martes, 12 de enero de 2021


European brands were the first to develop variable focal lenses --zooms- of high luminosity (f 1.1 and f 1.0) for the Super-8 format. From the outset, both Kodak (with the legendary Ektar f 1.0 28mm) and Fujifilm (with the highly sought Fujinon 25mm f 1.0) offered f 1.0 prime lenses, but it wasn't until Austrian Eumig introduced their Suprogon. f 1.0 that these high luminosities did not reach the zoom lenses (years before the Japanese did, with the Fujinon f 1.0 of 14-28 mm released in 1974).


Ivan Watson, in his Movie Maker column, was always a proponent of the Eumig Suprogon 1.0 18-28mm, designed in Switzerland and made in Austria. It is a highly sought after lens, although, in my opinion, the performance is far superior in others. 

THE KERN 1.1... REALLY A 1.0!

Kern built in Switzerland, exclusively for that madness that was the Paillard Bolex Multimatic projector, the fantastic f 1.1 17-34mm  zoom lens, really hard to find because it was never standard equipment, but optional. The image quality is incredible, with amazingly contrasting images, but unfortunately it is not compatible with any other projector, even from the brand itself. It comes in a European mount, yes, but not with the standard 32.5mm for super-8, but the 42.5 mm for 16mm!

An English friend of mine managed to adapt it to his Noris, after a major surgery. Subjecting this Swiss lens to rigorous analysis by Francis Williams, his conclusions were published in Movie Maker: it is actually a 1.0, which contrasts with the procedures of other manufacturers, who normally lie, and boast of a luminosity that they do not have.


In the middle of the Cold War, behind the Iron Curtain, the only 1.1 variable focal lens is the very rare Meopta Vario Corrigon f 1.1 12.5 -25mm, made in a country that doesn't even exist anymore: Czechoslovakia. The definition is amazing.


As an evolution of its accredited Schneider Xenovaron f 1.3 from 12 to 30 mm, the German brand introduced in 1975  the Schneider Xenovaron f 1.1. 11-30 mm  which, if it is a good unit (like those mounted on the Braun Visacustic 2000, where each lens was tested one by one, and the no perfect ones, were returned to the factory, where it was sent to other projector factories). Schneider's 1.1 is the target against which all others are judged.

The same optical design, f 1.1 11-30mm  was also produced near the end of the Super-8 as mass market as Isco Cinelux f 1.1 11-30 mm, the non plus ultra of European lens quality

  • Note: other European manufacturers also had produced other 1.1 zoom lenses, as Will Travenon, but with inferior quality and they play in other league. 

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