Following a successful Kickstar campaign, German optical manufacturer Meyer Optik is set to reintroduce a lens from 1916 that was famous for its unique 'soap-bubble' bokeh. The company hoped to raise $50,000 to fund production of a new Trioplan 100mm F2.8 lens, but at the time of writing pledges have reached $124,000 with the best part of a month still to go.

The lens is a simple Cooke-Triplet design based on the optical construction of the original, and will use just three elements separated with air spaces. It became famous for its prominent circular out-of-focus highlights that are created in part by an iris of 15 steel blades that produce an almost circular pupil.

The new lens will have reengineered focusing mechanisms to provide a quieter action and to be more durable, while a clickless aperture ring makes the lens useful for shooting stills or movies. The company will use glass from the prestigious German Schott factory (Schott is 100% owned by The Carl Zeiss Foundation), and the lens will be designed, constructed and tested in the German town of Goerlitz where the original company was based.

An original Meyer Optik Trioplan lens from around 1916

Meyer Optik will make the Trioplan with mounts for Nikon, Canon, Fuji X series, Micro Four Thirds and Sony E mount cameras. The covering circle of the lens is sufficient for full frame cameras. Due to be available at the end of the year, the Meyer Optik Goerlitz Trioplan F2.8 100mm will cost $1699, although those supporting the project can pre-order for significantly less.

For more information visit the Meyer Optik Goerlitz website, or the company's Kickstarter page.


Press release:

Meyer Optik brings back legendary Trioplan f2.8/100 'soap bubble' bokeh lens with Kickstarter campaign

- New crowdfunding campaign to raise $50,000 to recreate, update and remanufacture a classic lens for modern photographers -
 
Atlanta, GA – June 26, 2015 — Meyer Optik USA, a manufacturer of innovative, high-quality photography lenses, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to remanufacture the Trioplan f2.8/100 lens, known for its unique 'soap bubble' bokeh and sharp focus. The campaign is live at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2061029467/bring-back-the-legendary-trioplan-soap-bubble-boke/.

With a funding goal of $50,000 to bring the lenses to production, rewards range from $15 to $10,000 with early bird rewards for the lens beginning at $599. When commercially available in Q4 2015 the lens will be available for $1,699 USD.

The Trioplan lens was first manufactured in 1916 in Görlitz in East Germany, as the brainchild of Hugo Meyer. The new lens follows in the footsteps of this history and tradition and will also be hand-made in Görlitz, at the site of the original Meyer Optik company.

The design of the new Trioplan is engineered to meet today’s photography standards. This includes: high-end coated glass made by Schott, a circular aperture of 15 steel blades, and direct mounts to Canon, Nikon, Fuji X, Sony-E, MFT and M42 mirrorless cameras. The new lens preserves the character of the original lens including the conservation of the Trioplan’s characteristic sharpness and its distinctive circular 'soap bubble' bokeh - the unique and striking way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.

The Meyer Optik team - which includes Dr. Wolf-Dieter Prenzel, one of the chief engineers at the original Meyer Optik company - has been working on design plans for the new Trioplan for almost two years. This includes extensive prototype testing.

Dr. Stefan Immes, CEO and creative director of the Trioplan project said: “The original Trioplan is a timeless lens that produces impeccable art. But since its original inception, so much has changed in the world of photography. We wanted to preserve every detail that made the original Trioplan so unique and sought after, while adding state-of-the-art technology and details. We’re proud of what we’ve created and are excited to share it with the Kickstarter community.”

The Trioplan lens will mount directly to modern mirrorless cameras including Canon, Nikon, Fuji X, Sony-E, MFT and M42.

Other technical specifications include:

  • Optic construction as classic triplet (3 lenses/3 groups)
  • Focal distance: 100 mm
  • Maximum aperture: 1:2.8 continuous dimming to 1:22
  • Iris diaphragm with 15 aperture blades specifically constructed of steel segment belt
  • View format: 24 mm x 36 mm (image circle diameter 44 mm)
  • View angle: 24°
  • Filter: M 52 x 0.75
  • Clip-on diameter: 54 mm
  • Mounts: M42, Canon, Nikon, Fuji X, Sony-E, MFT