Zoom lenses have lengthy been utilized in cinematography, however in 1959 Dr Frank G Again of Zoomar Company of New York noticed his Zoomar lens design launched in appropriate mounts for SLR cameras. The brand new lens was a revelation – repeatedly variable focal lengths, multi functional easy motion, and a relentless f/2.eight aperture, one thing beforehand past the obtainable expertise. Manufactured by Voigtlander in West Germany and initially supposed to be used on the clunky however fantastically made Voigtlander Bessamatic SLR, the Zoomar was revolutionary in addition to costly. Right here in 2018, nearly 60 years later, we put the Zoomar onto the Canon EOS 5DS R full body 50MP DSLR. Let’s have a look at whether or not that unique zoom design continues to be up to speed and usable, or whether or not it’s relegated to being only a collector’s merchandise.

Voigtlander-Zoomar 36-82mm f/2.eight Dealing with and Options

Voigtlander Zoomar On Canon 5dSR

We neglect plastics and have a strong mass of metallic and glass that weighs in at a not unmanageable 810g. Oddly in a method, this isn’t overly heavy as fashionable lenses have tended to turn into heavier and bulkier in lots of circumstances. However this development is conventional and really sturdy, not least with its three strong metallic rods that maintain the zooming mechanism rock strong.

However first our tour of the lens. The massive entrance factor has an ordinary 95mm filter thread and likewise a metallic rim that may maintain the Voigtlander Clamping Ring. This ring would allow the usage of the particular shut up lenses, filters and the large rubber lens hood. None of those equipment got here with the lens, nor did the disc kind calculator for Depth of Area that the instruction books inform us was provided with each lens. The entire entrance part is for focusing through a clean helical thread and is clearly marked in ft and metres. One of many limitations of classic lenses is revealed right here, as a result of focusing is simply all the way down to 1.3m, or slightly below 4.5 ft. That is probably tolerable for an 82mm lens, however not likely wherever close to shut sufficient for 36mm. Therefore the unique provide of the now lacking shut up lenses.

  • Focar A (+1 dioptre) permits focusing from 101-53cm
  • Focar B (+2 dioptre) 50-34.5cm
  • Focar A + Focar B (+three dioptre) 33-25.6cm

The zoom ring is actually a hoop, supported by the aforementioned three metallic rods. The focal lengths are clearly marked on the lens barrel. The motion continues to be agency and clean on this pattern of the lens, regardless of its age. The Zoomar can also be positively a parfocal zoom, that means that when zoomed the lens retains its level of focus. It additionally retains it very effectively. Because of this focusing will be accomplished at 82mm for best accuracy after which the lens zoomed again to the required setting. This does not work with most fashionable zooms as they’re normally varifocal, needing refocusing after zooming, however in fact, with AF this issues much less. There isn’t a such luxurious with the Zoomar, with its dim viewfinder view and tough handbook focus.

There may be yet another accent of notice that was additionally not obtainable for this evaluate and that’s the Tripod Adapter. That is merely a small bracket that attaches to the tripod and brings the centre of gravity extra into line with the very entrance heavy lens. It’s extra of a matter of steadiness because the DSLR mount is greater than able to supporting the load of far heavier lenses than this. The instruction handbook states that that is to forestall the tripod tipping over, a reminder that tripods of the period may very well be fairly insubstantial in comparison with good fashionable ones.

Voigtlander Zoomar And Canon 5DSR With Adapter Fitted
Voigtlander Zoomar And Canon EOS 5DS R With Adapter Fitted

The optical development is 14 parts in 5 teams. Three of those teams are fastened and two transfer. It’s attainable that a few of the extra specialist glasses used could also be mildly radioactive, in widespread with another high-quality lenses of the period.

Lastly, the mount. A wide range of mounts grew to become obtainable, however right here we now have the Zeiss Ikon Icarex 35S mount. Curiously, it is a breech mount not dissimilar to Canon’s unique mount. The essence of the breech mount is that the lens is just inserted and a collar rotated to lock it into place. There isn’t a rotation of lens in opposition to mount and due to this fact no put on. It is a superb however costly to fabricate methodology of designing a mount. To suit the Icarex match digicam to a Canon physique a easy adapter will be sourced through eBay or Amazon, costing just below £30.

To this point so good, however what concerning the dealing with? Very clunky is the brief reply. The lens is clearly handbook focus solely, however extremely tough to focus as effectively with fashionable DSLR screens. The LiveView choice is healthier, however the precise level of focus tough to guage and needing very cautious adjustment. The diaphragm is cease down solely with this mount and adapter, so the picture darkens as it’s stopped down. The Canon metering system works utilizing Guide however not very precisely, so a separate meter could also be wanted. If utilizing Dwell View, at the least on the Canon EOS 5DS R it proved attainable to roughly gauge the publicity utilizing the brightness of the display screen as a information. A little bit of guesswork and a few bracketing makes this a faster course of than it could in any other case be.

Voigtlander Zoomar Rear Oblique View

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