program, aperture priority, shutter speed priority, manual setting, scene exposure modes: Fully automatic, sport, portrait, landscape, night portrait, snow/beach, fireworks, candlelight, sunset
Exposure metering Multiple field, center weighted, spot
Exposure compensation ¬Ī3 EV in 1/3 EV increments
Automatic bracketing Three pictures in graduations up to ¬Ī3 EV, adjustable in 1/3 EV increments
Shutter speed range 30 s to 1/4000 s
Picture series Approx. 5 fps, 12 pictures with constant picture frequency, then depending on memory card properties
Flash modes Automatic, automatic / red eye reduction, always on, always on / red eye reduction, slow sync, slow sync / red eye reduction
Flash exposure compensation ¬Ī3 EV in 1/3 EV increments
Flash synchronization Sync time: 1/180 s
Guide number of built-in flash unit for ISO 100: 4.5
Recovery time of built-in flash unit Approx. 5 s with fully charged battery
Monitor 3.7″ TFT LCD , 1.3 million pixels, 854×480 per color channel
Self timer Selectable delay time 2 or 12 s
WLAN Complies with IEEE 802.11b/g/n standard (standard WLAN protocol), channel 1-11, encryption method: WiFicompatible WPA‚ĄĘ / WPA2‚ĄĘ, access method: Infrastructur operation
Power supply Leica BP-DC13 lithium ion battery, rated voltage 7.4V, capacity 1040mAh (based on CIPA standard): approx. 400 pictures, charging time (after total discharge): approx. 160 min
Connections Micro USB port (2.0 High Speed), Leica flash interface with integrated connection for optional accessories; battery charging via USB connection possible with max. 1A
Charger Leica BC-DC13, input: AC 100-240V, 50/60Hz, automatic reversing, Output: DC 8,4V 0,65A, Weight: approx. 90 g, Dimensions: approx. 96x68x28 mm
Body Leica unibody solid aluminum design, two removable dummy plugs for carrying strap and other accessories, ISO flash shoe with center and control contacts for connection of more powerful external flash units, e.g. Leica SF 26, or for attaching the Leica Visoflex electronic viewfinder
Tripod thread A 1/4 DIN 4503 (1/4″)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 134 x 69 x 33 mm
Weight Approx. 384 g / 339 g (with / without battery)
Items supplied Camera body, carrying strap, 2 carrying strap release pins for detaching the carrying strap, battery (Leica BP-DC13), charger (Leica BC-DC13) with 6 adapter plugs, USB cable
Software Adobe¬ģ Photoshop¬ģ Lightroom¬ģ (free download after registration of camera), Leica T app for iOS¬ģ (remote control and image transfer, free download from Apple¬ģ App-Store¬ģ)

If you’re looking for more details on the new Leica T Type 701 Camera, head on over to Leica Rumors for some more in-depth coverage. If you have any feedback, please drop a comment below. If you’d like to see more non-cinema news such as this, please let us know so that we can load you up with news of other new goodies coming down the pipe.

Leica Summicron-C Wallpaper – 4K! Compliments of Duclos Lenses

I know… There’s been a few wallpaper posts lately. It’s because we’re gearing up for NAB which is right around the corner. If you’re not familiar with NAB¬†– you should be. It’s an annual convention that takes place in Las Vegas where manufacturers and vendors come together from all over the world. There’s tons of antenna companies and manufacturers who make blink light panels that I have no idea how to use but have to walk by to get the the lenses…

All you really need to know is that NAB is basically Christmas morning for lens geeks like us. Stay tuned for some very exciting lens news straight from the show floor and giveaways from Duclos Lenses. In the meantime, enjoy this 4K photo of a Leica Summicron-C 25mm – she’s a beaut.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Leica’s Summicron-C Primes Are Coming!

Cron

The Summicron-C prime lenses from Leica were introduced at NAB 2013. With 2014 right around the corner, Leica is gearing up to deliver their new Summicron-C primes very soon. But how has Leica gone about producing these new lenses in a way that benefits the Leica brand as well as the cinematographer considering them as a prime lens option? There are plenty of questions that this new set of prime lens demands answers to. We’ll take a look at their performance specs, and image characteristics here. Continue reading Leica’s Summicron-C Primes Are Coming!

Stolen Equipment Alert!

Leica-2I always do my best to spread the word in regards to stolen equipment since it’s usually a potential buyer that tips off the rightful owner or the authorities of suspicious gear.¬†As many of you know, Duclos Lenses was a victim of theft a few years back which set us back in early development of our 11-16mm lens. As a result, I take thefts such as this very personal. This time it involves a complete set of Leica Summilux-C Primes owned by a great rental house and customer of ours, CPT Rentals out of New York. The lenses were being used in the Angelino Heights area of LA at the time they went missing. CPT is distributing flyers that share a few other details that are important to spread including the name of the detective investigating the crime:¬†Craig Marquez of the LAPD (case # 13022294) who can be reached at (213) 484-3479. The serial numbers of the lenses are as follows. Continue reading Stolen Equipment Alert!

Leica to Offer Mid-Range Cine Primes (UPDATED)

summicron

A recent report provided by Jon Fauer of FDTimes (source) have given us a sneak peak at Leica’s newest offering. Jon Fauer generously provides some prudent information on the upcoming set; The Summicron-C primes. Check out the original article with photos here.

My Thoughts

Not to be confused with their top shelf Summilux-C primes. I expect these new Summicron-C primes to fall right in line with the current crop of mid-range, professional primes such as Cooke Mini S4/i, Schneider Cine-Xenar III, and Zeiss Ultra Primes. The Summilux-C primes offer exquisite quality with a maximum aperture of T1.4, whereas the newer, predictably smaller and cheaper Summicron-C primes will provide a maximum aperture of T2.0. (Update below) There is no mention of price just yet but I would imagine they will be competitive with the previously mentioned sets, perhaps a bit higher due to the notorious Red Dot. I’ll be sure to stay on top of this news and release any facts as I receive them. Subscribe!

UPDATE

An unconfirmed source has provided a price of $17,000 per lens which is a $8,000 decrease, per lens, from the high-end Summilux-C primes. This price difference is approximately what I expected. The case is similar to Leica’s other series of lenses. Summilux lenses can range from approximately 20%-40% higher than their Summicron brothers. A very interesting new set of primes indeed. Ill be sure to gather more information at NAB in April, if not sooner elsewhere.

Continue reading Leica to Offer Mid-Range Cine Primes (UPDATED)