The first set of Digital Bolex Lenses

Hi Everyone,

I’m so excited to finally tell you the details about our first set of Super 16mm Digital Bolex lenses! I know this idea is a little unconventional to say the least, but I think we’ve come up with something that will impress you!

You may have heard we are making fixed focus / fixed aperture lenses, this is true, but it’s not the complete truth, because we’re working on a system that will allow these lenses to be focused. This method is completely unique and creates super sharp images with very simple lens structures lowering the cost of the lenses and the overall cost of the system.

This is how it works.

Lenses have many optical elements. Normally, a lens focuses by moving some of its interior optical elements independently, and sometimes the front element too. In the case of the Kish lenses designed for the D16 all of the optical elements will move in unison when focusing.

This means we can build the focusing mechanism into the lens mount, instead of into the lens itself. And the focusing mechanism can be controlled by the crank electronically, making it a built in follow focus. This requires the purchase of an electronic lens mount, but it means you only have to purchase a focusing mechanism once, greatly reducing the price of each lens and the overall lens package. You can even use it with some vintage C-mount lenses, turning vintage glass that would be very hard to connect to a conventional follow focus into useable glass for cinema!

The exact price of each lens has not been set yet, but we think we can offer these lenses for between $200 and $300 each. And the Universal Follow Focus C-Mount should retail for between $500 and $600.

This is the line up:

10mm: 18mm: 38mm: We’ve had a lot of talk about crop factor, focal length equivalents, and depth of field on our forums, so I wanted to go into this a little bit.

First lets address crop factor. The crop factor for S35mm lenses to S16 is around 2.1. This means that when using these lenses you are using less than half of the useable lens surface, and the part of the lens you crop out is often the one that they spend all the money making right. Obviously this is not the best use of your money. So why use S35mm when you can get lenses made to fit the camera precisely?

Focal length equivalents: You generally get the same field of view with a set of S35mm primes and a set of S16 primes, but the name of the lens is different. For instance, a 25mm in S16 has a very similar field of view as a 50mm in S35. Even though they have a similar field of view they do have a different look.

The look difference between S35mm and S16mm: S16 gives you roughly twice the depth of field for any particular field of view and has none of the critical focus issues. (Which is why I think it will not be difficult for people to focus this camera on the built in monitor. I have focused many 16mm cameras with a lesser viewing option.)

Along with this greater depth of field you also get greater spatial distortion, meaning things in the background look further away from the things in the foreground. So basically, when you are shooting S16 compared to shooting S35 you are trading the illusion of depth created by an in focus / out of focus relationship, for the illusion of depth created by the size and shape difference of foreground and background. Now this sounds like an extreme thing, but actually in practice it’s pretty subtle, the background is still out of focus, and you still “feel” the distance of objects from the camera. To me this makes shooting much easier. I have always felt more confident and happy shooting S16, and I really like the look.

Here are some field of view equivalences for the lenses we have made:

10mm: S35mm = 21mm,        FF = 30mm
18mm: 35mm = 36mm,           FF = 50mm
38mm: 35mm = 80mm,           FF = 100mm

These lenses are being manufactured to have element placements within a tolerance of .02mm for the entire lens, which is the kind of precision you get when you pay $3000 or $4000 for a lens, like a Zeiss Compact Prime. The resolving power of our lenses is amazing too. The Kodak designed CCD in the D16 has the capability of resolving roughly 45 lines per millimeter resolution. As a reference, the resolution of most DSLR lenses is around 30 lines per millimeter, which is plenty for the way they capture video and for still images in relation to print resolutions. My challenge to Kish was to design lenses with higher resolution, lower distortion, more color clarity, for one quarter the cost. This is what we came up with. These lenses are rated to 45 lines per millimeter resolution, have extremely low distortion, with very high color clarity.

Using the lenses without the Universal Follow Focus: The lenses while made more flexible with our built in follow focus system are still designed to be very useful without it. This first set of lenses is intended to be used indoors and each lens has a fixed iris set to f4, and the optics are designed around this stop. For comparison, most lenses with variable irises tend to have their sharpest settings somewhere between f5.6 and f11 depending on the lens, which is pretty dark. Our lenses are intended to make it easy to create a typical wide, medium, and close shot in a shot sequence and have typical distances you would use these from.

Here is a list of lenses and their focus settings:
10mm: focus range: 3.3′ (1 meter) to infinity
18mm: focus range: 3.7′ (1.12 meters) to 6.5′ (1.98 meters)
38mm: 5.6′ (1.7 meters) to 6.5′ (1.98 meters)

One of the great ways to use these lenses will be on our turret. This will allow you to quickly change between the lenses and have super fast setup times! Here’s a 3d printed demo of the turret we’re designing to go with these guys:
There are other benefits to having lenses with no moving parts.

  1. The internal elements can be set in place in a more secure way than with focusing lenses, which means that over time they won’t need to be re-calibrated.
  2. The internal elements can be set in a more precise way than with moving parts.
  3. The body of the lens can be made out of a single piece of metal greatly strengthening it’s endurance to bumps and knocks.

These lenses will be some of the highest quality S16 lenses you can buy at a fraction of the cost of other cinema lenses, but wait there’s more

These are only the first set. We have many more planned. We already have three f8 lenses designed waiting to go to the manufacturer for prototyping when they are done building the f4s!

The first Digital Bolex lens set:
So let’s talk about availability. We are through the first prototyping stage with this set. We need to do some rigorous testing over the next couple of weeks, but if all goes well we will be able to offer these lenses for sale in the next few months. Like the cameras they will be in very limited quantities, and camera owners will get priority placement for pre-order.

When we did our Kickstarter survey we asked our backers what accessories they would like us to work on for the D16. The overwhelming response was lenses. So we did a lot of research, not only on what was available today, but also what some of the solutions of the past were. We had to come up with something unique that would in the words of my favorite book, offer true “value innovation“. So we asked ourselves the four value innovation questions…

  1. What factors can be eliminated that the industry has taken for granted?
  2. What factors can be reduced well below the industry’s standard?
  3. What factors can be raised well above the industry’s standard?
  4. What factors can be created that the industry has never offered?

True value innovation is not a single product, but a series of products, and this set of lenses is the beginning of that path for us in lenses.

We hope you like what we have come up with, and please let us know what you think. And as always thank you for your support,

Joe, Elle, Kish, and the entire Digital Bolex team.

This entry was posted in Featured, News, Products by joerubinstein. Bookmark the permalink.

About joerubinstein

Joe Rubinstein is one of the founders and CEO of Digital Bolex. At Polite in Public, a photo marketing company he also co-founded, Joe was the Chief Technology Officer who worked with electronics developers and software developers to create the Polite in Public Photobooth which helped define modern photo marketing services.

