Definition August 2024 - Web



GOING back to vintage IS A NICE WAY OF BREAKING UP THAT IMAGE SLIGHTLY WITH a softer look and the coatings ”

for filmmakers who want to harness the unique visual characteristics of older optics, while upgrading their functionality to meet modern production standards,” sums up Gary Leach, lens engineering manager at CVP. BACK TO THE FUTURE By removing the glass (and sometimes the iris as well) and building it into newly engineered mechanics, rehousing allows you to use your favourite vintage optics efficiently with modern equipment. “Apart from the look, one of the key reasons will be the change of lens mount – usually to PL – which provides compatibility with current camera models,” Leach adds. “Rehoused lenses can also include the addition of accurate focus scales and gear rings for remote drives, allowing for improved focus control. This is particularly beneficial for remote focus pulling.” It’s easy to see the appeal. True Lens Services (TLS), based in Leicestershire, UK, is one of the world’s top specialists

in the field of converting, servicing and repairing lenses for film and TV – and the team reports a ‘tremendous amount of growth’ in requests for the rehousing of vintage optics over the last five years. In the early days, one of the key drivers for this was the switch to digital sensors, which are becoming increasingly sharp, along with the lenses. “The image was just too sharp for some things,” explains Gavin Whitehurst, managing director at TLS. “That’s great for sports or wildlife, but when you’re seeing makeup and wrinkles on people’s faces, going back to vintage is a nice way of breaking up that image slightly with a softer look and the coatings. Things like lead in the glass gives that certain sparkle.” “We saw steep growth initially when the full-frame sensors came out,” adds the firm’s director of operations Stephen Lowe. “Canon K35s were the only true vintage cine lenses which would cover the full-frame sensors from 24mm and onwards – but that opened up a world of stills photography lenses; many of these

will cover that format, since that’s what they are designed to be used with. You can use vintage stills lenses with current cameras which can compete with new, modern-day glass – potentially at a lower price as stills lenses were relatively cheap to buy.” That said, the process of rehousing doesn’t come cheap. You’re looking at around £5k (at least) for a rehousing service, and this intricate, artisanal process takes time. TLS estimates a typical timeline of around ten weeks from start to finish – and currently has a waiting list of around six months, depending on the lens type and demand.


If you have the time, money and perfect donor glass for a reno job, the next step is getting a thorough inspection and quote. At this point, technicians can assess if any additional work – such as deyellowing, edge blackening and



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