By site editor Dan Chung:
At the BIRTV show in Beijing this week many Chinese manufacturers are showing off their latest equipment. G.L.Optics specialises in cine lens conversions and have offering fully rehoused stills lenses for a few years. Their latest offering is the brand new Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 lens for APS-C/Super35 sized sensors. The original stills lens has only been on the market for a few days and I find it truly amazing that a cine rehouse can be done so rapidly – hats off to G.L.Optics. There are geared rings for focus, aperture and zoom which all operate smoothly. As many reviewers of the photo version of this lens have noted the optical quality is excellent. One small thing that I did notice is that even though there is a hard stop this lens does focus past infinity. That quirk is a small price to pay though and shouldn’t limit most users.
A prototype of the converted Sigma has already made its way to the US where US reseller West Side Optics have already shot a short video showing off the 18-35’s capabilities.
The lens is priced at $3500 and is available to order now.
Also on show were G.L.’s cine converted vintage Leica R lens set. These seemed to be a very nice option if you like the old Leica look – most of the lenses are the older R glass of the non-ROM variety. They are also the slower apertured versions not the f1.4 ones.
Lastly they showed a new version of their Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 conversion, this time based on the newer version two of the lens with its supposedly improved lens coatings. Our technical editor Matt Allard has the older version of this lens and uses it a lot.
BIRTV video coverage by Gabriel Clermont, Jonas Schönstein and Shan Shan Wang.