197 thoughts on “The first set of Digital Bolex Lenses

  1. I apologize for my lack of in-depth knowledge but are theses lenses capable of shooting indoors without specialised light sets? What I mean is I would like to purchase the lens set but does the f4 fixed aperture mean that I will have to avoid dark ambients? And when you mention the electronic follow focus, where can I purchase that? Many thanks. 🙂

  2. You still didn’t clearly cover what the crop factor will be with these lenses. It’s almost like you dodged it. It seems to me it will be similar to BMPCC’s 2.88 or whatever it is.

  3. Hi.

    Will your lenses work with other cameras like the Black Magic Cinema? I am going to be filming a horror movie using your Bolex camera and additional cameras.

    Please advise… Thanks!

  4. hi. a question here.
    my old nikon FF lenses will fit into the bolex digital d16 when using the Nikon F to-C Lens Mounting Adapter – C-Mount Adapter for Nikon Lens ? pros a cons?
    thanks a lot.

  5. Hi Joe,

    I talked to you today on the phone about a lens rather quickly. Then I ended up ordering another camera#2 LOL. Can I buy these lens’s? I just saw this and once again got excited. If the answer is yes where can I order these? This camera can’t…wait….THESE camera’s can’t get here soon enough!! You know I always wanted to have the feeling of excitement I had as a child, and you guys gave that to me again at the age of 48…Thank You once again.

    Danny Ahlfeld
    Greenock Productions

  6. 45 lines/mm must be an error. Even the lenses we use on $50 cctv cameras are better that this! This camera is 2/3″ HD so it needs 200lines/mm in order to look sharp.

    And what’s with the small apertures? f4 is daylight only.

    How is this making anything easier? If I need f4 lens at infinity focus, I get any lens and set it to f4 and infinity! All lenses can do that. And when I need something else I can open the aperture, focus closer, and get shallow DOF. Is this for people who do now know how to use lenses?

    This makes no sense.

    • 45 lines/mm is what we are calling “in focus” and yes the sharpest points of the lens are 200+ lines/mm.

      I went in to it a little in the post, but basically almost all lenses are sharpest at f4 – f8, the more open apertures and the more closed ones are severe compromises on lens quality. And designing a lens to work at those stops makes the lens much more expensive. So we designed lenses to work at one ideal f stop to keep the price lower. This way we can offer lenses that have similar image quality to $2K or $3K lenses for one tenth the price.

      We are now implementing a focusing element so you will be able to focus the lenses.

  7. Hey Joe!,

    I love the idea of having a 10mm/18mm/38mm . Basically Hitchcock would have been happy with a 18mm :). As a wide angle shooter, and mostly shooting s16film for artistic projects (own my own eclair acl), i own a 9mm, 12.5, 17.5,25,35,50 . If I had to skip three lenses I would be really unhappy, but If i could bring in three new lenses and skip the excisting 6 lenses, I would love to have a 10mm (which sits in between my two wide angles), a 18mm (which replaces my loveley 17.5) and a 38 (a good close up lens). Its basically the question: Whats static or dynamic? The camera, or mis-en scene? Basicaly i love the chaplin idea, in which you create a set with your eyes (basically a 18mm), make it look pleasing and then bring in a camera. For documentary purposes, you can mostly only change the position of the camera, while the mis-en-scene is what it is, for this kind of stuff i would love to have a zoom lens (or a turret :). Basically I think this set of 3 primes is good if you work for a film, where there’s enough room to test things, and change stuff. For documentary or projects where a faster setup is needed I dont see myself using this stuff. But then again, I think this set of lenses is a piece of conceptual art together with the lenses, and I truly hope that we see them in real life very soon.
    In this document you are saying that s16 is a nice format because of the bigger depth of field. Of course iam like minded, but keep in mind that from all existing formats, s16mm sits in the middle, if you choose to shoot with a ultra prime (or superspeeds), you can create a depth of field which looks like s35.., sometimes your limited to a amount of light, or you do a available night shoot, then s16mm is the way to go, because you can still pool focus, and have a rich depth of field. On s35mm only the wider lenses at t.1.3 are do-able.. I think with s16mm you have the ability to go for every look you want!

    My suggestion would be to keep on going with the 10mm/18mm/38mm, and create a set of t2.0 and t8.0. together with a matt box and 3 nd filters you have fairly enough options to get your exposure right!
    Next to that I would love to see a 6 prima package, with 8omm/12.5/18/25/32/50 . For a smaller budget you go for the wide/medium/close option, and with a bigger budget you go for the sophisticated 6 lens package. I would love (it seems they are really small), to have a 18 lens package (t2.0/t4.0/t8.0) that would cost me about 6000 dollar. I would love it (only when the lenses do a really nice job of course).

    Next to that, a 12 stop dynamic range is not that much if your arent a purist. In your footage which i just checked, i Saw that the reflections on the hard surface, close to the kino flow, still had about 1.5 stop extra room. You used only 10.5 stops of the camera. If you would use a light meter, or had false color information (zebra), you could push the chip to the limits. I also feel that ccd’s look very nice a little bit more pushed (I work a lot with ikonoskop and use the 3db and 6db option a lot). But back to my question:
    a set of t2.0/t4.0/t.8.0 still need some adjustments on the set, to get the exposure right. Because the front element of the lenses is only 40mm, a small nd filter would do the job!. But a screw in filter takes to much times, and nd faders (basically to seculair poloraid filters), change the look of your image too much (and they dont do any ir cut). I would love to have a small mattebox together with these lenses, with a innovative filter system, with a normal sized mattebox (for bigger lenses with bigger front elements), you could easily make some configuration to have a automatic drop in filter system. Of course you have to avoid ghosting (which appears a lot due to front lens filtering), but if you think smart, you could easily think about a system with 3 nds, a half stop, 1 stop, and 2 stops. if you have them all together you cut 3.5 stop (t2.0 will be about 8.0). and you can also put them in seperatly. Of course such a function would be fantastic to have in front of you chip (although you can get chizophrenia ghosting effects then as well), but I think at this stage, its much cheaper to build a mattebox. It wuld be awesome if you could use the matte box with 4*4 trays as well. and a automatic nd system. Basically every DOP wants a matte box, first of all they think they look cooler with it, second of all its an importan tool to filter your lenses, and cut unwanted reflections or flairs!. If the mattebox is compatible with both normal size lenses and your lens system, I would only be interested in a t2.0 and t4.0 lens set (because i think even on the longher focal lengths, 8.0 is not my look, although i like deep focus, its a litle bit to much, i need some focus fall off!). SOrry for my long story, but I love to brainstorm with you and your company and the great guys on this form. Keep the good work up!

