Today we are going deep down the cinema lenses rabbit hole. I was lucky enough to sit down and speak to the “Yoda” of cinema lenses Matthew Duclos. Matthew has been working on lenses for most of his life. Most cinematographers in Los Angeles (and around the world) consider him an expert in the field.
I was hearing Duclos’ name on set as far as I can remember so it was a thrill to get to speak and grill Matthew on all things lenses.
Here’s some info on Duclos Lenses:
Duclos Lenses is the premier destination for high-quality motion picture optics. We strive to provide quality service to the industry’s professionals who own and rent top-of-the-line cinema optics. We have the test equipment and experience required to optimize and maintain all of your lenses. We’re a family-owned and operated business that not only appreciates and respects customers in a way only a small business could but also thrive off of our customer’s satisfaction and repeat business.
Enjoy my conversation with Matthew Duclos of Duclos Lenses.
Alex Ferrari 2:07
So I wanted to reach out to the Yoda if you will the the guru of lenses. This is the guy who all the cinematographers in LA go to when they've got a question about glass or about lenses. His name is Matthew Duclos. Matthew is been his father opened up duclos lenses years ago, and he mentored underneath him and he's become basically the Yoda of of cinema lenses and photographic lenses as you'll hear in this interview, I really wanted to go deep down the rabbit hole of lenses because there's so much misinformation out there about what's good lens what's good what's bad glass what's good glass can you use photo lenses on your DSLR and shoot a movie with a can do you need to buy full blown, you know 5000 10,000 $15,000 primes? Is it going to make that big of a difference? Can you shoot with the rokinon a rokinon set or can you shoot with a sigma art lens like I did this is Meg Most of it was shot on the rochen ons and this and that sigma 18 to 35 which is a gorgeous lens which is under 1000 bucks you know what what's, what is the truth if you will about lenses so I wanted to really just beat up poor Matthew and ask him everything I've ever wanted to know about glass about what's better Canon or Zeiss? What's the difference between Cooke and and sigma and who's doing good glass? And what's the difference with vintage glass and how does light refract and everything so in this episode, we're going to go deep geek. Alright, so if you guys are interested in knowing a lot about lenses, then continue to listen because we're going to go pretty deep into lenses. And by the end of this you're going to it's kind of like a little mini masterclass about about cinema lenses and about photographic lenses and just about lenses in general, and how they can help make your project stand out. So without any further ado, here is my interview with Matthew Duclos of Duclos lenses. I'd like to welcome to show Matthew Duclos Duclos Duclos
Matthew Duclos 4:22
Alex Ferrari 4:22
Duclos Thanks for doing the show, man.
Matthew Duclos 4:24
Alex Ferrari 4:25
Appreciate it man. So you know you have you and your company have become very legendary through the underworld of the film industry for being the place to go to four lenses. How is that? How did you guys do that?
Matthew Duclos 4:42
You know, I couldn't tell you we just sort of you know, kept to it kept our noses to the grindstone. You know, did what we do best. I can give you a quick history on, I guess where we came from and.
Alex Ferrari 4:57
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Like I like to know that and then oh, So your personal history of what makes you love lenses as much as you do.
Matthew Duclos 5:05
So, started me on my personal history and the company history started my father. He worked for ingenue back in the late 70s. On the east coast, ingenue had a presence here in the US in New Hampshire. And he worked for them for quite a while started. I can't remember what he said his first job was, but he started basically at the very, very bottom, essentially grinding glass and sort of worked his way up. He liked what they were doing in the service departments that I want to do that it's very hands on very technical. So he moved into servicing ingenue lenses. In about the, I think was the late 90s. The guys at Claremont camera, Denny and Terry moved my dad and our entire family out here to LA to head up the service department at Claremont camera. And that was sort of my intro, I was probably about, I don't know, maybe five or six years old at the time. And I just, I always remember my fondest memories, and I was actually just telling somebody about this the other day, my fondest memories of their old building that they were in, was me and my siblings running around the prep floor grabbing, like 100 foot. They're not even 100 big spans of film space.
Alex Ferrari 6:25
What is what is this film you speak of? Exactly.
Matthew Duclos 6:29
And it was just we thought it was the coolest thing, we hold it up to a light. No wonder why we couldn't see the pictures, whatever. But we didn't understand at the time. So so. So anyways, he did that for a while. And then moved on to working with a guy named Kish, who made it most people would know him from the directors finder, the ultimate directors finder, which both of them ended up getting an Academy Award for. And then after that just sort of wanted to do his own thing. And that's when we started duclos lenses in 2002. I think, which actually, I think this year. Yeah, this year. So just now it's 15 years. Yeah. 15 year
Alex Ferrari 7:07
anniversary. I smell I smell a fire sale on the website coming up.
Matthew Duclos 7:13
Yeah. Parking Lot barbecue, but sure,
Alex Ferrari 7:16
Either either way, Potato Potato.
Matthew Duclos 7:20
But you know, we always we just sort of like to do what we do. We're not really, we're not trying to dominate the industry or anything. All of our technicians love lenses. We're just a group of guys and gals that love lenses and love tweaking them and tuning them and getting the best out of them. And everybody here loves what they do.
Alex Ferrari 7:38
And playing and also just playing around and just tweaking like you said, tweaking them and just seeing what other images you can get out of lenses and things like that. Yeah, exactly. And now what makes a good cinema lens? Oh, I know, deep questions
Matthew Duclos 7:52
for courses. That's my I try to say that I try to instill that as much as possible. A good cinema lens is not really defined by specs. It's, it's defined by the scenario you know what the person is shooting the cinematographer what they want, you know, and what the way the industry is going is a perfect example. On paper, the best lenses you can get like master primes are similar axes. From a technical standpoint, they're the best you can get. But if you're shooting a period piece and you want a vintage look and something very stylized, those aren't the lenses for you. So it's all about what you're shooting and how you're shooting it. I don't think there's a bad lens out there it's just different lenses for different purposes.
Alex Ferrari 8:39
You know, and I think a lot of filmmakers especially indie filmmakers, and young filmmakers they get all caught up in the gear I call it the gear porn you know and look we're both you and I are gear guys you know we'd like gear but that's the thing like I need the best I need the best well that's that's it's a very very variable answer there like you just said like if you're trying to shoot Barry Lyndon, you're not going to grab brand new you know brand new master primes. It might not be the look that you're looking for. So yeah, I think that's a great answer. I'm so glad you said. Now what is what are some of the differences between some of the industry standard or industry leaders in lenses like cook lenses Zeiss and any other major brands of lenses that you can Can you discuss
Matthew Duclos 9:25
a differences in
Alex Ferrari 9:27
personality person because I know you know like you know i this is my just from me working and also listening and talking to DPS. Zeiss has a little bit of a sharper edge than cook cooks a little softer. It's maybe because of the coating I don't know so you you tell me what kind of personalities they have. Because they do have personalities, right?
Matthew Duclos 9:47
So that's been lost over the decades. Not so much with cook cook has really always had their look the cookbook, and they've done a really good job of sticking to it despite the entire industry, trying to make things better faster cleaner cook has really stuck to their guns and they make some absolutely gorgeous lenses they may not test well on a projector or you know MTF charts may not look great but the images that they produce nobody will argue that those are just beautiful images and design advice to they advices is gone a little bit off course they don't know that they would have a defined look especially because of their glass comes from so many different sources these days some of it's still in Germany it comes from Japan it's difficult when you have such a broad range of sources to keep a cohesive look
Alex Ferrari 10:43
so there's cook so in other words this cook all still source all their their glass from the same source that's what kind of keeps their vibe going.
