Some Housekeeping

This website, MatthewDuclos.com, has been a great resource for cinematographers since 2009. Originally started as a personal blog to serve as a dumping ground for answers to common questions, it continuously evolved into much more. The content expanded from simple thoughts on the motion picture lens industry, to in-depth tutorials, to featurettes with some of the industry’s biggest lens manufacturers. In order to continue providing relevant, timely content, we’re making a few changes around here. All for the better! Continue reading Some Housekeeping

ICE BOX – Image Circle Evaluation from Duclos Lenses

ICEBOX-logoTesting 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

Duclos Lenses Forges One-of-a-Kind 11-16mm

IMG_0270-0We’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

The Image Circle Database Is Back!

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!

Keeping Your Lenses Clean

Yes, that is a spider inside a lens. This was a 600mm Nikkor that came back from “Survivor”, shooting in Africa. The customer was noting a “soft image”…

A lot of people have asked about cleaning lenses and dust in the optics. I’ve considered doing a few short videos on glass cleaning techniques and tips but never really went through with it. It’s difficult to explain, it’s a skill that comes with years of practice. It’s like asking a surgeon how to perform surgery… He can explain and even demonstrate, but that doesn’t mean you should attempt it yourself. Thus, I always say the best way to clean your lenses is to not let them get dirty. I do a lot of work with still photo lenses these days with the whole DSLR revolution and all and every now and then I get a request to clean some dust, dirt, or debris from inside an otherwise pristine Canon or Nikon lens or similar. I almost always have to turn people down simply because the cost of labor compared to the cost of the lens is prohibitive. Your average Canon Eos lens costs a few hundred bucks. The average time to disassemble a lens enough to access debris inside the optics, clean in out (properly), re-lubricate, reassemble, align and collimate optics, is about 4-6 hours if not more. This amount of time in service can equal or exceed the value of the lens, in which case it’s usually better just to buy a new lens. Some people like to think that the “Pro” lenses with their weather sealing are immune to dust and contamination but that’s simply not true. They are better at keeping contamination out, but not perfect. Some of the higher end L glass would be worth a good cleaning if it’s a specific lens you are partial to. The cost:value ratio prohibition doesn’t usually apply with cinema lenses. Even professional cinema lenses get dust in them on a regular basis, but these lenses are designed to be serviced and cleaned. If you shoot in a clean studio environment and keep your lenses in well sealed cases when they aren’t in use, you probably won’t see much dust in them over their life. If you’re a run-and-gun shooter, swapping lenses constantly in the desert, you’re going to have problems with dust and debris sooner or later. I have a client that shoots motocross events for a living with his Epic camera and a couple of Angenieux zooms. His lenses get destroyed on a regular basis, coming back from jobs covered in dust, dirt, mud, everything that doesn’t belong in a lens. The lenses are worth quite a bit which makes cleaning them worthwhile for him. We clean them up, calibrate them, and send them back into the field to shoot again. Continue reading Keeping Your Lenses Clean

Photo Collection of NAB 2011

It’s that time of year once again. Duclos Lenses closes up shop except for those few unlucky employees who stay behind to keep the wheel turning. This year everyone is flying from LA to Vegas… What a waste. I prefer my loyal automobile to get me there in about the same amount of time as those flying fools. I’ll be snapping photos the whole way there and while at the show whenever I find something cool or interesting worth sharing. A virtual photo tour, as it were, for my guests to enjoy. I’ll do my best to utilize my plethora of Apple and Nikon/Canon toys to show as much as I can, as quick as I can. Please feel free to ask questions or request specific photos and I’ll do my best to accommodate. Now onto the photos!

 

UPDATE: Between WordPress’ irritating interface and the Hilton’s sluggish (at best) wifi, I’ve decided just to upload all to Flickr via my 3G iPad connection. Click the link below for the gallery. Enjoy!

click here: NAB 2011 GALLERY

 


Hitting the road, Vegas bound.
Duclos Lenses mobile command center. Fully operational.
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Duclos 70-200mm prototype arrives from LA just in time to show around tomorrow.

 

Doing a a few practical tests before heading down to the show. (Duclos 70-200mm and Zeiss 21mm ZF.2 Cine-Mod)