    • I think f2.8 is still f2.8 on any format. You just don’t capture the light in the areas the larger sensor would be. The brightness of any specific, let’s say the middle, is the same. The way larger sensor cameras get more light is by pixel binning and things like that. If you have the same size pixels, but you have twice as many and they cover a larger area and you average them down to 1920 x 1080 you get twice as much light. Of course you also get a lot more artifacts too 🙂

  8. Hi Joe,
    I’m film old-timer (though not too much older than you I suspect). I’m still shooting 16mm and would like a real digital alternative to present itself so I am excited about your project. I understand the D-Bolex takes all c-mount lenses, but one of the selling points for me of the D-Bolex it was tailored to Bolex film lenses so was I could use my Macro-Switars 26mm, 50mm, 75mm and ( I assume) my 12-240mm Angenieux zoom ( that I use for live event and living history shooting) and get superior results. If I missed a statement to the contrary I’m sorry, but I have the impression that the D-Bolex is not going to make the most of my existing lenses and to get the most from the D-Bolex then I’d need other lenses. Is this a correct assumption?
    Also my 26mm Switar gives razor sharp images with 16mm Kodak Vision 3 color 50D neg ( I also used to Kodachrome to the very end that was super sharp with eye popping color). Film presentation/ projection is important to me so: Can the D-Bolex match this in capture to the point the video can be scanned back to 16mm film ( or 35mm) at 2k resolution and match or surpass the results I get the old fashion way with 16mm negative? Have you done any digital to 16mm or 35mm film tests with D-Bolex output? Thanks

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  10. This is a very exciting tool for indie filmmakers. Just looking at the pictures makes me want to grab it, call up some cast and crew members and go shoot something. Is there an anticipated sale date for folks that didn’t get in on the Kickstarter? Also what is the price tag right now?
    Thanks, keep up the good work.

  11. This is amazing! I’ve always loved the Bolex brand – I still have my P1 Zoom Reflex cine camera; it’s been to various countries and I can’t bear to part with it. (The trigger spring pinged out one day and is lost somewhere in Kenya) – looking forward to following you on your new digital journey and seeing the finished product!

  12. First of all sorry if you already answered this, I have been listening to your old ustream videos while I work, but I don’t spend a lot of time reading camera discussions. My 5d is dying I use it soooo much. I have to shoot lots of video, and I shoot lots of stock footage.

    Is the Jpeg mode on the bolex still pretty good for low light? Sometimes I have to do things real fast, and I do have a 12 core computer and all that but even still I often make my computer animations in jpeg for speed maximization. Yes I cut corners sometimes. 😛

    Also can I buy the turret separately?

    I have several cmount security camera lenses including a nightvision one somewhere. They are small but I wonder if they would all fit on the turret. Is the turret only good for your lenses because they are relatively small? If its snug I am fine with that, I like the fact that this camera is small but it would be awesome if I could fit those lenses on the turret.

    A zacuto EVF will be in color if it is connected. correct?

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  14. Talking about the focus, I think that the most elegant solution would be the one used on Contax AX that is by moving the sensor. One could even to dial in variable focusing when turning the follow focus wheel ( some cine lenses have variable focus pitch, slower move for far distances, faster for close distances ). As to exposure control, with adjustable and fix apertures, of course variable ND filter. Any option placing it inside the body in front of sensor? Movable out of the path? As to turret which is wonderful idea from the glorious past- design like I would prefer to move it in the center of the body in the way that top one would be in taking position with two others beneath. Of course that would imply slight relocation of the single mount ( sensor ) upwards. There would be additional bonus of closer distance between view (LCD ) and lens axises. And do consider monochrome version in the future. All the best.

    • Why would you want to move the sensor instead of move the lens? And we have plans for the space between the lens and the sensor so the variable shutter will have to be on the outside :/

      • As I said my friend, you would be free of all these silly follow focus contraptions. You could use any lens disregarding it`s helicoid state, you could fine tune the pitch. O.k. I admit the focusing lens mount would be mechanically simpler solution. Is there enough space for C-mount lenses I wonder.

  15. Hello,

    we’re currently arguing about what camera to get for our filmschool in the future.
    Since we still have a lot of 16mm equipment i was wondering if the Bolex will work with N16 Lenses or S16 only….?

    Thanks a lot!

  16. Thorough replies, Joe. These lenses look very promising to me. The resolution you’re talking about here sounds very impressive.

    I’m really looking forward to see actual results of images posted of these new lenses from the D16.

  17. Firstly, unless the lens is a poor design, perspective distortion certainly does NOT change with respect to the lens used, as you’ve implied here: “Along with this greater depth of field you also get greater spatial distortion, meaning things in the background look further away from the things in the foreground.” That’s a patent falsehood.

    Second, you state that most DSLR lenses have around “30 line pairs per millimeter” of resolving power. That could not be less true!! Most cheap lenses made 30 years ago could generally resolve 50 line PAIRS per mm, which is 100 lines per millimeter, and ANY modern optic will get closer to 100lp/mm, which is necessary for newer digital cameras with lots of megapixels. If these lenses only resolve 45 lines per mm, or 22.5lp/mm, I’m afraid any off-the-shelf amateur-level DSLR will shoot better video, from a simple resolution standpoint.

    Considering these egregious engineering faux-pas, I’m definitely not interested in this product, and I hope potential users will do their research in regards to these numbers. That’s really terrible performance!

    • Hi Joseph,
      Thanks for your comment. I will try to address each point.
      What I was trying to imply when I said “greater spatial distortion” is that a particular field of view on an S16mm lens will have a greater spatial distortion than the same field of view on an S35mm lens. So another words, if you have a 25mm S16 lens it will have greater spatial distortion than a 50mm S35 lens, but it will have a very similar filed of view.
      As far as resolving power, you are correct, most modern lenses have at least 100lp/mm in the center of the lens at their critical focus distance. What I was trying to say, and maybe I simplified too much, was that DSLR lenses consider 30 lines per millimeter an “in focus” image, and that is how they define their focus ranges. You can look this up it is documented in several manuals including Canon ones. We are defining our “in focus” range based on 45 lines per millimeter because of our sensor. Our lenses when tested have over 140lp/mm resolution, in fact they are pretty close to 200 for most parts of the lens. We have done some preliminary tests, but we are not yet ready to post the results. The lenses are definitely sharper than the MFT lens we compared it to, and a vintage Switar f1.4. Soon I will have a blog post about it soon and I will be very interested in your opinion.

      Thanks again, Joe

      • Thanks for your reply. I infer that your resolution measurements mentioned (30/45 l/mm) is more akin to circle of confusion measurements then? I have not seen such an odd usage of terminology as what you’ve written in the original post – it seems that the statement you give here related to lp/mm would have been just as concise and understandable for those who understand MFT and such.

        But I’m still not with you on “spatial distortion.” Are you talking about perspective distortion or distortion of the lines via barrel or pincushion distortion? Perspective distortion / foreshortening is a product solely of the distance to the subject, not lens design.