Matthew Duclos 10:51
As far as I know everything that cook makes is right there in Leicester UK.
Alex Ferrari 10:56
Oh really? Okay, so that and then Zeiss used to be that way but now they're kind of like sourcing from all over the place so it's a little harder to maintain your persistency as far as looks are concerned right and any other way
Matthew Duclos 11:09
we have absolutely right there's no doubt that cook and Zeiss I mean if you compare the two sides is always going to be a little bit more contrast II bit more neutral a lot of people like to say that is ice is cool, but it's actually not it's just sort of more neutral than cook or your ingenue the but yeah, it's not it's not that one's better than the other they're just different.
Alex Ferrari 11:29
Right now ingenue is for mine and again, I have a little bit of understanding about lenses but engineered to my knowledge was one of the best zoom lenses you can buy and it might still be if I'm not mistaken
Matthew Duclos 11:40
Ah, from a technical standpoint, yes. Again, we're looking at different lenses for different purposes. Okay, there's no question that 2040 to 90 has been an absolute staple in the industry anybody shooting a feature film or a commercial anything with a big budget you can almost guarantee there's a 2040 to 90 on set somewhere
Alex Ferrari 12:00
right there monsters like monsters I've seen I've worked with them their lenses and those are there but they were
Matthew Duclos 12:07
quiet I think the most accurate zoom you can get these days is probably going to come from fujinon
Alex Ferrari 12:13
Yeah, I've heard very good things about fujinon to accurate meaning as far as specs are concerned
Matthew Duclos 12:18
accurate as far as resolution contrast overall sharpness, edge to edge sharpness for a super 35 pictures those fujinon premiere zooms are about the best you can get
Alex Ferrari 12:31
now canon obviously has a long history of lenses as well and they've kind of made their way into the cinema world now after being in photography for so long. What's your What's your opinion on the pic Canon lenses that are now more cinema lenses versus the photo lenses? Are there major differences between the two?
Matthew Duclos 12:52
There's absolutely major differences in the zooms I think the Canon cinema zooms are among the most underrated in the industry they because they're so readily available and they have the cannon name on them they sort of drop in value real quick and they they get you know they change hands pretty frequently but they really do perform well there's not a whole lot of trickery in them they're just a good solid reliable cinema lens. Anytime somebody says I don't like them they're usually saying that because of the look they'll say oh well they're they're too they're too warm or oh I don't like the way the focus falls off or something like that. But from a mechanical standpoint and an actual usability standpoint, they're great all of their cinema zooms are are purpose built zooms the primes are based on their photo lenses so they're really you kind of know what to expect they do tweak a little bit in the the coatings they add a couple elements to compensate to make them all really consistent lens to lens but yeah those I really do applaud canon for not just taking a 24 to 105 and making it a skinny lens you know slapping some gears on it or whatever
Alex Ferrari 14:06
right they actually did took the time to actually develop their cinema lenses.
Matthew Duclos 14:09
Exactly the zooms Yeah. Now in your opinion which
Alex Ferrari 14:12
cinema lens is out there right now is the best bang for your buck. Because these are pricey things I mean, the stuff that we're talking about are 510 1000 $15,000 lenses, but there's been a whole I mean a whole industry wrapped around now creating affordable cinema lenses like the the view drugs and the Roca nones tokina. What what in your opinion are some of the best lenses best bang for your buck
Matthew Duclos 14:37
for primes? As much as people don't like to acknowledge them, I think the rokinon stuff for what it is and the price that you're getting the price that you're paying, it's almost unbeatable. I have absolutely no doubt that there are flaws. They're not perfect optics by any means. But for that price, they're you know That's hard to beat for a manual operating. Again, it's adapted from a photo lens, but for a fully manual operation that's tough to beat.
Alex Ferrari 15:10
I have a set. I have a set myself. I love that. I love those lenses. Yeah,
Matthew Duclos 15:14
they're certainly going to get the job done. There's no question about it, they're not going to perform. Nobody is trying to compare them to master primes or syllable axes. But at that price, it's almost unbeatable. And the hub offers zooms zooms I would probably have to say the Sigma cinese zooms are the best bang for the buck which again is just a an adapted photo lens. But what you get in those that a T two everyone's got complaints you know the focus breedings not great they're only Super 35 they're not full frame you know whatever but for the price for a T to zoom it's fully manual can't eat it you really can't
Alex Ferrari 15:52
know I just got the the 50 to 100 sigma but it's not the cinema it's the the photo and I yeah same exact glass it's just doesn't have the gears which I can work around for a grand but it's it's stunning that the what is it called the portrait lenses?
Matthew Duclos 16:08
The art series
Alex Ferrari 16:09
yeah the art series oh my god they're gorgeous though. I mean I've put it up on on charts and it really does perform well again for the for the money it's insane. Really hourly is insane. And I think that's a lot of things that filmmakers really have to understand that there you don't have to have at when you have lower budgets look you have big budgets my god if I had a budget I would I'd be using cooks and engineers all day. Yeah, exactly. But for the independent filmmaker I mean there are so many more options even in the last five years than there was i mean i mean you you've been around so you've seen how I mean can you imagine a cinema lens for under five grand
Matthew Duclos 16:46
no way if you told me if somebody told me that 10 years ago there was going to be you know a high quality prime lens for under 500 bucks I would have laughed I said no way no way it's coming from China or whatever Yeah, here we are. It's I really do you think that we are in the next golden age of lenses right now it's still happening it's still evolving, but it's such a booming market it's great.
Alex Ferrari 17:15
What's your opinion on the sigma and the sigma is the new cinema lenses on the segment's and just sigma in general
Matthew Duclos 17:21
I really like what they're doing similar to cook you know we were saying before sick was one of the only guys one of the only manufacturers that they've keep everything under one roof from start to finish I mean the entire lenses are all built in there one factory and I Zoo they don't outsource anything they're not getting components or anywhere else. That to me that's really respectable maybe some people consider that old school but I really do respect that and I think they I think sigma moving forward is going to be setting the bar for the big guys.
Alex Ferrari 17:54
Yeah, cuz I just I just shot with the, the new cinema primes that just came out are not the primes. But the the new zoom the Is it the 18 to 35 cinema and the 50 to 100. Cinema. Exactly. And I mean, it's stunning. It's absolutely and their five grand, like for I think 4500 bucks, something like that.
Matthew Duclos 18:16
I think this is just sigma getting their feet wet. Yep. I think moving forward, they're gonna have a lot of really cool stuff to show everyone.
Alex Ferrari 18:23
And by the way, a free plug for you. So my dp did purchase your case for those lenses. He was like he just make sure he let him know that Austin said hi. So um, you were talking a little bit about breathing before focus breathing? Can you talk a little bit more about, you know, the breathing of like when you're pulling focus on a zoom? What, you know, what's an acceptable amount of breathing? Are there any zoom lenses that don't breathe? Are they do they all breathe? And can you just explain what that concept is?
Matthew Duclos 18:54
So breathing is one of those things that a lot of people misunderstand, especially people that are new to the world of cinema. in photography, nobody really cares about breathing. It still happens but you're taking a photo at a fraction of a second and it is what it is. Breathing is when you rack focus on your cinema lens, and the field of view changes ever so slightly, it gives sort of a for lack of a better term I'm reading effect. So your field of view increases and decreases just a little bit almost as if you're zooming while you're focusing. What a lot of people misunderstand that four is when you rack focus and the lens telescopes in and out, they assume that that means breathing you know physical movement of the lens barrel itself. Which I mean some people do call that breathing we call that non constant volume. So what breathing really is is that optical mechanical flaw of when the field of view changes back and forth. higher costs cinema zooms do compensate for that. And can nearly eliminate it. But it's definitely a consideration when designing a zoom.
