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Re: Mid-level cine prime recommendations

Re: Mid-level cine prime recommendations

Hanse Inno Tech

Ladies and Gentlemen, this response is going to be a long one.  We asked Geoff to be allowed to come onto CML and make a formal response.  We will try not to make this a habit.


There is speculation here, which we will get to in a minute, Duclos doesn't know everything about our lenses or our glass and with which companies we have signed contracts to supply us with glass. Ultimately, I do not need Duclos to take apart my lenses to show people how we build them, that we can do ourselves.  We have said many times on and off-line that we have an open door policy, anyone is welcome to come and see for themselves.  Duclos has or maybe still has a good name in the industry, but through these tactics, I have to say you are not doing justice to your reputation, rather damaging it.  Maybe it’s time everyone goes about their own business in a friendly competitive way.


Some of the places we have had our glass made:

FineOptics in Wetzlar

DD Optics in Wetzlar, does a lot of optical work for the Summilux-C

After that we entered into talks with Befort Wetzlar

We went global sourcing glass manufacturers and currently will remain right where we are. We have been having glass manufactured based to our specifications for a number of years now and will continue to do so.  The exact glass, from which countries with which coatings will remain our business and we kindly ask that others like Duclos try to respect that and mind their own business.  Bottom line, what glass we use, how we assemble and where it comes from, is first and foremost only our business, just like every other company.  If other manufacturers are getting their glass made from similar sources.  I don't have to prove anything, only that Duclos is still fishing.  Partial truths packaged as the full truths can be disastrous and he knows it.  This is where the grounds of speculation are happening, i.e. this goes against CML's rules.


We know where many glass manufacturers are getting their glass, such as Leica, Carl Zeiss, etc, just like we know where Hasselblad glass is being made and where many other companies are sourcing glass.  We know of companies in Japan that have Chinese manufacturers make the glass, send it to Japan, there it is assembled and of course made in Japan.  It's a global market, what do people expect.  We were in China for two weeks in December and saw first hand glass manufacturers that got bought out by Japanese companies.  Again, Japanese owned, now being produced in China.  The quality is exceptional, Cinematographers around the world can and will be shooting with these lenses.  Do they care where the glass comes from, no.  Professional Cinematographers only care about the look and feel, is this the right tool for the job at hand, just like a master carpenter.  Sometimes Cinematographers can take the oldest and most difficult of tools and make stunning images come to life.  This is what Dick Pope BSC told me when we discussed his work on the movie "Turner".  He was testing the Celere HS lenses at the BSC Expo in London (we posted it on Facebook), and he was telling us that the Celere's would have been a wonderful lens had he known before shooting Turner.  Mr. Pope was working with a set of older Panchros, his DIT explained that they had Opto-Mechanical difficulties with that set, yet they still made amazing images!

This isn't just about Celere lenses, even though Duclos may be wording it so on social platforms, there is far more at stake here, this goes well beyond Celere lenses.  Duclos knows it, we know it, and the public needs to know it.  Ask yourselves, does Duclos sell lenses and do we sell lenses?  What about other products or products to soon come to market?  We have brought a lot of products lately to the market that might be in competition to Duclos (their visual collimators and our Autocollimators, etc) and more to come.  This should in no way be a reason to pursue these lines of behaviour.  This is unfortunate and as I have listed below, this behaviour needs to stop.  This is not the first time, this is about the fourth time this has happened from Duclos on Social Media.  It is very unbecoming and unprofessional, they are attacks against us and is unfound criticism.  Just because we manufacture and sell similar products as Duclos, this does not mean that the market is not large enough for two or more.  Competition in this regards is healthy and in our opinion needed.  We are trying to change the industry in a positive way.  All we ask, among peers and professionals is please allow us to continue without the unneeded biased opinions packaged as truth.

We have enclosed a scan (please see attachment) from a trade magazine that was distributed in Wetzlar, Germany, talking about Samyang visiting Wetzlar, specifically, Befort-Optic (one of the companies we signed NDA's with for glass), quote from the current CEO Henner Befort, "Samyang approached us and asked if we could make their glass, but at that price point it is just not realistic."  Samyang does not make their own glass either, they shop around just like the rest of us.  We should know, we had a sit down meeting with Fujinon last year at the IBC, with Senior Vice President Homare Kai and Product Manager Hideyuki Kasai as well as in Tokyo, Japan in November and in December Fujinon flew to Hamburg to come and visit us, the Sales & Marketing Manager as well as the Senior Expert for Optical devices.  We have 6 catalogues at our office and more are online, each hundreds of pages, listing 10000’s of glass elements for purchasing.  Yes, some lens elements for many companies, not just ours, are stock off the shelf order by catalogue.  These glass suppliers can mass produce in high volumes which in turn drives the price down.  Anyone who comes to our company, I can show you bills and offers of what individual lens elements cost to be manufactured in Germany and the same lens element out of the catalogue.  As a last note on this subject, requesting glass to be made by these companies also works well.  If you have lens elements you need and they do not offer it which is most of the time, then you can send in a request to have them make these lens elements for you and if they agree that it is in their business interests, they in turn will make and in some cases add it to their catalogue.

