As many readers will already know, I like a easy lens. The Chroma Double Lens 24mm f/11 is definitely a easy lens, and I undoubtedly appreciated the thought of it when Steve first waved it beneath my nostril. A lot in order that I satisfied him to ship me a prototype to play with.
In the event you’ve not heard of Chroma Cameras by now, you actually ought to have. I’ve identified Steve since even earlier than he arrange the corporate and have watched him take it from a pastime enterprise to one thing he runs full trip of its personal little premises in Wirral, close to Liverpool within the UK. Steve is just about your archetypal genius inventor. He’s all the time obtained 15 new concepts on the brew. He’s one in all a now rising variety of digicam producers that depends on a mixture of in home 3d printing, outsourced manufacture of elements and client off-the-shelf elements to make more and more elaborate cameras. This neighborhood of makers appears to bounce off one another, arising with new concepts as a neighborhood while concurrently competing with one another to create increasingly more superior cameras. It’s very attention-grabbing to look at as an observer from the surface.
Being mates with Steve, I additionally get sneak peaks backstage at among the long term tasks he’s engaged on and greater issues he’s attempting to unravel. For instance, he’s creating his personal shutter so he can construct a whole digicam with out having to depend on lenses from outdated cameras that include inbuilt shutters. So far as I do know, there’s only a few different corporations trying this in the intervening time, so it’s fairly thrilling to look at.
After all, a part of that very same downside is the lens. If he creates a digicam with a inbuilt shutter of his personal making, additionally making a lens of his personal making to go together with it will make for a fairly spectacular achievement. So, while design of this shutter continues within the background, Steve enlisted the assistance of a lens designer by the title of Jason Lane over within the States to assist him obtain the objective of the lens. Having acquired the primary prototypes of mentioned lenses, Steve realised he had one other little undertaking on his fingers. Reasonably than wait to launch the lens on the entrance of a brand new digicam, he might launch it as a product in its personal proper in Leica thread mount.
Steve being Steve, he pretty rapidly knocked collectively a prototype lens physique in his workshop and mounted the lens into it. Behind the scenes, I used to be aware of the primary outcomes from the Chroma Double Lens. Even Steve was actually stunned and excited in regards to the outcomes. Actually, so was I. It was round then I began nagging him to ship me the lens to play with.
Now, it ought to be famous at this stage that the Chroma Double Lens you may see on this article is certainly that prototype. It’s made out of 3D printed plastic and while being properly made, remains to be somewhat tough across the edges and certainly not even significantly indicative of the ultimate form of the lens. Actually, the ultimate model of this lens will probably be made out of anodised aluminium. I’ve not seen an actual life ultimate model of the lens but, however the renders of it look fairly cool.
It’s additionally price noting that although the physique of the Chroma Double Lens I’ve been taking part in with is much from ultimate, the lens optic is. That’s to say, the outcomes I’ve achieved with it are what you may count on from the ultimate model of the lens. And so they’re fairly good too – no less than contemplating the design of the lens which is a straightforward 2 optic components 24mm f/11 that was initially designed to work with a 24 x 24mm sq. movie format. I requested Steve in regards to the components, and he despatched me over Jason’s notes which have been as follows:
It’s an unique design, two lens aplanat 24mm f/11. It’s absolutely coated with single layer coating. I selected single layer to steadiness distinction and management colour rendering. There may be zero distortion and 0 lateral colour
Few phrases, for a easy lens. In observe although, he’s appropriate, there is no such thing as a distortion that I can see, and certainly no color fringing. It undoubtedly get’s softer towards the sides of the body – probably as a result of it was designed to work with a sq. body. It’s truly fairly damned sharp within the center. It additionally flares a good bit in the identical method plenty of easy lenses do. The results of that is are, after all, photos with a little bit of character to them. However it’s truly a personality that interprets effectively to each movie and digital I believe.
You may see the remainder of the photographs I took with the Chroma Double Lens here.
Clearly I can’t actually touch upon the construct of the Chroma Double Lens, however I can touch upon the person expertise, particularly since as soon as it’s mounted to the digicam, there is no such thing as a want to the touch the lens in any respect. It’s fully focus free, and aperture free… or no less than it has a set f/11 aperture. The results of it is a snapshot lens that’s actually good enjoyable to make use of. Simply mount and shoot. Not for everybody possibly, however as I’ve outlined in earlier opinions (examples here and here) I like this type of taking pictures expertise!
A mini-interview with Steve
Lastly, to spherical up, I believed I might ask Steve just a few questions on
H:The place is that this lens made, Steve
S: The optical design was executed by Jason Lane and the glass has been manufactured in China. The aluminium physique is being designed by me after which will probably be being machined within the USA, together with ultimate meeting, then they’re being packaged and bought from right here within the U.Okay. It’s only a actuality of recent manufacturing prices vs. buyer expectation of pricing meaning we needed to get the elements made abroad. All elements are scrutinized inspected for match and end throughout meeting by the crew.