Alex Ferrari 20:06
Yeah, I mean, but I've seen breathing in Oscar winning, you know, amazing films. It's just it's, you know, especially the older ones. It just was there and you could see it was even when I didn't even know what breathing was like, What? What happened there, like you just noticed,
Matthew Duclos 20:21
but it's a lot and anamorphic zooms to if you're watching in Anoka any film shot with an anamorphic zoom? Even, I mean major stuff like Star Wars. Oh, yeah. See breathing jaws?
Alex Ferrari 20:32
Yeah. Yeah, it's, it's not something that you have to like, Oh, my God, we've been it's it's just, it's just the nature of what you're shooting? Yeah.
Matthew Duclos 20:39
And there's an acceptable amount. I mean, like you were saying with that sigma 50 to 100. That lens does breathe a lot. It does. It does. But, you know, it's, it's how you use it, there's ways to get around that don't do a focus poll from five feet to infinity. And you
Alex Ferrari 20:58
work around that a little bit because, and that's and that's another great piece of advice is that, you know, when you know, you don't have all the money in the world to buy the best lenses or the best cameras, you work with what you have and just work around and be creative. Especially with lenses, you know, like I shot my feature on on basically the rochen ons and the and the Sigma 18 to 35 I think it is. And I shot my shot on on a Blackmagic 2.5. And it didn't cover the it didn't cover the sensor, because it just couldn't cover the sensor all the way or they're scrapping I mean, it just it was cropping because of of the the sensor and bureau like what do you do? Like, you losing all that crap? I'm like, dude, just, if it's if you don't think about it's not there. reframe reframe.
Matthew Duclos 21:45
Alex Ferrari 21:46
You know, don't don't get caught up in that kind of stuff. Now,
Matthew Duclos 21:49
actor is the topic that I could, I mean, I can't believe in today's day and age of the internet, there's so much bad information out there on the whole concept of crop factor. And people still call me at least once a week that just can't wrap their head around crop factor and how it affects lenses.
Alex Ferrari 22:06
Can you talk a little bit about that? Sure. Yeah. About what crop factor is because I know it's something that is just I agree with you. There's so much misinformation out there it is. And there's so much like negative like, Oh my god, you don't have it doesn't cover the full lens. You're losing, you're losing. I'm like, dude, get over yourself. Just Yeah, the roof. Look, it's Yeah, sure. But you want to go spend 15 grand on on the right lens, or 50 grand on the right camera, knock yourself out?
Matthew Duclos 22:34
Yeah, no, it's, it's really, it became a huge problem because people were jumping ship from stills into cinema. So the guys that came up shooting Super 35 their whole life, they knew, you know, they were used to the focal length they were shooting with like a standard set of primes was 1825 35 5085. Period. Yeah. And then the guy is coming from 35 millimeter full frame still photography into cinema. They, you know, they had it in their head that everything was wider because they had a larger sensor. And they needed to maintain that field of view, for whatever reason. So they had to have all these crop factors in order to achieve the same field of view that they were getting on their five D Mark one or whatever camera they're coming from, right. So that's where that whole crop factor thing came from is everybody is just comparing all the crop factor is is comparing your field of view or your sensor size to full frame. If you get that full frame exists, and you just think about Super 35 that's all that matters. If you're shooting Super 35 Don't worry about full frame just framing for what format you're shooting.
Alex Ferrari 23:43
Now can you talk the difference between 35 and super 35 and full frame?
Matthew Duclos 23:49
A super 35 was sort of the original format for that type of film, you know, 135 film Sure, when you you know in a in a Cinema Camera, it's going up and down. When you turn that film sideways, that's where you get that 24 by 3635 millimeter full frame. So it's the same film it's just 90 degrees to get a bigger picture. So super 35 you know that size sort of preceded full frame 35. These days, the terms Super 35 kind of gets thrown around since it's not really nobody really sticks to that standard anymore. You know, like red new helium sensor, they call it the 8k Super 35. It's not really super 35 it's actually a little bit wider. So that's kind of tricky to talk about because people don't really obey the rules that were put in place a long time ago.
Alex Ferrari 24:48
It's pretty much a wild, wild wild west right now.
Matthew Duclos 24:52
A little bit yeah. Even full frame, you know, reds, new 8k this division. It's really not the same as old school. This division it's again a little bit wider, a little bit shorter. So your your image circle requirements are a little bit different.
Alex Ferrari 25:07
Now, can you talk a little bit about because now you just brought up 8k? I mean, a lot of these vintage lenses and just lenses that are being made today are when will they eventually just be obsolete? Well, you can't use them on these 8k 12k 24k 60k cameras that will be coming out in the next 10 years. What what point did these lenses start becoming obsolete and at what point because I know, the optics have been trying to catch up, or cameras have been trying to catch up the optics or optics have been trying to catch up to camera sensors, since this whole thing started back in basically 2004 2005 when red kind of came on the scene.
Matthew Duclos 25:45
So that's another sort of pet peeve I have 8k so a lot of people always ask about it, you know, is this lens gonna resolve or is this one's going to cover which are two completely different things, there's a huge difference between resolution and sensor size. Again, a whole nother rabbit hole we can go down. But you know, it all comes down to marketing. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the lens manufacturers because they started labeling their lenses 4k or 4k compatible, right? They excuse me, they sort of shot themselves in the foot. To say that a lens resolves 4k, it's a little bit misleading. You always have to sort of specify the sensor size along with the resolution. So for example, 4k on rattles and any well 4k on a full frame sensor. You know, you've got however many pixels, the pixels are what they are, excuse me, you got to cut all that out. So let me start that part over. So 4k on a full frame sensor is a very specific resident a very specific number of pixels. If you take that same resolution and then shrink it down to something like a black magic, which is micro four thirds, you have the same number of pixels, but all of a sudden you're cramming those into half the size, which means 4k on that black magic has a much much higher resolution requirement than it does on your full frame 4k sensor. So to say that a litens resolves 4k is a little bit misleading because you're not really you're not specifying what size those pixels are. Anybody that labeled their lens 4k compatible or 4k ready whatever they just shot themselves in the foot because now that we have 6k and 8k and 10k coming out what do you say to those people now your lens doesn't work? No It works fine you just thought that you were being clever labeling your lens 4k
Alex Ferrari 28:03
right? So Joe do these lenses i mean do the lenses that are being made today will that will that work on an 8k on a 10k
Matthew Duclos 28:12
in terms of resolving power on 8k yeah no problem. I've seen I have never had a lens put on a camera you know and look through the viewfinder or looked at the LCD and thought oh man, that's a bummer it's not resolving, you know you get the picture it's there. You just have varying degrees of micro contrast. It's not like there's a cut off point where it doesn't work its lenses are a completely analog organic factor. So they're they're always going to work they're always going to function, you're just going to have lower and lower micro contrast.
Alex Ferrari 28:48
So the the one thing that we can actually say safely and I have always told us to people if you're going to invest in a kit or in gear lenses are things that that don't go out of style. In other words if you buy a camera today in a year or two in my it will be out of out of out of won't be up to date while if you spend a lot of money on lenses today those lenses will be good prime for the next 1520 years if not longer correct?
Matthew Duclos 29:15
Yes and I I generally don't say that. I try not to do that because it sounds like a sales pitch just sounds like I'm you know selling you the land. Don't do this do that. But that is true. It's the lenses. I mean look at the stuff that's fashionable right now the Superbowl cars in the car was those were from a 750s 60s 70s and you can't you can't find them quick enough everybody wants them.
