New Leica M 0.8 Series Cine Lenses Announced

Do you happen to be a lens addict? Well, IBC 2016 is for you. Leica is well known for their superior lenses and cameras and at this year’s IBC, they push things a little bit further with the announcement of the brand new Leica M 0.8 series lineup of cine lenses.

The Leica M 0.8 Series

Just a quick note to start with: The lens which is shown in the video above is still a prototype with plastic rings instead of the aluminum ones of the final release.

Are you into that iconic Leica M look for still photography?Are you also a filmmaker? Then there’s good news, as the company behind these lenses has just announced a new lineup of cine primes: the Leica M 0.8 series. The claim goes like this: to manufacture high-end cine lenses on the legacy of the world famous M glass. The task Leica put their sister company for cinematic applications, CW Sonderoptic, up to was to maintain that iconic M look but translate it to a modern cine lens housing.

Leica M 0.8

the whole Leica M 0.8 series set

The 0.8 in Leica M 0.8 series stands for the standard 0.8 gearing of the focus and iris ring which is, of course, de-clicked. In order to create a decent kit, CW Sonderoptic has chosen only the finest and fastest of the original M lenses for the cine lineup:

  • 21 mm f/1.4
  • 24 mm f/1.4
  • 28 mm f/1.4
  • 35 mm f/1.4
  • 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux

They claim to have maintained the classic M look in terms of color rendition, skintones and highlight roll-off. You can expect everything you loved from these vintage lenses, and take this iconic look to modern digital age. In times of ultra sharp video imagery, this is a very welcome thing to have, at least for me!

The Leica M 0.8 are designed to cover the whole full frame sensor size (24 x 36mm), so even the biggest sensors out there won’t be a problem for these lenses. If you are using a s35 sized sensor, you’re only dealing with the sweet spot, but that isn’t a downside at all.

Just like any other Leica lens, this new series will feature the M-mount, so you can use it on RED cameras with their native mount (and OLPF) or use adapters for cameras with an E-mount or an FZ-mount.

Leica M 8.0

Leica M 0.8 lenses accompanied by a RED Dragon

Specifications and Pricing

The lenses all vary a bit, ranging from 320g to 700g (0.7 to 1.5 lbs) in weight and 5,8 to 7,7 cm (2.3″ to 3″) in length. Prices are steep, obviously, but as we’re dealing with high end precision optics, you can’t really expect anything cheap here. The price will range from 5.300€ ($6.000) for the 35mm f/1.4 all the way up to 12.000€ ($13.400) for the 50mm Noctilux. It’s f/0.95, remember?

The lenses will be available from around the 1st quarter of 2017.

source: CW Sonderoptik website

cinema5D at NAB 2016
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Cherub Daraman Reply
Cherub Daraman September 13, 2016

Carl Michael Portillo just wow!

Marko Hila Reply
Marko Hila September 14, 2016


Nino Leitner Reply
Nino Leitner September 14, 2016

That’s like saying a Ferrari is overpriced. Duh.

Marko Hila Reply
Marko Hila September 14, 2016

It’s not a Ferrari. That would be Panavision or Cooke and Angenieux. This a Leica and I don’t Leica it.

 Andrea Daviddi Reply
Andrea Daviddi September 16, 2016

Price aside, isn’t it weird that they didn’t rehouse them “properly”?

For a set of primes i’d have expected them to have focus and aperture rings at the same heights so they can be effortlessly swapped, having a consistent length and diameter is pretty common on lower priced sets too.
Is there something I am missing? :-D

Olaf von Voss Reply
Olaf von Voss September 16, 2016

Andrea Daviddi,

Actually the price IS the major issue here. As these lenses are supposed to target a very niche segment of the already small cine lens market, a complete rehoused version of these lenses would be even more expensive..