        • Yes exactly perspective distortion might be a better word for it. Things in the background seem smaller, the space is expanded. When you use longer more telephoto lenses space is compressed, when you use wider lenses the space is compressed. When you are achieving the same angle of view on S16 as you would get on an S35 format you are using essentially a wider angle lens and the space is expanded. At least from my experience this is what I’ve found.

          • Hi Joe,
            The phenomenon of perspective distortion is a commonly misunderstood effect. The general idea of telephotos compressing the perspective and wide-angles distorting it (foreshortening) is a generalization brought about by empirical observations. What is in fact happening though is a bit more nuanced.

            Assuming you are keeping the same general framing – let’s say a head and shoulders shot – if you use a tele lens you might be 15-20 feet away. If you use a wide-angle, you’ll be very close, maybe 4-5 feet. What is causing the distortion is not the lens choice – it is your physical location.

            The easiest way to show this yourself is to setup a shot with a telephoto lens. Shoot the photo/video. Now, change to a wide-angle, BUT don’t move your camera location!! Shoot the photo again. Now go into an editing program and crop the wide-angle shot to the field-of-view of the tele shot. You’ll find they are basically identical in perspective (save for slight differences in distortion caused by the lens). This proves that perspective distortion does not change with regard to lens choice.

            Now let’s do a thought experiment. Let’s say you put a 35mm lens on a full-frame DSLR. You have a wide-angle. Without changing position, switch the CAMERA to this Bolex. You now have a “tele” shot. Your perspective is not changing, you’ve merely “cropped” the effective lens circle to the field of view just like the above example!

            Further – put a 50mm on that FF DSLR and the 18mm shown here on your Bolex. Again ignoring the effects of lens design that will contribute to barrel and/or pincushion distortion, the two shots should be identical in FoV and perspective.

            I hope this explanation helps. Basically, it doesn’t matter how short in focal length the lens is, perspective distortion only happens with regard to distance to the subject, so in usage this Bolex and its lenses will have no more or less perspective distortion than any other identical lens/camera combination that gives the same FoV. To really rock your world, go set up an 8×10 with a 300mm lens…it will look the same as the 18mm on the Bolex!

  18. When you said the electronic lens mount will work with “SOME” vintage C-mount lenses, what are the exceptions? And will the electronic lens mount be able to be use with the turret? And will the turret be able to use vintage lenses as well?

    • Hi Nick,
      For vintage C-mount lenses it should work with most of them, but will need to be tested with each make and model. I am not sure if the turret will have the electronic mount yet, we haven’t designed the electronic mount so not sure the limitations yet. The turret will be able to use vintage lenses for sure.

  19. Hi Joe,

    I’m really excited by your project and looking forward to be one day the owner of a digital bolex.

    Quick question about the lenses:

    – are there faster lenses in project? like f1.4 or something like that?

    Thanks for taking time and all the best.


  20. Hi Joe,

    Is it possible to have a separate iris mount into which these lenses Could be screwed into for mounting? That way, one could control the exposure, which is a real concern for a lot of people.

    I don’t know enough about the light path, and how these optics work to know whether or not this is workable. Maybe it isn’t workable if the iris is too far back? But if it is workable, then one would only need one iris mount for several of your new lenses.

    Is this a nutty idea, or is it worth looking into?

      • Thanks for your reply Joe.

        Well, I’m a little relieved that my idea does not seem so crazy after all! 🙂

        I don’t know enough about the optics to understand whether being behind the rear element might be a problem, but from your suggestion of choosing the front instead, I suppose that must be the case. Must be something about how the light path works at that point, I’m guessing.

        If it were to be in the front, it would just screw into place, like a 42mm filter, right? That puts it in a vulnerable position, although if you put the UV filter in front of it, say, it would be protected by the filter.

        I don’t see why this should be a problem, but then I’m not an optical expert. The optical engineers at Kish would be able to tell you that.

        If were to work, it certainly is a simple and economical solution to the f/stopping down dilemma that has me and others concerned.

        It would make more sense to me than keep changing ND filters to correct for exposure.

        Best wishes on your upcoming launch. I don’t know how you guys find the time to rest, you must be burning the candle at both ends!

  21. Another question. Is the price of 3299 dollars body only? Actually I have another question, I want one but I live in Europe. Is there going to be an international release? So yes? When? As a super 16mm veteran I’ve got to say this camera is the messiah of all camera’s.

    • Yes, $3299 is body only, but the body includes an internal SSD, and a 4 hour internal battery.
      I am a Super 16mm veteran too, which is why we are building this camera, for people like you and me 🙂
      Nothing is locked down yet as far as international release, but hopefully this year. If not you can pay for the camera from anywhere, but you need a North American shipping address, so we can ship to a friend or relative, or use a service like

      • Great Joe! Thanks for answering my questions.
        But 4 hours battery! This thing is amazing. I think the Digital Bolex is made for nouvelle vague. Godard and Melville will love this one. And I’m also happy with the CCD sensor and the size of the sensor. Kodak’s resurrection!

        I hope for an international release!

  22. I think you should focus on camera itself and not spread yourself thin. I think these lenses are going to be very limited: fixed focal length, fixed aperture. There is plenty of C-mount lenses both for 16 and S-16, there is also plenty of S16 on ebay, which which will serve well- these are true cinema lens. I think you guys made changes to the camera, which made it very attractive, but I am afraid you going to drown in detail if you start getting into lens manufacturing as well.

    • Hey Robert,

      I know it seems like we are taking on more than we can chew at times, but the truth is that we have enough time for this too. The camera is being designed and built by our core team in Toronto. The software is being built by our software partners in Germany. And just like the software the lenses are being designed by a lens partner here in Los Angeles. So the only people that are being worn a little thin are Elle and I, and we don’t mind 🙂

      The work on the lenses in no way slows down the work on the camera itself, and ultimately we believe that the thing that defines us in the market will be a really well thought through system that works well together. So things like lenses are going to happen one way or another, they might as well happen now 🙂

  23. From what I see in the photo the ground edges of the lens elements is not blackened with black paint wash, that should be done to increase contrast as the gray ground edge can reflect light. Blackened elements were standard in older lenses but some makers now skip that step to save money, but it should not be skipped as it can make a difference in the contrast and internal reflections in the lens, at least you should offer two options with and without edge blackening at two price points to pay of the extra hand labor of putting the blackening solution on the element edges…

    • Hey Dan,

      Thanks for your question. I have passed it on to my Kish and lens engineers to get their opinion. I will update here or on the forum.

      Thanks again! I am very interested in making these lenses as good as we can make them. As a side note, we went for a quick initial test (we have another test scheduled on Tuesday), and the color, contrast, and resolution of the lenses was EXCELLENT!

      • You will note in the Edmunds catalog they offer edge blackening as a service. Its an extra step because as far as I know it needs to be done by hand, but it will only improve the contrast to have the edges and other ground surfaces blackened. India Ink was used, I’ve found that flat black model paint diluted with paint thinner works well, you don’t want thick paint as that will take space in the mounting gaps, and it needs to not peel, major optics companies like Cooke and Zeiss had their own formulas for edge blackening solution, but the ones I mentioned should work.

