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An interview from the 2017 International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam with Rainer Hercher of CW Sonderoptic. CW Sonderoptic, sister company to Leica Camera, designs and manufacturers premium cinema products including the Leica Summilux-C and Leica Summicron-C prime lenses. In this interview Rainer showcases their new set of 9 Spherical Large Format, the Thalia Lenses, as well as the complete set of Leica M 0.8 Cinema Lenses.

For over 60 years the Leica M full frame lenses have inspired photographers and cinematographers alike with their unique interpretation of light, skin tones and color. Now, thanks to a series of design innovations, the new Leica M 0.8 lenses can bring that classic look to a variety of professional cine cameras. The Leica M 0.8 lenses retain all the classic image characteristics of the regular Leica M lenses, but feature a smooth iris rotation and larger 0.8 module / 32 pitch gear rings for focus and iris. CW selected 5 lenses for this series, choosing the fastest in each focal length. They include: 21mm f/1.4, 24mm f/1.4, 28mm f/1.4, 35mm f/1.4 and the 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux. Redesigned mechanics allow them to work seamlessly with traditional cine accessories. They will be purpose-built, assembled and calibrated on the regular Leica M line at Leica Camera in Wetzlar.

Responding to the increasing need for character-driven, large-format optics, CW Sonderoptic introduces the Leica Thalia series of prime lenses. The set of 9 spherical lenses provides an image circle of 60mm diagonal, which covers ARRI Alexa 65, VistaVision, and Super 35 film and digital formats while maintaining a consistent look and feel through all focal lengths.

The focal lengths of the lenses include 24, 30, 35, 45, 55, 70, 100, 120, and 180mm. The lenses are available in PL mount and offer /i Technology metadata contacts in the mount. The lenses maintain a 95mm front diameter and matched focus and iris ring locations for consistent accessory use. For large format lenses they are also incredibly compact and lightweight, with lengths between 4.9”-6.9” (124.5-175cm) and weighing between 2.4-3.75lbs (1.06-1.6kg).

One of the most unique features of the Leica Thalia lenses is their iris design, which maintains a circular shape through the entire aperture range. In addition to always being round, the bokeh is smooth, distinct and full of character, which helps the out of focus elements maintain structure and shape without falling apart.

Although the lenses are based on the Leica S medium format lenses, they feature significant optical and mechanical changes, including: increased image circle, new coatings, new iris design, 270° rotation cam focus mechanism, and entirely new mechanics and housings. Additionally, the 55mm lens is a completely new lens.

For more information please visit: www.CW-Sonderoptic.de