A Way for Filmmakers to Increase Speed and Convenience on Set
In the past, I have given shout outs to my friends over at Duclos for their innovation in lenses and adapters. They are creative scientists. When the DSLR revolution hit, they were at the forefront doing what they termed “Cine Mods.” These Cine Mods consisted of taking your favorite still lens and de-clicking them so that you did not have to live by half stop increments, which can be deadly in digital. A 1/3 of a stop can determine whether you hold that cloud detail or not. They also made these sweet rings that are custom fitted to each lens to enable your manual or remote focus. The final step to make the mod complete was an 80mm filter adapter on the front so that all your lenses were the same filter diameter. The filter adapter was 77mm inside and 80mm outside so that all your matte box rings worked. This was huge. (See my May 2010 blog post.)
“What Is Duclos Up To Now?”
With Canon’s new arsenal of Cinema Primes and Cinema Zooms being either PL or EOS mount, we have a predicament here. Who has the money to buy two sets of lenses? Which rental house has all this money sitting around to engage both mounts? To my knowledge, Canon will not be making their Cinema Primes in PL. Duclos has a work around and it is excellent.
The Multi-Mount is a modification process developed by Duclos Lenses that offers a variety of mounts to be swapped on a given lens – the Canon 15.5-47mm or the 30-105mm. The system utilizes a standardized set of mount flanges including PL, Panavision, Nikon F and Canon EF, coupled with a custom sub-mount developed for each zoom lens. A truly simple yet elegant process that allows a single lens to be used across a wide range of cameras regardless of the mount required.
I shot 80% of my latest feature Need for Speed on the Canon C500. I quickly saw the power of having both camera mounts at my disposal. Why? Because the PL mount camera weighs 2.5lbs more and this can be a big deal with units like the MOVI or drone technology, for example. I have also found that enabling your still lens arsenal can be so beneficial when you have to pull your own focus as an operator. A still lens has a much shorter focus throw than a cinema lens. When you are using Crash Cams and do not want to possibly damage a 25K cinema lens, a 1K still lens will do the trick.
Keeping all of this information in mind, Duclos has taken the LIGHTWEIGHT Cinema Zooms and made EOS adapter or PL adapters to your glass.
As an owner operator or if you are renting the gear, you have the ability to embrace both mounts and give your director and cinematographer this unique ability that I have been practicing since Act of Valor in 2009.
Now that they have perfected the Lightweight Canon Cinema Zooms, 15.5-47mm and 30-105mm, they are moving on to the Heavyweights. They are now adapting the 14.5-60mm and the 30-300mm to go both ways. I know on Need for Speed, I had to carry four Lightweight zooms and four Heavyweights so that I could engage both mounts. Wasted money. No one is going to be able to pay for this.
I have really embraced these great focal lengths on Canon’s new zooms. They are sharp and flare nicely. They have a wonderful contrast level and were the go to lens on all the hi-speed camera cars as well as the studio set-ups.
What every heavyweight zoom needs is a handle to help grab it and mount it to your camera, RIGHT? I love what Duclos has made. They are ergonomically made to flow with the lens and they also incorporate a Haden M26T motor bracket to engage the zoom focal lengths. They are built like a brick house, but do not add much weight to the glass.
“Adapting the Canon Cinema Primes”
Canon has made it tricky to make an adapter that you can change back and forth to engage both mounts on the Canon Cinema Primes. Duclos Lenses is working on a conversion process to apply a PL mount but it is not something that can be done in the field. This is a bummer, but at least Duclos can give you this option, once you purchase them. The primes are very nice and give the look and feel of what you have become used to with the L series. Very fast, killer Canon flare and sharp.
“What Does It Cost?”
The price is $2,300, including installation, PL and EF mounts.
To have your lens modified to accept the Multi-Mount system, simply contact a Duclos Lenses representative to discuss options. The modification is performed by Duclos Lenses. The process is entirely non-destructive and can be reversed at any time to factory configuration if desired. The modification process takes approximately one week from date of delivery. Alternatively, you can purchase lenses directly from Duclos Lenses with the Multi-Mount installed and ready to shoot along with as many additional mount flanges as you require.
I think this goes without saying that the team at Duclos is forward thinking and has embraced this digital age head on. The quality and workmanship is top notch and I would recommend that you visit their website and store and see for yourself.
Options for a cinematographer are essential to the creation process. What great resources have you found?