In a recent newsletter, P+S Technik Managaing Director, Alfred Piffl, felt it prudent to bestow a bit of knowledge upon cinematographers keen on having some vintage lenses re-housed – something that I feel is necessary coming from one of the largest lens re-housing operations. There’s no doubt about it; vintage lenses have made a huge resurgence in the motion picture world. It’s not a fad that I have a solid explanation for. Perhaps it’s the fault of modern cameras being so crisp and sharp, a rather clinical look in a world of romance and beauty. Or maybe it’s just the hipster trend to use an old lens that would otherwise be off limits. Regardless of the reason, vintage lenses are being refurbished and re-housed in large numbers. But users expectations must be brought back down to earth and kept reasonable. Continue reading P+S Technik Conveys Challenges of Rehousing Vintage Lenses
A few weeks ago I was asked by friend and colleague, Seth Emmons of Leica – CW Sonderoptic, to speak at the first Camera Department: Continuing Education Series. The event was offer exclusively to Local 600 members for three days with a different group each day. We covered topics ranging from how to properly clean glass – what chemicals to use and what not to use – to simple infinity focus checking. It was great fun and a pleasure meeting some of our industries working professionals. The event was a sponsored by CW Sonderoptic as well as Camadeus Film Technologies who had some goodies on display from brands such as Leica, C-Motion, and Gecko-Cam. Back by popular demand, the Camera Department: Continuing Education Series is opening up the next event to everyone this time for a very reasonable fee. Continue reading Camera Department: Continuing Education Series – Encore Presentation
It happens more often than you’d think. A call comes in from a customer informing me that a lens was dropped in water. My immediate response consists of two questions. One, fresh or salt water? And two, dunked or submerged? The answers to these two question drastically effect the prospect of repair. A lens submerged in salt water is almost certain death for a lens (if not properly cared for) whereas fresh water usually has a good chance of being repaired to perfect working order. I’m pretty sure the worst water damage I’ve seen was a Zeiss lens that went for a dive in the Salton Sea. The customer was just as smart as they were quick and took our advice, rinsing repeatedly with fresh water and delivering in a sealed Tupperware of fresh water. The lens was fully repaired and restored to perfect working condition shortly thereafter. The folks over at ZGC put up a great blog post that shows the horrifying results of a lens submerged in salt water if not treated with appropriate measures and punctuality. They also go into more detail on what to do if you find yourself with a salted lens. Give the post a read and take notes!
It happens in real time; so quickly you can only watch as that lens, which costs many thousands of dollars, plummets to the floor. An expletive escapes as you attempt to stop the lens mid-fall but, alas, you just aren’t fast enough to overcome Newton’s Law. There’s that horrible feeling in your gut as you watch the lens hit, and maybe bounce a time or two, because you know you are the responsible party: How are you going to explain what happened?
OK, look on the bright side. Maybe it’ll only be a few parts that need to be replaced. It’ll put the lens out of service for a while, but the lens will most likely go on to live another day.
Now let’s take a look at the “Dark Side”. Instead of the lens landing on the floor it lands in the drink. No, not that drink. (You know, the one you’ll probably have to calm yourself after “The Drop”). The drink I’m referring to is that body of water that covers the majority of the planet: sea water. Unlike a fresh water pond or river, sea water has an element that just doesn’t mix well with lenses. Sodium Chloride (NaCl), otherwise known in its common term as SALT. NaCl, aluminum and brass don’t go well together.
To read the full article, head over to ZGC’s blog here.
Rokinon (Samyang, whatever brand you prefer) has been quick to jump into the world of motion picture lenses, using the optics and core mechanical design of their popular all-manual still photography lenses. The Rokinon lenses aren’t what most would consider professional, mostly because of their plastic housings, but the price, availability, and quality more than make up for their cheap feel. I’ve seen some very, very nice cinematic work shot with the Rokinon cine primes regardless of their “status” compared to the likes of higher-end cinema lenses. Currently, Rokinon offers an 8mm, 14mm, 16mm, 24mm, 35mm, and an 85mm. This would be a pretty decent set of cinema primes if it only had the 50mm.
Rumors have been floating around for over a year that a 50mm would be available and it loos like the wait is finally over. Rokinon recently posted a photo to their Facebook page indicating the imminent announcement of a new focal length in their cine prime line-up. Additionally, a lot of the rumors floating around are claiming that the lens will feature a fast aperture of f/1.2. While I don’t know if this is true or not, a 50mm focal length in the Rokinon cine primes series will be a welcome addition at f/1.4 or faster.