        • Quote: [Edge-blackening, using RoHS compliant, solvent resistant ink is now available as a stock item for many Edmund lenses. Look for the INK suffix at the end of the stock number to indicate edge-blackening. In the case that it is not available as a stock item, edge blackening is also available through the Quik Mod Program.]

          Hope you can add that final tuch and get the best you can out of the fine optics you are having made…

          • We have a meeting planned with Kish on Tuesday, but this is the tentative list of changes to the prototypes before production that he already had made:
            1. Correct C-mount flange position (These lenses had a small error in FFD)
            2. Increase retainer diameter to provide room for frontal engraving
            3. Black ink edges and flats on front elements in wide angle designs
            4. Lightly thread rear inside diameter for stray light control
            5. Add front and rear lens caps
            6. Make front red ring a separate part that also holds the filter. We had a discussion on this that included increasing the front diameter to provide some shading (need to discuss further)
            7. Bolt down the C-mount and shim parts to the housing so the C-mount can’t be screwed off (this will increase the rear diameter by 2mm to provide enough radial width for the screws)
            8. Engraving detail – re-visit and be consistent with vintage lens terminology

            Let me know if there is anything else you would like me to discuss with them 🙂

          • Quote: [Let me know if there is anything else you would like me to discuss with them ]

            Personally from my experence with the KineRAW-S8p ™ focus is very critical at f/4.0 at 2.5K resolution.

            If you make the outside of the lens the same diameter and length, and put the C thread on an outer tube, and thread inside of the tube and the outside of the lens with 0.25mm thread, then fine focus from Infinity to macro distance (focus at the front element for the 10mm) would be possable. You don’t need to mark focus scales that way, and the FFD in the camera does not matter if its off 0.1mm +/- as the lens can be adjusted for hot or cold shooting conditions.

            I have a Schneider 8mm f/1.4 lens that works that way, it has a fine thread and a split ring with an allen cap screw to lock or take up the backlash.

            Your “universal” C tube could have a set screw thumbscrew to lock the focus as well.

            The extra cost of a simple brass tube threaded inside with a C thread, and the lenses being threaded on the outside without C thread should not increase the cost more than maybe $20 but would give real Inifinity to Macro focus with pin-point-sharpness.

            That combined with a deeper filter thread ring that acts as a sun shade (like older Mitchell lenses that are set back) and blackening the edges should make the quality glass show its potental.

            No lens design can make great images without being in absolute focus and keeping stray light under control.

            You can also make a sort of lens cap that goes over the filter thread ring that has a rectangular hole cut in it for the 10mm, 18mm, and 38mm lenses (different size holes for each lens cap matte) to cut flare even more, you just focus by rotating the lens in the universal sleeve, lock the focus, and then rotate the matte cap so that its level to the bottom of the camera.

            If the filter thread is make as large as your turet will take minus a few mm, then it should work out well.

            I can draw a picture of what I mean if you are interested, you have my email: tempnulbox (at) yahoo (dot) com

  24. I am loving the lenses! And a very timely post as I had just asked about lenses on the previous topic. Please correct me if I am wrong but I think the only thing that is holding me back from buying this awesome camera when it becomes available in the UK is the fact you are locked into 2k Raw acquisition. I believe 2x 32gb CF cards will only give you 13 mins of footage, and storage becomes another expensive headache. I know you are working on post software to go with this which sounds very interesting, but in a broadcast environment I only really need Full HD. For most of my everyday purposes a DNxHD or ProRes 1080p option would be just fine. I see here how the use of RAW becomes almost inseparable from the design of fixed aperture lenses….. But like the BMCC I would like the option of a good codec which I could use with my existing lenses, then when I want to shoot something cinema quality I can just switch over to RAW plus your gorgeous Kish lenses.

    • Hi Craig,
      I know right now raw seems like a burden, but we here at Digital Bolex have seen the difference, and we strongly believe that as storage prices fall raw acquisition is definitely the future. So our biggest goal right now is to grow the raw market. That may include incorporating other formats in the future, but for now CDNG is the way to go for us 🙂 And we think if you tried it, it would be the way to go for you too!

      And yes you can record 1080p in Regular 16mm mode, still in raw though 😉

      • Hi Joe,
        Predicting the future is a risky game, especially when people want a camera to be practical now not just in five years time. But at the same time I guess you have to in order to give the product longevity. I personally think that within the next few years there will be some huge developments in codecs possibly even using vector technology: At the same time I respect your commitment to CDNG. The fact that you have a 1080p mode is really good news, I think. How many gigs per minute will it require?

          • Sorry Joe, I stand corrected I wasn’t aware of the internal 256gb SSD. That plus 2x 128gb CF cards would make this a practical shooting solution. 1hr 40mins of footage without having to change cards or back up certainly beats 13 mins.

          • No problem, but the internal drive is meant as a back up and buffer for the CF cards, so you have a little more than 50 mins of recording time and an internal back up of your data just in case. Still beats 13mins though 😉

          • RE:”the internal drive is meant as a back up and buffer for the CF cards”.

            Could you not offer a menu option so that you can switch the SSD usage between storage and buffer/back up?

          • We use it as back up /buffer in case your cards aren’t fast enough or performing to certain standards. We don’t want to rely on the cards to make sure you footage is safe 🙂

          • If you were shooting a live event and all your CF cards are full, but the event may go on for quite a while. You have no longer a need for your CF card support. So I don’t really understand why you wouldn’t off the function of switching to the SSD so you can carry on shooting for a final 50 mins. It could be a life saver.

          • Image quality and safety of your footage are our number one concerns, that’s what we are thinking about when we are creating this workflow, but if you are shooting a live event and you run out of space, you could pull your filled CF cards out of the camera, format the internal drive and shoot directly to the internal drive with no CF cards in the camera. That would give you the extra 50 mins, but at the cost of having backups of your footage.

            Hope that helps, Joe

  25. This project just becomes more and more interesting. I am very impressed with the approach that you and your team have taken, that is, consulting with your future film maker community in an inclusive way. Very sensible and too rare. In fact, almost unheard of.

    The turret makes for very practical, fast changes, and exposes the sensor to potentially less dust. I like the idea of the built in durability, very much too. For documentary work out in the middle of no where, this will be a huge benefit.

    The comment about the movement from inside to outside spaces while filming is a concern, regarding how to deal with exposure. There must be some creative way to deal with this. Hey, you are doing brilliantly so far, :-).

    Unfortunately, I came upon your project too late to be a kickstarter. Any idea when those of us who weren’t, will be able to purchase a camera?

