Lately it seems as if many companies are turning to Kickstarter and similar crowdfunding platforms to realise their photographic products. The latest to jump on the bandwagon is Modula Optical, a fledgling optics company that has launched a campaign to bring a compact, sharp and fast manual pancake lens optimised for Fujifilm, Sony and Canon mirrorless mounts to the market.
While there are hundreds of manual focus lenses in existence that can easily be adapted to modern cameras via an adapter, Modula Optical wanted to create a compact lens optimised specifically for today’s mirrorless cameras with all the best characteristics of classic manual focus lenses.
The result was the CM33, a 33mm f/2 pancake lens designed for APS-C sensors (50mm equivalent) that delivers both excellent image quality and macro performance with a close focus distance of 14cm. The lens also comes with two new features: Mods and Focus Finder.
Mods are specialised optical elements, no bigger than an SD card, that you can slot into the lens to generate various effects, such as a softer bokeh or a dreamy soft focus effect.
Focus Finder is an easy-to-access external switch that temporarily opens the aperture to its full size to decrease the depth of field. Doing so allows you to pinpoint your focus point with ease using focus peaking and magnification on mirrorless cameras.
At the moment, the project has raised nearly $10,000 of its $600,000 goal and there are still 56 days to go. If you pledge at least $799, you will receive a CM33 lens from the first production run.