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Tom Chabbat

Definitive list of Super 8 lenses

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Hello everybody !

I've been looking around for some times in this forum, and recent topics about new cameras, either film or digital, with a super 8 frame size, gave me an idea. As those new cameras relaunched the interest in Super-8 designed lenses, I thought it would be cool to have some kind of exhaustive list of all interchangeable lenses manufactured for Super 8. Just to be perfectly accurate, I'm only interested here on legacy lenses that were marketed specifically for Super 8 cameras, CCTV and 16mm lenses are out of scope.

Here's what I managed to find, please tell me if some are inaccurate or other are missing. Actually, I found this list raises a lot of questions, with a lot of mysterious, extremely rare lenses on which there's too few information. So let's try to make this list together the more accurate possible if you please !

Mounts are given following this nomenclature :

C : C thread mount

M : Leica M bayonet mount

M42 : Praktica thread mount

P : Pentaflex 8 mount (1)

Angénieux Paris

- Zoom 1.9/8-64 C

- Zoom 1.2/6-80 C

- Zoom 1.4/6-90 C

- Macro 1.4/15-90 C (2)


- Zoom Macro 1.4/6.9-55 C (3)

Fuji Photo Film Co.

- Fujinon MA-Z EBC 1.8/7.5-75 C

- Fujinon SW EBC 1.8/5.5 C

Isco Göttingen

- Iscorama 1.8/10 C (4)

Schneider Kreuznach

- Variogon 1.8/8-40 C

- Variogon 1.8/7-56 C

- Optivaron 1.8/6-66 C/M

- Macro Cinegon 1.8/10 M

- Variogon 1.8/6-180 C (5)

- Optivaron 1.4/8-50 C

- Optivaron 1.4/6-70 C

Shinsei Optical

- Shinkor Zoom 1.8/6.5-65 M42 (6)

Carl Zeiss Jena

- Pentovar 2/8-32 P

- Flektogon 2/5.5 P

- Flektogon 2/12.5 P

- Biotar 2/25 P

- Sonnar 2.8/40 P

Notes :

1. Don't know if this mount can be adapted to C.

2. Seems from the focal range like a 16mm lens, but the large aperture seems to say otherwise. Never seen one of those.

3. Made in Japan, but actual manufacturer is unknown. Could it be Bell & Howell/Mamiya ? Kowa ?

4. Actually an assembly of a Schneider Cinegon and an Isco anamorphic adapter.

5. Prototype, don't think it reached production.

6. Don't know if this lens fits standard M42 to C adapters since its rear lens protrude inside the mount in a specific way.

The Kowa 1.8/12.5-75 was marketed with some Pathé DS8 cameras but is actually designed for 16mm.

I found no information concerning lenses marketed with specials cameras like the Mekel or the VIC. Seems likely they were sold body only.

All in all, It seems there's never been more than 20 distinct lenses types marketed for Super 8 (of only 7 brands), with about a third being easily findable. This contrasts with the hundreds of lenses made for 16mm. Looking this way, a Super-8 sized digital sensor doesn't seem really pertinent as the park of lenses available is very limited, mostly hard to obtain, and quality wise with no real advantages over its big sister other than big zoom ranges of compact size, since almost no primes were made.


But now, should we include too regular 8 lenses ? Some regular 8 cameras like the Beaulieu MR8 had C-mount lenses, but it is not known, at least by my little knowledge, if they would cover Super 8. Some Bolex H-8 REX series has successfully been converted to DS-8 but their RX-type lenses are designed to only work with their matching cameras. Still it helps leading to think that regular 8 lenses can cover Super-8. Another example of successful conversion is the factory made Pentaflex DS8. The Ercsam Camex cameras, also in regular 8, had their own kind of mount which I don't know if they're adaptable to C. All other 8mm cameras with interchangeable lenses have a D-mount, with a too short focal flange to be adapted.

In another way, I don't think the extremely few Arri ST modified for DS8 had special 8mm lenses made for them, it seems more likely they just had classic 16mm lenses.

Now, I'm calling for your knowledge, hoping to discover some lenses I didn't see !

Best regards,


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Guest Glenn Brady

Century made 2.5mm f/1.8 Extreme Wide Angle and 3.5mm f/1.8 Super Wide Angle C-mount lenses expressly for Super 8.

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Thanks ! They'll be added to the final list (I just realized you can't edit posts in this forum... It will have to wait a little in case other lenses rise from the shadows). Do you happen to know what is the difference between the 16mm and super 8 versions of the 3.5mm ? I also wonder if anyone knows if there's any differences between the macro-cinegon and its 16mm variant other than obviously the focusing scale...

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Guest Glenn Brady

The Century 3.5mm f/1.8 Extreme Wide Angle lens for 16mm is 2.10 inches (55mm) long and has a maximum diameter of 3.14 inches (79.7mm). It weighs nine ounces (250g), is said to resolve 200l/mm, and has an angle of view of 150 degrees (measured diagonally). The 3.5mm f/1.8 Extreme Wide Angle lens for Super 8 is 4.0 inches (101.6mm) long and has a maximum diameter of 2.0 inches (50mm). It weighs 6.25 ounces (175g), is said to resolve 260 l/mm, and has an angle of view of 100 degrees (measured diagonally).

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