Adam Wilt, software engineer, producer, post-producer and creator of the esteemed Cine Meter II light meter app for iOS devices has received a set of pre-release Veydra prime lenses for the Micro Four Thirds format. His verdict? “Sharp, rectilinear, and clean.”
Like many of us Adam Wilt was intrigued to receive news of the Veydra Micro 4/3 Cinema Lenses Kickstarter project back in November. Like fewer of us he wrote an article – New Glass: Veydra Cine Primes for Micro 4/3 – and checked the veracity of this amazing, much needed project and the credentials of its creator, Ryan Avery.
Somewhat fewer of us have been sceptical about the potential quality of this lens project despite the various involvements of industry luminaries like Vincent LaForet, Matthew Duclos and Jim Zhang of Zhang Optics.
But after the best test one could do of “hastily assembled prototype lenses” that have “been through the wringer a few times”, Mr Wilt experienced enough of the Veydras’ positive qualities to come to some assuring conclusions. After all, if pre-release prototypes come up this well, then it bodes even better for the production-quality lenses when they appear.
Mr Wilt provides ample proof of lens quality via color charts, lens charts and examples of bokeh. He also points to the Veydra Kickstarter updates page where those inclined to pixel-peep can download clips to examine in fine detail.
Speaking of Kickstarter, the Veydra campaign closes this Thursday December 18 so if you want in to this family of interchangeable cine primes, the first for Micro Four Thirds, then plunk your cash down. I know that I would, had I any to spare right now.
Disclosure: After writing this article, I chose the $25 donation option in token support of Ryan Avery's initiative.
First Look: Veydra Mini Primes for Micro Four Thirds
The one-line setup: Veydras are cine primes designed specifically for micro four thirds cameras. I posted an intro to the Veydras here on PVC, and Matthew Duclos gives more details in his blog. I also have a brief interview with Veydra supremo Ryan Avery on DVInfo. I refer you to those for background. Here, I’m just going to report my findings and impressions.
Bear in mind that these are hastily assembled prototype lenses that came to me after having been, in Ryan Avery’s words, “through the wringer 4 times” at various other events, like the Hot Rod Cameras Open House. “There are a few dead/unlubricated spots in the focus and they haven't been cleaned or inspected by us since being at Illya's shop.” So these lenses have the casual abuse of four public events on top of the relative imprecision and variability of prototype units.
Even though these are single samples of prototype lenses, I’m reporting what I saw: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Some of the issues I’ve noticed may well be one-off problems unique to these prototypes that will not be present in production lenses; still, I report them because they’re what you’d see if you had these lenses in your hands. Just remember that I’m looking at rough-around-the-edges prototype lenses, not finished products. You have been warned!
Veydra MFT Cine Primes Close Focus
Each lens has two focus scales, one for the right side, one for the left. The scales are engraved for 14 to 22 distances (14 on the 50mm, 16 on the 35mm, 19 on the 25mm, 22 on the 16mm) with 3mm high, bright yellow numbers. By loosening three locking screws, each scale can be rotated freely, so you can fine-tune its position to account for variations in flange depth.
The prototypes I have use Imperial measurements: inches and feet. Metric scales, I’m told, are an option if you buy the lenses on Kickstarter, and will be available through dealers starting in January or February.
The scales lack exact distance marks to line up with the index on the lens body. Instead, a silver band lets you add such marks yourself if you feel the need, or, according to Veydra, you can have Duclos Lenses measure and mark them at Duclos’ usual service rate [update 9:20am 15 Dec: Matthew Duclos says, “We had similar requests with the Red Primes when they were new. Our ability to add witness marks depends entirely on the accuracy of the lens. We won't add witness marks if the lens can't maintain accuracy. Additionally, the Veydra primes have a machined channel between the focus mark and the witness which leaves little to no space for us to engrave a distance mark (witness). If we were going to add witness marks, I think we would need a brand new scale.”].
See full article at ProVideo Coalition “First Look: Veydra Mini Primes for Micro Four Thirds”
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(cover photo credit: snap from ProVideo Coalition)