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Chris Lange

Opton Vario-So 10-100mm 2,8 Oberkochen, Arri-B

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Two issues with this lens:

The iris doesn't close, because I think this lens was designed as an auto iris to work with Arri SR cameras (has two pins in back of lens for this feature).

However, I'm more concerned about the zoom not working.  Can't seem to figure out why the zoom ring turning isn't changing the focal length.  

Do you know what might be the issue with this zoom?

Thank you,





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I'm not familiar with this particular iteration of the Zeiss 10-100 (Opton was the brand name that West German Zeiss Oberkochen briefly used when selling products in the East Bloc), but if the zoom ring turns without changing focal length it would appear to be broken. It could be a simple issue, but without seeing and feeling it (or a more detailed description of the actual fault with photos) it's very hard to diagnose. Does the zoom ring turn from 10-100 only? Does it feel smooth? How do you know it's not changing the focal length?

The iris should also definitely be capable of manual operation, perhaps by depressing one of the rear plungers, or if there is a switch on the lens itself. Otherwise, possibly the internal return spring of the iris mechanism is seized.

I would suggest taking it to a lens technician if you want it properly assessed.

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Thanks Dom,

It seems broken, you're right. I adapted it to a GH2 (Micro Four Thirds) for a test.  Focus works nicely, but no zoom functionality.  The zoom ring has some normal resistance, but it just turns without stopping.

I can't find a way to manually change the iris.  The ring goes to all the F stops, but it stay open with no change.  There is a metal button like part, with an "A".  I've tried this with no change.  I've attached some photos.



opton zoom lens-2.jpg

opton zoom lens-4.jpg

opton zoom lens.jpg

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I’m not in the US, but some places I know that specialise in 16mm equipment repair are:

Visual Products

Whitehouse AV

Super16 inc

Other shops that are cine lens repair specialists:


Focus Optics



Others may have more personal recommendations.

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