80mm Fronts for Zeiss ZF.2/ZE

I debated on wether or not to make a new post for this one little item and then I realized that the interwebs are unlimited and if readers don't want to read an entire post about one little ring, then they wont. :) For those of you who are geeky enough to care about a simple ring, read on. Anywho... Duclos Lenses has been offering the Cine-Mod on the Zeiss ZF and ZE lenses for several years. This mod included a focus gear, de-clicking the aperture, and an 80mm front ring. The front ring was a fairly simple, but high quality step up ring that screwed into the existing filter threads of the ZF/ZE for example, a lens with a 67mm filter thread would utilize one of our 67mm to 80mm front rings. The 80mm part was the flat outside diameter that allowed clamp on accessories such as filter holders, ND grad sliders, mate boxes, etc.. All of the Zeiss ZF/ZE lenses would then have a uniform front diameter of 80mm and a new filter thread of 77mm. Great. Except for the 18mm and 21mm. These two black sheep had a front filter thread of 82mm which obviously makes a step-up ring impossible. They needed a step-down ring in order to be uniform like the rest of the series. That's what Duclos did with the 82-80mm rings. They can now have the same 80mm front surface and 77mm filter thread as all of it's brothers and sisters. Zeiss didn't make the fronts so large for no reason. The two wide lenses in the series do require a larger front diameter because they would vignette otherwise. We struggled to get just the right fit with these new rings and just barely made it work. The 18mm does have a soft vignette with the new ring ONLY on a 35mm full frame camera shooting 4:3. Shooting at 16:9 pretty much eliminates the vignetting even on 35mm full frame sensors. The 21mm works perfectly on any 35mm sensor. in my opinion, the Zeiss ZF.2 lenses are easily the best solution for a HDSLR shooter that want's the best of both worlds without spending a fortune. Now that they can all be Cine-Modded equally, they are just that much better.


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