Sometimes the close-focus on your lens just isn't good enough to get the shot you want. Whether it's an extreme close-up of an eye, dynamic b-roll for your documentary, or just classic table stop work, if your lens can't let you get focus close enough, that's when you turn to a diopter. Diopters increase the magnification of your lens slightly, while allowing closer focus for the front of your depth of field. Of course, as we remember from our DoF charts, as your depth of field gets closer to the lens, it also gets smaller. However, like all glass you put in front of the lens, it affects image quality, and if you are shooting with high end lenses you're going to want high end diopters to match.

Leicacinelux_nab2017_000Credit: CW Sonderoptic

CW Sonderoptic, the motion picture manufacturing and distribution company devoted to bringing Leica still lens quality and manufacturing into the cinema world, have expanded their line of diopters designed to work with the Leica Cine lenses. Building on the success of the previously available +1 diopter, the line will expand to include +.5 and +2 diopters options. Using Leica quality optical elements and coatings, these diopters are fully stackable to increase power allowing for extreme close-focus photography. The +.5 diopter, while not particularly powerful, is designed to help cinematographers decrease depth of field in certain situations for an increase in bokeh and great image control.

LeicacineluxCredit: CW Sonderoptic

One particularly useful aspect of the design is the ability to not only directly mount the diopter to the lens, but to stack the macros as well. While the math for stacking macros isn't as predictable as 1+1=2 (adding two +1 macros only ads up to about a +1.7 power increase), its still a useful feature that will get a lot of utility out of these diopters. In addition, keeping diopters out of the filter trays on your matte box keeps it free for other filtration options, or even allows you to work without a matte box for shots where getting close enough to the subject might be prevented by a protruding front element.

The new equipment will be shipping soon, but it will also be shown at the CW Sonderoptic booth at NAB in April. Contact CW Sonderoptic through their site now for purchasing info.

Tech Specs

  • 95mm internal and external mounting ring
  • 30.5mm deep
  • 107.5 overall external diamter
  • 447gram weight