Alex Ferrari 29:40
Can you talk a little bit about vintage glass because it's as you brought it up because I've actually shot with the Super Bowl cars. They're gorgeous. I mean we shot them on reds, on on reds that would
Matthew Duclos 29:51
say have any lens out there if I was going to shoot something that didn't need to be clinical and clean. The Super Bowl tires are my choice for For a spherical lens, you can't beat that look. It's such a pleasing stylized look that you cannot replicate. I mean you could put stuff through post all you want you're not going to get the look of the Superbowl cars.
Alex Ferrari 30:13
And what does it do? Like what are the characteristics of the Superbowl tires? It's just I mean obviously it softens the image just a bit especially with that harsh read sensor. Sometimes that can be really too clinical. It just sharpens it up especially with actors or actresses faces. They love you for it. But I've shot multiple things with it's they're gorgeous, but what are the things what are the characteristics of the Superbowl stars that they like,
Matthew Duclos 30:37
it's kind of hard to describe because they don't stay consistent. For example, the 35 millimeters super Baltazar no matter what every single 35 millimeter I've ever seen, has been warmer and softer than the rest of the set. So it's hard to put it's hard to put a pin in the entire set but If I had to describe them with sort of a broad stroke I'd say low contrast slightly warmer than most other lenses and just the bouquets when the focus falls off is it's just beautiful.
Alex Ferrari 31:09
It is it is pretty gorgeous and you know that's another thing I always tell people to when they're shooting super digital like super digital but like shooting with reds especially the 568 k kind of stuff depending on what you're trying to do because I just saw like clips from the Guardians of the Galaxy we just shot on 8k it's super clinical super crisp super clean makes perfect sense for that kind of story without yesterday
Matthew Duclos 31:34
yeah I don't know what lenses they ended up going with for that
Alex Ferrari 31:36
i don't i don't know i don't know neither but but it looks fairly clinical I mean without without question, there's no soft edges and I think it looks but that's perfect for that kind of movie. But generally when I always because I do a lot of color grading and I do a lot of posts so a lot of DPS a lot of times asked me or filmmakers asked me I'm shooting with the red what lenses do you recommend I go I I always tell them try to find vintage glass if you can, depending on what you're trying to do but if you're trying to do something softer and to take that digital bite off of it those vintage glass that vintage glass will probably help you out do you agree with that?
Matthew Duclos 32:13
I do do to a degree but it's just like you said with that caveat if you're trying to take that edge off Yeah, absolutely just grab an older lens
Alex Ferrari 32:23
and there and I remember that for a while like the 16 millimeter glass started to like just you could give it away almost. Oh yeah. And then when the digital revolution came up they became the hot commodity because they're a really amazing glass and can you talk a little bit about 16 Super 16 millimeter glass and what a bargain It is especially if you're shooting with let's say a pocket camera like a Blackmagic Pocket camera or or some of these smaller sensor digital cameras
Matthew Duclos 32:53
I think it's still underrated I think people have still haven't quite caught on like they did with something like the super speeds 16 formats still sort of the the I mean always has been but it's still sort of that Oh, you couldn't afford 35 millimeter. Right? It's always it's it's unfortunate because it's such like you said there's so much good glass out there. affordable. Yeah, that's one of the lenses I actually cut my teeth on was the Canon eight 264 It's a great zoom lens. It's phenomenal. It gives you that super wide angle that you need to compensate for the crop factor. And it's just a great sharp lens it's nice it's not too heavy. It's not too bulky. Even 16 format super speeds that stuff is out there and it's it's attainable but people are so wrapped up in bigger is better. They want full frame they want this division they want Alexa 65 but everything else is getting thrown by the wayside because of that,
Alex Ferrari 34:01
but you know, or they could just focus on telling a good story.
Matthew Duclos 34:06
Exactly. horses for courses I mean it's it's the same with every factor of cinema lenses, you know the right tool for the right job.
Alex Ferrari 34:15
Right right now how do you test set? How do you test a good lens to see if it's any good?
Matthew Duclos 34:20
Oh, where do I begin? here at our shop, there's a couple of tools that we use so we do testing all day every day. That's like I know we everybody sort of knows this now for selling lenses. Our primary business always has been always will be servicing lenses, making sure they're as good as they can be. Testing lenses I'd say our primary tool for doing that is our test projector. So we're literally is a test target or reticle, if you will, at the film plane and we're testing how the lens performs essentially backwards as it would be. Instead of putting a picture at the film plane we have a picture of the film plane, we're projecting it on. While and that's sort of the bread and butter. There's a whole bunch of other tools we use a T stop bench to measure light. We have several Carla meters for checking flange depth, not just landed up, we also use a column meter for axial alignment, we have a vertical lens, we can check how well the optics are aligned on their own axis. There's a whole bunch of tools we use.
Alex Ferrari 35:24
Now is there anything that the independent filmmaker can do to test a lens on their own, just, you know, either with charts or any, any any basic tests that they could just go ahead and make sure this is a good night?
Matthew Duclos 35:38
Um, so no, you could turn on a camera and see what it does. Um, I usually I mean, that's sort of step one, if you're getting a picture, you're getting a picture, right? But you know, when you're testing lenses on a camera, you're not just testing the lens, then you're testing the camera, you're testing the recording format, then you're testing the monitor. And if you're, I can't stand it when people say, Oh, I saw this lens test on YouTube. While I definitely understood the value of watching test results on YouTube, or looking at what the lens did, then what the camera did, then what the codec did, then what the export did, then what the upload compression did, then with the monitors, it's like, there's so many layers between the lens and how you're viewing it on your monitor. There's absolutely no consistency to it at all.
Alex Ferrari 36:29
Right? If you really need to see it by eye as opposed to
Matthew Duclos 36:32
Yeah, and that's why we use our test projector. Some other places use MTF benches, which are very, very useful. And we can we actually have sort of a makeshift MTF bench here. But it's not you know, I've seen lenses the MTF are really really high, and then they suck on the camera, they just don't, they don't produce a good picture. And vice versa. I've seen lenses the MTF really low, and they make absolutely stunning images.
Alex Ferrari 36:58
It basically at the end of the day is throw it on a camera record, okay, record it and see what it looks like. It's that good. That's step one. And then you can get into the nuances or have someone like you or or another repair shop actually tested for you to make sure we're good on it. Now you do a lot of repairs and maintenance on lenses. As you've said, Can you tell me a story of the world's craziest case of what someone sent you to fix or repair?
Matthew Duclos 37:26
Ah, I wouldn't say that it was sent to repair. It's actually one of the lenses we have here in our lobby, okay. Anybody that's in LA remember the the there was a fire on the back lot of Universal Studios out five or six years ago. And customer of ours. He's been a customer for a long time. We service his stuff many many times. Very, very low key cinematographer does a lot of commercials very, very quiet. His stuff was all on the soundstage prepping for a commercial the next day. Everything went up in flames and he talked to the fire department afterwards said can I go pick through that the rubble after they bulldoze to try and find my stuff. And he found his 24 to 290 and a couple other I think it was a superspeed and an ultra prime. Oh, no, sorry, s four. And he brought to us Hey, can you fix these and they're just they're they're so far beyond send metal. I would say that's probably the strangest obviously he was joking. He didn't expect us. He gave it to us because we had service that lends probably a dozen times throughout its life. So it's kind of sad to see that all that hard work was just gone.
