In The


We have curated an exhaustive selection of timeless and forgotten glass that is oven ready for ‘reincarnation’. Our current slate of projects strikes a balance between trusted faithfuls that are in short supply and those that are left of field. We look forward to announcing the completion of these products in the coming months.

  • Astro Berlins

    Founded in 1922, Astro-Gesellshaft Co.’s initial focus was astrophotography and telescopes.  However, as early as 1930, co-founder and optical designer W.F. Bielicke had patented further developments of the Ernostar-4 layout 5- 6- and 8-glass Gauss designs for stills and cine uses, excelling in fast apertures and long focal lengths.  The Pan-Tachar series were Astro’s landmark cine product, featuring a 5-element design in two groups of 3 in the front and 2 elements in the rear.  Astro developed early anti-reflective coatings to increase transmission and contrast and reduce flare.  The iris design was round for smooth fall off of focus into the background, particularly for the longer focal lengths, with an impressive f/1.8 maximum aperture from 28mm to 150mm across the set.  Production of the Pan-Tachar series was disrupted during WWII, resuming again in the 1950s.  Gregg Toland, ASC, used the Pan-Tachar lenses for some parts of ’Citizen Kane’ (Dir. Orson Welles) which earned a nomination for Best Cinematography – Black-and-White.  Other notable cine use of the Pan-Tachar lenses is the 1936 Summer Olympic Games ‘Olympia – Festival of Nations’ (Dir. Leni Reifenstahl).   

    Focal lengths: 25mm f/1.8 28mm f/1.8 35mm f/1.8 50mm f/1.8 75mm f/1.8 100mm f/1.8

  • Olympus OM’s

    The OM Zuiko lens range was introduced in 1972 alongside the OM-1 (M-1) camera designed by Yoshihisa Maitani and staff.  As with Olympus’ previous Pen F half-frame 35mm cameras and lenses which had earned a reputation for high quality optics, Maitani’s prevailing design intent with OM was to make a compact, lightweight full-frame 24x36mm system that did not compromise on performance or quality.  The OM Zuiko lenses centred around a 6-element Gauss design (the designation F in “F Zuiko” indicating the number of elements) initially offering a consistent f/1.8 maximum aperture, later expanding into f/1.2, 1.4 and 2.  Some focal lengths included a corrective secondary internal focus movement along a fine pitch cam, sometimes referred to as ‘floating elements’.  Olympus developed an advanced multi-coating formula to control flare and increase contrast, and utilised rare earth and high refractive index glass formulations.

    Focal lengths: 21mm f/2 24mm f/2 28mm f/2 35mm f/2 40mm f/1.4 42mm f/1.2 50mm f/1.2 50mm f/1.4 50mm f/2 55mm f/1.2 60mm f/1.5 85mm f/2 90mm f/2 135mm f/2.8

  • Uncoated Canon FD’s

    We are developing two sets of Canon FD lenses, one of which will feature un-coated and custom single-coated optical elements to intentionally enhance flare and reduce contrast.  Canon introduced the FD lens line-up in March 1971 with the F-1 camera, as successor to the FL series of lenses.  The FD mount built upon the FL mount mechanical design with full-aperture metering and integral auto-exposure.  In terms of optical design, Canon developed S.C. (Spectra Coating) and S.S.C. (Super Spectra Coating) to increase contrast and control flare.  Canon later introduced an enhanced range of FD lenses given the designation ‘L’ (purported to stand for ‘Luxury’).  The L series of FD lenses included a variety of Canon advances in optical technology including aspherical optics to improve chromatic aberration of wide and standard focal lengths at maximum apertures, and calcium fluorite elements and ultra-low dispersion glass to reduce chromatic aberration at longer focal lengths.  The wider focal lengths also incorporated secondary focus movement referred to as ‘floating elements’ to correct chromatic aberration and sharpness into the corners at close focus range.  The highly-sought Canon K35 cine primes are reported to be based on Canon FD optical design, and received an Academy Award in 1977 for technical innovation.          

    Focal lengths: 14mm f/2.8 17mm f/4 20mm f/2.8 24mm f/1.4 28mm f/2 35mm f/2 50mm f/1.2 85mm f/1.2 100mm f/2 135mm f/2 – Uncoated: 17mm f/4 20mm f/2.8 24mm f/2 35mm f/2 50mm f/1.4 85mm f/1.8