LENS GUTS – A New Video Series from Duclos Lenses

Duclos Lenses released the first video in a new series they’re calling LENS GUTS. The name says it all. Lens geek, Matthew Duclos, sits down with a new lens each episode and tears into it, showing us the materials, build quality, and techniques used while he discusses the history or lesser known facts about each “patient”.  Continue reading LENS GUTS – A New Video Series from Duclos Lenses

Arri Shows You How To Install Their Flare Set For Master Anamorphics

ma_flare_sets_det_1Arri published a new video to their YouTube channel in which Zeiss Service Trainer & Technician goes through the step-by-step process of removing the factory front and rear element and replacing them with the new uncoated flare set. The purpose of the flare set is just that, to increase the flares and imperfections, or “character” of the Arri Master Anamorphics. Continue reading Arri Shows You How To Install Their Flare Set For Master Anamorphics

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

Camera Department: Continuing Education Series – Encore Presentation

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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

The Dos and Don’ts of Submerging Lenses

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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.

Schneider Cine-Xenar III Rebate + Warranty Offer

MQD_7537_1024x1024The 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

Proper Maintenance Is Critical For New Lenses

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

Under Construction: The New Lens Lab

As many of you know, several months ago our facility was broken into, setting us back in orders with our 11-16mm lens and leaving us violated and insulted. Since then, we’ve been planning, researching, and  pursuing a facility more suitable for our needs. If you had visited our old shop in Canoga Park, it was just that… A shop in an industrial park. Our new facility which I have endearingly titled The Lens Lab, is far more appropriate for our ever growing company. This will allow Duclos Lenses to accept more service work as well as technicians to increase turn around time and speed up production of our 11-16mm lens and future products. With dedicated test and tech areas such as dual independent test projectors and optical calibration benches, Duclos Lenses has never been better equipped to repair and maintain the motion picture industries most valuable optics. Located in Chatsworth, CA, The new Lens Lab should house Duclos Lenses for decades to come. Don’t forget to update your phonebook with our new address and phone number. Contact us today to have your lenses serviced in the all-new Lens Lab.

Duclos Lenses – 20222 Bahama St. Chatsworth CA, 91311 –  Tel (818) 773-0600  –  Fax(818) 773-0601

As most of the building is still being put together, I snapped a photo of the dual projector rooms being built for versatility as well as consistency.

Lens Guts: RED 18-85mm

Just finishing up an overhaul on a RED 18-85mm RED zoom. The zoom focus and iris all needed some new grease after some heavy shooting. This lens is built quite well using nothing but aluminum alloys and high quality hardware. A cam driven zoom converter and a helix based focus assembly join to make quite a nice optical-mechanical tool. 

Vintage Lens Restoration

Restored to like new condition, ready to make beautiful images.

Given my profession of servicing lenses and the nature of such a precise vocation, I’ve become somewhat compulsive over the past decade. Some might even argue that I’m just downright anal about details. I wouldn’t disagree with that at all. I can’t stand imperfections or flaws. I feel compelled to perfect every minor detail that is within my capacity and even sometimes beyond my capacity, either succeeding or failing, but always learning. This became something of a curse when I started collecting cameras and lenses a while back. I would buy cheap “junk” off of eBay that looked pretty good in the auction photos, but upon arrival, the items were almost always worse than they appeared in the photos, which I came to expect. I couldn’t spend a ton of money on mint condition collectors items as my fiancé would be rather upset if $1000 was used to purchase a 25 year old film camera or lens. So I did my best to find good deals and restore them. It has become quite a painstaking hobby. I consider these dirty, beat-up old cameras and lenses a challenge. I wish I had taken more photos of the equipment I’ve restored prior to their make-over but I really didn’t think much of it at the time. I just wanted my collection to be clean and tidy. The tools and techniques I use on a daily basis have proven to be most valuable to such restorations, allowing me to cleanse, machine, anodize, and essentially re-engineer parts that were otherwise ugly and useless. Continue reading Vintage Lens Restoration