Tokina’s Gateway to Cinema: The 11-16mm

I’ve written about the Tokina 11-16mm many, many times. In fact, I was temporarily banned from REDUser years ago for backhandedly plugging the Duclos 11-16mm conversion – breaking the rules of the forum. I’ve since cleaned up my act (sort of). I speak often of the Duclos 11-16mm, and when I do, I always give credit to Tokina for making such a great product. I wanted to take a post here and acknowledge the original lens, it’s heritage, influence, and evolution over the past (nearly) decade.  Continue reading Tokina’s Gateway to Cinema: The 11-16mm

Sigma Steps Into The Spotlight With New Cine Zooms and Primes

This one has been a long time coming and I couldn’t be happier to be breaking this news to all that have waited so patiently. For the past couple of years I would receive an email or phone call about twice a month asking if we had plans to convert the Sigma 18-35mm and/or 50-100mm to a cine lens. I would consistently, politely decline citing high cost or some other hurdle that made such a project unattractive to my organization which was generally met with the oh so annoying “Well, this other company in China does it for real cheap”. Good for them… But alas, we can finally admit to the real reason why Duclos Lenses has avoided such a project. Sigma has taken it upon themselves to carry out what so many have asked for over the past couple of years; Manufacture a high quality, fast, lightweight range of zooms and primes direct from their factory in Aizu, Japan. Let’s take a look into the future of Sigma Cine. Continue reading Sigma Steps Into The Spotlight With New Cine Zooms and Primes

Phil Holland Takes The Otus Trio Out For A Spin

Phil Holland, a friend and Zeiss Embassador, recently published an article on Zeiss’ cleverly titled blog – LENSPIRE. The post explores the conditions in which Phil finds himself needing the absolute best image quality possible, and how the Zeiss Otus primes allow him to achieve his vision. With an ever growing line up, 28mm f/1.4, 55mm f/1.4, and 85mm f/1.4, the Otus line continues to set the bar for photographers and cinematographers alike. Continue reading Phil Holland Takes The Otus Trio Out For A Spin

SLR Magic’s 50mm “CINE” prime

SLR mAgic 2

SLR Magic is a Hong Kong based lens manufacturer who has enjoyed the limelight with some unique lenses at substantially low prices when compared to the competition. Their lineup includes oddities with titles such as Toy Lens, Hyperprime, Noktor, etc.. Recently, the Chinese manufacturer has made their way into the cinema lens market with fully manual, “cine” lenses.  Continue reading SLR Magic’s 50mm “CINE” prime

Zeiss <3 Sony – FAQ Answers from Zeiss

Attaching-CZ-logo_01

Zeiss just posted a really fun blog post featuring their collaboration history with Sony. Everyone knows that Zeiss and Sony make a lovely couple but there’s also a lot of mystery around who does what and in what capacity. Continue reading Zeiss ❤ Sony – FAQ Answers from Zeiss

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

The Future of Zeiss DSLR Lenses

zeiss55_4

I’ve been on a bit of a Zeiss kick here lately, partly because I genuinely appreciate their products, but mostly because they continue to innovate and provide new glass for their customers. Earlier this week we took delivery of the Zeiss 135mm T2.1 CP.2 which marked the first time Zeiss released a lens as a CP.2 before releasing it as a ZF.2 or ZE. I’ll be sure to put some tests of the 135mm up soon, it’s an impressive tele-prime to say the least. This brings me to todays topic. The ZF.2 lenses that the CP.2 primes are based on are still being produced in quantity and Zeiss continues to add focal lengths and updates older designs on a regular basis. There’s certainly no sign of them slowing down. However, if you pay attention to the inter-webs, you’d have noticed rumors and results of their new 55mm Distagon floating around.  Continue reading The Future of Zeiss DSLR Lenses

Do Your Speeds Need to be Super?

I’ve touched on Zeiss’ success over the past decade, all based on their old Zeiss ZF and ZE line of lenses. The ZF lenses started to become extremely popular with the VDSLR revolution and low point of entry into the world of motion picture acquisition. The ZF lenses were updated and replaced with the ZF.2 line which made using them on modern Nikon cameras easier and more feature rich. Zeiss proceeded to take those same internals and implant them into bigger better housings in the form of Compact Primes, their first new cinema lens in quite a while. The compact primes were good but they had a few problems. The speed from one lens to another was inconsistent and the mounts were fixed. Zeiss addressed both of these issues by limiting the entire range to T2.1 with the exception of the already slower 18mm, 21, and 25mm and introducing their interchangeable mount system. This pleased most users that wanted a versatile set with consistent aperture throughout the set. But where did those faster primes go? Continue reading Do Your Speeds Need to be Super?

