Cinema shooters looking for the vintage qualities of Leica R stills lenses now have a new cine conversion option from a UK company called Cinescope. You may not have heard of them, but if you follow this site frequently then you’ll know TLS, the British lens experts who are actually performing the conversions for Cinescope.
Leica R stills lenses have grown in popularity with cine shooters over the years. They have signature look with excellent micro contrast, warm colours and full-frame coverage. Bokeh on most of the lenses is very smooth and a quick search of Vimeo or Youtube will bring up plenty of examples of what they are capable of.
The new conversions are available for 11 different Leica R primes, from 19mm up to 135mm. Currently the only mount available is PL. Each converted lens is hand built and costs between £6000 and £7500, including the base lens. Not only that, but you need to order at least a set of six. For that price you do get a custom metal lens case and a free mechanical service of the lenses after 12 months.
Users will also be able to supply their own R lenses for conversion but the price for this service has not yet been given. The Cinescope R lenses are not cheap, costing more than other Leica R rehousing options available, but that’s mainly because the quality of the work TLS do is second to none. In the hand, the lenses I saw felt every bit as good as a shiny new Cooke or top end Zeiss cine optic. Focus and iris are silky smooth and both have standard 0.8 mod pitch gears.
The lenses need to be purchased from Cinescope exclusively and cannot be ordered directly from TLS. If you’ve ever ordered a custom lens conversion from TLS in the past you’ll know that they can take a long time as they usually have a long wait list. The good news with the Cinescope conversions is that they are saying that they can take as little as 4-6 weeks. UK customers can also take advantage of 0% interest free for 2 years with 0% deposit.
The lens offered will be:
Leica Elmarit R – 19mm | T2.9 | £6000
Leica Elmarit R – 28mm | T2.9 | £6000
Leica Summicron R – 35mm | T2.1 | £6000
Leica SummIlux R – 35mm | T1.5 | £7500
Leica Summilux R – 50mm | T1.5 | £7500
Leica Summicron R – 50mm | T2.1 | £6000
Leica Elmarit R Macro 60mm | T2.9 | £6000
Leica Summilux R 80mm | T1.5 | £7500
Leica Summicron R 90mm | T2.1 | £6000
Leica Elmarit R Macro 100mm | T2.9 | £6000
Leica Elmarit R 135mm | T2.9 | £6000