Not one, two periscope lenses to choose from. What to do?
In an earlier post, I explained about how virtually every choice in a small 10-bit, 4K-capable camera would run almost the same as a periscope lens built for the job of capturing miniatures to a S35-sized camera sensor.
And so began my search. And shortly thereafter, an opportunity presented itself in the form of a Century Optics periscope being offered by a Leica store in Austria – with a princely tag of approximately $3,000 USD.
Furthermore, after conversations with the seller, the mount turned out to be a B4-style bayonet, for ENG/news cameras with much smaller sensors. Concerned that this would never be workable as-is, I contacted Century Optics directly.
Century Optics informed me that this particular relay – known as the V35, predecessor to their current S2000, has an interchangeable mount, which could be swapped with an Arri PL mount that they offer – for another $450 – and may require an additional 2X Arri PL-mount teleconverter for $1,900 and change (which could also be achieved with a much cheaper EF teleconverter).
At this point, though it’d still be the lens, it’s mount, a PL-to-EF adapter, and a teleconverter hanging off of that just to get it to the camera properly. At these prices, not quite my cup of tea.
But then this showed up a week later – an obscure periscope-style lens with a Mitchell BNCR mount. Keen fans will recognize the Mitchell name as the manufacturer of the 35mm cameras originally used by David Mitton and Terrence Permane on the show, and that alone indicated the lens would natively support 35mm film – and thus cover the image circle of an S35-sized sensor in the current digital world.
And with the comparatively reasonable price, it seemed a shoe-in. And shortly after discussion with the seller, I purchased it.
But I still didn’t know what the “Hajnal Snorkel” lens had in store for me upon arrival. And so I waited…