Rainer Hercher, Managing Director of Leitz-Cine Wetzlar, explains:
“The story began when we discussed the naming of our lenses. Previously, we had followed the Leica tradition of naming lenses according to their apertures. Summilux-C were T1.4. Summicron-C were T2. But then, at a certain point, we wanted to honor the fundamentals that the Leitz family started in 1849 in Wetzlar.”
Leitz Cine describes the design objectives for ELSIE:
Consistent in size and speed to serve a broad range of productions. The set of 13 primes covers from 15 mm to 150 mm, all at T2.1. They are built from scratch for cinematography and are completely produced in Germany. ELSIE lenses incorporate the warmth and resolution that Leitz lenses are known for, yet they feature a noticeable but gradual fall-off of resolution and illumination as the image approaches the corners to create a dimensionality that gently draws the viewer’s eye toward the center of the frame.
A new bokeh design was developed in conjunction with Leica Camera to more closely mimics their M lenses creating out-of-focus elements to be painterly while still being recognizable.
Jon Fauer’s impressions of ELSIE after lots of lovely hours together contain a lot of L words: the look is luminous, luxurious, luscious, lovely, Leica-like. Sharp eyelashes, gentle skin tones. Great contrast, rich shadows, highlights hold, nicely controlled flares that are painterly when you want them and absent when you don’t.