Leica cinema lenses set of eight: $178,000

This is the official response I received from BandPro on the price and availability of the Leica cinema lenses:

"They will originally come in a set of 8 lenses and will begin delivering in the last quarter of 2010. The price for the set of 8 is $178,000 and Band Pro is currently accepting a refundable deposit of 10% to reserve a set of Leica lenses. The delivering lenses are 18mm, 21mm, 25mm, 35mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, and 100mm.

We are fully booked with paid deposits for the planned deliveries through 2010. At the moment the lenses are only available as a full set and individual lens purchase is not planned for some time. From the response at NAB, we are expecting more deposits in the coming weeks."

An interesting (un)related topic: Leica M lens (75mm Summicron) on a RED-1-M with samples.

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  • Eric Pepin

    For a pro video studio, a set of these would most likely be a reasonable purchuse if they are in the market for lenses. Most people on here are photography folks so they dont understand that cine lenses are usually worth a lot more then photo lenses. Would be nice to get a comparison, such as how much does a set of 8 top of the line other brand of lenses cost for cine ?

  • Drew

    zgc.com is a distributor for many movie/video lenses. You have to email for the Cooke 5/i (also T 1.4 lenses that cover super 35) set, but they list each individual price: http://www.zgc.com/webstore.nsf/products/cooke_zgc5i

    They’re about $20-24K each, so a set of 8 for $178K is comparable.

  • mat

    Any word on rental rates? Or even if they will be rented? Presume them will.

  • Eric Pepin

    thanks Drew, like i thought these seem to be on the right track pricing wise for high end video needs.

  • Why?

    Can anyone explain the massive difference in price between these and ‘normal’ M or R lenses (which aren’t exactly cheap?) please? Is it the limited prodution runs or are they THAT much better?

  • Bernard

    They are “better” because they are designed to be used every day in rough environments for decades, they are strong enough to hang several kilos of accessories off of the front without affecting the focus plane, and their focus and aperture scales are accurate to a degree that’s not necessary for still cameras.

    They are also hand-made in small batches and use optical and mechanical technology that’s just not cost-effective for consumer products.

    All of this adds-up to a cost that’s four or five times more than “regular” Leica lenses.

    None of the Cine improvements (other than the maximum aperture) has any benefit for someone shooting stills. The opposite is actually true, since they are a lot heavier.

  • Why?

    Thanks Bernard!

  • Brian Merlin

    I own a Red Epic, and one day I will have a set of these lenses… Cine lenses are mechanically suited for cinema usage, that is why they are necessary. We use follow focus and need to track moving objects. Our lenses must be parafocal with accurate abilities to pull the focal plane. There are many reasons cine glass costs more but the short answer is its necessary for moving images in order to track the focus and keep characters/subjects in focus… Even Zeiss CP2, Canon Cine, or Schneider full frames are all still more pricy then their still photo equivalents. They just track focus better, that is why they cost 5 times the price, accurate focusing on the fly…

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