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7 Tips for Buing a Lens for Rehousing

September 9th, 2022 Posted by Articles 0 thoughts on “7 Tips for Buing a Lens for Rehousing”

The market for Vintage-lenses has been booming last couple of years.

The characteristics of old vintage lenses are fascinating, and people do want to keep the charm of those characteristics, yet use them with modern-day equipment.

But where to find those old lenses, which still would be in an OK condition, and rehousable?

It can be overwhelming to know what to look for, and what to avoid.

Here are our tips for purchasing a lens!

1. From Whom to Buy Lenses for Rehousing?

Unfortunately, we do not have the knowledge to recommend someone specific. Of course, we hear from sellers and buyers, but as we do not get involved deeply, and have the knowledge needed to recommend someone over someone else.

Usually, we have good experiences with Asian traders, but good and trustworthy traders can be found around the world.

2. Make Sure There is a Return Policy

Look if there’s a return policy. How long is it? Does it include shipping days?

If no return policy has been given, that might be a red flag.

Most retail stores will have some kind of return policy, as well as most individual sellers on eBay or Amazon.

3. Ask for Photos

Often sellers that are trustworthy, are not afraid to send photos of the lens and talk about it in more detail.

You should be able to find a load of pictures of the item itself.  Try to avoid sellers who are using stock images or provide no images at all.

If the seller refuses to offer more images upon request, it might be suspicious.

4. Read the Reviews & Feedback

People who want to earn from lens trading, do want to keep their records clean. In most online stores, like eBay, you can read reviews of the sellers. If the seller has a clean record and a lot of trade, they usually are trustworthy.

Read the feedback – on the item itself as well as the seller too.

Also, be sure to read any negative feedback. If there’s a history of selling faulty items, you need to be aware and alert.

5. Ask Why the Lens is for Sale

If you’re not buying the lens from a store, but rather from an individual, ask them why they’re selling. There are loads of good reasons to be selling, but if there is no clear answer, it might be because the lens is faulty.

6. The Importance of the Contact Information

Make sure to get all the contact information – if for any reason something goes wrong, it’s good to have the seller’s information with their mailing (return) address and full name. A good tip is also to look up seller online. Just to make sure they are a real person.

7. Not All Lenses Are Good for Rehousing

The most common issue that can prevent rehousing process is lens fungus, which can permanently damage the lens coating. If the coating is damaged by fungus or harsh cleaning methods, it might be necessary to do re-coating to fix the damage and this can lead to a more modern look.

To preserve the desired vintage aesthetics we don’t recommend re-coating services. Usually, the best option is to source a new lens with intact coating.

From experience, we can say that demand for lens rehousing has risen significantly since 2018 when Whitepoint Optics Lens Rehousing was initially launched.

Our wide range of conversion projects has served cinematographers and rental companies around the world since then successfully.

Most requested rehousing projects from our experience are talked about in more detail in our Top 5 rehousing projects article.

Lomocron: FAQ & Test Footage

September 1st, 2022 Posted by Articles 0 thoughts on “Lomocron: FAQ & Test Footage”

Which lenses can be used as base lenses for Lomocrons?

  • LOMO Square Front 35mm, 50mm & 75/80mm.
  • Leica R Summicron: 35mm V.2, 50mm V.2 ja 90mm (Non APO).
  • Under investigation are also Leica M Summicron 40mm & 75mm (these require testing and measuring at our end).

How can I find lomo anamorphic elements? Is it possible to buy them separately at low cost?

We recommend checking in eBay or other marketplaces. If optical elements are is separated, make sure that the cylinder lenses are paired correctly and belong together. 35mm requires its own 35mm front. From 50mm and upwards front is the same.

Which part of the square front is used for the lens? Would you need the whole element? Or just the front glass? Would also just the front element of the NAS Lomos work?

We need the entire front of all cylinder elements. We don’t need the taking lens.

Are the mechanics of the housing designed in a way that the lenses don’t rotate and extend during focusing?

Yes, no part of the lens rotates other than the focus and iris ring. Neither does the length of the lens extend.

