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.
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”
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.
Last year, Zeiss introduced a 0% financing offer for their CP.2 Compact Primes and CZ.2 Compact Zooms which was only available for a short time. Rejoice – It’s available again and this it starts today, April 1st (no joke) and goes through December 31st, 2014. This offer allows business customers to purchase any CP.2 set or CZ.2 lens with no money down, 0% financing for 12 months. It’s really pretty simple, $83.33 per month per $1,000 financed. This means if you opt for a CZ.2 28-80mm, your payment would approximately $1,666/mo. Not too shabby for a working professional looking to up their lens game. Check out all the details over at Duclos Lenses.
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!”
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”
The Xenon FF-Primes are only a few weeks away and are positioned to be an excellent mid-range set of prime lenses. But what if you want something with just a tad more performance? You reach for the Schneider Cine-Xenar III primes. I did a quick write up on these a few months back explaining how Schneider drastically improved the operational usability of the Xenar IIIs over the previous two versions. Unfortunately the first two iterations may have left a sour taste in some operators mouths. So what’s the best way to encourage cinematographers to give the Xenars another chance? Discount the heck out of them. Continue reading “Schneider Cine-Xenar III Rebate + Warranty Offer”
Several months back, Canon held an event at their Hollywood HQ showcasing their complete line of Cinema Eos products, but focused on (pun intended) their cinema lenses. There were a couple of speakers; one ,who’s name escapes me at the time of writing this, coming from a new-age cinematographers point of view talking about the benefits of modern image sensor technology and compact, lightweight style shooting – and the other, Larry Thorpe. If you’re not familiar with Larry Thorpe, he’s basically a guru of all things image acquisition. He’s worked for RCA, Sony, and now Canon. One may jump to the conclusion that he loves Canon lenses so much simply because it’s his job being a marketing exec. at Canon… But Larry is truly passionate about his work and optics in particular and it shows.
Larry’s presentation at the Canon event revolved mainly around optics and discussed current and future technologies. Canon released a PDF which essentially mirrors Larry’s presentation at the event that I’ve linked here. Give it a read and see why Canon is making waves in the industry with their cinema optics. See the PDF below.
What’s The Big Deal?
Schneider has, quite possibly, the most anticipated new cinema prime lenses soon to be available. Announced and revealed April 2013, the original set of three Schneider Xenon-FF primes which included at 35mm, 50mm, and 75mm, all with a consistent T-stop of 2.1, the Xenons are unique in that they are purpose built cinema prime lenses with a 35mm (24x36mm) format coverage at a very attractive price around $4k per lens. Feedback for the initial three was well received by Schneider with a return promise of more focal lengths. The initial three lenses are due to begin shipping Q4 2013, just a few months away, and Schneider already announced their follow-up focal lengths including a 25mm and 100mm, both T2.1. The two new primes offer an excellent complete set of primes all at T2.1 with excellent size and weight, not to mention Arri PL, Canon EF, or Nikon F mount. Schneider also hinted at a few more focal lengths to come including a macro and other focal lengths. This set of five primes is sure to be a hit among professional operators looking to own their own set of cinema prime lenses. Perhaps the perfect transition lenses for those coming from DSLR cinematography, and even those looking for a professional set of primes that doesn’t weigh a ton. Continue reading “Schneider Adds More Xenon Focal Lengths Ahead of Launch”
The first of many… We’ll periodically post some high-res photos perfect for gracing your desktop or hanging in the bathroom. Enjoy!
So you bought a new Sony F5 or even better, an F55. Or you’re upgrading from a 5D to a C100 or C300. You’re Red Epic needs some better glass for the upcoming Dragon sensor. Regardless, congrats. Now you need some lenses to get the best performance out of your new camera. But where do you start? I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s a new camera almost every month these days. Sensor tech continues to improve and grow. However, lenses are a lifetime investment. Unless you jumped on the 2/3″ train and bought some lenses that are useless now you may have also noticed that a set of, now vintage, classic Zeiss Super Speeds is still $50k and they’re almost 40 years old!!! Let’s explore some options that won’t break the bank and still give you some amazing performance. Continue reading “2013 Cine Prime Lens Buyers Guide”
Duclos Lenses recently announced a now program that offers customers the ability to bring their equipment in anytime for what is essentially routine check-up and maintenance. Any lens purchased from Duclos Lenses is eligible for two years from the date of purchase at no additional cost to the customer. This is great for users who shoot in harsh climates or rough conditions since they can simply bring their lens in to Duclos Lenses after a shoot and have it cleaned up, back-focus checked and calibrate, and evaluated for any potential damage done during the shoot. It’s like having your own personal lens tech to inspect your gear before and/or after every shoot. Considering Duclos Lenses has been servicing lenses for over a decade and has over 100 years of combined motion picture lens service experience, this is just another reason why Duclos Lenses is the premiere destination for professional motion picture optics. Continue reading “Proper Maintenance Is Critical For New Lenses”