Keep an eye on the blog for an update once officially announced. You can bet Duclos Lenses will offer a Pro Set with all the great focal lengths including a new 50mm, at a substantial discount!
Well there you have it. Rokinon officially announced the new 50mm with specs and a September ship date. The lens will offer a respectable aperture of T1.5 just like the rest of the fast primes. I know a lot of folks were hoping for a faster aperture but I think that matching the rest of the set is plenty fair. Naturally it will cover 35mm Full Frame and feature all the other accouterments as the rest of the Cine Prime line. The other great bit of news is the price: at $549, this is by far the most affordable 50mm Cine Prime currently available. Head on over to Duclos Lenses to pre-order the new 50mm Rokinon today!
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.
Check out the complete article over at P3 Update.
Zeiss recently released a technical article written by Dr. Vladan Blahnik. The article explores the history of Zeiss lenses and what drove them to design and manufacture more accurate, high speed lenses including the now famous f/0.7 50mm prime used by Stanley Kurbick to shoot Barry Lyndon. The article continues on to discuss the physics of a lens aperture and it’s relation to optics with a wealth of formulas and illustrations. If you’re a huge lens nut and have a spare 15 or 20 minutes, give this tech article a read and appreciate the knowledge and pursuit for optical performance that is Carl Zeiss.
Read the complete article here.
Right on the heels of Canon’s newst announcement of their 17-120mm Cine-Servo zoom, Fujinon drops a bombshell with their newest addition to the Cabrio line of lenses: a 25-300mm. Fujinon’s press release doesn’t specify a T-stop, but a photo clearly shows an aperture ring with a T3.5 maximum marking. Not bad for a 12x zoom range. Fujinon says the lens will begin shipping in June but the servo unit won’t be available until Q3.
|Camera Format||PL Mount|
|Focal length||25 – 300 mm|
|Zoom Range||12 ×|
|1 : 3.5 (25-273mm)
1 : 3.85 (300mm)
|Focus Rotation (degrees)||280|
|Zoom Rotation (degrees)||120|
|M.O.D. from image plane||1.2 m / 3′ 11″|
|Object dimensions at M.O.D.
9 Aspect ratio*
|25 mm 937 × 527 mm
300 mm 77 × 43 mm
|Angular field of view
16 : 9 Aspect ratio*
|25 mm 57°32′ × 34°19′
300 mm 5°14′ × 2°57′
|Macro||Available as standard|
|Diameter × Length||136 × 401 mm|
|Features||• Detachable Digital Drive Unit – Optional
• Flange Focal Distance Adjustment
FUJIFILM’S NEW CABRIO OFFERS ZOOM RATIO OF 12X TO COVER 25MM WIDE ANGLE TO 300MM AT TELEPHOTO
Wayne, N.J., April 2, 2014 – The Optical Devices Division of FUJIFILM North America Corporation willannounce the latest addition to its popular series of cine zooms – the Premier PL 25-300mm Cabrio[ZK12x25] at the annual NAB 2014 convention, held in Las Vegas, starting on April 7th.. The company will exhibit in NAB Booth #C7025.
Equipped with a 35mm PL mount, the PL 25-300mm boasts a high zoom ratio covering the focal length of 25mm to 300mm. Like all Cabrio zooms, the PL 25-300mm supports an optional detachable drive unit for electric zooming, focusing and iris. Mounting the unit enables remote control of zoom, focus,and iris adjustment. It can be used as a self-contained ENG-style or cine style lens. When used without the drive, industry-standard cine motors can be fitted.
Designed using the latest proprietary optical simulation software, the PL 25-300mm offers exceptional optical performance in the center of the image and in the corners of the frame. The digital servo’s 16-bit encoding assures operators that all lens data output—including the position of the zoom, iris, and focus—is extremely accurate. The zoom supports Lens Data System (LDS) and /i Technology metadata formats, and can be controlled using cinema industry standard wireless controllers as well as existing FUJINON wired and wireless units.
FUJINON’s PL 25-300mm lens is the latest development in the company’s popular Cabrio series, which includes the recently introduced Premier PL 19-90mm, the PL 85-300mm, and the recently introduced PL 14-35mm lenses.
The PL 25-300mm zoom will be available in June of this year, the optimal digital servo drive approximately Q3
A presentation running on two monitors within the Optical Devices Division’s NAB booth will feature several of the industry’s top cinematographers, including Claudio Miranda, testifying to the unsurpassed versatility and image quality of the FUJINON cine-style lenses. This year also marks FUJIFILM’s 80th anniversary, and 40 years for the Optical Devices Division, formerly known as FUJINON, in the U.S.