Alex Ferrari 38:39
Right? I'm sure hope you had insurance. Oh, yeah, absolutely. So that's it's in your in your lobby as it has a good resting place. I have to say
Matthew Duclos 38:49
Alex Ferrari 38:50
That's a good resting place.
Matthew Duclos 38:51
I would say that the coolest one was probably probably a Kubrick lens. Everybody knows that famous Kubrick lens. customer of ours brought one in completely original unmodified,
Alex Ferrari 39:06
but it actually wasn't an actual Kubrick lens.
Matthew Duclos 39:09
Yeah, so the story behind it was he Kubrick bought all of them that NASA didn't buy and they converted a bunch of them for use on that particular camera. And then they kept one lens completely untouched. In case one of the other lenses that they modified broke because they couldn't get spare parts from Zeiss since they were all gone, right. So this one lens that wasn't modified ended up in our hands. And it's I mean, I don't I don't think even Zeiss has one
Alex Ferrari 39:37
that's pretty and that sits in your lobby as well.
Matthew Duclos 39:40
No, that's it that's locked in the vault that doesn't ever leave the vault.
Alex Ferrari 39:43
Have you shot Has anyone shot with it or is it just Ah,
Matthew Duclos 39:47
we've kind of shot with it. It's the distance from the rear glass. The rear element to the film plane is about four millimeters. So you can't use it on any camera that has an O LPF. Because you just don't have enough space.
Alex Ferrari 40:00
What does an LLP Say that again, low pass filter, okay, okay.
Matthew Duclos 40:06
Because even the distance from the low pass filter to the sensor, that's probably five to 10 millimeters somewhere in that range by itself. So you can't have anything at all in front of the sensor. So I've put it on photography, I shoot with Fuji stuff. And they don't use a low pass filter since they have their x trans sensor. And I put it on there and it's it's pretty interesting.
Alex Ferrari 40:30
It's an interesting look to say the least. Yeah, how wide How wide is that one?
Matthew Duclos 40:35
It's a 50 millimeter.
Alex Ferrari 40:36
It's a 50. And what's the what's the F stop?
Matthew Duclos 40:39
It says 0.7
Alex Ferrari 40:41
cheese's. Now, Ken since we're on Kubrick and I'm a Kubrick fanatic. I and everyone listening to this podcast knows that I absolutely adore Kubrick and I've read everything about him. Can you talk a little bit about that glass that he used in what was so important specifically about the Barry Lyndon glass which is the legendary glass that he used and I'm assuming you went to the Kubrick exhibit when it was here at the LACMA Of course and did you see that that yeah that the how lens Oh
Matthew Duclos 41:09
yeah, so that was a that was a trip for me I'll usually I'll go to museums especially stuff at LACMA at the Getty that sort of thing and it's always you know, it's cool stuff photography or short form or another but this one was like it's like someone built a museum exhibit for me Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 41:30
The lenses were laid out and the piece discussing how you use them
Matthew Duclos 41:36
I'm looking at all this exhibit and like I've taken that lens apart 10 times I've done that one 1000 times I just it was beautiful it was so much fun for me
Alex Ferrari 41:43
So can you talk a little bit about what made those Barry Lyndon glass that glass I'm Barry Lyndon so revolutionary for its time
Matthew Duclos 41:51
well the speed was the primary thing just having that 0.75 aperture that was like if they even to this day I don't think it's really been done for that format size you can find some really weird obscure stuff that's meant for like x ray machines but doesn't even cover Micro Four Thirds sensor I think that was the most unique part about those was just that that ultra shallow depth of field of a point seven five lens
Alex Ferrari 42:19
now how what what was what was the next level up or what was the next fastest lens available at the time? A give or take like a too late
Matthew Duclos 42:29
All right, I think they had the super speeds out so you'd have like a T one three.
Alex Ferrari 42:33
Okay, so but that extra that extra What is it point five?
Matthew Duclos 42:38
I don't whenever t stopped the Kubrick lens I don't know what it actually I don't know how much light was actually coming out the back of the lens because there was an F point seven five so it was probably like maybe a T one or 1.2 we'd have to actually test it
Alex Ferrari 42:54
I'm glad now i'm sure after this after this interview you'll you'll go and play with it.
Matthew Duclos 42:59
I don't know that's you know our T stop bench we nicknamed The Heartbreaker because everybody thinks they have you know the T one three or T one four speeds and then we put them on and we say well you know the manufacturer is stretched a little bit it's more like a T one seven. So I don't want to I just want to leave that Kubrick lens as if that's history I don't want to test it
Alex Ferrari 43:19
oh that's fine but and then also the the film of motion back then was just not able to to wasn't as sensitive as film today or even digital. So that was what made that's how he was able to light basically by candlelight.
Matthew Duclos 43:36
Exactly. Yeah, you needed a fast lens to do it that back then
Alex Ferrari 43:39
is such a gorgeous you need a fast lens to do it now too. But also the the resolution of these cameras. Have you played with the Sony A seven s two. Oh, yeah. That that's a sick camera. Yeah, that sensor is pretty. You can see in the dark.
Matthew Duclos 43:55
Yeah, it's it's almost not fair.
Alex Ferrari 43:59
I have one of those. It's just I was just doing a test with it the other day and I wasn't even looking under the couch where there's no light and I'm like, damn it I see everything under the couch. It's like it's pretty. It's pretty insane. Now can you talk a little bit about coatings, coatings on lenses, the coated versus uncoated because I know you sell some uncoated lenses and why do DPS want uncoated lenses as opposed to coated and what's what is a coat in the first place.
Matthew Duclos 44:29
So coatings The primary purpose of a coating really is to to increase or maintain really light transmission. The purpose of the coating is to allow light to pass through the glass as efficiently as possible. a byproduct of the coating is characteristics of the lens like the color, sometimes how the focus falls off sometimes sort of weird obscure bouquets that you get depending on how the Polish In the coating pair up. But the primary purpose of the coatings is to make the lens more efficient to increase that tea stop reading.
Alex Ferrari 45:10
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show
Matthew Duclos 45:21
uncoated lenses where we strip the coatings that's actually a huge misconception. For example, the Super Bowl tars people think that the coatings on those that there are no coatings that they just shipped them without coating, which is completely untrue. They just, they were shitty coatings back then. Right. And a lot of times people will call us to remove the coatings from their lenses to give them a more vintage look. And they'll call us and say, you know, I want all the coatings stripped, and I say No, you don't. If we strip all the coatings, it just won't work you'll have so, so much light loss, so much image quality loss, you're going to be left with garbage, right? So anytime we do pursue that it's a very, very meticulous, very tedious process where we, we start, we usually start with the front element, which is a mistake. It's all trial and error. We're doing one project right now for a company who I cannot talk about came and talked about the lenses we're doing. It's a essentially, there's a recipe. Anytime we're taking the coatings off of a lens, it's certain surfaces of certain elements. And we thought it's all trial and error, we go back and forth, then we replace the element with a brand new one. If we go too far, go to the next element town. I think the project that we've been working on right now, probably about maybe three months in and we're still winning them still getting the right recipe. So it's all trial and error to get a specific look. And that look is usually increasing the flares, giving a little more character increasing how highlights bloom, that sort of thing.
Alex Ferrari 47:00
Now you use I don't know if you still do I remember a while ago, you used to sell the rokinon a set of the primes uncoated. Is that did you guys still do that?
Matthew Duclos 47:09
I pulled the plug on that, that. We did it for a couple people. At the time, it like I said that recipe that we had for each lens, which I still have, I probably should do it again. Okay. But the the labor involved in getting into each of those elements and the time it takes to polish them. The cost to do that uncoding process ended up costing more than the lenses did themselves.
