The high-end lens maker Ernst Leitz Wetzlar has a strong reputation in the world of motion picture and TV production. The company is based in Wetzlar and happens to share the region with premium camera maker Leica. Now, it’s been reported that Leitz has announced the creation of a new line of cinema glass that is called the Leitz Hugo line. These recreate the visual characteristics of Leica M lenses and have been released in partnership with the famous camera maker.
The new Leitz Hugo prime lenses have a compact, lightweight build and are designed to operate rapidly under demanding conditions. They also deliver extremely close focusing while recreating the visual character of Leica M optics.
All seven of the newly announced full-frame lenses in this lineup feature a T1.5 fast aperture and range from 21mm to 90mm. Further optics with 18, and 135mm focal lengths are coming next. The initial set of seven lenses is however available now for a hefty price tag of €107,300, which at the current USD/EUR exchange rate translates to about $106,000 dollars. The 50mm T1.0 alone costs €18,900, or $18,700. In short, these are not exactly standard lenses for amateur filmmakers.
According to Rainer Hercher, Managing Director at Ernst Leitz Wetzlar,
“Every lens we create is in some way an interpretation of the Leica M look, The Leitz Hugo lenses are a more literal implementation that builds off the popularity of the Leitz M 0.8 series by using the same iconic Leica M optics while elevating the housing design and build quality to match existing Leitz cinematography lenses in durability, usability, and importantly serviceability.”
Allof the new lenses have been designed with traditional cine orientation for focus and iris scales, expanded focus scales at a 270° rotation and enhanced close focus ability. They’re available only for LPL mounts. The lenses are indeed very compact, with the lightest weighing just 1.78 lbs, or 0.81 kg, while having a length that ranges from 68 – 112 mm, or 2.7 to 4.4 inches.
For such an expensive line of cinematic lenses, Leitz promises strong parts replacement availability and sufficient lens technician training to make sure that ready maintenance and repair are available for years.
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