With Success of Mini Primes, Veydra Lays Out Plans

Veydra-4-lensThe Veydra Mini Primes were widely debated when they launched their Kickstarter campaign. Cautiously optimistic cinematographers who had been waiting for a pro-level Micro 4/3 cinema lens contributed, and exceeded the modest Kickstarter goal of $50,000 with a whopping $272,000 final pledge. After the first batches of the Mini Primes began arriving at the door steps of generous early adopters, those that didn’t contribute to the Kickstarter were… well, kicking themselves. The Veydra Mini Primes have continued to be the most professional, cinematic choice for Micro 4/3 motion picture projects. So now what…? Clearly Veydra is no one-trick-pony as they’ve just announced several new projects ahead of NAB 2015: Continue reading “With Success of Mini Primes, Veydra Lays Out Plans”

Canon CN-E Primes – An In-Depth Look

cneclustrCanon 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”

Veydra, First To Offer M4/3 Cinema Primes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUntil now, shooting cinema on a Micro 4/3 camera meant you were using still photo lenses or lenses that were adapted or modified for motion picture use. The new Veydra Mini Primes are the first lenses to be built from the ground up as motion picture cinema lenses specifically for the Micro 4/3 platform. Considering the super shallow flange depth and tiny sensor size of Micro 4/3, the options for adapting lenses is almost limitless. But what if you’re using a Blackmagic or Panasonic GH4 in a professional environment and don’t have time to fiddle with adapters or down-time for vintage lens repair? The Veydra Mini Primes seem to be filling a gap that no one else has with a purpose built Micro 4/3 cinema lens. Continue reading “Veydra, First To Offer M4/3 Cinema Primes”

Are Rokinon Primes Right For You?

lineupRokinon 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?”

Stolen Equipment Alert!

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!”

Larry Thorpe’s take on Canon Cinema Lenses

canon eosSeveral 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.

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Schneider Adds More Xenon Focal Lengths Ahead of Launch

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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”

2013 Cine Prime Lens Buyers Guide

Cooke Mini S-4i • Zeiss CP.2 Compact Prime • Canon CN-E Prime
Cooke Mini S-4i • Zeiss CP.2 Compact Prime • Canon CN-E Prime

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”

TLS Cooke Speed Panchro Re-housing Project

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The complete line-up including the 18mm, 25mm, 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm and 100mm.

The gentlemen at True Lens Service (TLS) in the UK displayed a fully functional prototype of their 18mm Cooke Speed Panchro at IBC last year which garnered a respectable amount of interest. But what about the rest of the set? If you’re not familiar with the Cooke Speed Panchros, they’re basically the standard by which other prime lenses were measured between the 1930’s and 1950’s. George Eastman estimated that approximately 90 percent of 16mm films shot during that time in America were using Cooke Speed Panchros. There have been several revisions of the Panchros in Series II and III which can be a bit confusing, kind of like Cooke as a company in general. Surely you’ve seen “Taylor, Hobson” “Taylor, Taylor & Hobson” “Rank, Taylor & Hobson” or just plain “Cooke”. They’re all the same lineage with an extremely rich history in photographic optics and industrial revolution. Cooke was a true innovator in their infancy and continues to produce motion picture optics that push the boundaries of quality. Enough with the history… The Speed Panchros are relevant here because they are notorious for producing beautiful images that are simply not duplicated in post production. They have a character to them that defined the “Cooke Look” and gave thousands of films a warm romantic feel that cinematographers, directors, and colorists strive to reproduce with lackluster results (most of the time).

Continue reading “TLS Cooke Speed Panchro Re-housing Project”

Duclos Lenses Introduces Rokinon•Raw Primes

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Rokinon•Raw

Many productions call for the absolute best lenses possible and end up reaching for Zeiss Master Primes or Panavision Primos for a well corrected, clinical look. This is great if you want an absolutely clean slate to work with in post since it’s always easier to dial down sharpness and add a bit of grunge after the fact. But what if you want something with a little more character – a little bit of flare, in camera. Continue reading “Duclos Lenses Introduces Rokinon•Raw Primes”

Leica to Offer Mid-Range Cine Primes (UPDATED)

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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)”

Schneider Cine-Xenar III: Third Time, Charmed

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Schneider-Kreuznach has a broad history in the world of optics. They’ve produced many sets of motion picture lenses as well as a plethora of photographic lenses for just about every format imaginable. A few NABs ago they announced that they were introducing a new line of motion picture lenses, the Cine-Xenars. I was particularly excited because they had long since absorbed Century Precision Optics back in 2000 and I had been expecting great things from both companies with the impending motion picture revolution. …And then I saw the prototype lenses.

Continue reading “Schneider Cine-Xenar III: Third Time, Charmed”