Founder Drama Leads to the End of Independent Lens Maker Veydra
Launched off of a kickstarter and offering what we all wanted in 2014, affordable cine lens optics, Veydra announced their shutdown over the weekend.
While we're currently overwhelmed with choices in the "affordable cine lens" marketplace, back in 2014 that just wasn't the case. You could buy affordable still lenses that laboriously adapt them for cine use by de-clicking and putting on focus rings, or you could find the money for real cinema lenses. For the newly popular MFT format with it's smaller flange focal distance, that didn't make a lot of sense. Thus we were all excited by the successful Kickstarter, that lead to a successful lens line, for Veydra. Repeatable focus with gears! Designed natively for MFT! Affordable!
They were good as well!
In LensRentals test they beat out the pricier Zeiss CP.2s and offered a great combination of image quality with price. While the news has been all about Full Frame this last year, the MFT format remains alive and well with cameras like the Blackmagic Pocket 4K, Fuji X-T3 and XH-1 (technically X-mount, but it's a similar sensor size made a Veydra adapter), and Veydra continued to expand on their original offering with lenses like their Wide Angle shown off at NAB 2017.
However, thieves broke into their headquarters that same year and made off with $200K in inventory. While insurance likely covered it, there are always deductibles, and even worse the headache of restocking inventory, which includes sourcing fresh parts and re-assembling units for older orders while also servicing new orders, and navigating customers waiting on their items that make these incidents difficult for small companies to withstand.
As 2019 has gone on, the lack of a Full Frame offering (their E-mount lenses work in crop mode) had started to look like a liability as more filmmakers made the move to that platform. Even though they would cover the Pocket 6K, the EF mount wouldn't adapt to the flange focal distance required to make that (potentially dynamite) combination work.
Rumors started to spread based on slow shipping times, out of stock inventory on vendor sites, and word that founders are now working for other companies. Finally, co-founder of the company Ryan Avery made the announcement on Facebook over the weekend, pointing to a conflict between the founders which has gotten litigious as being a primary driver of the end of the business.
Veydra was one of those companies that launched off a kickstarter offering something very unique to the market, especially when it was launched, and their contribution to the indie film community will be missed.