LockCircle UNK-FF Project Launched – Zeiss CP.2 Lens Modification With a Vintage Look

LockCircle UNK-FF Project Launched - Zeiss CP.2 Lens Modification With a Vintage Look

Italian manufacturer LockCircle recently launched an exciting lens modification project based on the famous Zeiss CP.2 cinema lenses: the UNK-FF. The idea behind the UNK-FF project is to uncoat the lenses to enhance lens flare and ghosting, creating a more “vintage look.” So let’s take a closer look at it!

The Zeiss CP.2 lenses were released at the end of October 2012. In the Canon 5D Mark II era, these lenses were some of the first affordable cinema lenses with proper focus and aperture gear rings, 0.8 mod gears, user-interchangeable lens mounts, rounded 14-bladed iris, and an industry-standard 114mm front diameter. The Zeiss CP.2 covers full-frame image sensors and is still widely used worldwide. The CP.2 lineup was replaced by the Zeiss CP.3 in 2017, but the optics of both lens sets are identical.

Having owned Zeiss CP.2 lenses, I agree with many filmmakers and DPs that they are perfect if you’re after a clean, sharp, and slightly cool/cold look, although I ended up selling mine because they lacked a bit of character and texture for my taste. But don’t get me wrong, sometimes, especially in the advertising/corporate world, this is the perfect lens set to get the job done.

Modifying lenses to remove or alter their original coating seems to be a new trend. Indeed, after the Canon V35 project based on Canon CN-E lenses, LockCircle launched the UNK-FF project that alters Zeiss CP.2 lenses.

Image credit: LockCircle

LockCircle UNK-FF Project

Italian manufacturer LockCircle is well-known for its camera cages, matte boxes, camera filters, and lens caps. But for years, the company had also modified Zeiss lenses inside its multiple PrimeCircle XM/XE/XT cine-mode lineup of glass.

LockCircle is now back with the UNK-FF Project that modifies Zeiss CP.2 lenses to give them a more “organic” look. So how does it work? After you ship your Zeiss CP.2 lenses to LockCircle, they will:

  • Remove the coating from the glass elements.
  • Regrease the focus and aperture rings for smoother operation.
  • Calibrate and collimate each lens individually.
  • Change the color of the lens’ blue rings to bronze/gold.
Image credit: LockCircle

According to LockCircle, removing Zeiss T* coatings from the glass elements of the CP.2 lenses will create a more “dreamy and organic look with enhanced flares and controlled ghosting.”

The LockCircle UNK-FF project is available for the 21, 28, 35, 50, 85, and 100mm CP.2 lenses. The 15, 18, and 135mm are currently unavailable.

Price and availability

At the time of writing this article, there is no information about the pricing. However, according to LockCircle, they take between three and four weeks to modify your lenses.

For more information and to get a custom quote if you want your Zeiss CP.2 lenses to join the UNK-FF project, please visit LockCircle’s Instagram post.

What do you think about the UNK-FF lens modification project? Did you ever shoot with Zeiss CP.2 or CP.3 lenses? Would this lens modification project suit the kind of project you’re shooting? Let us know in the comments down below!


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