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Michael Schroers

Super Baltar and Kowas

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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.


Hello !


Thanks for your answer.


Do you know what the price was of the baltars, kowas and canons (in USD or €) ?



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Hi, no idea of the prices but the Japanese lenses were undercutting the American and European lenses by quite a bit.

The Super Baltars may have been Bausch and Lomb glass or certain people have told me it was actually Zeiss glass. Bausch and Lomb were using Zeiss glass in still photography lenses. I don't know for sure but a small chance the American glass was actually German.

All the BNCR lenses were the cheap option by the 70s and early 80s. A good source of prices is old American Cinematographers actually.

I will also say a very rare Italian made lens for the BNCR in the late 50s is also on pare with the Baltars. Can not forget the brilliant Cooke Speed Panchros as well. They seemed to have lasted a lot longer than the Baltar and Kowas.

Unknown to me the IMDB for the Godfather part II lists both Super Baltars and Kowa Cine Prominars. Maybe the Kowa's filled in the focal length gaps like 40mm etc.

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super baltars on super 16 Fuji Vivid stocks used on all studio shots on this artist film (Cooke Variotel zoom on exteriors).

Edited by dino vian

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Do you know what the price was of the baltars, kowas and canons (in USD or €) ?




These prices are from 1975 Mitchell Camerea price lists:




20mm T3.0 $1,659


25mm T2.3 1,805


35mm T3.5 1,445


50mm T2.3 1,330


75mm T2.3 835


100mm T2.3 980





15mm T3.5 1,120


20mm T2.6 710


25mm T2.3 630


32mm T2.3 535


50mm T2.3 480


75mm T2.3 500


100mm T2.6 605




28mm T1.8


35mm T1.3


55mm T1.1


85MM T1.7 Set of four lense 7,975



From an October 1, 1983 Cinema Products price list:


Canon High Speed Aspheric lenses:


18mm T1.6 5500


24mm T1.4 3850


35mm T1.4 3850


55mm T1.4 2860


85mm T1.4 2860

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Hello !


There are old Baltar lenses (not Super Baltar, for non reflex Mitchell) with colored dots, for example purple or yellow dots on it an there are lenses without any dots.


Someone told me something about that, but I'm not sure, if it's right.



What's the difference between this lenses ?



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