I was taught to always question peoples motives to find out what is their angle.  Duclos is strategically attacking and using every forum/platform to make his speculative remarks.  Our commitment and responsibility is first and foremost to protecting our employees jobs, second the company and it's reputation.  CML should not be used as a platform for Duclos selling a version of a story and packaging it as truth.  Truth would be what the Washington Post calls: show us the documents, the originals.  He does not have the paper contracts to our manufacturers, that, he can not show you.  He cannot show you the bills we pay for glass and to whom, etc.  Last but not least, even if, I repeat, if Duclos is up to 50% correct in his assumptions, he is still guessing and speculating about the other 50% or more, which still counts as speculating, i.e. it is not the whole truth as he worded it on CML.  Impossible for him to know the whole truth, therefor by common reasoning, there will always be speculation on his part.


We are still learning, especially when someone leaves an anonymous tip for U.S. customs that our lenses have Thorium 232 and that they are not manufactured in Germany.  We handed in all the required documents to the officials at U.S. customs, it only took 3 weeks of work to get the set of lenses to go through and yes, it costed us the NAB trade show last year.  We are learning fast.  I asked for help from the former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada to help us get to the root of the situation, lucky for us he still has connections in Washington otherwise our lenses could have taken months to get to the bottom of things.  Yes, there are elbows being used, but that is o.k. we take our knocks, we shake it off, we learn and continue.  We continue only because we know what we have in store and why we will be happy to share it on the open market all in due time.


Since Duclos has already mentioned in REDuser that we threatened him with a lawsuit, this is now open to the public discussion.  Matthew, please you can not be serious?  Playing the wounded or offended party does not become you.  You started this on Facebook by making a post and having us removed so that we could not make a response.  When we called you up on it in Social Media, you apologised publicly.  We left it at that, somehow you couldn’t.  Offline I have a recording from our Skype appointment from the 18th of February, 2017.  When dealing with people with a difficult nature we always take precautions.  Do you really want to go there?  I can post your conversation and your threats online for everyone to see and hear, let them be the judges with your own words.  Do you care to retract your statements, again?  Only after your threats, did we have to pursue lawyers.  You didn't leave us with much of a choice, nor would you leave us alone for some unexplained reason.  We will not sit idly and go down gentle into the night.  We were not the ones singling others out looking for a fight but we are willing to make sure we finish it.


We are fortunate that last year we invited a law firm to become share holders of our company and they have a partner firm in Manhattan from which we were told a court summons could be served to appear before a hearing.  We have handed in design protections in the EU.  The internet knows no boundaries, and anyone exposed to the content infringing upon our Intellectual Property would be grounds enough for pursuing a legal avenue and can be subpoena'd to testify.  Worst case for us is that we may not win after two to three years of legal disputes in a German court, but we can sure try!  Our lawyers are partners and as shareholders, they are literally working in their own interest.  Even though I am a spokes person for the company, only because as a Canadian I speak fluent English, yet I am only a minor share holder in the company.


If no professional Cinematographer cares where the glass is coming from, then ask yourselves, why has Duclos tried this for the fourth time in Social Media, we are not the ones seeking trouble, nor did we ask for this.  Obviously there is something bothering them.  The only reason we are posting here and everywhere Duclos tries to pop up, we need to set the record straight.  Duclos may have some of the facts, but not all the facts, that is impossible for him to know!  No one outside our company is privy to that information.  Therefore, there will always be speculation with half truths, but never the whole story.  To do that online would be to hand over trade secrets that made us popular to begin with.  No company in the world does this, nor is it asked of them, not from Cooke, not from Leica, etc, then why should we have to.  Judge us not by heresay, biased opinions and slander, rather on the merits of our workmanship, passion, commitment to our customers and our ability to bring new and innovative products to the market.  To put the nail in the coffin, has anyone here on CML ever seen a 135mm lens in T1.5 that covers up to a Monstro sensor, anywhere in the world?  We have attached a few photos to prove we are still making lenses that will keep people guessing and speculating for years to come.  Simple, we built 3 prototypes!  We are no longer in the business of only making lenses but now we are into the manufacturing of precision optical devices to help us and other companies build and service lenses.


Thank you for your time, sorry to CML for us having to come in just to clear our good name, thank you for the opportunity!


Best Regards,

Steven Kisilevich

Director of Research and Development


Hanse Inno Tech GmbH

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