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Canon V35 Project – CN-E Lenses With a Vintage Look

Canon V35 Project – CN-E Lenses With a Vintage Look

The Canon V35 Project takes modern Canon CN-E lenses and retunes them to have a more vintage cinematic look. Inspired by Canon’s legendary K35 lenses, Northwest Camera Co and Duclos Lenses are working together to create this new option for those who want lenses that stand apart from the rest.

There are many advantages to modern cinema lenses. Mainly, they are cleaner and clearer, and with computerized production techniques, there are very few variations between “copies”. The lensmen of yesteryear couldn’t always trust that two identical lenses produced by the same factory would yield identical results.

Although modern lens designs solve a lot of these past issues, they’ve lost a lot of their character, and what made them unique. Digital image sensors have also stripped away the organic look of film and replaced it with a far more clinical image.

That’s where a lens modification like the Canon V35 Project comes into play. 

How The Canon V35 Project Works

Northwest Camera takes your set of existing Canon CN-E lenses and alters them to mimic that vintage look, we all know and love. Owners can ship a single CN-E lens, or their entire set to NWC and in 5-7 weeks receive their new, modified lenses back.

Their process involves a full deconstruction, rebuilding, and rehousing of the lens that gives them a stylish new-looking body and makes them more easily serviceable. However, the real advantages of this mod are done between the front and rear elements.

Shot by DP Haley Watson on Alexa Mini using Canon V35 Lenses

The result produces a lens that has less contrast, subtle blooming highlights, flares, and halation that looks and feels like vintage cinema. Although these are not vintage optics, Northwest Camera feels the Canon V35 Project gives you just enough of the old traits with a new and fresh twist for digital formats.

Examples

The following VOGUE DOC was shot using RED Gemini & Canon V35 Lenses. Jordan McGrath did the cinematography. Watch it below:

VOGUE DOC shot using RED Gemini & Canon V35 Lenses | DP Jordan McGrath

Pricing

The Canon V35 project is definitely for those with deep pockets. The modification alone costs $2,300 (plus taxes and shipping) per lens. NWC can also convert EF to PL lenses with the V35 modification for $3,950 per lens.

If you’re doing the math, that means an entire CN-E set (14, 20, 24, 35, 50, 85, and 135mm) will cost you either $16,100 (plus taxes and shipping) or $27.300 (with PL conversion). And, that doesn’t include the ~$29,000 initial lens set purchase.

That brings the total to a whopping ~$45,000 for a full set! So this modification is clearly not aimed at everyone.

Northwest Camera has stated, however, that they will limit each set to a maximum of 200 copies to “keep rarity and rental prices where they should be.”  This could make it a worthwhile investment for camera professionals and rental houses with a demand for vintage glass.

The Canon V35 roadmap

NWC is actively working hard with DP’s, rental houses, and owner/ops to gather information about what sets they should tackle next. They’re potentially looking to expand their modifications to Tokina Vistas, Zeiss CP3, Sigma Cine Primes, and Canon and Fuji Zooms.

To find out more information about the Canon V35 project, visit Northwest Camera’s Canon V35 site.

Do you prefer the look of vintage lenses? What filters and modifications do you use to give your lenses a more cinematic look? Let us know in the comments below.

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