Ernst Leitz Wetzlar, the premium lens manufacturer for the motion picture and television industry based in Wetzlar, Germany, announces the development of a new line of cinema lenses, the LEITZ ELSIE prime lenses.
Purposely built for cinematography and made in Germany, the Leitz Elsie lenses are designed for full-frame performance at a size, speed, and price point to serve a broad range of productions. The set features a consistent aperture of T2.1 across all 13 lenses from 15 mm to 150 mm. Relatively compact for full-frame lenses, the Elsie lenses measure just 6.3” (160 mm) in length with a 95 mm front diameter on most focal lengths and an average weight around 4.4 lb (2kg). The lenses will only be available in LPL mount and will be priced around €19,000 per lens. The first five focal lengths are expected to begin delivering in Q2 of 2022.
“We chose to anchor our design to the LPL mount specification to create smaller and faster optics while still maintaining the Leitz standard in both image quality and mechanics,” said Rainer Hercher, Managing Director at Ernst Leitz Wetzlar. “We believe that cameras with shallow flange depths and interchangeable mounts are the future of cinematography. Lens designs have always followed camera formats and we expect other lens companies will follow our lead.”
Elsie Kühn-Leitz, daughter of Ernst Leitz II, inspired the name for this line of lenses. A lifelong humanitarian, Elsie risked her life during WWII helping Jewish employees of her father’s company and their families escape Germany. She also secretly provided food and aid to forced laborers installed by the Nazis at the Leitz factory before being caught and imprisoned by the Gestapo. After the war, she was active with other charitable groups in Africa and Europe.
In honor of her work helping others, Ernst Leitz Wetzlar will be donating a portion of the proceeds from this line of lenses to the non-profit charity Ingenieure ohne Grenzen. Translated as “Engineers Without Borders”, the German-based organization works with communities in need across the globe to provide technical assistance and secure basic supplies for people in the areas of water and sanitation, energy, building and bridge construction, and others. A cornerstone of their work is partnership with local communities to adapt solutions for their local conditions and create jobs by training community members to continue the work after they are done.