Alex Ferrari 47:37
Gotcha. So if there's anybody out there who still has those very valuable
Matthew Duclos 47:44
I think the one set that we did initially was for a company in Australia and they were stolen. I don't know where they are now. And when we call they call back to say can we get more I said sorry, I don't, we're not gonna do anymore. All right, I think there was one other set that a private owner had I have no idea if he still has them. But yeah, they're, they're unique, they're definitely unique. And then I'm I might actually pull that recipe out and use it again because now they have the rokinon ziens which are the same glass. So I use that same recipe and it would probably in the case of the ziens it may end up being worthwhile because they're priced higher than the regular rochen ons were right
Alex Ferrari 48:23
of course of course now is the Are there any other uncoated because I know a friend of my dp a friend of mine had a set of cooks uncoated cooks Are there other manufacturers actually making uncoated lenses?
Matthew Duclos 48:37
Yeah cook does that now Oh cool. They do that for the they started doing it with the mini s four is where you can buy a replacement element that was uncoated. And I think they're they announced it I don't know if they're doing it but they worked with camtech here in LA to get a essentially what I just said about you know a recipe they have a specific recipe where certain elements are uncoated. And I think they're doing that with the regular s fours
Alex Ferrari 49:07
now the basically so familiar from what you're talking saying is that lenses basically have a combination of a few different elements to create the actual look of that lens, whether it be where the glass is manufactured, how its manufactured, how it's put together. And then on top of that, then you throw the the mysterious coating on that. If it varies in the batch that they make it could adjust the look of that lens though obviously you pay those high prices because everything is systematic on cooks or Zeiss or things like that. Give it you know, generally speaking, but there is there's various variables of making lenses. So just because you buy two of the exact same lens doesn't mean you're going to get exactly the same looks correct. Right? Unless you're paying those high end prices for like those, you know, a full prime set of cooks. All are going to have All are going to be balanced all are going to be same color temperature and so on. Correct? You know,
Matthew Duclos 50:04
that's, that's actually now that I think about it, you know, the look of a lens, the consistency, even in something lower cost like a rokinon. You know, we'll have some customers that want to buy broken arms, but they want sort of a tailored set, they weren't color matched, which we'll do because we keep a ton of them here. So we'll sort of cherry pick and find the best ones. And even within rokinon, something as cheap as that, we only find like, I think the most I ever saw was like a 5% variants and colorshift,
Alex Ferrari 50:37
which is you can't even tell basically,
Matthew Duclos 50:40
you can you can definitely like if you're shooting a white wall, a completely blank white wall or something where the color is very neutral or supposed to be neutral, you will see it but it's so minor. My point being the guys that are the manufacturers that are really taking that into consideration. It's a big deal. Like they have to go through a lot to get that extra couple percent.
Alex Ferrari 51:03
Right to make it but when you're spending, you know, a set of cook supers was as far as what are the most expensive primes out there as a cook?
Matthew Duclos 51:12
No. Most Expensive primes? Probably master and a morphix.
Alex Ferrari 51:21
Maybe, okay, and they I'm assuming they all match perfectly. Right? They better I don't think
Matthew Duclos 51:29
I don't think I've ever done the color test on those. But I've actually never heard anyone complain. So either they think they're good or they are good, right? It's like
Alex Ferrari 51:38
when you buy when you buy a Mercedes or Ferrari no pun intended or, or a Lamborghini like it drives it drives fine. Because you just spent 180 grand on it.
Matthew Duclos 51:48
Exactly. You expected to perform.
Alex Ferrari 51:50
Exactly. Now can you talk a little bit about the magical thing called speed boosters, because that's something that's come up lately, you know, with these adapters, which you can turn a PL mount into a cannon mount and put those glasses on but also boost the the T stop or the F stop on those. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Matthew Duclos 52:13
Yeah, it's it's actually nothing new. Really. It's been that product. I can't remember what it used to be called. A It was a number because it the factor. Anyway, can't remember the concept of a focal reducer is nothing new. It's kind of cool in practice, meta bones did a really good job of marketing it. Yes, they did. I think originally they were saying that it increases sharpness. And this and that, which I don't know about that. That's kind of stretching it. But it is a cool product, I think it's great for for what it is.
Alex Ferrari 52:50
So if you throw a throw so basically what from what I understand what it does is just focuses more of the light onto the sensor through the lens.
Matthew Duclos 52:58
Yeah, you're basically condensing the the image that you would have had into a smaller area, which is going to increase your light transmission.
Alex Ferrari 53:07
So you you put a nice fast lens on that through a speed booster through the a seven s and you basically could shoot
Matthew Duclos 53:13
at night. Yeah, exactly. With no
Alex Ferrari 53:17
lights anywhere in the middle of the desert. Right. Now, um, can you talk a little bit about anamorphic? And the concept between because that's something that's starting to come back from what I'm seeing and hearing. Yeah, definitely. It's starting to come back a little bit more. And then of course, all those beautiful lens flares that JJ created, and is known for in his movies. I'm assuming those are anamorphic ones I'm not, I'm assuming they didn't do that post. Right. So can you talk about the concept of anamorphic lenses and why they're so relevant today.
Matthew Duclos 53:52
The concept of them is what's most intriguing to me, which I feel like has been lost over time. The reason anamorphic came to be originally was to increase the field of view, you wanted a wider picture with the same lens. It all came down to the field of view these days. It's very, very, very rare to find somebody that's looking to increase the field of view, instead of looking for the anamorphic style. These days, anamorphic has become a style choice. Not so much of utility. In fact, I think Zeiss experienced that pretty severely when they had their master anamorphic 's they were essentially anamorphic or sorry, they were essentially master primes with a two times squeeze. So they were these beautiful, super sharp, super crisp lenses with a two times squeeze, which is what anamorphic is all about. But they didn't produce flares. They didn't produce any unique characteristics. They were still very, very clean. I can only imagine how much the engineers at Zeiss were crying when they said, Okay, well, this is too good, you need to make it worse, we're going to come out with this flare set. So it's like that with that flare set, we replaced the front and rear element and basically undid all this engineering that they had put into. Right? Because people said, hey, there's a great but I want more style, I want more flair, I want more character. So for better or worse, however you want to look at it anamorphic these days has definitely become a style choice.
Alex Ferrari 55:33
And, and getting those lens flares. You know, do I've been on set they actually throw sometimes they'll actually throw a light a light into the lens just to kind of flare it out.
Matthew Duclos 55:45
Alex Ferrari 55:46
And and what's your what's your What are some of your favorite anamorphic anamorphic lenses?
Matthew Duclos 55:53
Personally, I am a huge proponent of the vintage colors, okay, they're, they're like, they're so small compared to modern anamorphic. They're fast. They're just a service liability, because they are going to break down sooner or later. And there's very, very few parts for those left.
Alex Ferrari 56:13
Right? Yeah. Do you guys create parts? Do you guys can you know manufacture parts?
Matthew Duclos 56:18
Yeah, if it's something like that, actually, just a couple weeks ago, somebody, somebody sent one in, that had been dropped and the chassis of the lens was bent, which is like the main core of the lens. Sure. So the only option you have at that point is to find another lens and salvage the parts, or for us to make a whole new part. So we made we manufactured the core, the chassis of that lens and replaced it all. And from what I'm told it's working great in the field so far. Same thing with Iris blades on those the iris blades tend to fail when the lubrication dries up, they can sort of they can bind in either kink the iris blade or snap off of it. So we manufacture Iris blades for those because they're so hard to find. Class though, no way, forget about it.
