Leica has announced a new range of cinema lenses that is aimed at photographers looking for a classic vintage look and exceptional bokeh. There will be nine focal lengths in the Thalia series that almost mirror the focal lengths the company offers its S medium format customers, but this new range is designed to cover a wider picture area to suit users of the Alexa 65, the VistaVison and Super 35mm formats.

The all-prime set-up comprises:

  • 24mm T3.6
  • 30mm T2.9
  • 35mm T2.6
  • 45mm T2.9
  • 55mm T2.8
  • 70mm T2.6
  • 100mm T2.2
  • 120mm T2.6
  • 180mm T3.6

Leica says it hasn’t gone for a super-sharp image but rather provides a look that many cinematographers search for by using older lenses with digital sensors. It claims the images 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.’

The iris of each lens features 15 blades arranged in a mechanism that produces a circular aperture throughout the complete range of stops, according to Leica. The company says that this creates ‘a cinematic bokeh that comes alive with character. Out-of-focus elements maintain their structure, which further adds to the sense of dimensionality in the image.’
For the size of the covering circle the lenses are said to be relatively compact and lightweight, and each has a diameter of 95mm. The lenses will be available in PL mount and come with /i Technology contacts for metadata transfer.

No price has been announced yet, but these are going to cost more than one week’s pocket money. For more information see the CW Sonderoptic website.

Press release

Leica Thalia: New Lenses for Big Picture Cinematography

Responding to the increasing need for character-driven, large-format optics, CW Sonderoptic introduces the Leica Thalia series of prime lenses. The set of 9 spherical lenses provides an image circle of 60mm diagonal, which covers ARRI Alexa 65, VistaVision, and Super 35 film and digital formats while maintaining a consistent look and feel through all focal lengths.

The focal lengths of the lenses include 24, 30, 35, 45, 55, 70, 100, 120, and 180mm. The lenses are available in PL mount and offer /i Technology metadata contacts in the mount. The lenses maintain a 95mm front diameter and matched focus and iris ring locations for consistent accessory use. For large format lenses they are also incredibly compact and lightweight, with lengths between 4.9”-6.9” (124.5-175cm) and weighing between 2.4-3.75lbs (1.06-1.6kg).

One of the most unique features of the Leica Thalia lenses is their iris design, which maintains a circular shape through the entire aperture range. In addition to always being round, the bokeh is smooth, distinct and full of character, which helps the out of focus elements maintain structure and shape without falling apart.

Although the lenses are based on the Leica S medium format lenses, they feature significant optical and mechanical changes, including: increased image circle, new coatings, new iris design, 270° rotation cam focus mechanism, and entirely new mechanics and housings. Additionally, the 55mm lens is a completely new lens.

“The look of these lenses answers what we have heard from many cinematographers, and not just in regards to image circle,” said managing director Gerhard Baier.

“While they are new lenses, they do offer many of the characteristics that have encouraged cinematographers to pair older lenses with digital sensors. They are clear without being overly sharp. Focus is smooth and forgiving without appearing soft. Skin tones are natural and smooth with an accurate color rendition.”

The Leica Thalia lenses will be on display at the CW Sonderoptic booth at NAB (C4345) and will start delivering in Summer 2017.

For more information visit the product page at www.cw-sonderoptic.com/leica-thalia/ or contact us at sales@cw-sonderoptic.de.