Your Guide To The 6 Best Rehousing Lens Shops

LensTag
Make old glass your new friend. 

Lenses: They are the colorful fish in the flaming pond of cameras fighting over pixel count, bit-depth, and ergonomics.

There's a reason why we've stopped talking about three-CCD cameras–the Sony PD150, Canon XL1, and the Panasonic AG-DVX100–or why we rarely mention the Canon 5D Mark II or 7D Mark II. The technology behind digital filmmaking turns over a new leaf every six months now. You'll soon be saying to yourself, "I remember when I bought my first Sony a7s II or Panasonic GH5...that camera was awesome" while holding a shiny new camera body that dwarfs it in specs. 

DSLR cinematography will always be the backbone of No Film School, and as filmmakers, we are all growing, seeking out ways to improve workflow or future-proof ourselves when making a purchase. Lenses are one of those safe bets thanks to the practice of rehousing optics which have been around for decades. 

To put it simply, lens rehousing is either modifying an old cine lens to meet new standards or adapting a still lens for cinema use. It's a practical way to breathe new life into a lens that's been sitting on the shelf. If you find yourself in a similar situation, below is a handy guide of companies (alphabetically) who specialize in the service. We've used some of them with great success. Better yet, a few offer rentals of its rehoused lenses which is a good way to step into a unique visual aesthetic without a full commitment. 

This U.K. company does it all: service, repairs, maintenance, lens conversions, and everything in between. Besides service, they also have used lenses available to snag. 

Duclos Lenses

The Los Angeles-based company might have the most recognizable name on the West Coast. Duclos offers maintenance, repair, polishing, recoating, and several types of modifications including Cine-Mod, where they take still lenses and make them cine friendly, and a Multi-Mount service where users can switch from Canon, Nikon, Panavision, PL, and Sony mounts quickly. They also convert Canon CN-E lenses to PL among others. 

P+S Technik

The German company can rehouse just about any cine lens, most notably the Canon K35s. Angenieux, Cooke Panchro, Kinoptik, Kowa Anamorphic, Leica and Zeiss, among others can also be rehoused by the team. 

Simmond Lens

Turned from a passion project into a full-fledged business, Canadian-based cinematographer Ron Sim's company Simond Lens can covert any vintage lens to be used with mirrorless, DSLR, or film camera. The company offers services to add de-click, follow focus gears and EF conversion mounts. 

TLS (True Lens Services)

If you're in the U.K., TLS is a stellar rehousing source. The company can convert, service, or repair pretty much any film, broadcast or projection lens you give them. In fact, they even rehouse and design the lenses for spots like Cinescope Optics and Old Fast Glass

Van Diemen Optics

This U.K. company does it all: service, repairs, maintenance, lens conversions, and everything in between. Besides service, they also have used lenses available to snag. 

Zero Optik

Located in Los Angeles, CA, the company specializes in rehousing Angeniuex, Bausch, and Lomb Original Baltars, Leica R, and Nikon AI-S lenses. But like the others on the list, they can modify just about any lens. 

Other spots definitely worth considering are GL Optics, Les Bosher and Slow Motion Digital. If you've used a rehousing service (or know of any worth recommending), let us know in the comments section below. It would be nice to have a current list going for those interested. 

Know of any we missed? We're sure there's more out there. Let us know in the comments below.      

Your Comment

3 Comments

Hello , (to be clear to all about my affiliations I am the MD of Van Diemen Films Ltd.)
We were very pleased to be mentioned in your article about lens Conversion shops.
We do do rather more than the listed items in your article.
We will convert any 24 x 36 coverage lens to PL Full coverage ultra close focus .
We build Internal focus Anamorphics using mainly Lomo donor optics large and small but will take on any other anamorphic project.
We have a lighter and smaller lens conversion system for Super 35 coverage lenses and in many cases 24x 36 coverage lenses as well. Designed for smaller rigs.
All our conversions are based on our wireform patented lens drive system.
Some of our larger clients are, Old fast Glass, London Lens Company, Stuart Graham London,Ludwig Kamera Germany, Camtec USA, Bio Films rental Czech Rep,harmonica rentals Spain,ITV Provision UK.,Only Rental Denmark,and many more lenses rented out via the larger rental house around the globe .
We have been around for some time established in 1985.
With Kind regards

Christopher

October 13, 2018 at 10:55AM

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Christopher Smith
Managing Director Van Diemen Films ltd
81

Would be nice to have info about KimCamera.

July 31, 2019 at 9:06PM

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Amilcar Machado
Director
72

RPLENS.com The original. Started Cine Upgrading and selling still lens sets to the digital cinema world in 2007. Owned and operated Michigan based Cinematographer, Peter Sensor.

May 24, 2020 at 6:24AM

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Peter Sensor
Cinematographer
1

you forgot about Ukraine "iron glass" @ironglassadapters
I think they are also worthy of attention

November 13, 2020 at 1:27AM

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