About

An interview from the 2023 Cine Gear Expo in Los Angeles with Seth Emmons of Leitz. Ernst Leitz Wetzlar GmbH is a leading manufacturer of premium cine lenses for television and motion picture production. Formed as a sister company to Leica Camera AG in 2007 in Wetzlar, Germany, the company has used the Leica tradition as the basis for 8 lines of prime and zoom lenses produced under the brand name “Leitz” and spanning nearly all modern cinema formats.

Leitz lenses feature innovative optical and mechanical designs that have pushed the world of cinema optics forward. In 2015 the Leitz Summilux-C lenses, the first line created by the company, was recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences with the Science and Engineering Award. More accolades followed and Leitz lenses have gone on to help create a large number of award-winning films, blockbuster series, and commercials worldwide.

The Leitz HUGO lenses are designed to be small, fast, lightweight, and as close focusing as possible with the full personality of the Leica M lens glass creating character at capture. The initial set of 7 full frame lenses ranges from 21 mm to 90 mm, all T1.5, with 18 mm and 135 mm focal lengths to follow soon. A 50 mm T1.0 lens is also available.

Building on the popularity of the Leitz M 0.8 series, the Leitz HUGO lenses use the same Leica M optics, but feature a completely new housing design and build quality to match existing Leitz cinematography lenses. These lenses will have an LPL mount as well as the traditional cine orientation of focus and iris scales, expanded focus scales with a 270° rotation, and greatly increased close focus ability. They remain incredibly compact and lightweight starting at 1.78 lbs / .81 kg, and between 2.7 - 4.4” (68 - 112 mm) in length. Lens mounts can be swapped to Leica M mount or Leica L mount as well.

Like other Leitz cine lenses, the HUGO series will have readily available parts, replacement elements, and lens technician training will ensure reliable and consistent use for many years. Existing M 0.8 lenses will be eligible for a conversion to HUGO lenses in the future. Pricing and availability to be determined.

The Leitz HUGO lenses take their name from esteemed engineer Hugo Wehrenfennig whose work for Leica Camera (then Ernst Leitz GmbH, Wetzlar) included creating the iconic Leica M bayonet mount still in use today along with many of the early M series lenses.

The Leica M mount features a shallow flange depth of 27.8 mm, which was the key to designing small, fast, high quality lenses that have been a staple of street photographers, war correspondents, and adventurers who need to move light, travel far, and shoot quickly for nearly seven decades. The Leitz HUGO lenses capture that same spirit and bring the iconic images of M glass with its rich colors, artful flares, and rounded image field into the world of moving pictures with uncompromising quality, durability, and flexibility.

The Leitz ELSIE lenses are designed for full frame performance with a consistency in size and speed to serve a broad range of productions. The 13 lens set ranges from 15 mm to 150 mm, all at T2.1.

The ELSIE lenses are available in LPL mount. Designing for the shallower flange depth of the LPL standard allows for more design flexibility and higher performance without pushing the mechanical or optical characteristics to the extreme.

The Leitz ELSIE lenses were designed from the ground up as premium cine lenses with full frame performance and a consistency in size and speed to serve a broad range of productions. Designed and produced in Germany, the ELSIE lenses incorporate the warmth and resolution that Leitz lenses are known for.

The lenses feature a noticeable but gradual falloff of resolution and illumination as the image approaches the corners to create a dimensional pop that gently draws the viewer‘s eye toward the center of the frame. The LEITZ ZOOMs make an excellent companion for the ELSIE primes in both image look and feel.

The name ELSIE is inspired by lifelong humanitarian Elsie Kühn-Leitz, daughter of Ernst Leitz II, who championed the oppressed and suffering and risked her own life to help them.

For more information please visit: www.Leitz-Cine.com

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