    I have worked with still photography in many formats from 35 mm up to 8″X10″. Also used an old Bolex 16 mm, and different prosumer video cameras, for film projects, and I’m very interested in the potential of this camera system for creating high quality low budget film work.

    I’ve also done a lot of shooting underwater, and have generally done most of my own housings, so when I look at this camera, I try to see how easy it could be to make a housing for it. The simpler the control set up, the easier it is to adapt to an underwater housing.

    Can’t wait to see some of the first work to come out from the first kickstarters.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for your comment! I love to hear that film people like what we are doing, because as a film person that is one of my main drives here. Build a digital camera based on the practices and conventions of film cameras so it feels more like shooting film than a normal digital camera does 🙂

  26. This announcement with the combination of the focusing mount has maybe pushed me over to buying this instead of finding a way to eventual rent this! I have been following this project for a long time, and I just love what you guys are doing! I am planning on making a 35-40 minute short film this summer and if these lenses can produce as high of quality you are saying that they might ( sounds like similar optical quality of one small step because you guys used zeiss CP 2′s for that, does that sounds accurate?) then it might seem budget wise an efficient choice to just buy the camera and lenses and have a longer period to complete, trial and error etc. My only concern is the f4; and I know it is just the beginning and middle ground for your lenses. My real question is…Do you think these f4 lenses will be able to perform well enough in real low light if they are pushed to 800 ASA, combined with a 3rd party denoiser like neat video, and along with all that can be done with the RAW color space? I think optically, these lenses will be incredible but I really like filming around dusk and in between dusk and nighttime/sun almost down timing and just want to see if the RAW color space, with something like neat video and pushed to 800 I would be alright in these conditions? Also do you think with the RAW color space will be sufficient to help with bright outdoor scenarios with these lenses? Sorry for the long post! You guys are the greatest and I wish you all the best successes and look forward to everything you guys are doing for the filmmaking world as a whole!

  27. This announcement with the combination of the focusing mount has maybe pushed me over to getting this instead of finding a way to eventual rent this! I have been following this project for a long time, have watched every ustream and I check the site 4 times a day so to say the least I just love what you guys are doing! I am planning on making a 35-40 minute short film this summer and if these lenses can produce as high of quality you are saying that they might ( sounds like similar optical quality of one small step because you guys used zeiss CP 2’s for that, does that sounds accurate?) then it might seem budget wise an efficient choice to just buy the camera and lenses and have a longer period to complete, trial and error etc. My only concern is the f4; and I know it is just the beginning and middle ground for your lenses. My real question is…Do you think these f4 lenses will be able to perform well enough in real low light if they are pushed to 800 ASA, combined with a 3rd party denoiser like neat video, and along with all that can be done with the RAW color space? I like optically these lenses will be incredible but I really like filming around dusk and in between dusk and nighttime/sun almost down timing and just want to see if the RAW color space, with something like neat video and pushed to 800 I would be alright in these conditions? Also do you think with the RAW color space will be sufficient to help with bright outdoor scenarios with these lenses? Sorry for the long post! You guys are the greatest and I wish you all the best successes and look forward to everything you guys are doing for the filmmaking world as a whole!

  28. Pingback: New Lenses for the Digital Bolex D16 Camera Make the Traditional Follow Focus Obsolete - NoFilmSchool

  29. I’m shooting a low budget feature this summer and scoping out the cameras that (of course) would give me the most filmic look. I used to shoot 16mm Tri-x
    on a Bolex and loved that look and feel. I’ve read on your blog that you are going for the 16mm look. Tell me more about that if you would please. Also, When will the un-kickstarted masses be able to lay hands on one?
    Thanks and the best of luck.

    • We don’t have hard dates yet, but when we do we will have a blog post about it. I love Tri-x film look!

      As far as 16mm film look, the D16 uses a Super 16mm sized CCD sensor that is completely analog, and then we convert the signal to digital inside the camera (as opposed to CMOS sensors which spit out digital signals). This gives us the ability to make much more natural looking images. There are many other things too, jump on our forum and start a discussion as this is too long a question for comments 🙂

  30. I think this is great! I like all the aspects of the priorities beeing made in cost vs quality here.
    My concern lies in the problem with ND filters. The digital bolex appeals to me because of the run and gun concept for documentaries finally being paired with filmic quality recording. But moving indoor to outdoor is happening a lot in many projects. Many upgrade from canon 5Ds to C100 just for the ergonomics and built-in NDs.

    Is integrated NDs out of the question for the digital bolex?

    • Hi Carl,

      Thanks for your nice comment!
      Right now it is out of the question to build in ND filters, but that doesn’t mean that in the future we couldn’t come up with a solution for this that existing cameras could use.

      What if we allowed some kind of conrtol using one of the crank dials allowing you to go from 100 ASA to 400 ASA in a smooth linear transition? I’m not 100% sure this is even possible, but if people want it we would give it a try. Jump on our forum and propose something like this. Our forum is how most of the changes to the camera have been made!

      Thanks, joe

  31. Amazing. I can’t believe I just read what I read. That focus system sounds insane! I’m an admittedly biased dude–I’m a friend of James P., we met briefly over the summer when I was working on a film 😉 –but the D16 just keeps getting more and more impressive.

    A camera that commits to a given aesthetic (and seeks to master it) is incredibly rare, especially since the advent of digital. It’s refreshing, even if the choice of a D16 comes with constraints/limitations. I’m just sick of these ugly plastic boxes calling themselves camera systems– what a misguided use of talented engineers.

    I’m hoping to Direct my first feature in the next 12-24 months, and right now playing with this camera is one of the things I’m looking forward to most. I can’t wait to see more footage and specs. Keep it up, Joe (and company).


  32. I’m a photographer who’s branching out into moving pictures. Because I’m an adherent of what art film maker Tacita Dean calls the “analogue life” (and she’s holding the fort on 16mm film in the UK and fighting the forces of complete digitization) my first forays were into film, Super 8 and 16mm. Alas, the work effort that I put into my still photography in B&W and color darkrooms has made me realize that I just don’t have time to work with motion picture film stock. My research into shooting digitally brought me to your project last year. I want to capture something that has the feel and latitude of film. I’ve been watching you and BMD bring something into the world that’s affordable. I’m excited by your decisions to work in a 16mm format, the arena of so many artists films. The adherence to beloved Bolex, your design aesthetic and now these lenses is astonishing. Right now I’m cutting my teeth on lower end digital just to get a feel for things. I started shooting stills and Super 8 on a project last year and this summer will embark on it more fully. I’m hoping that a Digital Bolex will become part of that later this year. Your attention to the details of every aspect of the experience has me sold. I like the idea of being able to purchase a solution. I’m not into gear but looking for tools to express my ideas without the tools getting in the way. You guys are blowing the house down. DIY rules.

  33. Wow I love them. They look great and so sexy. Simple, small.
    It’s been a few years that I’ve looked into ways for my gear to be more simple and lightweight. That dream is becoming a reality even more!!

