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NAB: And a word on lenses


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#1 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:16 AM

If you're in the market for a set of PL mount lenses at the moment, it won't have escaped your notice that, well, you can't have any, at almost any price.

Usually, companies like Cooke don't have a particular problem fulfilling orders, but at a press conference today they admitted to being "embarrassingly backordered" and struggling to train enough people up to build their products. This is of course not something which can be rushed - either training people to build lenses, or building the lenses themselves, because the required engineering tolerances are such that conventional fabrication techniques often aren't quite enough. I'm not sure what is enough, but it presumably involves the casting of bones and strange, eldritch midnight rituals.

The situation is so extreme that Fujinon had 200 orders for their 19-90 ENG-style cine zoom before the show even opened, based solely on a press release. And this is not a simple, low-cost, everyday piece of kit - it's a $38,000 item that puts a lens with ENG style grip on PL-mount cameras. As a piece of engineering it's practically pornographic; all black anodized surfaces and glow-in-the-dark markings, although it did look a bit silly on a Sony F3, worth considerably less than the lens. Still, I applaud the design decision - ENG camera layout has clearly been the best way to go for ages, and I'm surprised this hasn't been done before.

Fuji's suspicion is that most of these lens sales are being driven by Alexa, but it's no secret there's been a massive explosion in PL cameras in the last few years and most of them will not, to be frank, in the market for a single lens with a five figure price tag.

Cooke, on the other hand, don't have anything new - they're just gamely struggling to build the things and get them out of the door, which I guess is a great position for a company to be in.

P
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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:14 AM

Cooke seem to have been having this problem for a couple of years at least. i know of a couple of rental houses who bought Ultraprimes rather than S4s because they were available off the shelf rather than on back order.
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