Alex Ferrari 57:07
You guys aren't in a glass making business.
Matthew Duclos 57:10
Well, it's not just that it's that the materials they use back then are outlawed. Now you can't use LED, you can't use you know, some of the stuff that has become radioactive now. You just you can't use it. It's illegal. Now you're not allowed. And that's actually a funny loophole that pan ivision found, I forget where I read this, it might have been like fd times or something. Pan envision gets away with it, because they don't sell their equipment. They only rent it out. Yeah, they only rent it. And you can't use those materials and anything that you're going to sell. But since they have no intention of selling anything, and they can still do it.
Alex Ferrari 57:44
Can you talk a little bit about pan of vision glass because I know that's also legendary Lee good glass. A lot of a lot of filmmakers and cinematographers really love that glass. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Matthew Duclos 57:54
Um, I know some bits about them. We don't usually see a lot of panoramas and glass here. Anytime we do see a Pan American lens come in, we call them up and say Why is this not at your shop? Right? because nothing's really supposed to leave panda vision. Sure. And we usually get weird answers like, Oh, well, you know, that serial number, it looks like ours, but we don't have a record of it. And we have to kind of assume that it's okay. Right, your vision doesn't say something's wrong, and you just wait to say that something's wrong. All right. But painted vision stuff all stays in house, so I don't have a whole lot of experience diving into their lenses. I have a lot of friends that work at penta vision lens Tech's but their stuff is it's unique. They'll say that at the very least,
Alex Ferrari 58:39
it's a very unique proprietary system that they that they've created for their lenses. A lot
Matthew Duclos 58:45
of the stuff that they did, you know, in the 80s 90s was it was produced at the same factory as some of the stuff like Leica in Canada. So it's got that sort of unique, classic style. But for their new stuff, I have no idea where it comes from who's making it where they source the stuff, but their vintage stuff. That's where they're making bank right now. And that's they cornered the market on the vintage glass and they do it really really well.
Alex Ferrari 59:18
I mean, even you mean vintage glass is that the stuff that they've already created or they're actually creating the vintage
Matthew Duclos 59:25
both the stuff that they already have that was just sitting on the shelf for decades and they were like hey, we can use this like all the The Hateful Eight stuff. Yeah made bad. Yeah, let's use that. Sure. Why
Alex Ferrari 59:36
not literally found it in a corner somewhere? Exactly. Yeah. And then seen it and see lightened like since 1950.
Matthew Duclos 59:43
Exactly. They've got cabinets full of vintage stuff like that, because they don't sell anything. They don't get rid of it. That they can just sort of pull stuff off the shelf and say well let's put a current mount on this and see how it looks and still work well for them.
Alex Ferrari 59:57
Now you also you guys also have a A line of lenses yourself that you use with Leica lenses. Is that correct? No, no, no, I saw I saw I saw duclos. I saw duclos lenses and then like on it, what are those? Your lenses are? I'm not sure what you're talking about on your, on your website. If you go to the lenses section and it says duclos you click on it to buy and then
Matthew Duclos 1:00:20
oh, that's probably our you're probably talking about the 70 to 180. Yes, yes. Okay, that's just a lens that we rehoused. Oh, it's a, it's a like a 70 to 180. It's an R Series lens from, I think that was like the mid 90s. But that was sort of a pet project of mine that took off. I had one of those lenses A long time ago, which was almost new at the time, I think I was the second owner. And I absolutely loved that lens. And I always told myself, if I had time, I'd do a conversion, make it beautiful, make it a cinema lens. And they just sat on my shelf for like, maybe almost 10 years. I didn't do anything with it. And then like I started producing all their skinny glass, you know, the super like C's and the sumo currencies. And a bunch of people were asking us to do some kind of zoom that would match those, and has got this 70 to 180. Let's try it, see how it works. And everybody have I showed it to loved it. It's not a perfect lens. It's that, you know, personality. Yeah, it's got the typical vignette that a Leica has a really shallow, not shallow, it's really subtle might fall off. It breathes, it's got, you know, character flaws, but it's just a beautiful lens, and it matches really well with those. So I was finally able to put that into a city housing. I sat down with our engineer here, and we went over it for like, probably a couple months. And it really it started as just a pet project and then became something that people actually wanted. So it worked really well.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:51
Now, can you talk a little bit about your you guys do something called cinema mode? Or cinema? Yeah, city mode or cinema modification? What? What exactly is that? Because I know a lot of people have these photo lenses and they want to transfer over to to cinema mode. Can you Scott that discuss that a little bit?
Matthew Duclos 1:02:11
Sure. That was something that started I'll give you some history on it. We had a customer that was doing stereo scopic macro work. And he had the original Zeiss Zf lenses, not this was before the Zf twos. And he had to have them, like inches, not even millimeters apart, they had to be as close as possible. And he needed to be able to drive the focus on both of them simultaneously accurately. So he asked us, we could put some gears on it and take the quickstarts out of the aperture. And a couple other things. We said sure, why not? And so he shot that project is I think he was doing something like bugs or something really macro. And he showed some guys, they showed some guys and we just sort of kept doing it. You know, we ended up calling it the cinema between eydap trademarking. And honestly, we never thought that it would be something that the entire industry would want, but we've done it if I had to guess I'd probably say we've done in the realm of 10s of 1000s of lenses, of
Alex Ferrari 1:03:19
course. And that makes absolutely sense because people want it they have, they've already spent the whole lot of money on glass. And if we can make
Matthew Duclos 1:03:25
it cheaper options out, you can get zip gears you can get you know, you can watch a huge tutorial on how to de click your lens. Yeah, but we just kind of, you know, we don't ever try to sell people aren't like ours is better, or is it better? But, you know, if you want it done, right, you kind of go through us.
Alex Ferrari 1:03:42
And last last last technical question want to ask you, because it's something that a lot of people always ask me about lens mounts, and what the industry standard is and why, you know, pls and ETFs and things like that. What can you talk a little bit about lens mounts? And what is the industry standard?
Matthew Duclos 1:04:03
Uh, the industry standard is PL Okay, I think that's pretty firm. Even Pan ivision does a lot of PL stuff now.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:11
Because they have their own pen. Everyone has their own mounts as well, right? Yeah, exactly.
Matthew Duclos 1:04:16
But canon is definitely coming up. It's not anywhere near as robust or reliable as PLM out. But the fact that there's just, I mean canon has all their ads and everything up will show you it's like, I forget what the number is like 10 million EF mount lenses in the wild, like that date, right? So just the fact that there's so many lenses available and EF mount it's just sort of became the second option that works well. But it's not a cinema mount. It's not meant to perform as well as a PL mount for cinema. The EF mount itself, unless you have that positive lock feature like the new red stuff, or I think even the new canons, the C 500 and the The C 300 mark two has it where you actually lock the lens into the mount. The EF mounts just not reliable it's the only thing holding the lens in there is the bayonets and a little leaf spring
Alex Ferrari 1:05:13
that's the thing. That's the thing that people don't understand is that the reason why the Pl mounts so reliable that's because it's a workhorse I mean you could juggle that camera all over the place and that lens is not moving. But the EF was meant for. For photo It was not meant for cinema.
