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The mother of all modern lenses is about to return. Help us to reinvent one of the greatest lenses of all times and to bring it back
The mother of all modern lenses is about to return. Help us to reinvent one of the greatest lenses of all times and to bring it back
179 backers pledged $136,489 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Beautiful 1910 Emil Busch Glaukar 3.1 Anastigmat Lens Return project video thumbnail
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Emil Busch was a pioneer of modern-day photography. In fact, he was the first to design and produce remarkable anastigmatic lenses – lenses that correct for spherical aberration – actually some time before other famous manufacturers such as Zeiss with whom he worked closely. 

In 1865, some 25 years before Dr. Paul Rudolph introduced his Protar lens to Zeiss, Busch patented the Pantoskop lens, the world’s first true anastigmatic lens. 

shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens - © Mirène Schmitz
shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens - © Mirène Schmitz

  

shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens
shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens

 

shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens
shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens

 

Prototype of our new Glaukar 3.1 (97mm)
Prototype of our new Glaukar 3.1 (97mm)


It was an excellent wide angle lens and his experience with this anastigmatic lens construction inspired the later development of the famous Glaukar.
In 1910, Emil Busch introduced the Glaukar, a fully corrected photographic lens, which besides solving spherical aberration, corrected coma and astigmatism was a "usable" lens. Unlike Rudolph’s Protar, which did not work properly at the time of invention because its construction required glass coatings not available at the time, the Emil Busch Glaukar lens was the first anastigmatic lens for daily portrait photography.

By creating his anastigmatic lenses, Busch corrected the above mentioned faults by careful combination of the lens elements. Sharpness and artistic images were possible for the first time. 

In its time, the remarkable and usable anastigmatic lens Emil Busch’s F 3.1 Glaukar Anastigmat, was considered a very “fast” lens, meaning it worked well in available, low-light light.  

 

The Glaukar created a very special portrait-effect. The Glaukar was a lens that was specifically used for portrait-photography since it was fast enough to come to a more natural design of the image. It was characterized by the homogenous transfer from sharpness to the more fuzzy areas. Very important: the chromatical aberration was extremely low for the time. 

To bring back the legendary Glaukar lens it is necessary to fully reinvent the Glaukar from scratch for modern photographers and their state of the art equipment. 

Prototype of our new Glaukar 3.1 (97mm)
Prototype of our new Glaukar 3.1 (97mm)

The brand new historically-inspired Glaukar lens gives you an opportunity to create the type of image quality and feel of the early days of photography on modern equipment. 

shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens
shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens

But even though the inside of the lens is state of the art technology, we have succeeded in keeping the modern version true to its legacy by not only maintaining the characteristic image quality but also replicating the Glaukar’s distinctive historic look.

Portrait lenses of this time were using the typical plate camera format of 8cm x 10cm or 13cm x 18cm. Recalculating this to modern time lenses of 24mm x 36mm, the reinvented 97mm / f 3.1 Glaukar is equivalent to the original 3.1 / 210 of the 1910 Busch lens so it becomes a modern time lens with a focal length of 97mm.

The new Glaukar will have the same brass appearance and silhouette as the original but will, in fact, be high-end aluminum with a brass-like oxidation, which ensures the durability and mechanical precision of a modern lens. Furthermore we believe that the look and feel of a lens is also part of the fun of using it.

Expected delivery date of the lens is the summer of 2018. 

Historical Emil Busch Glaukar F3.1 Anastigmat from 1910 (left) vs. the reengineered New Glaukar (right)
Historical Emil Busch Glaukar F3.1 Anastigmat from 1910 (left) vs. the reengineered New Glaukar (right)

 

shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens
shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens

 

The Emil Busch Glaukar portrait lens is not a copy of an old lens but in its reinvented form is a state of the art lens. It uses the same classic three-lens-design of the original Glaukar lens. 

But due to its specially coated lenses, it produces a fascinating mixture of sharpness, strong colors and, along with 12 aperture blades, wonderful bokeh effects. Since the original Glaukar lens was used on the “Plattenkameras” of their time, its successor had to be reinvented from scratch. It was a very difficult job that took us much longer than expected but now we are very proud of the result.

It was critical to create the perfect portrait lens. The shift from focus to fuzziness in the background needed to be just right. At open aperture the lens must liberate the subject from the background and with a closed aperture the image must have an even sharpness. At the same time the skin ton must be most natural to avoid or reduce the necessity of post production as much as possible. All these features are reborn in the reinvented Glaukar.

shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens - © Mirène Schmitz
shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens - © Mirène Schmitz

 

shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens
shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens

 

shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens
shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens

 

 

shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens
shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens

 

shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens
shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens

 

shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens
shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens

 

The Emil Busch Glaukar Anastigmat was a breakthrough in its time and we have brought its abilities into modern times. In the early 20s of the last century, Busch himself, described the Glaukar as a lens systems with 

“the remarkable adaptability to so many classes of photographic work, [that] entitles it to rank as one of the most important additions made in recent years to the apparatus of the scientific and amateur worker. 
The aperture F/3.l is so large as to enable pictures to be taken even in the most unfavorable lighting conditions, and offers the photographer the means of securing mementos of theatrical or other performances and ceremonies indoors, and all photographic work, either interior or exterior, where lighting conditions require an exceptionally large aperture lens. 
The lens is especially suitable for all work, including Portraiture, Colour Photography, Reproduction and Enlarging.” 