    I really dig the black color (as you know ;). I think they’re beautiful in black, but hey, maybe some color might not be too bad 😉 if it’s subtle and not too vibrant.

  34. Im so proud that young people respect the old values. I bought my first bolex C8 in 1956 and made home movies later in many years to come became the Bolex Agent in Singapore. In between worked filming in Africa things like the Congo Simba Revolution. I love Bolex and always advicated that this was the best made camera in the world above and including Arri and Aaton.

    I promoted Super 16mm before it was a tv format.with Rune Ericson

    I experimented with the 10mm Switar lens on Bolex and the RX model had a different focal length than normal C mount this is where I think you discovered ever so carefully move the focal plain for focus. I did and your project is brilliant not to mention your efforts in amazingly so producing such a new lens, brilliant !
    I would not care too much about making the F2 lenses as in the 1960s we shot Kodachrome 8 ASA and Ive said forever Kodachrome shot with Switars was the greatest film stock ever used and by amatuers except for the Kodachrome 35mm Motion picture film. See it today on old films such as the Babe Ruth story brilliant (made and transferd before digital).

    You are taking the past into the future for a very good reason I wish I was with you and of course alot younger.

    My advice is listen to all comments but in the end do what you believe and think it is right. Your camera and lenses will surely change the future of great film expression.

    For me film making is about ideas excution and promotion then broken down into Editors (make great directors) and cameramen are on their own with little or no script so we all have to be a team called the Filmaker.

    My wish list is I would like to see the Bolex three lense turret a tried and tested practice as being very successful .Paying attention to film lanuage which seems horriblly lost with the invention (which I’m not sorry for) of the easy zoom.


    I never had to repair my H16 in the jungle like I had to with my B&H 70DR

    Good luck in the future ! I may have had to turn the light out on film, it would be great if Bolex can return to lead the way in expressive cinematography once again, using digital.

  35. These look awesome! Will the focus mechanism work with the turret aboard? The only concern I have with F/4.5 is that I’ll be exposing for highlights since of the CCD sensitivity. But then again, if I’m working on a low budget film that is mainly indoors… accommodate with different lenses.

    • The lenses are all f4 BTW. The notation on the lens is unclear, it is trying to denote f4 and a focus range. This will be fixed on the production models, these are still prototypes.

      I think at 400 ISO the f4 lenses will be perfect for indoors use!

    • But would you rather buy 3 aperture control lenses for $3000 or buy 3 fixed aperture lenses for $750 and have $2250 left over for nice lights?

      I’m not saying we are making the perfect lens here, and if you want $1000 lenses I’m sure you can find them. What we are trying to do is create exceptional value(very sharp, low distortion lenses) for a fraction of the cost that quality usually costs, so there had to be sacrifices made.

      Maybe in the future we can make lenses that fit your tastes more 🙂

      • $2,250 for nice lights? Seriously? Do you know how much lights cost? I would absolutely rather spend $3,000 on variable aperture lenses. I love this camera design, but I think these lenses are going to be a swing and a miss.

        • Hi James,
          Thanks for your comment, I fully understand your reservations and can only say I hope you see the value one day when you get to try them 🙂
          It’s not just the price, it’s also the size, the amazing quality, and the and ease of use. I’m not saying these should be the only lenses you ever buy, but for $750 I bet you would find uses for them, even if it’s just for when you are strapping the D16 to a dirt bike going over a jump and you don’t want to stick your $4000 lens on there 🙂

  36. Brian Hutson on February 11, 2013 at 12:08 pm said:

    “You guys are flipping awesome”

    Exactly what I thought when I saw this. I wish I had money when you kickstarted this.

    This project is showing and taking the kind of true diy ethic I thought I will never see on this industry nowadays.

    I just hope that you build these cameras, lenses and whatever comes later on a fair environment for the workers.

    A dream seems to become reality.

    Again thanks … and forgive my English, but it is not my first language.

    Keep it up!

  37. Pingback: Objectifs Kish pour Digital Bolex. Quand c’est fini ce n’est pas fini! « Le Laboscope (by S.B.)

  38. Pingback: The first set of Digital Bolex Lenses. By Joe Rubinstein | Digital Cinema Tools |

  39. Joe, and team…

    I am sold on the concept. Completely. I think it’s actually revolutionary. I love that you are building *for* the image plane. Not only an S16 replacement camera, but magnificent, Prime lenses to go with it.

    Would it be possible for us to chat on Skype soon? I am building my film and animation studios alongside your construction of the camera and lenses. I would be keen to discuss our partnership moving forward.

    I am dedicated to a 2K, S16 equivalent Master for all of my presently planned upcoming Live Action and Animation Productions.

    As a Camera Backer for Digital Bolex, I want you to know that means I’m dedicated to what you guys are building. I look forward to working with you in the years to come!

    Keep on knocking them out of the Park!

    Paul J. mcConnochie

  40. I shot 16mm for 25 years – on Bolex, Eclair NPR and ACL. My all purpose lens was a Cooke 12.5 mm T2. Next most used was an Angenieux 5.9 mm F1.9 T2.

    After that I used a 9.5 to 95mm Angenieux zoom which was about F2.8 but I preferred the fixed focal length lenses – lighter and faster- in fact I shot an entire “feature” on the 12.5 mm. (It wasn’t very good but it had a script and actors and set in Paris).

    I wouldn’t feel comfortable on anything less than F2.8 – my Chuck Berry shoot was wide open at F2 on 250 ASA neg. stock.

    F4.5 is a non starter. Sorry …

    • Well Stefan, if you shot f2 on 250 ASA stock on 16mm film that is pretty much the same light sensitivity as f4 with 400 ASA on a S16mm CCD sensor, isn’t it?

      Just easier to focus our lenses than the f2s 😉

      • yeah, I know that – but you know as well as I do that F4.5 – F5.6 doesn’t look the same as wide open at F2.
        Joe – I’m not convinced but ready to be amazed and astonished – and won over …
        NAB is April – will you be there with your toys?

        • We will be there 🙂
          And we should have footage from the camera with the new lenses before that posted here too.
          All of the lenses are f4 btw, I know the markings are confusing.
          And no f4 and f2 definitely do not look the same.
          We are planning an f2 set in the future, so maybe you would like to hold out for those, although they will definitely be more expensive than the f4s.

  41. So will the focusing mechanism built into the mount be similar to the bellows focusing you would find on something like the Mamiya RZ67? I would really like to give these lenses a spin on my Super 16 Eclair NPR.

  42. Bokehlicious. I’m thinking of the speed of the operation, the user-friendly high-quality user application. As a cam-op who has worked day in and day out on highly-critical focus pulls, I am truly impressed by the D16s 10mm F4, 18mm F4, and 38mm F4. This opens up a whole new window for camera operators interested in working with the image AND their talent.

