Chinese lens conversion company G.L. Optics has have just announced a new set of rehoused medium format prime lenses based on the Mamiya 645 range. Like other G.L. Optics lenses these are full cinema conversions with smooth geared focus and iris, and accurate markings for pulling focus. Focus rotation is 300 degrees and all lenses share the same physical length, 95m outside diameter and 77mm screw threads.
They will be available in PL and EF mount and are interchangeable between the two. The use of medium format glass means that they should easily cover the larger, wider sensors that are gaining popularity in modern cinema cameras. G.L. Optics claim the lenses are enough to work with a 12K sensor (should you have one lying around).
There is a set comprising of six lenses available. These are a 35mm T3.5, 45mm T2.8, 55mm T2.8, 70mm T2.8, 80mm T2.8 and 110mm T2.8. Cost is $18,000 US plus taxes, duties and shipping. Not exactly cheap, but if you need these then you probably think the price is reasonable. If you want to swap mounts between PL and EF then extra mounts can be purchased for $350 US each).
There are options for a further two lenses. The first is a 28mm T2.8 based on a Mamiya photo lens that isn’t medium format for $2750 US. The second, a 150mm T3.5 based on a 645 prime for $3000 US.
A few weeks back at Photokina we brought you news of a PL mounted camera from Alpa that could be used for medium format video when combined with a suitable digital back – the only drawback being that few medium format PL lenses exist.
With the introduction of the new G.L. optics conversions there is the very real possibility of a working PL mount solution. Of course this is untested at this stage and I don’t know for sure that all the new lenses will work to cover the sensor given the limitations of the PL mount’s diameter (the ARRI Alexa 65 uses the slightly larger XPL mount instead that ensures coverage and this week launched two rental only lines of medium format lenses of their own). But it seems highly likely that at least some of them will. Exciting times if you have the cash and the desire to own something different from the norm.