Rectilux HardcoreDNA Repairs and Upgrades

March 18, 2018

Just because the HCDNA is one of our favorite pieces of gear, it doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Here I’ll cover a few cheap and useful upgrades you can apply to your HCDNA. Massive thanks to Ian Edward Weir for putting such list together.


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Tito Ferradans back here to talk about one of our favorite pieces of gear, the Rectilux HCDNA. Created by a present member of the community, the HCDNA is the best single focus solution out there, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Since its release, a few people have take matter into their hands and came up with multiple small upgrades.

This episode was a lot easier to make thanks to the list put together by Ian Edward Weir, for which you can find the link the description. I’ll also cover the “focus stuck” issue and solution, thanks to a comment made by Chris Stanton on the original HCDNA review. Actually, let’s begin with this fix, and then move to the upgrades.

The reason why focus gets stuck is because of these three tiny screws here on the focus ring. These screws are what connects the markings and movement of the focus ring with the rotation of the focus helicoid The problem is if you keep screwing them, they’ll go past the focus helicoid and bit into gaps of the inner housing of the HCDNA. The consequences of that is you’re gonna get stiff or stuck focus whenever one of these three screws is put in too deep. If all three are in too deep, the focus ring will spin freely and can also come off the HCDNA. They have their little holes in the helicoid, which align with the focus scale on the focus ring. If the holes are not aligned, your focus scale will be off. So, loosen them a bit if you’re getting focus stuck and tighten them a bit if they seem to be popping out.

There you go, now don’t get your focus rings stuck anymore friends!

I already talked about HTN’s lock rings that work flawlessly with the HCDNA, so I’m not gonna talk about it again, you can just watch that episode after this one! The links for all the little things I mention next are in the description. If you buy through them, you’re helping the channel because I get a little bit of commission.

The HCDNA comes with six tiny M4 6mm screws that bite into the front of your setup, locking it in place. If you’re not a fan of the bite marks you can replace the screws with nylon head screws that have great grip and won’t scratch your lens.

The front of the HCDNA is rather large, at 86mm, so getting dirt and cleaning marks on it is maybe a little too easy. In order to fix that, get yourself an 86mm UV filter. The price and quality go with how tight your budget is! The HCDNA is already a little better and it comes with a lens cap, while the 3FF-W didn’t!

If you don’t like the original method for clamping the HCDNA to your anamorphic, you can also use it like a filter that attaches to your front clamp. For that you’re gonna need a 67mm Metal Hood, which goes inside the HCDNA and is bitten by the screws, and then you use the hood’s threads to attach it to your anamorphic. Sure, this can make room for a big gap between the front of your anamorphic and the back of the HCDNA, so you might wanna get it machined shorter. And, since now your Rectilux has rear threads, you can get a screw cap to protect the back of it. – 67mm metal hood – screw cap 77

Minimum focus is still far for some users, so get yourself a diopter set. Century has a few achromats – +1.6, +2 and +2.6 – but they go for anything between $100 and $500. You can also get the cheap 86mm Vivitars and get away without no noticeable loss in image quality. century vivitar

If you like working with clamp-on matteboxes, the front of the HCDNA isn’t really helpful, since the focus ring hides completely inside the body, so RafCamera started offering this adapter that doesn’t affect your focusing and it doesn’t cause vignetting, which will step the 86mm front threads to 95mm and allow a mattebox to be attached to it.

Lastly, if you want to take your HCDNA apart completely, there’s a link to a guide in the links below. I had some grease leaks on mine and the only way to clear all of that and replace the original grease is by taking the beast apart. –