Upgrades for Richter Cine Collimators
Updated 19 November 2023
CinemaTechnic has been reconditioning and upgrading Richter Cine collimators since 2017. Our experience with the Richter Cine system dates back to 1999. We know of no other facility in the world that can recondition, calibrate and upgrade the Richter Cine products.
CinemaTechnic Richter R-2 Mark II
In development since 2020, the Mark II upgrade for the Richter Cine R-2 collimator block replaces all internal components except the focus reticle.
This upgrade resolves a number of problems that made it difficult to service and calibrate the original autocollimator blocks. Beginning in July 2023 we are no longer upgrading the original blocks to digital video. Only the R-2 Mark II will be offered.
The R-2 Mark II upgrade consists of:
A precision cube beamsplitter replaces the low quality plate beamsplitter used by Richter, which had major issues with double “ghost” images and wavefront error.
A new precision CNC machined post assembly takes the place of the original shop-made post. This includes a support that mounts to the underside of the R-2 block. The new assembly features fine adjustment in all degrees of movement and secure locking of the adjustments.
The focus reticle is mounted in a fine adjust mount allowing precision adjustment of the critical focus setting.
The new eyepiece assembly uses a modern highly corrected and coated multi-element eyepiece and a fine crosshair (rather than grid) reticle. A 12x eyepiece is used on the digital video assist version. A 21x eyepiece is available for those that want to work without a monitor (not reccomended).
The modified R-2 Mk.II block has a new larger and finer threaded eyepiece mount. The Mk.II upgrade cannot be fitted to an unmodified block.
The modified R-2 Mk.II block will not fit the original V-mount collimator bracket. The collimator should be held by the objective tube, near the collimator block.
The R-2 Mark II will be offered for sale or on an an exchange basis only. I will not upgrade your block but will accept it as a trade-in against the cost of a new Mk.II block. If you purchased your R-2 block from me, I will offer full value (what you paid me) as trade-in.
R-2 Mark II pricing is to be determined. If you want to get on the list for this product, please contact me using the email below. Production will be limited.
Richter R-2 Digital Upgrade with HD Video Output
The R-2 Digital Upgrade for original Richter R-2 blocks is discontinued. From October 2023 on only the R-2 Mk.II upgrade will be offered. I am maintaining the description and photos below because the R-2 Mk.II will look nearly identical on the outside. The collimator image will also be similar except with a single crosshair rather than the grid pattern.
This upgrade consists of a modification to the Richter R-2 Collimator Block that allows fitting of an eyepiece adapter that accommodates a high quality achromatic eyepiece, physically larger than the original shop-made Richter eyepiece, with much better sharpness, field of view and eye relief.
The eyepiece adapter also allows fitting of a high resolution HD Video Relay Lens.
The HD optics relay the collimator image to a compact single sensor HD camera. Image quality is excellent, far superior than the original shop-made eyepiece. With a 1/2.5″ sensor camera, the collimator reticle image fills the 1080P screen top-bottom (see photos).
This upgrade makes it MUCH easier to use the Richter Collimator and improves its accuracy. There is no need to adjust eyepiece focus between different operators, even those that use glasses. The collimator image is clearly displayed on a HD monitor.
Digital Micrometer Upgrade for Richter Cine M-2 Focal Plane Micrometer:
NOTE: Due to continued customer demand, I am re-designing my M-2 Digital upgrade to build in adjustments to compensate for the inconsistency in dimension of the Richter M-2 units which were all manually machined.
In 2024 the new M-2 Mark II design will be introduced which will be entirely new CNC machined but still compatible with the original Richter lens testing mounts.
I will keep this description here until the M-2 Mark II is ready.
Our digital upgrade for the Richter M-2 replaces the original large Starrett 486 analog micrometer, the ceramic reflector and the assembly that holds it. This upgrade solves many problems:
- It eliminates the issue of damaged reflectors. The ceramic reflectors Richter used are no longer available. I tested using front surface mirrors but the results were inadequate.
- It eliminates the flatness / tumbling problem with the original reflectors. It is nearly impossible to get the original reflectors to be completely flat as the original micrometer spindle is turned.
- It makes zeroing the micrometer very easy. Setting an accurate zero on the analog micrometer is a frustrating and difficult task even for an expert.
- It allows easy switching between millimeters and inches. Although most lens shims are calibrated in mm, some shims, such as Cooke are calibrated in inches. With the digital micrometer you can use either measuring system and also switch between them.
- Our conversion for the Richter M-2 is unique in that all components except the micrometer are fitted from the front. This allows the micrometer the be placed as far forward as possible, allowing you to test lenses with focus errors both behind and in front of the nominal image plane.
- Typical range is 4mm in front and 22mm behind the nominal image plane.