 We do not have much to add to this very fitting description, which is still valid today. (source: Busch, Projection and Enlarging lenses, London, year unknown)


shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens - © Mirène Schmitz
shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens - © Mirène Schmitz

 

shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens - © Mirène Schmitz
shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens - © Mirène Schmitz

 

shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens -  © Mirène Schmitz
shot with the prototype of the new Glaukar lens - © Mirène Schmitz

 

 

 

Emil Busch was the son of the Berlin businessman Ludwig Friedrich Busch and his wife Jeanette, who was the daughter of the optical entrepreneur Johann August Heinrich Duncker who had founded his optical company in 1801.
This company passed on to Heinrich’s son, Eduard. Eventually, Emil Busch took over after his uncle’s death in 1845. Busch quickly introduced new ways of production, invested into machinery and started to develop cameras. In1865, he introduced the first anastigmatic lens, the wide angle Pantoskop. 

He worked closely with Zeiss and, actually, one of the Zeiss sons – Roderich – worked as an intern with the Busch company. Zeiss and Busch formed a cartel and controlled the optical industry in their day.

Emil Busch was clearly the founder of the modern camera and lens manufacturing, especially of the principle of anastigmatic lenses that could actually be used in daily photography with the kind of glass available at the time.

Not only have we recreated one of the most famous lenses of all times. In fact, this lens is especially suitable for videography with people as the main subject. 

The Nikon version of the lens can also be ordered with a Fuji G mount adapter and be used on the mirrorless Fuji medium format camera system. 

  • Focal length 97mm 
  • Maximum aperture 1:3.1 
  • Aperture range 1:22 
  • Image circle 43mm 
  • Field of view 25° 
  • Electronic contacts none
  • Closest focussing distance 1,5 m 
  • Lens construction 3/3 
  • Filter thread 37mm 
  • Max diameter, length 73mm/80mm (DSLR), approx. 85mm mirrorless 
  • Weight 410 g
MTF Glaukar f3.1
MTF Glaukar f3.1

 

  • Nikon
  • Canon
  • Sony E
  • Fuji
  • MFT
  • Leica M
  • Leica T
  • Pentax K

Help us to bring the old world into modern times It was hard work to get to where we are now but we want to share this with you. With your support we can set up and start production. The lens is certainly not a mass product and the quantities will remain small in comparison to the large manufacturers of today. 

This lens will practically be handmade piece by piece in the future. Therefore and due to the amount of manual work that has to be done it will sell for a retail price of approximately $ 2.000,--, strictly online to avoid all overhead costs. 

In this Kickstarter project, we offer you great deals which will never be seen again. So by backing us on Kickstarter you get the greatest deal possible – ever – on this lens. 

The creative minds behind Emil Busch are Benedikt Ernst and Firat Bagdu. Benedikt, born 1972, and Firat, born 1973, are renowned photographers with a speciality in portrait, wedding and fashion photography. Both have a broad education in arts and business management and combine creativity and managerial abilities needed in such a project. The two photographers always wanted to create just the perfect lens for their work and went searching for historic masterpieces. 

Their customers include famous individuals as well as companies like Chopard, Rolls Royce or Redken to name a few.

Benedikt and Firat defined the principles and joined with lens designers and manufacturers in Germany to design the first prototype. 

In fact, it was the success of one of their clients, German lens maker Meyer Optik , that inspired them to start their own project. Meyer Optik has even put the pair in touch with key german camera contacts in Wetzlar, Germany to help support the founders.

So in other words we are a start-up but we assured ourselves of years of experience.  “We have seen some campaigns in the past were “old” lenses were brought back to the users of today’s cameras and appreciated them, but we wanted to go further and recreate a lens that would otherwise be lost”, says Firat. "But at the same time the quality of the lens must be to highest standards as well", adds Benedikt Ernst. Therefore the founders are very glad that they could ensure the cooperation with some leading german firms. Manufacturing will be done mostly by Uwe Weller Feinwerktechnik in Wetzlar, Germany. The glasses employed will be Schott and Ohara. 

We are very happy to have ensure the relationship with Uwe Weller GmbH since the high precision elements of the lens require fulfilment of very tight standards of production. Uwe Weller GmbH is the result of the merging of several firms including the mechanical devision of Leica Camera and Zeiss-Heusoldt into this competent manufacturer.

By exclusively using Schott and Ohara glasses we make sure that our ideas of creating the perfect portrait lens are met.

Special thanks to Mirene Schmitz, Tamara Skudies and Raffaele Horstmann who supported us in our project.

The new Glaukar will ship internationally from Germany starting in the summer of 2018. We charge 20$ for deliveries to the US and inside EU. Shipment to Countries outside US & EU will be charged with 50$.

Please note there may be extra import costs/customs/taxes to pay upon delivery, depending on your location. Customs and taxes are subject to possible change and applicable law at the time of delivery will have to be taken into account. If you have a question about shipping or handling, please don’t hesitate to contact us! 

For backers inside the European Union: Please be aware that VAT is not included and has to be added by yourself. So Please add 19% to your total pledge amount including shipping.

If you have forgotten to add VAT/sales tax to your pledge, you can just raise it as long as the Kickstarter project is live.

The Use of Historic Lenses In Contemporary Photography by Paul Lipscombe (Book available for purchase on iTunes)

A History of the Photographic Lens by Rudolf Kingslake 

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rathenower_Optische_Werke - gives you background and the history of this firm but its all in German .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Risks and challenges

We are going to work with companies that have a lot of experience in the production of photographic equipment.

We have already been in touch with several possible production facilities who produce for leading manufacturers. But we have to be realistic in terms of the challenges on the way that we might have to face. We have a first prototype but it is always a challenge to go into serial production. This includes several steps and along the way problems might arise. We are sure we will solve all of them but it is hard to forecast them and the time needed to solve them. The new historic Emil Busch lens will be a lens of high quality and modern state of the art lens technology. So we will put quality above everything else which might lead to a slowdown of the production process. All our expected delivery dates are estimates only. Be assured that we will work very hard to get this beautiful lens into your hands as soon as possible.

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Funding period

- (24 days)