Matthew Duclos 1:05:29
Exactly it was meant to hold like a pound or two at most. And every almost every EF mount out there is made of nickel plated brass which is really soft. Really, really flexible. A proper PL mount you're gonna find in most cases either stainless steel or titanium right the only company I can think of that makes a PL mount lens not out of stainless steel is canon themselves like their their cinese rooms they again use brass nickel plated
Alex Ferrari 1:06:03
yeah and again it depends again it's depends on what you're using it for. I mean obviously there's so many EF mounts like my my friend just bought the Sigma cinema lenses in EF mount because the cameras are EF mount because now the manufacturers know that there's so much EF glass out there they're like well we have to create an EF mount before it was I didn't never heard of canon in cinema it's
Matthew Duclos 1:06:25
sort of evolved naturally when when digital cinema became the main thing you know, the mainstream option. Everybody had all their canon glass already and they really just wanted to use that canon glass on whatever camera was out there. So when read you know they got pressured to do it and Eric got pressured and Blackmagic jumped in and said okay, well we'll do EF mount too and Canon obviously wants to put EF mount on theirs. It just sort of evolved that way where they said well, why not? You know nobody makes a camera that's EF only it's always an option for digital like the airy it's PL or EF or the canons PL or yes red is PL or yep but the default is almost always PL
Alex Ferrari 1:07:06
right on the on the higher end cinema cameras yeah absolutely like Blackmagic doesn't I don't think Blackmagic I think the new one might have PL the the Ursa mini but all the Blackmagic cinemas were all EF or micro four thirds thing before Yeah, exactly. So And one last question before I go into my standard end of end of the episode questions. What's your favorite lens?
Matthew Duclos 1:07:32
Ah that Kubrick lens No No,
Alex Ferrari 1:07:36
exactly. Dude, I seriously I would sleep with that thing honestly like right next to me in a pillow. In a case
Matthew Duclos 1:07:42
cinematography wise, I have massive massive loads of respect for cinematographers. I don't think I could ever claim to be a cinematographer because of how much respect I have for them and what they do. So I for me, my lenses, the ones that I own personally are mostly photography lens, they're still lenses. And this may sound silly because I have access to probably just about anything you can imagine. But the lens that I have on my camera which like I said earlier I'm a Fuji guy I love shooting Fuji film. The lens that I've had practically glued to the front of my camera is a medicon 35 millimeter f point nine five, the version two to be specific. It's this cheap Chinese lens I think you could find them on eBay for like four or 500 bucks. But it's just it's this cheap, fully manual lens the iris gets stuck every like 10 turns it's horrible, but the images that it produces are just awesome. I love them
Alex Ferrari 1:08:47
really is that and I think that's a really great a great story and analogy for what you should look for in a good lens is the image quality and yeah, it might not be the highest end it might not be perfect there might be a couple little character flaws but at the end of the day what does it look like when you throw it up on the camera?
Matthew Duclos 1:09:07
Exactly and that's honestly that's what I think that's probably the message I've been trying to get across because people call all the time with that question that you started the entire list of conversation with like what's a good lens right and people get so caught up in brand names and MTF charts and what the lens is designed for but the end of the day you know forget what's written on the side of the lens forget what country it's made in. Just use it and shoot it with it see what see if it's going to work for what you're shooting
Alex Ferrari 1:09:39
and at the end of the day that's all it's a matter I mean obviously story is more important but a close second is the image quality. Yeah, yeah. So um, so I asked my all of my guests these last few questions. What is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film industry or lens industry or in life
Matthew Duclos 1:10:00
Oh, the lesson that took me the longest to learn. I would probably say patients only because I started doing this so young, I think I was about five. Well, no, no, when I started servicing lenses, I think I was about 12.
Alex Ferrari 1:10:18
You say I wasn't that far off? Yeah.
Matthew Duclos 1:10:22
I would say patience, you know at that when you're that young, it's a concept that just completely escapes you. And you just want to do everything quick and you want instant results. And I've seen I've seen companies completely fold because they try to do something fast and they try to beat others to the market. I think a good solid pace and patience are are not not characteristics that people learn quickly.
Alex Ferrari 1:10:50
Which is that there's the oxymoron. You can't learn patience quickly. Now, what are three of your favorite films of all time?
Matthew Duclos 1:11:00
Oh, man, I hate it when people ask me.
Alex Ferrari 1:11:03
Any three any three that feel that you feel like answering today? It's that I'm not gonna hold you to this?
Matthew Duclos 1:11:08
Honestly, it depends on what you know what else is coming out when you asked me that? Oh, man, if I had to pick three Wow. I'm going to say Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Alex Ferrari 1:11:20
Matthew Duclos 1:11:21
Yeah. Alien gotta go with an alien.
Alex Ferrari 1:11:24
Matthew Duclos 1:11:26
Uh I don't even know what's what will be the third one. You gotta warn me. You know what I probably have to go with Lost in Translation as odd as it sounds.
Alex Ferrari 1:11:44
Wow. That's a that's a that one I haven't heard on the show before. I mean, I love this. I love the movie. I think it's I think Sophia did an amazing job on that movie.
Matthew Duclos 1:11:51
Yeah, yeah, Sofia Coppola. The story itself is awesome the cinematography if you just watch that film it's gone you can you you can mute the entire movie and just watch it for the cinematography it's
Alex Ferrari 1:12:00
great it's a it's a moving piece of artwork yeah saying it's a moving painting because of all the colors in the in Tokyo backdrop and all the lights and and Bill Murray Of course. Yeah, yeah. Now where can people find find you and contact you if they need something?
Matthew Duclos 1:12:19
Ah, email is probably the easiest way always Matthew at duclos lenses calm. Pretty simple there. Were all over the internet though. So Instagram and Facebook. All that stuff you can always find is pretty much any social media as slash duclos lenses.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:34
Right? And of course duclos lenses calm. Yeah, exactly. All right, Matthew. Man, thank you so much for taking the time out and geeking out with me on lenses.
Matthew Duclos 1:12:44
Always, always happy to talk about lenses.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:46
Matthew Duclos 1:12:47
Alex Ferrari 1:12:48
I told you we're gonna go deep into the lens geek world. And Matthew did not disappoint. He is a wealth of information. When it comes to lenses, optics, glass, everything. It's remarkable. So if you guys have any questions in regards to glass lenses, they sell every kind of glass imaginable. So definitely check out duclos lenses.com and I'm gonna put all the information to get ahold of Matt and duclos in the show notes at indie film hustle.com forward slash 147. Done you guys buying good glass is well worth the investment I've still got a set of my rochen on set that I bought three or four years ago and I still shoot with them all the time. And and now my I've upgraded to an also an applicant about added to them with the the Sigma art series, which I have an 18 to 35. And I just got the 50 to 100 which is gorgeous. It's remarkable, really, really good stuff. And I will be growing, I will be going up to the cinema level glass. I think the sigmaz are the Sigma cinemas are insane as we talk a little bit about in the in the interview. So I'm going to be probably getting myself a set of those for my next film as well. Now I wanted to give you guys an update real quick I know a lot of you have been hitting me up after the world premiere of mag for to find out when you guys can buy it when you guys can see it. And what I'm planning to do hopefully is I'm going to be going through distributor and we're going to be showing you guys the entire process of how I submit to some distributor, our marketing plan everything and it's going to come out in a series of videos that I hope to be working on with this stripper in the next month or so. And as we keep going through it we're going to be talking a lot more about distribution and a lot more about how we're going to release this puppy in the future but we're hoping that we're going to be releasing it in the summer sometime on iTunes first and that's going to be our plan and then after that, we'll see where it lands but it will go to all the major out Let's book for the first month or so at least, iTunes will be the place to get it. So stay tuned standby. It's coming, I promise. Alright, thank you guys so much for all your support I greatly appreciate it. And don't forget to head over to free film book calm that's free film book calm to download your free filmmaking and or screenwriting book from audible. As always keep that hustle going keep that dream alive and I'll talk to you soon.
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