Here at Duclos Lenses we’ve devised this somewhat satirical guide for buying new cinema lens. Take a gander and see what lens you come up with. Post your results in the comments and five winners will be chosen at random at the end of the week to receive some cool lens geek swag including shirts, hats, cleaning kits, etc.
This guide is all in good fun, but if you really do want some professional advice, contact Duclos Lenses.
Canon has announced their new 17-120mm T2.95 Cinema Zoom Lens. Usually we have to wait until at least the first or second day of NAB for major new gear announcements. Canon was kind of enough to provide their big news a week ahead of the big show. Canon announced their original Cinema EOS lenses back at NAB 2011 and were ready to ship in 2012. So far the feedback on the Canon cinema lenses, both zoom and primes, has been a bit slow to gaining traction, but they’re running at full steam now and there’s a lot of ground to cover. Continue reading Canon Announces 17-120mm Cine Zoom Ahead of NAB
UWZ… It’s pretty simple really. Ultra Wide Zoom. It’s not much of a zoom really with a mere 1.8x zoom range but who cares when you’re at 9.5mm! Arri’s newest zoom lens is something of a technical achievement and an answer to many cinematographers’ pleas for a high quality wide angle zoom lens option. While it’s range isn’t much to brag about, being just under 2x, it provides enough flexibility for a cinematographer to replace two or three prime lenses without sacrificing overall image quality. The real benefit of this lens is it’s rectilinear image and stunning quality across the entire image – all 33.7mm⌀ of it. Continue reading Go Wide With Arri’s 9.5-18mm T2.9 UWZ
Samyang originally displayed a prototype 10mm prime lens at Photokina 2012 with a few details. They recently announced the official development of their new 10mm f/2.8 prime lens. If you’re not familiar with the Samyang line of lenses, they’re a very confusing bunch which shares it’s designs with different branding such as Rokinon, Bower, Vivitar, etc. Rokinon offers their photo lenses in a cinema variety that feature 32-pitch focus and iris gears as well as a smooth, click-less aperture and T-stop markings instead of f-stop. Needless to say, this new 10mm will make it’s way into a Rokinon Cine Prime flavor soon enough. There are quite a few interesting details about this lens. Continue reading Samyang Officially Announces 10mm f/2.8 Lens
Shane Hurlbut recently took a set of the Canon Cinema Compact Zoom lenses, 15.5-47mm and 30-105mm, complete with Multi-Mount and Zoom Motor Bracket as well as the two flagship lenses, the 14.5-60mm and 30-300mm with our Carry Handle and Motor Bracket kits out for a spin on his newest project that you may have heard of – Need for Speed.
I love what Duclos has made. They are ergonomically made to flow with the lens and they also incorporate a Haden M26T motor bracket to engage the zoom focal lengths. They are built like a brick house,
Check out his full article on his blog here – Adapting Your Canon Arsenal with Duclos: A Way for Filmakers to Increase Speed and Convenience on Set.
Tired of guessing which lenses will and won’t cover a specific sensor? Stress no more, I’ve revised the Image Circle Database that so many of you have been asking for. It’s an ongoing project that I update periodically as lenses come through the shop (there’s a lot of them). With the rate that manufacturers are designing and releasing new lenses, this database will be updated as a downloadable PDF often. If there is a specific lens you would like researched for image circle, please list it below in the comments. The Database is going to stick to primarily cinema lenses or at least those used for cinema often. Check out the details below. Continue reading The Image Circle Database Is Back!
Just ahead of IBC, Zeiss revealed their expected wide-angle Compact Zoom lens which fills out the CZ.2 line of lenses, which now offers coverage from 15mm all the way to 200mm with just three zoom lenses. Zeiss goes on to detail a few features of the new zoom such as it’s compatibility with the other CZ.2 zooms in terms of color matching and performance, as well as it’s 35mm full frame coverage and interchangeable mount system. The speed of the zoom is a T2.9 which matches the other two zoom in the set, the 28-80mm and 70-200mm. Zeiss mentions a release date of April 2014 for this lens. Let’s hope they can keep up with demand. The 28-80mm which was supposed to begin shipping in June 2013 has yet to make a public appearance. Check out the complete article from Zeiss which also provides some details of their upcoming Master Anamorphic 100mm. Original Article >
Erik Naso did a nice write-up and video on the Canon CN-E prime lenses that includes a lot of facts and some useful opinions. I agree with pretty much everything he has to say about the Canon CN-E primes so check out his perspective. If this video doesn’t convince you that the Canon cinema primes are a great option, swing by Duclos Lenses to try them for yourself.