Are you one of those who took sometime to get used to the name CW Sonderoptic for Leica lenses? So you have now to get used to Leitz Cine Wetzlar lenses. Yes, that is it. CW Sonderoptic is now Leitz Cine Wetzlar. In last June 15th a new factory was opened in Wetzlar, Germany carrying the same name. CW Sonderoptic has been around for around a decade. The goal was to carry the Leica optical looks from photography to motion picture with the leadership of its manager Gerhard Baier. The company whose lenses have been getting into the cinema market were recognized in 2015 with the Scientific and Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The move to the new factory is a consequence of the growth of the company and Gerhard Baier continues to be the leading manager.
Visite the new website www.leitz-cine.com
Grand Opening in Wetzlar
For 2 days (Friday June 15th and Saturday June 16th) more than 1200 Leica lovers from all over the world gathered in Wetzlar at the invitation of the famous Red Dot Brand for the inauguration of phase 3 of the Leitz Park. This was maybe the highest concentration of Leica still cameras ever.
Many cinematographers travelled to attend the event: Kees Van Oostrum, Guillermo Navarro, Ed Lachman, Stephen Pizzello, Stijn Vanderveken, Markus Förderer, Gilles Porte, Richard Andry, Guy Livneh, Remy Chevrin, Vincent Jeannot…
Located on top of the hill outside the city, the Leitz Park is a large area around the factory of the still cameras. A major investment of more than € 160 million to offer a new factory for the Cine Lenses, a museum and art gallery, a factory for the newly presented Leica wrist watches and a hotel for the guest and visitors…, and more to come.
A major announcement was concerning the Cine Lenses factory which name changed back to the roots: CW Sonderoptics becomes now Leitz Cine Wetzlar.
Since they decided no more than 10 year ago to manufacture Cine Lenses based on the design of Summilux and Summicron so well known in the still photography world, the results are impressive:
- Over 3000 Summilux individual prime lenses were delivered (even if delivery started almost 3 years after the first order), more than 3000 Summicron as well…
- A very good start for the large format Thalia’s presented last year, 300 were delivered and the same number for the M 0.8
- The new production facility in Wetzlar handles Summilux, Summicron and Thalia’s, the M0.8 are manufactured by Leica Camera AG.
- 20 extremely skilled and dedicated “lens artists” are working for the production. The international commercial staff is worth 30 people, under the enthusiastic and extremely active managing of Gerhard Baier.
Summilux are extremely complex lenses, some counting 15 glass elements, with quality tolerance up to the highest standards, zero default. Their optical test bench is 16m long and is mainly dedicated to the specific focus engraving for each lens.
In these 10 years, Leitz Cine Lenses became a reference for cinematographers.
This year at the Cannes Festival, winning films like Palme d’Or” Shoplifters”, Camera d’Or “Girl”, Special Palme d’ Or to Jean Luc Godard’s film “Le Livre d’Image” and “En Liberté” which won the SACD prize at La Semaine de la Critique were all lensed using Leitz Cine Lenses. What an achievement, congratulations.
In Wetzlar, Louis-Philippe Capelle