March 29, 2017

Meet the New Leica Thalia Prime Lenses for Large-Format Cameras

CW Sonderoptic has unveiled a set of nine spherical lenses to cover the large-format optics of ARRI ALEXA 65, VistaVision, and Super 35 film. 

This year, many companies have jumped on a new trend: releasing product news several weeks prior to the traditional feeding frenzy that is the first day of the NAB Show. CW Sonderoptic wants in on the game.

With movies like The Revenant, Captain American: Civil War, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and many more using large-format cameras, Leica is releasing a set of nine prime lenses dubbed Thalia for those seeking to create a cinematic look and feel.  

The new glass offers optical advancement in image circle, coating, and iris design with entirely new mechanics and housings.

Based on the Leica S medium format lenses, the new glass offers optical advancement in image circle, coating, and iris design with entirely new mechanics and housings. The available focal lengths are 24, 30, 35, 45, 55, 70, 100, 120, and 180mm, touting a 60mm image circle, which completely covers the sensor of the ARRI ALEXA 65.

While the glass is not vintage, which some cinematographers like to use to combat the digital sensor, CW Sonderoptic states, "they are clear without being overly sharp and focus is smooth and forgiving without looking soft. Skin tones are natural and smooth with accurate color rendition."

Leica Thalia primesCredit: CW Sonderoptic

The Thalia lenses are equipped with a PL mount and support /i Technology metadata through the contacts. They also maintain a 95mm front diameter. Leica kept the focus and iris ring locations consistent in the series for familiarity.

Due to a gradual focus fall off curve, images may also have added depth and dimension on larger sensors. Instead of even, flat layers of focus across the frame, these lenses have a slight curve.  According to the company, "they can make an image 'pop' because it is simultaneously more consistent with human vision and yet different from most images created with modern lenses."

A round iris through all aperture stops helps creates a cinematic bokeh with out-of-focus elements maintaining structure. There's a focus rotation of 270° and filters can be used on either the front (screw) or back (net holder).

The 55mm is a completely new lens—from the ground up.

The Thalia lenses will be on display at the CW Sonderoptic NAB booth #C4345. Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but the company says the series will cost less than the Summilux series and more than the Summicron, putting the Thalia somewhere between $17,000 and $38,000—more widely known as the "rental range." 

Tech Specs

  • Focal lengths: 24, 30, 35, 45, 55, 70, 100, 120, and 180mm
  • Image circle: 60mm
  • Weight: 2.4-3.75lbs (1.06-1.6kg)
  • Size: 4.9”-6.9” (124.5-175cm)
  • PL Mount 
  • /i Technology metadata contacts

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