Are the SQ anamorphic base lenses 35mm, 50mm and 75mm Lomo anamorphic?


What are the Leica R focal lengths for the spherical base lens that we need to find so they can accommodate to the different focal lengths of the final Lomocron?

See above. Leica R 35 mm f2 Summicron R V.2 (faster, less coverage) or Leica R Elmarit f2.8 (slower, more coverage), Leica R Summicron 50mm f2 & NON APO 90mm.

When you change the blades of the iris, is the final bokeh different than the original one?

We use a matte-surfaced 14-leaf completely round iris, meaning the original irises are replaced but the anamorphic look is preserved.

Can you let me know more about what versions are most suitable to provide?

All LOMO Square Optical elements fits, and Leicas mentioned above.

Are you able to provide the Lomocron as a stand alone purchase without first supplying the original lenses?

We are currently exploring this option. Lomo square Front anamorphics are difficult to find, and we are investigating the possibility of developing a replacement imitation glass from new optics. We will announce later if the Neo Lomocron project progresses.

Would I need to purchase all of the Lomo glass? Or do you provide those?

The customer buys all the glasses themself, we supply the mechanics and assembly.

Which are the best places to purchase base lenses? Are there any trustworthy sellers for Leica R lenses other than Ebay?

We have no strong opinion on this. You might find trustworthy sellers around the world. We generally have good experience with Asian lens traders.

Can the Lomocrons be built with other base lenses other than Leica Rs or Lomo square fronts?

Unfortunately, no. This is a brand new product, and the parts are only designed for the mentioned lenses.

A jump from 50mm to 90mm is quite big, can you do 80mm lux or 75mm Summicron?

The Leica M Summicron 40mm and 75mm are also under investigation. These require testing and measuring.

Do the Lomocrons have full frame coverage?

Yes, from 50mm upwards.

Read more about Lomocron lenses!

Lomocron Test Footage

Lomocron: Combining Summicron and Lomo Square Front

June 20th, 2022 Posted by Articles 0 thoughts on “Lomocron: Combining Summicron and Lomo Square Front”

What is Lomocron?

Lomocron is a combination of two iconic anamorphic lenses: Lomo Square Front Anamorphic and Leica-R as the taking lens. With all the flaws, mumps and imperfections, the Lomocron lens is a special anamorphic lens with lots of character, producing very pleasing cinematic images. The updated “mother” lens adds contrast, brings more resolution and makes the lens faster. The signature blue flares are even more striking with less haze. The square front Lomos are widely available, but in many cases have been forgotten in to a shelf due to their poorish mechanical condition.

The Story behind Lomocron

Our Lomocron-journey started with our first anamorphic project in 2017.

We love the anamorphic look, and anamorphic lenses have been on our drawing board from the very beginning of launching Whitepoint Optics in 2017. Our first signature set the Hasselblad based WPO TS70 lens sets were successfully mixed with Hawk anamorphics in both Netflix features Come Sunday and How it Ends.

This led us to experiment using TS70 set with a back anamorphic element to get the anamorphic squeeze to the image. In creating the squeeze factor with a back anamorphic unit, we were still quite far from a true anamorphic look, as it lacked the signature oval bokeh and the anamorphic flares completely. It was enough, however, to give us the itch to move forward to search for the perfect cylindrical lenses to put in front of the optical system. We wanted to create those horizontal flares and oval bokehs.

Lomocron test footage

Choosing Leica Summicron as the taking lens

The first pre-Lomocron version was built using a Schneider front element with a focus diopter. We have always been fans of the Leica look, so we decided to use a Leica Summicron as the taking lens. This lens had pretty much all the characteristics we were looking for. We set the taking lens to infinity and used the diopter in front as a focusing system.

We have always been fans of the Leica look, so we decided to use a Leica Summicron as the taking lens.

It was a quite big and heavy configuration and the diopter system lacked some of the vintage characteristics. Our partner, cinematographer Peter Flinckenberg noted that this version didn’t really have those anamorphic mums, and encouraged us to keep looking for a more authentic anamorphic front element.

We wanted to build a relatively light-weight anamorphic lens with a dual cam focusing system, so off we went to search for the perfect match for our German taking lens. Instead, as it happened the perfect solution found us.

