Unique vintage lens

Started 5 months ago | Questions thread
Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 7,348
Re: Unique vintage lens


I can't name a 'first' lens, but would suggest that lenses that explored the use of special glasses to improve their optics should be in your list.  As should the development of aspheric elements.

Thorium glass, which is radioactive, was used in a number of lenses from Canon and Takumar.  Canon and Konica explored Fluorite glass, Konica with their 300/6.3 Fluorite - now impossible to find - and Canon with artificial Fluorite in the FL-F 300/5/6 and FL-F 500/5.6 lenses.  Thorium had radioactivity issues - and there are thousands of threads in this site about radioactive lenses.  Fluorite also had its difficulties - expense and fragility - and both fell out of favor.

There followed an expanding alphabet soup of glass developments.  Eg  'ED',  'L' 'SLD', HLD, HRI, and rare earth glasses.  These were essential to  improvements in telephoto designs.  The 'ED' and 'L' tags we see on Canon's and Nikon's long lens naming conventions reflect their use.  As does the 'Apo' tag on Leica, Minolta, Sigma, Laowa and other makes.  These glasses are now used in most lenses available today.

Aspheric elements also seem to be prevalent today, but were pretty novel earlier in my interest in photography.  Again I don't know who used them first.... It might not have been in photography, but possibly other specialised or industrial lenses.

FWIW, concave elements are certainly a minority, but there are a few around - Fuji's 18/2 and 50/1 to name two current examples.

Cheers, Rod

 Rod McD's gear list:Rod McD's gear list
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