H: I do know you don’t personal a Leica, so why select Leica mount?
S: The lens was initially designed to mount to a Child Dice pinhole digicam physique, with an built-in digital shutter, that I designed final yr. As a result of very small measurement of the physique, the flange depth (mounting place) was designed to be 24mm, making it a really compact design. When the primary batch of 5 beta lenses have been manufactured, Jason despatched 3 over to me to work on the digicam, and I began printing our bodies to work on the element placement. After a few 9 hour prints, I made a decision it made extra sense to print up a short lived holding physique, with a Sony FE mount and built-in digital shutter, which might permit me to work on the Arduino timer coding for the shutter, with an instantaneous digital consequence.
After mounting the holding physique onto my Sony A7, and getting the primary outcomes from the glass, I used to be blown away by the outcomes from such a tiny lens, and had the thought of constructing the lens as a standalone unit. Because the flange depth is so quick, it allowed me to design the physique across the M39/L39 28.8mm flange depth, which means that the lens has a very huge compatibility, with each unique thread mount rangefinder our bodies, and each digital mirrorless system accessible.
H: What would you say to somebody asking why would anybody need to mount a 2 aspect lens like this to a Leica digicam? Or any digicam for that matter?
S: Why not…? Through the quite a few late evening design calls between myself, Jason, and his colleague Max, the principle focus was all the time on making a quite simple lens design, which supplies glorious high quality outcomes with out being unaffordable. As an engineer, I like the mechanics and construct of Leica cameras, but additionally benefit from the comparative ‘ruggedness’ of Russian rangefinders. As the primary lens popping out of Chroma Towers, I’m actually excited that I can supply it to an entire vary of photographers, each analogue and digital, and hope that its’ simplicity and high quality appeals to everybody.
H: Now you’ve come this far making your first lens, do you suppose you’ll make any others? I’ve talked about that this lens is destined for a whole digicam – what are you able to inform 35mmc readers about that digicam? And when will it probably be accessible?
S:Having seen the standard of this straightforward lens, and the optical magic labored by Jason and Max to design it, it’s actually given me the bug for constructing extra. As Chroma, I’ve all the time been open for options and concepts that different photographers share, so if there are explicit focal lengths that your readers wish to see sooner or later, I’m glad to listen to them.
H: I’ve talked about that this lens is destined for a whole digicam – what are you able to inform 35mmc readers about that digicam? And when will it probably be accessible?
S: I’ve simply come again from a much-needed week away with my household, the place I took alongside a beta multi-format 35mm Dice System digicam to check. The digicam system is designed to make use of the identical lens cones as my medium format Six:9 system, giving compatibility with a variety of lenses from Mamiya Press and huge format methods. Contained in the movie path, there are slot-in dividers giving 3 format choices; 24×24, 24×48 and 24×72, coupled with my Dice pinhole digicam sprocket counting setup for even body spacing. I’m additionally engaged on a lens cone for the brand new Double Glass lens, with an built-in digital shutter, rechargeable battery, controller and OLED display screen, which will be instantly fitted to the digicam to create a whole system. The digicam system itself ought to be accessible to buy by means of my web site inside the subsequent few weeks, with the lens/shutter mixture cone accessible within the subsequent month.
H: What different extraordinary bits of photographic gear do you’ve within the pipeline?
S: How lengthy have you ever obtained…? Following the rationalisation of the cameras I supply on the finish of July, I’m specializing in creating my methods for 3 main movie codecs, 35mm, 120 and huge format. I’ve been engaged on the interchangeable 5×7 and 6×17 rear our bodies for my Carbon Adventurer for some time, and am just about prepared to supply them for basic sale. I’ve additionally lately constructed up a 4×5 Graflok plate, which permits the Six:9 and Six:12 cameras to be reverse-mounted, giving 6×9 and 6×12 roll movie holders for big format cameras. While I’ve beforehand supplied standalone 6×12 roll movie holders, the power to supply a dual-function digicam system is one thing that I’m actually enthusiastic about.
Lastly, being good mates with optical engineers like Jason and Max is all the time attention-grabbing. I’ve simply been proven a design for a 60mm 4.5 lens, which has parts which are solely 26mm diameter, however covers a 6×6 medium format body…!
H: Oh, ultimate query, when can individuals count on to purchase this lens, and is there anyplace they will signal as much as be notified when it’s accessible?
S: I’m hoping to have the primary lens accessible by the tip of September. If individuals obtained to Chroma.Camera they will signup to my mailing listing, the place I’ll submit availability first.
So there we’ve got it. The Chroma Double Lens, the primary new lens coming from Chroma Cameras. An organization I actually suppose price keeping track of, particularly in the event you’re a little bit of a digicam geek – he all the time has new attention-grabbing bits of package popping out. This lens is a very good instance… and we’ve got the digicam it’s going to finally be mounted onto to stay up for as effectively!