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Recapture the beauty, art and essence of the 'soap bubble' bokeh with the new Trioplan f2.8/100 for DSLR and mirrorless cameras
Recapture the beauty, art and essence of the 'soap bubble' bokeh with the new Trioplan f2.8/100 for DSLR and mirrorless cameras
Recapture the beauty, art and essence of the 'soap bubble' bokeh with the new Trioplan f2.8/100 for DSLR and mirrorless cameras
452 backers pledged $359,451 to help bring this project to life.

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Bring back the legendary Trioplan soap bubble bokeh f2.8/100

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We are bringing back the legendary Meyer Optik Trioplan lens, known for its fabulous 'soap bubble' bokeh. After almost a century, we are redesigning it. We're bringing back all the advantages of the original lens and merging it with all of the technological advances of modern photography.

The Trioplan used for nature shoots. The soap bubbles in the background reveal the exceptional charm of the lens. Shot with the prototype.
The Trioplan used for nature shoots. The soap bubbles in the background reveal the exceptional charm of the lens. Shot with the prototype.

In today's times of ultra-sharp lenses and pixel battles, we want to enable photographers all over the world to experience the true essence of photography and bring the charm of the last century to today's images and videos. The soap bubble bokeh brings the photographer - and viewer - on an adventure that photo editing simply cannot recreate. 

A prototype Trioplan F2.8/100 shows the soft, flattering bokeh for portrait photography
A prototype Trioplan F2.8/100 shows the soft, flattering bokeh for portrait photography
Copyright: René Coburger
Copyright: René Coburger

 For this Kickstarter project we are redesigning the Trioplan f2.8/100mm based on its original construction for use on modern DSLR and mirrorless cameras. The new Trioplan f2.8/100mm will be launched with mounts for:

  • Canon 
  • Fuji X
  • Nikon
  • M42
  • Micro-Four-Thirds
  • Sony E
  • Leica M 
  • Pentax K
Old and new: The original Trioplan f2.8/100 and a functional prototype of the new Trioplan f2.8/100
Old and new: The original Trioplan f2.8/100 and a functional prototype of the new Trioplan f2.8/100

Some historic background notes:

The original Trioplan was created by Hugo Meyer in 1916. It was based on the Cooke-Triplet, designed by Harold Dennis Taylor in 1893.

early Trioplan lens, dated around 1920
early Trioplan lens, dated around 1920

The Trioplan was one of the first affordable lens constructions that allowed a relatively high optical correction, an extraordinary sharp center, and a high maximum aperture. When used wide-open at f2.8, especially when exposed to backlight, the Trioplan shows its famous character, its bokeh, known as the soap bubble bokeh. The Trioplan is an exceptional lens to create stunning photographs.

Left: Classical Triplet construction by H.D. Taylor. Right: Portrait of young Hugo Meyer.
Left: Classical Triplet construction by H.D. Taylor. Right: Portrait of young Hugo Meyer.
The soap bubbles appear due to a spherical undercorrection of the lens at f2.8.
The soap bubbles appear due to a spherical undercorrection of the lens at f2.8.

If you are looking for a method and a lens that can creatively enrich your photographs, this is for you.

Modern lenses are typically excellent in terms of reproducing reality but the Trioplan is something completely different. Think of it as a special brush used by a painter, as it is a lens that create art. The Trioplan is brilliant for many uses: nature, portrait and macro shots. Beside its wonderful and unique soap bubble bokeh, which appears in backlight situations, when it is used wide open at f.2.8 it achieves a balanced sharpness with a wonderful soft texture in out-of-focus areas. 

Instead of reading our team’s experience of the new Trioplan, check out the following pictures which have been taken with our prototype lenses.

Thanks to photographer René Coburger for testing the Trioplan prototype in this very atmospheric portrait shooting.
Thanks to photographer René Coburger for testing the Trioplan prototype in this very atmospheric portrait shooting.
Copyright: René Coburger
Copyright: René Coburger
Tamara Skudie's approach to nature photography is based on expressive colors and unusual perspectives. The new Trioplan's bokeh makes them outstanding.
Tamara Skudie's approach to nature photography is based on expressive colors and unusual perspectives. The new Trioplan's bokeh makes them outstanding.
The soap bubble bokeh and the purposefully use of blur adds a flavor of abstractness to this picture.
The soap bubble bokeh and the purposefully use of blur adds a flavor of abstractness to this picture.
The Trioplan can also be used for very sharp close-ups.
The Trioplan can also be used for very sharp close-ups.
Copyright: René Coburger
Copyright: René Coburger
This one was taken in Cologne. Copyright: Meyer-Optik-Görlitz
This one was taken in Cologne. Copyright: Meyer-Optik-Görlitz

 The Trioplan’s unique features and characteristics are emphasized in nature, portrait and macro photography. This is not only due to the soap bubble bokeh, but the soft background it creates, which makes the Trioplan a unique addition to a photographer's photographic experience.

