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Illumina S35 Lenses - BEWARE!

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Adam Howden
Illumina S35 Lenses - BEWARE!
on Mar 20, 2012 at 8:29:40 pm

This is an important review of the Illumina S35 lenses, please pass it on the community needs to know.

https://vimeo.com/36791058

This is a test of a set of Illumina S35s that I purchased early this year (2012). I ended up sending them back for a refund. But due to a re-stocking fee I received only 90%. And because I also cancelled my order of the 135mm I ended up loosing, with shipping close to $5000 Australian dollars.

For me, the lenses didn't perform. The 18mm & 25mm show severe edge distortion and softening - too much to be considered in the same league as Arri, Zeiss or Cooke. Distortion that wouldn't smooth out until as far down as T5.6. Personally I don't see the point in having a T1.3 rated lens that doesn't perform until way past T4.

This is in fact the 2nd test I shot, to try and rule out the possibility of a back focus issue with the first test, let me assure you there was no back focus issues. The Red & the Alexa were supplied by a national camera rental company with a long and respectful history of serving the Australian film industry, they checked the back focus for me knowing the test that I was about to perform. Also, the lenses taped out to where they were supposed to ie. 5'6" hit right on the lens mark. But the edges - well disappointing to say the least.

It was a sorry outcome for a set of lenses that I'd hoped so much for, I really wanted them to perform but I felt the edge distortion unacceptable, the build quality was suspect and the illumination was patchy.

I even had a lens tech at Panavision Australia look over the test and he said "I can see is that the centre is sharp and the edges are soft and there is a little distortion as well in your test. This is Field curvature, the inability of a lens to hold focus from centre to the edge of frame; distortion is the inability to reproduce image shapes accurately". He then added "When compared to the Zeiss I can see the Zeiss has much better Field flatness".

The lenses were sent back to the broker and the manufacture for testing, they re-tested and claimed the lenses looked good? I was amazed that they could make these claims. I shot tests on 3 different cameras and even cross checked them with a Zeiss Superspeed MkIII just to make sure I wasn't going crazy - I wasn't. The Red One, The Alexa and even the poor old Sony F3 revealed the incredibly poor performance of these lenses.

Ultimately I was pretty disappointed by the attitude of the owner of Lumatech, it was an expensive lesson for me to learn and unfortunately with a small amount like the amount I lost it's hard for me to justify the expense of a lawyer, although I've discussed the situation with several, but the costs are prohibitive.

I would urge anyone thinking about these lenses to think again, I certainly won't be buying anything from Lumatech ever again.

1 X 8-Core Mac Pro Xeon 2.8 Ghz
10 GIG RAM
Final Cut Studio, Adobe Creative Suite etc


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Adam Howden
Re: Illumina S35 Lenses - BEWARE!
on Oct 31, 2012 at 9:03:06 pm

NOTE: That after 7 months I finally received a full refund. Consider this case closed.

1 X 8-Core Mac Pro Xeon 2.8 Ghz
10 GIG RAM
Final Cut Studio, Adobe Creative Suite etc


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David Mirand
Re: Illumina S35 Lenses - BEWARE!
on Nov 27, 2016 at 2:47:41 am

Mr Howden and Other Illumina Customers,

We apologize for the 7 month delay in receiving the restocking fee. It was done through one of our dealers, who refused to refund the fee. Lumatech eventually covered that amount, out of pocket, because the dealer would not. It was the right thing to do.

That SITUATION HAS BEEN RECTIFIED. The dealer has been dealt with and it will not happen again.

David Mirand
Marketing Coordinator
Lumatech


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Todd Terry
Re: Illumina S35 Lenses - BEWARE!
on Nov 27, 2016 at 5:52:01 am

???... this is a response to a 4+ year old post/complaint.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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David Mirand
Re: Illumina S35 Lenses - BEWARE!
on Feb 25, 2017 at 6:04:13 am

Yes Todd...very perceptive.

Again, we apologized to Adam Howden and corrected this issue. Over 140 sets of Illumina lenses have been sold worldwide to satisfied customers, without issue. This particular issue is due to a specific dealer. That dealer has been dealt with, and the situation has not repeated itself.


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