Sigma Fills Out Nicely with 14mm and 135mm Cine Primes

Sigma has just announced the development of a 14mm T2 and 135mm T2 prime lens. Based on the Sigma ART line of optics, these two new primes will join the already impressive 20mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm . This news comes as no surprise to anyone who follows Sigma. The photo version of these lenses which were released earlier this year, seem like they were designed specifically to join the Sigma Cine family. They’re a welcome addition and render the Sigma Cine Primes a powerful option for cinematographers.  Continue reading Sigma Fills Out Nicely with 14mm and 135mm Cine Primes

Canon Expands Compact-Servo Line with 70-200mm Tele-Zoom

A favorite focal length of still photographers, and naturally of hybrid cinematographers bridging the gap between the worlds of still photography and motion picture, the new 70-200mm Compact-Servo is sure to be an ideal choice for the ultra-light documentary shooter. Canon’s 18-80mm Compact-Servo was announced about the same time last year, just ahead of NAB 2016. If you’re unfamiliar with the Compact-Servo line, imagine all the camera operators in the world using Canon’s L series still lenses. Now imagine half of them called Canon and complained that their L series lens doesn’t hold focus through the zoom and it doesn’t have integrated gears, and the focus isn’t reliable or repeatable… Then imagine Canon going to their engineers and explaining this – and that’s where we get the Compact-Servo zooms.  Continue reading Canon Expands Compact-Servo Line with 70-200mm Tele-Zoom

Angenieux Adds 48-130mm to Optimo Style Line

Ahead of NAB 2017, Angenieux has announced another addition to the Optimo Style line of zooms – a 48-130mm T3. The 48-130mm features a 2.7x zoom range along with the other lightweight Optimo Style zooms, the 16-40mm and 30-76mm. It weighs 4.3 lbs and Angenieux states it is idea for hand held, steadicam and drones productions. Continue reading Angenieux Adds 48-130mm to Optimo Style Line

Field Test – Duclos 2x Extender

For many years now I have used 1.4x and 2x extenders with my still lenses for both photography and video, and I am familiar with their advantages as well as their shortcomings.  Since PL mount lenses have really become my gear of choice lately, I was in the market for a good PL mount 2x extender. I am now the happy owner of the Duclos 2x Extender and I wanted to take a minute to share my first impressions of it. Continue reading Field Test – Duclos 2x Extender

Duclos Lenses Announces Brand New 2x Extender

Yet another must have accessory from Duclos Lenses. The 2X Tele-Extender can give your telephoto lenses even more reach. This all new design from Duclos Lenses features a couple of tricks not found in other extenders such as an adjustable back focus that eliminates the need for laborious shimming. The body is made from anodized aluminum and stainless steel for a most robust design. The glass is extremely high quality; sourced from Japan and aims to exceed even the industry’s most respected brands. Continue reading Duclos Lenses Announces Brand New 2x Extender

Quick Look: Canon 50-1000mm Close Focus Performance

In this post, we’re going to take a quick look at the Canon 50-1000mm Cine-Servo – a lens that some may consider impractical or unnecessary. I disagree! A few weeks back I had a client that was considering adding Canon’s new super zoom to his kit. He does a lot of wildlife and nature documentary work but didn’t think that 1,000mm was a reasonable range. If you asked me that same question six months ago I probably would have agreed. However, after some hands-on time with the lens here in the shop, I’ve definitely found the silver lining. Continue reading Quick Look: Canon 50-1000mm Close Focus Performance

$100k Gets You a Few Leica Primes

leica-set

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.

Leica 280
A view of the Leica 280mm f/2.0 PL mount and iris ring.

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.

Leica Cases
You can’t have such nice lenses and not provide appropriate protection. The set comes with custom foamed travel cases.

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.