Combining Lomo Square Front with Summicron

Our long-time client Marcin Mikolajczyk had an already rehoused Lomo anamorphic lens that he wanted us to repair. We convinced him to let us switch the original Lomo taking lens and replace it with a Leica Summicron.

We modified the original housing, replaced the iris system and installed the 50mm Leica R Summicron T2.1. We had to build a totally new configuration to fit the Summicron but the end result was more than we hoped for.

What makes Lomocron unique?

So why is Lomocron so special? Why did we end up combining Summicron with Lomo Square Front?

  • The rehoused Lomo Square Front gave us the oval bokehs and all the mums and imperfections only a true vintage Soviet lens has to offer.
  • The Leica in the back accentuated the horizontal flares and made them even more striking with less haze. The updated “mother” lens added more contrast, resolution and made the lens faster.

We finally had the perfect lens and the union of the two iconic lenses lent the name for the new project: Lomocron.

The rehoused Lomo Square Front gave us the oval bokehs and all the mums and imperfections only a true vintage Soviet lens has to offer.


Making Lomocron light-weight and rebuilding mechanics

We wanted to make the Lomocron series relatively small and keep the weight under two kilograms. Another main complaint users have in regard to the Square Front Lomo anamorphics is the poor mechanical condition. In the end we decided to strip the Lomos to their bare glass and completely rebuild the mechanics. We started the design process from the sensor side and worked our way to the anamorphic front elements.

Lomocron test footage

Building the maximum coverage for Lomocron

Lomocron isn’t the easiest lens, as it has a floating system, so special attention was needed finding the correct travel range and close focus. There are optical elements that move in different order and tolerances for travel range are minute. The most challenging part in the design process was working to maximize the coverage.

When we originally announced the project, the 35mm Lomocron was designed with the 35mm Leica R F/2 in mind. In development, we started getting requests if it would be possible to extend also the 35mm Lomocron to cover full frame. Our Chief Technician Timo Alatalkkari started looking for other alternatives.

According tothe initial lens calculations, we could almost reach full frame by using the slower Elmarit f/2.8. We decided that it would be worth the extra time and work to give it a try and redesign the 35mm Lomocron using this lens.

It is up to the client to decide, which is the most important factor: larger coverage or faster speed.

The end result is that we can now offer the 35mm Lomocron with both options, so it is up to the client to decide, which is the most important factor: larger coverage or faster speed. Now we still don’t claim to have the 35mm as full frame, but it’s damn near close, approximating 95 % full frame coverage. During re-designing process we also managed to improve the close focus.

It has truly been a challenging ride, but we are excited about the end-result!

Journey of a Lens: Rehousing in 5 Steps

November 17th, 2021 Posted by Articles 0 thoughts on “Journey of a Lens: Rehousing in 5 Steps”

Lens rehousing is a long and skill-requiring project with a surprising number of different phases. In this article, we tell about Whitepoint Optics’ rehousing process: what kind of steps rehousing requires and what kind of challenges can arise during the project?

What lens rehousing is?

Lens rehousing means that an old still camera lens is given a new life and converted to fit the modern standards of cinematography. After conversion, the lenses can be used in cinematography and are compatible with modern cine accessories. In a typical case, the converted lenses are originally still camera optics.


1. Before rehousing process starts: Inspection

Before rehousing process begins, we make sure the lens is suitable for rehousing.

All the lenses are first externally inspected. This is to make sure that our conversion work can be done to the lenses. The most common issue that can prevent rehousing process is lens fungus, which can permanently damage lens coating. If the coating is damaged by fungus or harsh cleaning methods, it might be necessary to do re-coating to fix the damage and this can lead to a more modern look. To preserve the desired vintage aesthetics we don’t recommend re-coating services and usually, the best option is to source a new lens with intact coating. Often we see lenses before the client does, as they are harvested around the world, and sent to us for rehousing. If we see any irreparable lenses, we notify the customer and work out what we can do.

