Lens servicing and product development facility, True Lens Services, is responsible for such world-renowned lens engineering feats as the digital conversion of the classic 1950’s Cooke Speed Panchro lens for 2014’s well-received feature Mr. Turner. TLS also created a custom designed lens, Morpheus, that’s been used in high-profile features, including The Bourne Series and Casino Royale. 14-year old Leicester-based True Lens Services (TLS) has built up an enviable reputation for high quality lens customisation services for the film and TV industry. It offers a wide range of facilities for servicing, repairing and converting film, broadcast and projection lenses from a wide variety of manufacturers. “Whether it’s updating vintage lenses to work with modern equipment, preventative maintenance or the repair of damaged or worn lenses, the design, test and setup equipment available at TLS allows the service engineers to quickly diagnose faults, rectify them and return each lens to full working order with the minimum of inconvenience,” explains TLS’s Director Colin Sanders. On top of this, TLS even produces its own range of matte boxes, mechanical supports, adapter rings and associated camera mounts and fixings.
Huge Range of Services
TLS has a broad client base, ranging from individual camera operators through to national broadcasters. As Colin explains: “Our short term, bespoke projects include lens mount and body modifications such as that to a Canon 500mm where we were asked to convert the lens to PL mount, retaining the original image stabilising mechanism.” Referring to the rehousing of the Cooke Speed Panchro, as originally created for the feature film Mr.Turner, Colin says: “The modular designed housing is now capable of housing a variety of lenses from various manufacturers, which we are currently in the process of adapting to suit.”
Rehousing Classic Lenses
“This is a perfect example of the capabilities of TLS, in that what initially started out as a service to a small group of interested customers turned into a major part of the business,” continues Colin. TLS is currently working on rehousing other classic lenses, and Colin reveals, it’s also working on its own range of zoom lenses, “all running alongside our standard products of matte boxes, support systems and high-end adaptors.”
The company was set up in 2001 and over the years has evolved into a comprehensive service, design and manufacturing facility supplying the film and television industries in the UK and overseas. At the end of last year, the company was acquired by the UK’s largest camera rental facility, Procam. The acquisition supports Procam’s long-term product development strategy, enabling it to offer bespoke lenses and tailormade packages to its client base.
“Procam has been a long-term customer of TLS, which really instilled it with the confidence its fleet of lenses received total care and protection,” says Colin. The acquisition is an ideal fit for Procam; it enables them to offer lens servicing and customised product development to clients and also utilise TLS for servicing and repairing grip equipment, tripods, heads, jibs and other equipment that’s regularly in need of preventative maintenance. On top of this, Colin explains: “Under the Procam banner, TLS is already changing with investment by enhancing our inhouse training facilities. We’re increasing staff numbers and have taken on new apprentices. With Procam’s expanding portfolio, TLS will be there to support them.”
Jake Bickerton, Special Projects Editor, Televisual