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Michael Schroers

Super Baltar and Kowas

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Hello !

 

I've got some questions about Super baltars: Which Kowa lenses are the 'copys' of them and very similar ? The cine prominar -lenses or which types ?

 

There are some Super Baltar lenses with the metall-rings on it and some lenses without this rings, they look a little bit different.

 

Whats the difference ?

 

Does anyone have some Informations about the serial-numbers and the age of the lenses?

 

Does anyone have some documents or brochures (in PDF) of this lenses ?

 

Thanks

 

Michael

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Here is a picture of this lenses I've seen:

 

For which cameras were this lenses made is

there any difference to the super baltars

for Mitchell BNCR ?

 

Michael

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That lens would be from early 1960's when the MK II came out, the SB's were in the manual along with the Arg. 25-250 3.9.

 

I know of a mint set, one of which is really radioactive!

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That lens would be from early 1960's when the MK II came out, the SB's were in the manual along with the Arg. 25-250 3.9.

 

I know of a mint set, one of which is really radioactive!

 

 

Is such a lens like this one on the picture really radioactive (more than a old cooke speed panchro ser.II) ?

 

Is it one of the newer or the older super baltars for mitchell bncr ?

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I own a set of kowas. love them.

 

they are the exact opposite of super baltars..

 

baltars are warmer, with a cool flare..

 

kowas are cooler, with a warm flare..

 

id say the kowas are in the zeiss standard speed color range.

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I own a set of kowas. love them.

 

they are the exact opposite of super baltars..

 

baltars are warmer, with a cool flare..

 

kowas are cooler, with a warm flare..

 

id say the kowas are in the zeiss standard speed color range.

 

 

 

 

Which kowas do you have, the 'cine prominar' ?

 

And which lenses are sharper ?

 

The kowas seem to be less 'dramatic' than the super baltars, aren't they ?

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Which kowas do you have, the 'cine prominar' ?

 

And which lenses are sharper ?

 

The kowas seem to be less 'dramatic' than the super baltars, aren't they ?

 

 

I have a full set of CINE PROMINAR

20, 32, 40, 50, 75, 100 (on the lookout for a 25)

 

These lenses are less dramatic and less retro looking (in image quality) than the super baltars.

 

I have found the kowas to be sharper than the baltars as well

 

I love these lenses, but would be more hesitant to use them on commercial work... They work amazing for narrative shorts/features.

On digital sensors like the RED (which I have) I prefer older glass such as the kowa's or panchros, not the tack sharp "medical" looking modern lenses.

 

I got real lucky with these lenses. bought them spur of the moment when i saw they were for sale. without doing any research (ballsy move), but I fell in love with them.

post-16430-0-31685900-1306891974.jpg

post-16430-0-66953600-1306891981.jpg

Edited by Zakaree Sandberg
  • Upvote 1

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Hello Zakaree,

 

that's very interessting.

 

What was after the time of the super baltars, when Bausch and Lomb stopped the production of this lenses (in the late 70s or when) ?

 

The last Mitchell cameras, which lenses did they have: Was ist canon K35 or Kowa ?

 

What was more expensive, Kowa, Super Baltar or Canon ?

 

 

Michael

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The first and second Godfather were shot with the same set of Super Baltars. I am sure a 20 was used. The 20 was a very good lens, one of the sharpest of the Super Baltar sets (but all are a little different) Some say the 25mm was the worst Super Baltar and some say the 35 was always hard match the color to the others.

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I own a set of super baltars although my 20mm is a Kowa....the 35mm is softer and I usually do not shoot it wide open - but look of the lenses are wonderul

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The Kowas have a bluer anti flare coating, but the glass is very similar. The K35's are in the ballpark but a little harsher. The back elements of the Kowas and K35's are much smaller in diameter than the super baltars

and therefor they 'porthole' more, the image is darker around the edge of frame, however it is not a fault so much as a characteristic.

The 20 and 25mm super baltars can be very warm with age due to radioactive elements in the glass, but all the colour differences and those with the Kowas can be graded to match. In my opinion the Super Baltars are the most

beautiful lenses ever made, the Kowas not far off.

 

I have put together a mega set using a combination of the 3. Using 2 sets of Baltars, 1 in their original Band L housing, and a Ceco housed set which are much heavier. It goes like this.

 

15mm Kowa cine prominar

18mm Canon K35

20mm Super Baltar

25mm Super Baltar

35mm Super Baltar

40mm Kowa cine Prominar

50mm Super Baltar

55mm Super Speed Baltar T1.1

75mm Super Baltar

85mm Super Speed Baltar T1.7

100mm Super Baltar

152mm Super Baltar

 

I scoured the earth for these lenses and have converted them all to PL mounts.

 

 

 

 

There are a few differences but they texture is fairly similar.

 

The Kowas and the K35 have a smaller back

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Each set seem to be different, I have 3 x 35mm's and 2x 20's and 2 x 25's, Some get really soft at the edge of frame, none of them i would shoot wide open unless i wanted that particular effect. They perform best in the

T4-5.6 range. This is not a problem on the Alexa and 800EI.

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I have 2 25mm Super Baltars (PL and BNCR) and 1 35mm (BNCR). I've been looking for a 20mm to round out my mini set. Any leads appreciated. Also I've found that the CECO (I think it was a BNCR mount) housing diameter behind the flange is too big for my ALLSTAR-A-mount on the RED One.

Edited by John Fairstein

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I have 2 25mm Super Baltars (PL and BNCR) and 1 35mm (BNCR). I've been looking for a 20mm to round out my mini set. Any leads appreciated. Also I've found that the CECO (I think it was a BNCR mount) housing diameter behind the flange is too big for my ALLSTAR-A-mount on the RED One.

Try Ken Stone (Stonecine on eBay).

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Guest Stephen Murphy

Some simple flare tests I shot on a set of Super Baltars mixed with a Kowa - illustrates the difference between the Super Baltars and Kowas quite well.

http://vimeo.com/30556837

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To reply to an earlier question. Kowas and canons were cheaper than the super baltars and in the mid 80s the kowas and canons were mostly cheaper to rent than the super baltars.

I think the kowas had housing problems at first too.

It's hard to generalize as non of them were totally uniform.

I used super baltars on super 16 the other day and the result was amazing. With modern film they don't look overly vintage but you sure can get close to that 3 strip Technicolor look using them with the Fuji vivid stocks.

Most films shot with a Mitchell in the 60s were super baltars because the cookes hit the mirror in that camera.

As for when they were stopped being made I would say late 60s but new stock was still being sold in the 80s.

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