Remaking Vintage Lens

I was reading this article about a 1910 portrait lens being the latest in a vintage lens remake movement. I had no idea that such was happening. This lens is being funded by a kickstarter campaign. I think it’s a work of beauty. I’ve always leaned toward landscapes, but this makes me wish I was into portraits. I relate this because I was wondering if there are some photographers here.

Nine HUNDRED dollars??? It’s a cylinder with glass in!

OK, I am not a photographer. People who are, explain why this is anything like rationally justifiable and I’ll listen :slight_smile:

(don’t get me wrong, it looks delightful, but I like all that old brass Edwardian stuff.)

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While one cannot really determine the quality of the photos from 1.5mb files, the pics look good. The bokeh looks really smooth, which should from the number of blades used for the aperture. However, to your point, on one hand, the camera is only as good as it’s glass. On the other hand, I’m reminded of this article.

This reminds me of an old, probably untrue, story:

A company set up a production line but it keeps breaking down and eventually they call in an expert. He examines everything and marks an ‘X’ on a pipe saying 'drill a 3mm hole here and it will be fixed. They do and it is.

Two weeks later he sends his bill in for $1000. The company CEO is outraged and demands a cost breakdown. It duly arrives.

Marking pipe with ‘X’ - $1, Knowing where to put it - $999.

The point being to make the ideal lens you need the best quality glass and it needs to be cut in the best shape. You are not paying for the materials but the engineering which requires a great craftsman or woman.


I’ll just leave this here as a contrast.

(for a microscope, not a camera, but it’s the equivalent - it’s the lens that points at the object)

A simple lens only focuses a “single” colour. Lenses like the above are Apochromatic (this is actually a Plan Apo) which means that three colours are in focus at the same time. The “plan” is another type of correction. These corrections and others require designing, precision manufacturing and plenty of glass. If you don’t have them, you get aberrations. What aberrations are acceptable to you depends on what you’re doing.

Ooh, this reminds me of studying optics as an undergraduate.
More specifically, it reminds me of wishing I’d picked a different module!!! :laughing:

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