Sometimes lenses are so damaged or mishandled that it makes them impossible to use or rehouse. Luckily, this is very rare. During the conversion process, we will be in contact with our customers, with estimated delivery-time.


2. A dedicated technician takes care of the conversion process

Each rehoused lens has a dedicated technician.

After the lens has passed the first check, a dedicated technician is named to work on the lens or lens set. Lens rehousing is artisan work, and working through a set of lenses, each technician gets to know their unique features. Getting to know these features means it is easier to work through possible challenges. During the process, they do keep in touch with the customer and send regular updates.

Our regular customers are familiar with our technicians. The goal is that the customer can have the same technician to work for possible future lens projects as well. This way the technician already knows what is important to the customer. Once we have rehoused a set of lenses to a customer, they will most likely return with new projects.


3. Dismantling the lens and designing new parts

Rehousing process starts with dismantling the old lens construction.

In the beginning of the conversion process, the lens is dismantled. For our standard catalogue products, all needed design work has already been done. However, with some lens series such as Zeiss Jena for example there are so many different kinds of source lenses and models out there that custom design is needed. Together with our lens designers, new parts can be designed to meet the unique part requirements. Every now and then we also accept more special conversion projects and designing dedicated parts to them keeps our designers busy.

Often lens technicians and lens designers sit down together to figure out the best possible technical solution for each lens. All unique parts are then custom-made to fit our standards. We have a trusted partner network working with us, and they are as dedicated as we are to manufacturing the highest quality mechanical parts for our technicians.


4. New robust construction and personalized engravings

Engravings are added to the lens construction.

Robust aerospace-grade aluminium construction is built to protect the valuable lens. We can add custom design and personalized engravings to finalize the look. These include a custom logo design, a range of colors to choose from and a stylish design to fit the client’s aesthetics. This is a nice final touch to have in a valuable and trusted set of lenses.


5. Testing and fine-tuning the rehoused lens

Final steps of lens rehousing: we inspect that the lens works as it should and meets industry standards.

Rehousing should enhance lens focus and convenience in use, and not take away bokeh or other unique features of the original lens. That is why testing the lens after rehousing is important. We carefully inspect that the lens works as it should and meets industry standards. Naturally, there are limitations when converting vintage lenses and also the inherent limitations of the source optics will follow all the way to the end product. We can for example most often improve the close focus abilities of a lens, but if the source lens doesn’t cover full frame, don’t expect the conversion process to fix that.

What you can expect from our rehousing process is, that your source lens will be built into totally new mechanical housing to meet modern cinema standards. You can expect a 280-300 degree focus throw with matching scales to fit modern camera motors. The technicians want to deliver the best possible result with each product, and that is why fine-tuning can take some time. A finished rehoused lens is durable and easy to use.


Interested? We rehouse vintage lenses to be used with modern equipment and still lenses to serve in filmmaking. We serve cinematographers, film equipment rental houses and filmmakers around the world.

Rehoused Kinoptik Lens Set

Top 5 Vintage Lens Rehousing Projects 2021

September 22nd, 2021 Posted by Articles 0 thoughts on “Top 5 Vintage Lens Rehousing Projects 2021”

Demand for vintage lens rehousing has risen significantly over the last couple of years. Since the launch of W. Rehousing Services with Leica R, Canon FD and Zeiss Jena rehousing designs in 2018, we have continued to increase the catalogue extensively. Whitepoint Rehousing offers one of the widest selections of vintage lens conversions in the market today. In this text, we reveal the most popular and sought-after lens rehousing projects at the moment, and what makes these lenses unique.

But first a couple of basic things about lens rehousing.

What is lens rehousing?

Rehousing an old lens can mean two things:

  1. Modernizing an old cine lens so that it can be used in today’s film cameras, or
  2. Modifying a photo lens so that the lens can be used in film cameras.

With lens rehousing, old lenses that don’t sit on modern camera equipment are given new life. It is possible to buy vintage lenses relatively cheaply, and by buying an old set of lenses and getting it rehoused, it is possible to save a considerable amount of cash compared to buying a similar, new lens set. In addition, the material shot with rehoused lenses has a vintage character that is difficult to achieve with modern cine lenses.