    Looking back at a few of Digital Bolex’s blog posts, I remember reading just how important the story elements are to a production. All to often we experience issues with misplaced focus pulls, with an inadvertent tendency to delve too deep into technical acquisitions, and ultimately with loosing touch with the actor/actress’s direction. The D16 affords inspiring and seasoned camera operators alike the ability to create their purest vision. That is why the Digital Bolex D16, when coupled with the 10mm F4, 18mm F4, and 38mm F4, changes the latitude of high-end media acquisition.

  43. Great stuff!
    Now, my concern is shallow depth-of-field. I understand that s16 is a format with a greater depth-of-field (than 35 etc.) and one should take it or leave it at some point, but going f2 would probably be my go-to aperture + filters for outdoor.
    Can’t wait to see proper footage with the almost finished camera + proto-lenses!

  44. WHAT?! this is crazy in the best way. I love new toys and I love new ways of doing things. Sign me up. Ill buy a set and the electronic mount as soon as its available. Cant wait to play and share.

  45. Wow, me likes.

    So the FollowFocus thingy will work with the turret? Nice. One thing thou, will you make the turret magazine changeable? This way we could have the f2, f4 and f8 as mags and switch them out if changing location. That would rock.

    And an anamorphic set please 😉

    • We haven’t designed the follow focus thingy yet, but if we can make it work with the turret we will! And a face that changes all three at the same time would be cool too!

      And we have some ideas about anamorphic I know you’ll like 😉 More on that later.

  46. But wait there’s more!!! LOL
    Awesome 3D printed turret!!!
    The f4s and f8s on turrets will be sweet. The four value innovations taught you well. What book is it from? Hard to believe that this dream is coming true!!!

    • Thanks 🙂

      The Book is called “Blue Ocean Strategies” I tried to link to it on the word “book” above, but maybe that was too clever 😉 It’s an amazing book.

      And yes sometimes I pinch myself to make sure it’s really happening 🙂

  47. Just… Plain… Stunning…

    Beyond all the technical things, the form factor when assembled is just plain awesome.

    This sounds stupid, but the turret makes the D-16 *not* look like a gun.

    Seriously, I want to shoot in the Middle East sometime in the future.

    I’m like, Mustafa-it’s not a gun-it’s a camera!

    Wow, probably my dumbest post anywhere, ever, but still-the final assembly looks *fantastic*.


  48. I like the look of them and you have some good focal lengths, price point and the focus mechanism sounds cool. My concern is the speed. I understand how having a fixed f/4 has its benefits in terms of build quality, durability and sharpness, but it also brings a world of problems for production. Considering i only have 2 standard means of controlling exposure, iso and aperture (assuming we stick with a 180 degree shutter). And the D16 has only 3 iso options if i remember correctly (granted it is Raw so thats just metadata). I can see needing either a large number of lights, or nd filters to make these lenses work consistently. To me that takes away from the run and gun shooting style this camera is built around.

    Don’t get me wrong. I like a lot of things you guys have done with the d16 and these lenes. I am just concerned about my speed on set. I can imagine these lenses taking a larger crew or more time to work with than some other options on the market.

    As always, however, keep up the innovation guys. You are doing good work!

    • These are the middle range set. We envision creating f2 and f8 sets also, but we felt these were best to start with. The f8 will be for out doors, the f2 will be more expensive. In my experience I usually shoot an entire set at 1 fstop anyway, just keeps a room look more consistent.
      The ISO is not just metadata! It’s actually 3 different analog settings on the sensor itself, meaning it is controlling the light coming in not anything in the digital world!
      I have a feeling a lot of people will like these and find them very very easy to work with!

      • I guess I misunderstood. I have heard from red shooters and BMCC shooters that the iso setting is merely in the metadata. I have experienced this when editing red footage myself. Sadly i have never had the chance to shoot on the red so I was uncertain. I do really like the idea of these lenses and you are right, i spend most of a shoot in a single location at the same f/ stop when possible. I don’t like my DOF jumping around like mad during a scene if at all possible. I’m also very happy to hear that you are making an f/2 set in the future. I think this would sell very well. It also depends on what is a usable high ISO out of the camera. If I could be shooting indoors at ISO 800 or 1200 (or have the ability to push in post to this) cleanly then f/4 would be a nice middle ground. It would leave me with a deep enough DOF to be able to nail focus but still shallow enough to not look like DV.

        • This is exactly the kind of look we are going for with these lenses. Shooting 400 ISO on the D16 is kinda like shooting 200, 400, and 800 iso on a DSLR at the same time!

          As far as the iso being merely in metadata that may be true for Red and BMCC, but it is definitely not true for our camera. Both of those use CMOS sensors, we are using a CCD. CCD sensors are analog devices from head to toe, the signal has to be converted to digital in camera, where as with CMOS the image is converted to digital inside the sensor.

          • Firstly I would like to say that I do not want to become the TROLL in this forum …

            But Leica or Hasselblad use CCDs and the ISO setting in these cameras is just metadata.

            This is basically (and it is not me who says it, I am quite ignorant about these things) because it seems to be better to keep the sensor at its optimum physical setting (i.e. native ISO or whatever signal/noise ratio-whatever is called), tricking the photographer while shooting and editing with metadata. This gives the raw capture the maximum quality, Dynamic Range etc.. retaining the best kind of data the sensor can capture in case it is needed.

            Whether this is easy or not to implement I do not know, YET it does not REALLY worry me (we have been shooting for 20 years with digital cameras that did not allow for this kind of control, I guess that if I have to wait a couple more, is not a big deal). Raw plus the setup you are devising makes me happy enough.

            This guy (engineer) among others seems to think along these lines

            # Not so terrible google translation of his paper:


            Bellow “Figure 5” he makes comments relevant to the discussion.

            Take care and I hope this serves in any way.

            Apologies for my english! (not my first language!

          • Hi Daniel,

            I am not really arguing which way is better, I am just letting you know that from my discussions with engineers the way we are creating ISO differences in this camera is by direct influence over the analog drive system of the CCD sensor and has literally nothing to do with the metadata 🙂

  49. Great update, Joe. You all must be forgoing sleep completely at this point. That being the case 🙂 any idea when we’ll see the first images from these lenses? 45 lines of resolution per millimeter? In a $200 – $300 lens? You’re about to cause some serious shakeup in the industry. But you probably knew that.

      • When I first saw this camera on Kickstarter I must be honest, I didn’t see any true use out of it except as a niche camera that hipsters would use just to look cool. However, I’ve been following the project for some time and I’m amazed at how much thought, time and energy is being put into the camera to not only make the camera useful, but exceedingly useful.

        You could have just jammed a sensor into a Bolex-shaped box and I think most people that invested would have been satisfied as long as it worked. But you have gone above and beyond to an entirely higher level of goodness with the camera and have become the perfect model of a kickstarter generated product.

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