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you often can find old Kinoptik lenses, for example the Apochromat 25mm, in Cameflex, C-mount or other mounts for very, very high prices.


What do you think about this lenses ? How is their quality and their 'look' compared to other lenses like Zeiss etc ?


Why are this lenses so expensive ?



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I've been playing with a set of Kinoptik Apochromats in Cameflex mount that we have, looking at converting them to PL, though we'll probably end up making a Cameflex mount for Alexa instead. They are very nice lenses for their age (1960s), remind me of Super Baltars in the way that colours pop and bokeh has a sort of water-colour feel with donut shaped blur patterns. The chromatic correction is excellent. They are Double Gauss variants, like a lot of Baltars and Speed Panchros and other popular cinema lenses.


Kinoptik were always very well regarded and supplied to mostly high end camera brands like Debrie, Alpa, Leica, Exacta, Eclair and Arri. Many French New Wave films shot on Cameflexes would have used Kinoptiks, and their Tegeas were the best very wide angle cine lenses available for years, both in 16 and 35mm formats. Kubrik often used the 9.8mm Tegea (as did many others).


These days the longer focal length Apochromats are the ones that typically fetch the highest amounts, especially the 100mm. I would hazard to guess it's still photographers who are pushing up the prices more than cinematographers. You will find plenty of photos of colourful foliage taken with Kinoptik Apochromats online if you want to see examples.

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I believe much of Soy Cuba was shot with Kinoptiks. The very wide angle shots in Clockwork Orange, the final maze chase in The Shining I think were all Kinoptik 9.8mm. I'd take a stab that many French New Wave films from the 60s, early Godard and Truffaut etc used Apochromats, just because Cameflexes in France would most likely have been supplied with Kinoptiks. Hard to find solid info though.

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  • 3 months later...

Strange history. They never were as popular as cooke even in france. Some people say very cold sterile lenses opposite of cooke and some say warm and similar to baltar. They were basically converted still lenses used mainly on high end alpas. My experience is some sharper than cooke. To me more like a bolex kern switar for 35mm but hard to say as so many different opinions.

Edited by dino wiand
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  • 8 months later...

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