Ancient Optics, in partnership with GL Optics, have revived the Voigtlander Zoomar 36-82mm f2.8 and bought it into the modern cine age.
Designed by Dr Frank G. Back of Zoomar in Long Island New York and produced by Voigtlander in Germany, the 36-82mm Zoomar was the world’s first production zoom for 35mm still cameras in 1959.
As the Voigtlander Zoomar 36-82mm was designed for 135 format (commonly known as 35mm stills format) it covers full frame (36x24mm) allowing the rehoused zoom to cover modern day full frame cine cameras.
Like many modern day cinema zoom lenses, this lens is parfocal. With a sharp centre, the lens subtly falls off towards the corners. The lens has surprisingly low chromatic aberration for such an old lens, and has minimal focus breathing.
The old single layer coatings deliver lower contrast images, and bold lens flares, and the circular bokeh has a unique texture to it, delivering results that make this lens a perfect match for some of our oldest lenses like the True Lens Services Canon Rangefinders and Zeiss B Speeds.
The Zoomar has a standard 136mm front allowing use of clamp on matteboxes. With standard M0.8 pitch gearing on focus, zoom and iris the Zoomar can be paired up with modern day remote focus units.
The focus and zoom mechanics are now internal and focus rotation has been expanded to 330 degrees as well as improved from 4’6” all the way to an impressive 3′, while maintaining full frame coverage.
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