1. Kinoptik: Rehoused Lens with Original Iris

Kinoptik lens offers warm skin tones and beautiful bokeh.

As Whitepoint Optics is well known for innovation in the field of replacement iris for conversion projects, I want to first highlight the one project where we refuse to replace the iris. The original iris is a bit similar to the rosy shape of the Cooke iris. It is such an integral part of the Kinoptik classic look that we refuse to replace the iris for this project.

Kinoptik lens offers warm skin tones and beautiful bokeh that are the quintessential aspects of the 50’s and 60’s French cinema. Kinoptiks are also full frame from the 40mm upwards.

We expect the Kinoptiks to be the haute couture of rehousing trends in the coming years.

2. Canon FD Lens Mount mixed with 35mm Minolta Lens

Canon FD lens mount has been the usual suspect of cine lens rehousing for years. This has made a significant impact in both the availability of the source glass and the going rate for them, especially the SSC coated Canon FD lenses. This has led many to look for alternative lenses for rehousing. And if you are looking for a replacement, you might as well go for speed.

With a 35mm Minolta lens, you can go from the T2.1 FD down to T1.5. Minolta is a good fit with Canon FD’s. There are differences in coatings, but they are minor, and the temperature changes of the filmed material are easily corrected in post-production. Being from the same era, the lens patents are very close to each other.

We expect to make several rehoused Canon FD sets mixed with a Minolta 35mm F1.4 lens in the coming years. Whitepoint Optics was pioneering years ago by being the first company to replace the iris to the Canon FD project to get that round K35 bokeh. Today we offer wide range of customization including a more vintage shiny iris, a matte iris or a full maintenance for the original iris system.

3. Leica R: Full Frame with Warm Colors

Rehoused Leica R lens covers full frame with nice micro contrast and warm colors.

Leica R lens is another all time favorite lens rehousing project and for a good reason. Rehoused Leica R lens covers full frame with nice micro contrast and warm colors. They offer smooth bokeh, and much like the Kinoptik conversion project, we like to offer Leica R lens with the original iris.

In our opinion, the original iris of the lens with its angular shape and sharp corners is an important part of the Leica R look. However, we’re not overly zealous about the iris system and we do offer the option to replace the iris with a more modern round iris in case the client insists.

Even though we prefer to keep the vintage character of the Leica R intact, what we do suggest to our clients is the option of customizing the lens set with a moderate customization fee. Custom design allows the client to choose a personalized logo, compendium ring text and two colors for the engraving scheme.

4. Nikon AI and AI-S Lenses for Rehousing: Affordable Lenses with Good Availability and Gorgeous Characteristics

Now we get to our favorite lens rehousing project for 2021. We offer rehousing for Nikon lenses in two frame sizes, which both have their advantages:

  • The 110mm diameter frame size offers durability for the wearable parts (bigger bearings etc.)
  • The new 95mm diameter frame, which is a little bit more convenient in use because of it’s smaller size and weight.

The main advantages for choosing vintage Nikon lens for rehousing are the affordable price and good availability of the source lenses and the gorgeous lens characteristics. Nikon lenses perform flawlessly shooting directly towards light. They are sharp, but with less micro contrast than the Leica R lens, for example. Highlights have a beautiful slight glow. Some of the Nikon lenses, like the iconic 58mm Noct-Nikkor f/1.2, are very fast and deliver a blooming effect when shot wide-open.

5. Zeiss Jena Lenses: Beautiful Flares and Soft Look

The Zeiss Jena lenses offer the most beautiful flares we’ve ever seen in any vintage lenses.

This is another lens rehousing project we expect to start trending in the coming years. As one can expect from Zeiss, these lenses are optically of the highest quality. Apart from this, the Jena lenses offer the most beautiful flares we’ve ever seen in any vintage lenses. They have the low contrast quite typical for vintage lenses coupled with a pleasing glow and soft look. And don’t let the soft look deceive you, as these lenses perform well with the MTF charts.

Whitepoint Optics was the first to introduce Zeiss Jena rehousing project to the market in 2019, and ever since it has been one of our most requested vintage lens rehousing projects.