The New DuclosLenses.com

As many of you know, Duclos Lenses has spent the past two months moving the Lens Lab from a small dumpy building in the middle of Canoga Park to our bigger, better facility in Chatsworth. It took a lot longer than we expected and it wasn’t easy. But we did it. I have to thank all of the customers who tolerated our longer than usual turn around time. We’re about 98% done setting up everything the way we want it. We just have to hang a few more pictures and paint a few more walls and we’re done.

On a similar note we decided to update our website while we were at it. The old site was nice and all, but every day I had at least a few emails from people asking how they can purchase items through our website. Unfortunately our old website publishing and hosting did not provide the services necessary for e-commerce. With the new DuclosLenses.com you can browse and purchase our entire catalog (almost) all from the comfort of your computer desk and enjoy our products faster and easier than ever. We’re really happy with the new site and we hope you like it as well. We’re still working the kinks out so if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to inform me or any Duclos Lenses rep.

Thanks again to our loyal customers. We look forward to serving you for years to come.

www.DuclosLenses.com

Zeiss CP.2 vs. ZF.2

Zeiss released their CP.2 (Compact Primes) cinema lenses about a year ago, not long after they dropped their original Compact Primes on the market. There has been a lot of debate about the value of the Compact Primes. With an influx of new primes with a range of price tags, there is no shortage of choices for the budding cinematographer or even the veteran looking to invest in some glass. At $3,900 a piece, or a set of five lenses just shy of $20k, the Compact Primes are some of the cheapest options out there for what I would consider professional cinema lenses. However, a lot of cinematographers are opting for the ultra budget conscious still photo lenses with Cine-Mods to bring them up to cinema spec. But what makes the Compact Primes so much more expensive than, say, a Zeiss ZF.2? After all, they are in fact the exact same glass but in a different housing, right? Sort of… There are quite a few features that really separate the two lenses no matter how similar their heritage is. The ZF.2s are Zeiss’ latest all manual still photo lenses. They just happen to make very pretty images when mounted to a motion picture camera as well as a still photo camera. The Compact Primes take it a step beyond pretty images and provide a professional set of features that can be very valuable to a cinematographer and his/her crew. I’ll start with the optics. Zeiss says that the CP.2 lenses use hand-picked elements that really increase the consistency and accuracy of the lenses. I can’t attest to this as I haven’t seen any difference in the glass or the test results produced by the Compact Primes, but it looks good on a brochure.

It may not be obvious, but these two 85mm primes are share the exact same optical design.

Continue reading Zeiss CP.2 vs. ZF.2

Zeiss 85mm Plays Nice With Sony FS100

A perfect example of the versatility of the Zeiss ZF.2 series. This 85mm f1/.4 comes in a Nikon mount from the factory. With a few upgrades and modifications, it’s perfectly suited for motion picture use. I performed the standard three part Cine-Mod which includes an 80mm front ring (77mm filter thread), 32-pich (0.8 module) seamless focus gear, and of course the de-clicked, dampened aperture ring. In addition to the standard Cine-Mod, I also added one of our semi-permanent Canon Eos mounts. This mount conversion physically attaches to the body of the lens and essentially takes the place of the original Nikon mount, effectively making the Zeiss ZF.2 a native Canon Eos mount lens. An excellent mount modification for use on a 5D or 7D. I just happened to have received a Canon Eos mount for my FS100 that I thought I would try out with this lens and it worked great. There is a little bit of play between the mounts, but no more motion than I would expect from a Canon lens attached to a Canon camera. The focus and aperture movement on this lens are like soft butter, creamy smooth. With a Super 35mm sized sensor on the FS100, the bokeh from this f/1.4 85mm is simply dreamy. I love it! I’ll be shooting some test footage in the near future with a few different lens makes and models. I just need to find an interesting topic and create some decent content. I’m tired of test charts… 😉

Yes, Master (Prime).

So I’ve decided to start posting more content here on MatthewDuclos.com  that I would normally reserve for the Duclos Lenses Facebook Fan Page or Twitter etc. Most of the posts will be short blips, either photos or quick little videos, just quick, simple content. For starters here is a rather comical, yet surprisingly effective use of a Zeiss/Arri Master Prime on a Sony FS100 with Hot Rod Cameras PL mount. The Sony FS100 costs about $6,000. …Pocket change compared to the $25,000 price tag of the 14mm Master Prime. The lens costs more than four times as much as the camera. But it looks awesome! I didn’t record any footage but I will eventually. I was just trying out the Hot Rod Cameras mount adapter and it worked like a charm. Now… Enjoy the magnificent potential.

Showdown: Rokinon Vs. Zeiss

If you frequent my website, you are surely familiar with the Zeiss ZF.2 line of lenses. They are considered the high end of DSLR lenses in terms of quality and price, unrivaled german engineering. But recently, a new crop of cheap-o lenses have made their way across the ocean and are really giving Zeiss a run for it’s money. Continue reading Showdown: Rokinon Vs. Zeiss