Precision Lens Mounts for Lens Testing
For each type of lens you want to test/calibrate on your collimator, you need a Lens Testing Mount. This is a precisely made camera-side lens mount that fits into the Richter M2 Focal Plane Micrometer, S2 Focal Plane Microscope and Reticle Test Projector.
Richter called these “standards”, and they had a wide selection of them, to work with the various lens mounts of the time. Many were for mounts that are considered obsolete today such as Bell & Howell, Cinema Products, Eclair, Mitchell Standard, RCA TK76 and the like. No new mounts were introduced into Richter’s line after the mid 1990’s.
Of the mounts that are in common use today in professional cinematography, only the ARRI PL and Panavision PV-35 mounts were available from Richter at time the last catalog was issued (1997).
Notably Canon’s EF mount, which has become the first still camera lens mount to become a professional cine standard, was never produced by Richter Cine.
CinemaTechnic has taken up the task of creating the mounts that are needed today. All mounts are produced to the highest standard using modern manufacturing methods and are individually hand calibrated. All this at a price that is no higher than Richter’s price when taking inflation into account. NOTE: CinemaTechnic lens testing mounts other than IMS are discontinued.
All CinemaTechnic products are Made in USA.
CinemaTechnic Mounts for Richter Cine Features
- Thread and seating flange are one piece. This eliminates slipping between the threaded insert and the body of the mount as is typical with original Richter mounts. It also ensures the perpendicularity of the plane of the flange with the pitch center axis of the thread, since both are machine in one operation.
- The one piece thread/flange always stops in the same position when threaded onto the Richter M2 Focal Plane Micrometer.
- The lens mount can be “clocked” to the desired position (putting the focus/iris/zoom marks where you need them) by removing the screws from the lens mount rear flange and rotating the lens mount.
- The complete mount can be adjusted for exact Flange Focal Distance by using commonly available Zeiss shims between the mount’s rear flange and the thread/seating flange.
- Flange focal distance and wedge/tilt calibrated to within 0.013mm [0.0005 in] tolerance.
PL-54 is the original ARRI PL mount for 35mm cameras, introduced in 1983. This is an all-new mount for direct-fit to the Richter Cine M-2, S-2 and Lens Test Projector. If you are interested in this item please let me know via email. These mounts will only be produced if I get a few pre-orders.
This is the new large PL mount with 44mm FFD. I am working on a design for this mount. PL-54 is the original ARRI PL mount for 35mm cameras, introduced in 1983. This is an all-new mount for direct-fit to the Richter Cine M-2, S-2 and Lens Test Projector. If you are interested in this item please let me know via email. These mounts will only be produced if I get a few pre-orders.
EF (Canon EOS) Mount for Richter Cine
NOTE: The original version CinemaTechnic lens testing mounts are for direct fit to Richter Cine M-2 or Lens Test Projector are discontinued. These products required laborious precision manual machining and fitting / calibration. I no longer have the facilities to do this. I am currently offering only IMS mounts.
EF Mount is one of the the most widely used lens mounts in cinematography today, behind only ARRI PL mount. But an EF lens mount “standard” has never been available for the Richter Collimators and Lens Test Projectors.
CinemaTechnic IMS Conversion for Richter Cine M2
- Adapts Richter Cine M2 Focal Plane Micrometers (M2 FPM) to the IMS (Interchangeable Mount System) standard.
- A great upgrade for Richter Collimator owners that don’t have a full set of mounts. Instead of having to search for used Richter mounts in dubious used condition, you can buy new IMS mounts.
- IMS Adapter stays on the M2 FPM and mounts are quickly switched just like switching PL mount lenses
- Analog micrometer on the M2 FPM can be zeroed to the IMS Adapter. This eliminates having to re-zero every time a mount is switched.
- Original Richter Cine mounts can still be used by unscrewing the IMS Adapter.
- We can offer a version of the IMS Adapter for Richter that is compatible with the Richter Cine Reticle Lens Test Projector on request.
IMS Conversion for Richter M-2
The IMS Conversion for the Richter M-2 allows you to use quick-change IMS lens testing mounts on an analog M-2 or the CinemaTechnic M-2 Digital.
IMS Conversion Mount for Richter M2: $963.-
CinemaTechnic IMS Lens Mounts
- ARRI PL-54 (35mm) avaialble in standard black anodize or super-durable hard coat anodize.
- ARRI LPL (S35 and FF35)
- ARRI Maxi-PL (65mm, special order)
- Canon FD
- Canon EF (non electronic)
- Hasselbald V-Mount
- Leica M (rangefinder)
- Leica R (reflex)
- Nikon F (non electronic)
- Panavision PV-35
- Panavision PV-65 (65mm, special order)
Custom Lens Testing Mounts for Richter Collimators
NOTE: Regrattably custom mounts are discontinued.
For more information, contact:
Previous update 2023-10-08