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Leitz Elsie Full Frame Cine Primes Announced

September 29th, 2021 Jump to Comment Section 3
Leitz Elsie Full Frame Cine Primes Announced

No less momentous than say the advent of a new grand cru in the world of viticulture, one of the big three German manufacturers debuting a fresh set of large-format cine lenses is sure to capture the imagination of more than a few cinematographers. Leitz now announced their new Full-Frame Elsie Cine Primes.

To industry fanfare, Wetzlar-based Leitz has announced a brand new set of full-frame cine primes designed from the ground up, dubbed Elsie. (More on the significance of the name later). With large format Leitz Primes and Thalia Primes already in their stable, and with the industry still struggling to recover from Covid, some may wonder why Leitz has come out with another set of full-frame cine primes now. The answer may simply be because they can. Let’s take a closer look at the New Full-Frame Elsie Cine Primes!

Leitz Full-Frame Elsie – Vignetting

Boasting a 46.5mm image circle, the Elsies will only just cover the Monstro and V Raptor sensors, with a tad further room to spare on the Alexa LF and even more on the Sony VENICE. DPs shooting VFX-heavy projects and purists may shy away, since Leitz tout falloff of resolution and illumination at the corners in their press release – a flowery euphemism for vignetting, which the company points out, draws the viewer’s eye to the center of the frame. So much for the rule of two-thirds. But let’s face it, Leitz is mostly sought after for their legendary character, not their clinical look. With the Elsies, Leitz promise the same warmth and resolution their lenses are known for.

Leitz Full-Frame Elsie – Low-light bokeh beasts?

A respectable T2.1 all the way through the full-frame line-up, the Elsies are unlikely to disappoint in low light. A relatively fast aperture in combination with 13 or 15 circular iris blades, depending on the lens, should also translate into more of Leitz’s renowned creamy and flattering bokeh.

Leitz Elsie 25mm cine prime on RED. Image Credit: Leitz

Leitz Full-Frame Elsie – Focal lengths galore

With a whopping 13 focal lengths ranging from 15 to 150mm, you’re sure to find the perfect lens to frame every shot, from ultra-wide to extreme closeup (15, 18, 21, 25, 29, 35, 40, 50, 65, 75, 100, 125, 150). The first five focal lengths are expected to ship in Q2 of 2022.

How to make and lose friends on set

Your First AC will love you for selecting the Elsies, thanks to their generous 270-degree focus throw. On the other hand, your Second AC might throw a matte box adapter ring at you, due to their inconsistent front diameters. The 18, 21, and 125mm have 114mm front diameters, while the rest of the line-up has 95mm front diameters.

Leitz Elsie 25mm cine prime. Image Credit: Leitz

Size matters

Don’t worry, your Second AC will lighten up, literally. And your camera op will dig you, too. The more compact Leitz Elsies is both shorter and lighter than the Leitz Primes, measuring just 6.3 inches/160mm in length and weighing in at 4.4-5.5 lbs/2-2.5kg compared to 7.2-12.5 inches/183.7-317mm and 5.9-9.7 lbs/2.67-4.4kg of the Leitz Primes respectively.

Mount and pricing

As to be expected with high-end cinema glass, this lens set will only be available in LPL mount. Speaking of high-end, the Elsies will set you back €19.000 apiece, putting them out of the reach of most, except for rental houses and large studios. But hey, a guy or gal can dream, right?

Shot on Leitz

If the Elsies inspire you to dream a little, but you’re short on cash, maybe check out Stillwater and Reminiscence instead, a couple of films recently shot on other Leitz cine primes. But after the final credits roll, get back to working on your own blockbuster, so maybe one day you too can shoot on Elsies.

What’s in a Name?

A final word about the lens’ namesake, Elsie Kühn-Leitz, daughter of Ernst Leitz II. She was once imprisoned by the Gestapo for helping Jewish employees of her father’s company escape Nazi Germany. Inspiring indeed.

For additional information head to Leitz Elsie page here.

Guys, what do you think about the new Full-Frame Elsie Cine Primes from Leitz? Are you hoping that your rental place will get some for you to borrow? Let us know in the comment section below.

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