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Header image for article NAB 2017: Leica Updates

NAB 2017: Leica Updates

I met with Seth Emmons from CW Sonderoptic (Leica’s affiliate company for cinema lenses) about their exciting, new large format Leica Thalia lenses. The Thalia’s are a line of high-end spherical cine primes with extra-large 60mm diameter image circles. This is more than enough to cover ARRI’s ALEXA 65 and virtually any other digital format in use today. This includes RED’s 8K VistaVision, full format stills (36mm x 24mm) and, of course, all 3- and 4-perf Super 35 digital sensors as well.

Similar in size and weight to the Leica Summilux-C primes (some of the Thalias are actually smaller), these lenses average just 4 lb and have consistent outer front diameters of 95mm (matching all other Leica cine lenses) with inner 92mm filter threads. The set will ultimately comprise nine lenses with focal lengths ranging from 24mm up to 180mm with maximum apertures of T2.6-T3.6. In adapting designs from Leica’s medium format S camera system, which already had a reputation for producing cinematic images, CW Sonderoptic took the opportunity to optimize the lenses through new coatings and elements, targeting a balance of sharpness and smoothness. The iris implementation is interesting as well, using 15 curved blades to produce perfectly round and smooth bokeh (out-of-focus highlight discs) at all aperture settings.

Stayed tuned throughout the video to hear more about the Leica M 0.8 lenses, as well as first availability of the final focal length in the Summicron-C range, the 15mm T2. With a generous 36mm image circle, this rectilinear lens will easily cover RED’s 6K Dragon and 8K Helium sensors, as well as ALEXA’s Open Gate mode. Finally, Leica’s Macrolux diopters are now available in two new strengths, adding +.5 and +2, in addition to the original +1 version.

Megan Donnelly
Technology and Education Development Manager, AbelCine LA

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