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Leica gives traditional cinema lenses a modern feature update with new Thalia series

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The latest glass from Leica keeps the traditional favorite features while adding a few modern conveniences.

That iconic red circle logo is coming to modern cinema lenses. Earlier this week, Leica partner CW Sonderoptic announced the Leica Thalia prime videography lenses, a set of cine lenses designed for large-format Super 35, ARRI Alexa 65, and VistaVision cinema cameras.

Based on the Leica S medium format lenses, the PL mount lenses all use a 95mm front diameter for seamless swaps with filters and other accessories. The series, which includes primes in the 24, 30, 35, 45, 55, 70, 100, 120, and 180 mm focal lengths, uses a unique iris design that allows for smooth rounded bokeh throughout the aperture range, the company says.

Leica

The lenses are derived from earlier Leica models but use an increased image circle for the large-format sensors of the pro cinema cameras. Along with new housings and mechanics, the cinema lenses also use new glass coatings and a focus mechanism that rotates 270 degrees.

The manufacturer says that while the lenses include new features designed for cinematography, they still uphold the traditional Leica look. “While they are new lenses, they do offer many of the characteristics that have encouraged cinematographers to pair older lenses with digital sensors,” managing director Gerhard Baire said in a press release. “They are clear without being overly sharp. Focus is smooth and forgiving without appearing soft. Skin tones are natural and smooth with an accurate color rendition.”

Despite being large-format lenses, the new primes weigh between 2.4 and 3.75 pounds, measuring between about five to seven inches in length. While the length of the lenses varies, the focus and iris rings are located in the same position, simplifying lens swaps when using a follow focus system.

The lenses aren’t set to sell until this summer and pricing information has not yet been released. For more details, visit the CW Sonderoptic website.