Duclos Lenses, a family-owned business operating out of California, have just announced the Duclos 2x Tele-Extender—an impressive piece of kit that can effectively double the focal length of a cinematographer’s lenses. Let’s take a closer look! A Little bit about Duclos Lenses Duclos Lenses still very much see themselves as a small, family orientated business and I find that quite refreshing. Founded by Paul Duclos in 2002, they soon began creating a successful range of lens accessories and that trend has continued for almost fifteen years—with two moves to bigger locations in that timeframe giving us an idea of how well their products have done. The Duclos 2x Tele-Extender As the name implies, the Duclos 2x Tele-Extender is designed to double the focal length of a shooter’s lens, giving a narrower field of view while ensuring that image quality is still of the highest quality. Quick and easy field adjustments are enabled thanks to an integrated back focus adjustment. The Duclos 2x Tele-Extender was designed and manufactured with quality in mind; anodized aluminium with stainless steel PL mounts and Japanese glass form a robust, high-quality extender. According to Duclos, the extender “excels at maintaining resolution throughout the field for Super 35 format lenses.” As with any other 2x extender, users can expect to see a 2-stop light loss when putting the Duclos 2x Tele-Extender to the test. Duclos 2x Tele-Extender Specs Focal Length: 2x Taking Lens Max Aperture: -2 Stops Coverage: Super 25, APS-C Mount: PL Length: 2” If you’re curious as to whether it will fit your lens, consider using Duclos’ check gauge to check. If you have any more questions about the Duclos 2x, or any other Duclos product or service, consider shooting them an email—they state that questions will be answered immediately during business hours, so it is worth a shot. Delivery of the Duclos 2x Tele-Extender is expected to begin shortly (Spring 2016), and it is currently available to pre-order for $4,995.Read more
The Leica Lumix 100-400mm f4-6.3 — Panasonic’s latest addition to their micro 4/3’s line of lenses — will be the first super telephoto zoom of its kind when it starts shipping in a couple of months. With release scheduled for March 2016, the Panasonic LUMIX G 100-400mm LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR will offer the longest focal length native to the MFT system. The 100-400mm translates to a full frame equivalent of a whopping 200-800mm! Coming in at just under a kilo, the lens is relatively small and compact, in line with the micro four-thirds philosophy. As a quick comparison: the Sigma 300-800mm is over 5kg, as well as over 4 times the price! The high-quality, Leica-designed optics include 20 elements in 13 groups including 1 aspherical, 1 UED, and 2 ED elements. Panasonic promises fast autofocus thanks to the 240 fps AF Drive housed within the metal body, which will feature a retractable lens hood, weather-sealing, and a rotary tripod mount with built-in lens switches. Thanks to this, no matter how you orient the tripod foot, the controls will remain in the same position relative to the camera. The switches include controls for auto/manual focus, as well as autofocus limiting to ensure even faster AF performance. The third switch activates Power Optical Image Stabilisation – quite necessary when shooting at these focal lengths. The IS works in tandem with Lumix bodies with in-body IS, such as the Panasonic GX8, resulting in Panasonic’s Dual Image Stabilization. The 9 blade diaphragm will be capable of a variable aperture of f4-6.4. As a result, those action-stopping wildlife and sports shots the Lumix Leica 100-400mm is clearly intended for better happen in bright daylight. Of course, a faster maximum aperture at the tele end would have been nicer, as the smaller sensor size of the MFT system needs all the light it can get. This shortcoming may be especially evident, considering you may be paying a premium for the Leica design. But we need to remember: building a zoom of these characteristics and features while keeping it light and portable is no small feat! Due to its relatively affordable price and features—and no longer needing to use a third-party lens plus adapter for these focal lengths—this first true super telephoto zoom native to the micro four-thirds system certainly looks like a serious contender in its field. Its practical features and dimensions make it an ideal choice for shooters heavily invested in the micro four-thirds system. The Leica Lumix 100-400mm is available for pre-order from B&H using the link below. Wildlife photographer Daniel J. Cox had a chance to use an early version of the Leica Lumix 100-400mm lens on a test shoot recently and shared his thoughts via this video and in an extensive blog post that you can read here.Read more
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