When used with extension tubes or close-up rings for macro shoots, the image scale is up to 2:1 with a minimum focus distance of about 30cms / just under 12 inches.

Copyright: Ines Mondon. Shot with the prototype of the new Trioplan.
Copyright: Ines Mondon. Shot with the prototype of the new Trioplan.
Copyright: Ines Mondon. Shot with the prototype of the new Trioplan.
Copyright: Ines Mondon. Shot with the prototype of the new Trioplan.

We are preserving elements of the original design to maintain the unique characteristics of the Trioplan. For example, the new Trioplan is based on a classical triplet construction, with three lens elements separated by air spaces - just like its predecessor. We are combining these original design elements with the latest in manufacturing, optics and design technology. 

The new Trioplan will incorporate high-end coated glass lenses made by Schott, giving the new Trioplan improved optical features, including higher contrast, improved sharpness and lower vignetting. We have re-engineered the mechanical elements, with some striking differences. This includes a 100% aluminium differential thread which is noiseless, providing a silence ideal for digital filming, while providing the photographer with a robust and smooth experience. These design and manufacturing modifications are necessary to produce a lens that matches the quality of today’s state-of-the-art cameras. 

Some production steps of hand-made Trioplan prototype lenses in Görlitz, Germany.
Some production steps of hand-made Trioplan prototype lenses in Görlitz, Germany.

As well as all our technical improvements, we want the new Trioplan to be a masterpiece lens to enhance creativity. Our goal is to provide a tool that will enrich any photographer's range and experience. That’s why we are engineering the new lens with care, using the latest in manufacturing technologies, but are including testing and feedback from experienced photographers across the world. Feedback from the photography community, the community we serve, is crucial to our basic aim: to preserve the incomparable charm of the original Trioplan lens and to update it for the digital age.

Technical specifications

• Focal Distance 100 mm 
• Maximum Aperture 1:2.8
• Focusing Distance 1 m
• View Angle +/- 12° (full format equivalent 24 x 36)
• Filter 52 mm
• Number of aperture blades: 15
• Available mounts: Canon, Fuji X, M42, Micro-Four-Thirds, Nikon and Sony E

The new Trioplan is compatible with APSC and full format cameras.

Construction draft of the new Trioplan f2.8/100.
Construction draft of the new Trioplan f2.8/100.

Results of our prototype tests:

We have completed laboratory testing and are now working on extensive field-based tests. The prototypes have delivered great results: the new lens delivers a better maximum aperture between f.2.7 and 2.8, and viewfinder pictures are impressively luminous. The new Trioplan lens also focuses easily during nightfall, a considerable difference to the old lens. The vignetting is another remarkable difference. The current prototype shows barely any vignetting. We are excited to see that our updated design and theories on how we can improve the Trioplan work in practice.

Even if the classic Trioplan shoot is related to nature photography, we have been thrilled by the creative options it delivers in portrait photography.
Even if the classic Trioplan shoot is related to nature photography, we have been thrilled by the creative options it delivers in portrait photography.

 We have enhanced the mechanical quality, adding further to the striking difference between the old Trioplan and our new remanufactured version. With the silent, aluminium differential thread, the Trioplan’s 15 steel aperture blades, the Scott high-end glass lens and our commitment to select exceptional materials and to world-class manufacturing quality, what is the impact in terms of the bokeh? Well, we are not exaggerating when we say it is exceptional. Between the aperture f.2.8-3.5., the magic soap bubble bokeh appears, giving the original "Trio-Style" to the pictures, just like the old Trioplan. We are pleased to say that the Trioplan is reborn.

The Meyer-Optik team during the very first shooting in April 2015
The Meyer-Optik team during the very first shooting in April 2015

When used wide open between f2.8 and 3.5, especially in backlight situations, the Trioplan’s famous soap bubble bokeh appears. Lowering the aperture to f5.6 and beyond, the prototype shows a high sharpness and contrast. Starting with a slightly better maximum aperture between f2.7 to 2.8, viewfinder pictures are impressively luminous. 

We are excited to share the new Trioplan f2.8/100mm lens with you, and with the photography community. Please join us to update this legendary lens for the modern photography world.

This picture was taken at f4.0. Even without the classic soap bubbles, it perfectly reflects the beauty of the moment.
This picture was taken at f4.0. Even without the classic soap bubbles, it perfectly reflects the beauty of the moment.
Even captures of everyday situations get an impressive flair. Copyright: Tamara Skudies
Even captures of everyday situations get an impressive flair. Copyright: Tamara Skudies
MTF chart at f5.6
MTF chart at f5.6
The optical component and 15 aperture blades of the prototype.
The optical component and 15 aperture blades of the prototype.

With your support, we will bring back the Trioplan - one of the most respected, loved and unique photography lenses ever - in a new, improved form but with its famous and original character.

