Windsor, Ontario, 7 Feb 2023: Simmod Lens has just announced a world first in the field of vintage lenses – a remanufactured glass rear element, for the legendary Canon FD 85mm f1.2 L. True to the ethos of Ron Sim CSC, Simmod’s creator and owner, this is not a luxury for the select few, but instead, an affordable solution that allows users to adapt their FD 85mm f1.2 L lenses for cine-style shooting with confidence.
The popularity of Canon FD lenses has skyrocketed in recent years and the famous FD 85mm f1.2L is one of the most sought-after by DPs and creators. It is routinely used as a substitute for the rare and expensive Canon K35 85mm T1.3 because it shares the same optical design. The smooth bokeh, wafer thin depth of focus and classic Canon rendering make the FD 85mm f1.2 L unique.
So why remake a glass element from a lens that came out over 40 years ago and make it widely available?
Simmod are famous for supplying superior grade conversion kits that modify high quality stills lenses into ones better designed for cinema shooting. Together with lens mount maker and original Canon FD to EF developer Edmika, they developed FD-to- EF Cine conversion kits that are now the go-to solution for vintage Canon lens shooters worldwide.
Originally the FD 85mm f1.2 L lens was not offered as a DIY conversion due to the difficulty in removing the rear element from its native housing. Cracking, chipping or severely scratching the rear element during extraction was common, so Simmod required users to send their lenses to their office in Canada for professional modding to EF. Today, this service is no longer needed as users can now buy a DIY kit and follow the simple instructions themselves, safe in the knowledge that a replacement rear element is available at moderate cost should they damage the original.
A complex technical challenge
Re-manufacturing an element for a lens that already exists is difficult because there is zero tolerance for error, and the element must match a design over 40 years old. The original formulation and specification is not something you can easily obtain from Canon’s archives. In addition the FD 85mm f1.2L rear element is aspherical, meaning that the curve of the surface is not a simple portion of a sphere, but instead a complex profile that makes it far harder to re-manufacture. Simmod has used a combination of an extremely complex manual glass-shaping process and modern measurement and manufacturing methods to replicate the lens successfully.
Available in kit form
The FD-to-EF cine conversion kit for the FD 85mm f1.2 L can be ordered with the replacement element as standard to ensure that the user is able to proceed immediately if the original is damaged, or without if the user can afford to wait for a replacement in the event of a breakage.
This replacement rear element can also be ordered separately by anyone whose original has been scratched or damaged in any way.
The full Simmod Lens conversion
A full Simmod Lens conversion is comprised of an EF lens mount that replaces the existing FD one, a re-engineered Edmika Dampened Controlled Gear (DCG) aperture ring, a SIMple Fit follow focus gear, front cine ring with the 80 or 85mm outside diameter for matte box and accessory attachment, plus a cine lens cap. The result feels great, is much more usable and is ready for professional production. Conversions for other popular vintage lens makes are also available.
There are a large variety of custom lens caps, front cine rings and follow focus gear options for a full
A full Simmod conversion will ensure that vintage lenses like the FD 85mm f1.2 L have a useful life in the hands of DPs for many years to come, safeguarding their investment.
The Simmod story
Simmod was founded by award winning cinematographer and vintage lens enthusiast Ron Sim CSC. He originally worked on conversions in his spare time in-between shoots.
From small beginnings Simmod has rapidly grown into the world’s best known and most trusted lens cine-modding company. In recent months it has invested heavily in new R&D, machinery and premises that allow for precision work at larger scale. The remanufactured rear element for the FD 85mm f1.2 L is the first development of many to be launched in the coming months.
The new Simmod Lens facility
The Simmod FD-to-EF Cine Conversion kit with brass Edmika lens mount for Canon FD 85mm f1.2 L including remanufactured rear element + JIS screwdriver costs $330 US + taxes and shipping.
To see this and other innovative Simmod products visit www.simmodlens.com
I didn't see in the article of any pricing...?
Of course, for some people yachts are affordable. It's all relative.
It's a reasonable price.