NAB 2014: Leica Cine Lenses
Leica Summilux-C Prime Cine Lenses. Otto Nemenz, Leica, and Band Pro got together and said, “Let’s make some cinema lenses, baby”
And so they did, which proved very interesting to cinematographers always looking for alternative looks. At nearly $200,000 per eight lens set, these lenses come in very competitively priced with other ultra high quality cinema lens offerings. The Summilux designation on a Leica lens denotes an f/1.4 speed rating, as that is an integral component of the brand. As you would expect for this kind of a price, the lenses are spectacular. The Leica Cine Lenses are truly, the Leica’s of the Cinema World.
Not to be outdone in the “budget” cinema category, we also have the Leica Summicron-C T2.0 Lens Set with Case, which includes six lenses, comprising 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, and 100mm. Each lens features an image circle of over 34mm, which easily covers the Super-35mm format as well as covering the larger RED Epic Dragon sensor in its full 6K mode. Leica Summicron-C lenses feature similar characteristics as the larger, faster, and significantly more expensive Leica Summilux-C lenses. The largest difference being the Summicron-C lenses are one stop slower at T 2.0 and are 30% shorter and 20% lighter than the larger, faster cousins in the lens line.
Leica Summicron-C lenses feature stainless steel PL mounts, making the lens range fully compatible with the most commonly used professional digital cinema cameras. These include the ARRI Alexa, RED Epic, Sony F5, Sony F55, and Canon C300 PL. They cover a large image circle, over 34mm diameter, allowing you to use these lenses on the RED Dragon sensor in 6K mode. When in APS-C size mode, I can even use them with my Sony A7R.
Each of the lenses hold the same length and front barrel size, with focus and iris gearing in the same position across the line. Doing this sure helps in speeding lens changes, as you don’t need to adjust lens accessories. Mechanically the lenses use a Helix-style focus mechanism and an 8-blade iris. They also feature opposing focus scales, one on each side for the operator and one for the assistant. That is a nice convenience touch for using them. The lenses come in a hard shell case designed to withstand a direct nebular star collision, with a cut foam custom interior.
An eight-blade iris in the Leica Summicron-C lens provides an octagonal shape at any stop above wide open for beautiful bokeh, much the same but different than that provided by the Summilux-C. These lenses are designed for all shooting applications, including handheld and Steadicam, providing a comfortable balance ratio with the latest compact cameras. All six lenses share the same size and front barrel diameter, including the position of focus and iris gears, for speeding up rapid lens changes since the lens accessories don’t have to be repositioned when you change a lens. What is not to love? And such a deal, the six lens set is only $98,000. Where did I put that winning lottery ticket? I want a set for Christmas!
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