Iron Glass Lenses at Cine Gear 2024

Iron Glass

I spoke to Vadym from Iron Glass at Cine Gear 2024 in Los Angeles. Vadym started out selling re-purposed industrial lenses. He then sort out some specialized help so that the lenses could be modified to be used on cinema cameras. The original versions of the lenses he was selling featured a PL mount and simple lens gears.

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The next step was to start rehousing the lenses so that they were more suitable for use on cine cameras. These lenses featured much better mechanics and usability than the original versions he was selling.

Even after the war started when Russia invaded Ukraine, the team continued to work and their operations were not massively affected. In fact, they have just recently opened up a second factory to deal with the long list of back orders.

You were probably already aware that Iron Glass lenses were used on the last Dune movie, but you probably didn’t know how that all came about. Vadym told me that because they were active on social media Greig Fraser ACS, ASC reached out to them because he saw the lenses and wanted to collaborate to get a special set made for the movie. Vadym also told me that they did get a lot of interest in the lenses after Dune was released, but because of the down turn in the industry he said that interest hasn’t actually lead to many orders.

Greig Fraser ACS, ASC used the same cameras he used on Dune for Dune: Part Two. ARRI Rental provided the IMAX-certified cameras as well as lenses and grip equipment.

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Image credit: Universal Pictures

Fraser used spherical optics, and in collaboration with ARRI Rental, he ended up choosing diverse selection of options.

These ranged from ARRI Rental’s re-housed 1980s Moviecams, to re-housed Soviet-era glass supplied by IronGlass , as well as some of his own lenses.

Phenix 28-70mm T2.7

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Iron Glass has also now begun collaborating with other companies such as Ancient Optics, and they have come up with the Phenix 28-70mm T2.7. The Phenix is based on the Tokina 28-70mm F2.8.

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The Phenix full frame zoom lens is parfocal in its new compact (110mm front) and lightweight (3.5 lbs.) cinema housing. Focus rotation has been expanded for accuracy to 300 degrees.

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The original 8 blade iris has been replaced with a new and robust circular 15 blade iris. Minimum close focus distance was improved to an impressive 1’9″. There is also a shimmable stainless steel PL mount and Cerakoted aluminum exterior.

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The Angenieux 28-70 and Tokina 28-70 share the same optical design. Who designed it is unclear, but they are identical in almost every way. There is strong evidence suggesting Tokina made all the Angenieux branded 28-70 zoom lenses. After thorough testing, the Tokina version for the Phenix Project was chosen, probably because these are a lot easier to find and more readily available.

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As for the look, the lens is claimed to produce sharp images, with little to no CA. There is some focus fall off at the edges, but it is never problematic or distracting. Bokeh is said to have more texture than modern cinema zooms, and lens flares are gorgeous, making this lens a perfect match for many vintage primes, including Canon FD, Minolta Rokkor, Leica R, Nikon, Konica, and others.

The Tokina 28-70mm is one of the hardest lenses in the world to rehouse properly. It has 16 elements in 12 groups. There are up to 5 different movements happening simultaneously inside. Most lenses have one, two, or sometimes three,

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Evgeniy Dulin was the Iron Glass engineer that designed the cam type system for this rehousing. He worked tirelessly to make this lens perform at a professional level without compromises.

Price & Availability

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You will be able to purchase the Phenix 28-70mm T2.7 for $13,500 USD fromAncient Optics, however, a 50% deposit is required and deliver will take 3-6 months.

Plans Going forward

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I also asked Vadym if Iron Glass will be doing more customized lens rehousing going forward and they told me that its something they are interested in doing.

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