At Cinegear 2019 we took a look at the new Vocas 5-axis diopter holder. It accepts any 138mm diopter and it allows you to adjust the pitch, roll, yaw, vertical and horizontal shift.
With an increasing variety of diopters from manufacturers like Tiffen and Lindsey Optics, Vocas has developed a dedicated diopter holder that allows you to take full advantage of these diopters
What are diopters?
Diopters give you the freedom to experiment with close focus. Split diopters allow both near and far distances to be simultaneously sharp.
Diopter filters are just like a magnifying glass for your lens. They also shift the minimal focus distance so you can get macro shots without having to use a macro lens. They can be used to increase the magnification of a lens when you need to get really close-up images of small objects. While not a true macro lens, they are lightweight and quick to use with standard cine matte boxes and filter holders. Diopters come in varying strengths with +1, +2 and +3 being the most common.
The concept of “dioptre” was first introduced by a French Ophthalmologist in 1872. Internationally the word is still spelled “dioptre”, but in the US and some other English speaking countries its spelled “diopter”
The most common type of close-up lens is a plano-convex lens. This lens is flat on one side and convex on the other side. These are relatively simple and cheap to make even in large sizes. The problem is, plano-convex reduce resolution and worst of all, introduce lots of chromatic aberrations. Smaller diameter plano-convex with magnifications as large as +10 are available in the photographic market, however, as I just mentioned image quality penalties are severe. For cinematography, you really don’t want to use anything greater than a +3 diopter. If you want to use something with a greater strength than +3 you should be looking at a macro lens attachment instead.
If you want to find out more information about diopters I wrote an entire article that you can see here.
5-axis diopter holder
With the new Vocas 5-axis diopter holder, experimenting becomes even easier. Using different diopters—for example, strip, letterbox or split field—you can create interesting effects and keep different distances in (or out of) focus in one shot.
The newly developed Vocas diopter holder accepts any 138 mm diopter and, with its flexible cuff, will fit any lens while preventing stray light. Being a dedicated diopter holder, as opposed to a matte box or a single filter tray, the Vocas diopter holder has the unique ability to vary the diopter position over 5 different axes.
You can adjust the pitch, roll, yaw, vertical and horizontal shift. These can be changed independently while still aligned with the optical axis, which means the diopter’s position to the lens will not change while tilted, rolled or rotated.
What do you get?
The 5-axis diopter holder is available for 15 mm rails or for both 15 and 19 mm rails, and a support is included. The diopter holder lets you attach flexible flags to its interchangeable 1/4-20 or 3/8-16 threaded hole.
Price & Availability
The 5-axis Diopter holder (15mm ) costs €1,300.00 Excl. VAT. The 5-axis diopter holder kit (19mm) costs €1,495.00 Excl. VAT. Both versions are now available to purchase.