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LockCircle releases Prime Circle XE lenses with wireless aperture control

By dpreview staff on Apr 5, 2013 at 18:42 GMT

Accessory maker LockCircle has announced Prime Circle XE lenses in a Canon EF mount with a wireless controller that can can change aperture remotely at distances of up to 300 feet. Ranging between focal lengths of 15mm to 135mm, the lenses feature Carl Zeiss optics in a housing designed specifically for cinematographers with large focus scales and a common 95mm front mount across the range of lenses. There is currently no information about the XE series' price and availability.

Press Release:

Prime Circle XE System: world class prime lenses with electronic wireless aperture!

LockCircle is proud to announce the premiere of the innovative Prime Circle XE System at NAB 2013.

The Prime Circle XE System is a complete range of innovative prime lenses with electronic aperture and wireless control up to 300 ft, available in 10 different focals from 15mm to 135mm with a makro 50 and makro 100mm.

The Prime Circle XE lenses are world class optics (Carl Zeiss) in a high-end shape and cine-style ergonomics with dedicated XE and XE-Z wireless controllers and a FZ intelligent mount (a micro 4/3 follows shortly).

Large focus scales (cine-style focus classic direction) on both sides of lens barrel for precise focus-pullers work, and 95mm front mount across all the lenses sizes.

The optics offer magic cinematic feeling engineered by the most prestigious optical manufacturer in the world.

Based on the popular EF Mount the Prime Circle XE can be mounted on every EF Mount camera, or several different cameras with FZ Mount or micro 4/3 with the XE System intelligent mounts. Lenses aperture can be controlled wirelessly directly from the d.o.p. chair in front of the control monitor.

Modern EF Mount cameras can control directly the Prime Circle XE lenses aperture, or with the wireless XE Controller it's possible to control image exposure far away from the camera.

The XE System intelligent mount (adapter) offers the option to reach the same freedom with Sony FZ, Panasonic, Blackmagic or other cameras.

The XE Controller is dedicated to Canon EOS cameras and the XE-Z Controller is dedicated to the XE System intelligent mounts, offering a wide production choice across several cameras mounts.

The XE Controller has an integrated rechargeable battery for up to 18 hours of continuos shooting, and offers LiveView On/Off, Focus function recalling wide open aperture for precise focus check, also start/stop Rec is available.

The O-Led display can be checked in total sunlight or in total darkness! The XE/XE-Z Controllers are really compact (pocket size)and heavy-duty for rough abuse on movie productions. The XE System Controllers features the exlcusive K-Link protocol for future applications of “intelligent” accessories under development right now! Prime Circle XE System: the wireless aperture kingdom!


Total comments: 11
By ///M (Apr 8, 2013)

think rent, not purchase (unless you own a rental house), this is an odd product, as there are already programable ststems for pulling focus and setting aperature for cinema work, guessing the future applications mentioned will make this system seem relavent in the future

Sean Nelson
By Sean Nelson (Apr 7, 2013)

I'm a little perplexed by the reasoning on this. I'd have thought that it would be far more useful to have remote focus pull than aperture adjustment. How often is aperture changed during a shot? Except for remote-mounted cameras, I'm having a hard time visualizing how this would be used.

Remote focus control, especially one which could be pre-programmed with timed or cued focus adjustments, would be terrifically useful, IMHO.

Blake Willis
By Blake Willis (Apr 6, 2013)

Uhm, am I missing something here or can you do this already in (wifi) tethered capture with AF lenses (incl. with smartphone apps)? If they went to the trouble of adding a focus motor to cinema lenses wouldn't it have been easier to use the focusing system already in the camera (or maybe add on to it with an app)?

By peterwr (Apr 6, 2013)

"The optics offer magic cinematic feeling"

Is this a Far Eastern company, by any chance? :-)

But seriously, the + and - buttons on the controller seem to hint at a potential lack of useability for cinematography. When you're pulling stops on a movie, you don't want to be hobbled by a step-by-step aperture change, with its speed limited by how quickly you can pump the buttons - especially if, as seems to be the case, there's no aperture ring on the lens so you can't use a third-party controller.

Unless there's a responsive, continuously-variable control wheel upcoming, I'd stick with the established remoteable lenses - Arri, Canon, Cooke etc. Less sleek, but more versatile.

1 upvote
Sean Nelson
By Sean Nelson (Apr 7, 2013)

It's possible that the +/- buttons are for data entry, and the other buttons (or +/- in a different operating mode) are then used to automatically adjust the lens to pre-programmed positions.

By tongki (Apr 6, 2013)

EF mount from Zeiss ?
AF or manual ?

By Camediadude (Apr 5, 2013)

Such rarefied lenses ... don't tease, show us those richly-coated ultra-polished elements! (drool!)

By xilvar (Apr 5, 2013)

When you're using a camera for motion work ie - movie, etc. You dynamically pull focus and adjust aperture during a take.

Adjusting aperture using the clicky body mounted dials can introduce shake in the camera, and the aperture scale is 1/3 stop instead of continuous. I'm presuming that the apertures in these lenses are capable of being continuous.

You may also mount the camera in a rig which has matte boxes, focus pulling gears, large monitors, etc and which makes the actual camera dials hard to reach. You may have a person dedicated to focus pulling separate from the cameraman, and perhaps he might adjust aperture himself as well.

Thus an aperture remote, continuous aperture, and geared focus ring help with all these problems.

1 upvote
By joe6pack (Apr 5, 2013)

Just for my understanding... what is the use case?

By DerpyWebber (Apr 6, 2013)

High-end cinematography.

1 upvote
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 5, 2013)

Price? If you have to ask you can't afford it.

Availability? If you are Carl Zeiss then yes you can have one.

Total comments: 11