The project is being led by Ryan Avery, who has worked in the video industry for more than a decade, and optical and mechanical designer Jim Zhang. The pair are setting out to raise $50,000 to fund the project (they had raised over $44,000 at the time of writing).
The Veydra mini primes will initially include 16mm, 25mm, 35mm, and 50mm focal lengths – ranging from medium wide to short telephoto on Micro Four Thirds. The plan is to ship these lenses from January 2015, with a fifth lens – a wide angle, 12mm – ready for June next year.
The lenses, Avery says, are true cinema optics, with a resolution higher than 4K. This should produce good results, even with today’s higher-resolution M43 sensors. Each lens will also have a constant aperture, rated at T2.2, for good results in low light and a shallow depth of field. The lenses have a nine-blade aperture for cine-style bokeh.
But the company is also stressing the non-optical aspects of the cine lens design. The lenses are metal with brass mounts, and have been designed so they are close in length too, making them easy to rig and de-rig on a follow focus or matte box system.
Each lens also has an identical 80mm front diameter, and 77mm filter thread, as well as 0.8 mod gears for focus and the aperture control. The lenses are, of course, all manual focus and manual aperture, and come with focus distance and aperture markings.
The lenses are expected to cost $1199 (£770) each, or $3695 for the initial four-lens set, and $4895 including the 12mm wide angle. Avery points out that this is less than the cost of a single, full-frame prime from one of the established manufacturers.
The prime lenses – singly, or in the two sets – are also offered at a discount for Kickstarter backers. This includes worldwide shipping, but not duties and taxes. As yet, Veydra hasn’t said who will distribute the lenses once the Kickstarter campaign is over, or whether tthey will be available in Europe.
Veydra has produced a video interview with Ryan Avery, with sample footage:
Jared Abrams has posted some downloadable RAW files, shot with the Veydra lenses and the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, over at Wide Open Camera.