We are a team that is committed to photography, tradition and art. This project combines all of these elements, and we are excited to have developed the prototypes, tested them and are poised to start manufacturing. With your help, we will make this happen. And so we invite you to be part of our community. That's why we wanted to bring this project to the Kickstarter community: it understands art, technology, and drives amazing opportunities, such as this.

For almost two years we have been planning this project and putting all the design, engineering and manufacturing pieces in place, including recruiting original Meyer Optik engineers, to make this amazing project happen. The prototypes display the characteristic bokeh at a low f-stop and the unique type of sharpness which add a fifties look to the images, and by pre-ordering the Trioplan f2.8/100 or picking one of our rewards, you will be part of this exciting journey.

If you want to experience the sharpness and the brilliant bokeh of the Trioplan, and bring a whole new level of art to your photography, then please pre-order a Trioplan. If you're not a photographer, you can still join and support us by choosing an image, print or download one that has been taken by world-class photographers using the first Trioplan prototypes.

We are honored to be bringing back the development of the Trioplan to its birthplace - the beautiful German town of Görlitz, where Hugo Meyer invented the first Trioplan lens in 1916. With your support each Trioplan lens can be hand-made in the heart of the German optical industry: combining tradition with the latest in photographic technologies. Only with your support we can bring these prototypes to the next stage: hand made manufacturing in Germany for a global market!

Every moment of this journey has been magical, but the best can only come with your help - please join us to make a dream come true!

Copyright: René Coburger
Copyright: René Coburger

Shipping Information:

The new Trioplan will be available worldwide. To minimize shipping costs, our rewards will either ship from the U.S. or from Germany, depending on your - our supporter's – location. Since local regulations vary, please note that we cannot be held responsible for additional sales taxes or import/customs fees added by your country.

Deliveries to the U.S.: Shipping costs of the lenses in the U.S. are $10 USD. For most deliveries inside the U.S., there is no additional fee besides shipping costs. Since we have a shipping hub in Reno, Nevada and an office in Atlanta, Georgia, for deliveries to these states, the local sales tax applies. Please note that sales tax is not included and must be added in line with local regulations.

Deliveries to the European Union: Shipping costs in the European Union is $10 USD. For our supporters from the European Union, please note that VAT is not included. So please add an extra of 19% (VAT Germany) to your pledge for deliveries within the European Union.

Deliveries to regions outside U.S. or the European Union: Shipping costs is $50 USD. Please note there may be extra import costs/customs/taxes to pay upon delivery, depending on your location. 

If you have a question about shipping, handling or local charges, please don’t hesitate to contact us! 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.

REWARDS:

To show the rewards - set of three postcards with images taken with a Trioplan f2.8/100mm (reward pledge $20) 

Set of three postcards
Set of three postcards

 Reward: Canvas $100 (12" by 8.5") reward or $250 (24"x20") 

Choose from one of several designs from images taken with the Trioplan f2.8/100mm lens for a canvas print - see the rewards for $100 (12x 8.5 inches) or $250 (24x20 inches)

Canvas #1: Image taken with the Trioplan f2.8/100 lens
Canvas #1: Image taken with the Trioplan f2.8/100 lens
Canvas #2: Image taken with a Trioplan f2.8/100mm lens
Canvas #2: Image taken with a Trioplan f2.8/100mm lens
Canvas #3: Image taken with the Trioplan f2.8/100mm lens
Canvas #3: Image taken with the Trioplan f2.8/100mm lens
Canvas #4: Image taken with the Trioplan f2.8/100mm lens
Canvas #4: Image taken with the Trioplan f2.8/100mm lens

Risks and challenges

Any new venture or innovation includes an element of risk, and ours is no different.

We are a strong and experienced team of manufacturing, photography and business professionals and have carefully evaluated and mitigated all foreseeable risks and challenges, but may face unforeseen challenges. Although we have already successfully designed, created and tested several prototypes of the lens, and each of the final lenses will be hand-made in Germany, we have not yet started serial production and will only do so once we reach the next stage of our project. Each lens is carefully made and is of high-value and we will take extra precautions to ensure each one is shipped carefully.

Our delivery dates, as outlined in the campaign, are based on careful planning and our manufacturing experience, but may change. We will ensure that we keep each of our supporters fully updated. Conversely, it is important that all backers keep us updated of their address before we ship the final rewards. Any reshipping will require additional payments.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Be part of the Trioplan f2.8/100 community! Pledge $1 and join us as we bring back and update this unique lens- which was originally created in 1916. As one of our backers you will be updated on developments and news, and you’ll also have access to the new Trioplan Photography School!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Download the soap bubble bokeh love! Receive our thanks along with a download of three exclusive downloadable digital wallpapers taken with the new Trioplan f2.8/100.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Share the soap bubble bohek love! We'd like to thank you for supporting us by sending you a set of three postcards of exclusive prints taken with the new Trioplan f2.8/100.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Wear the soap bubble bokeh love! Receive an exclusive limited edition t-shirt choose from (1) “You don't take a photograph, you make it.” ― Ansel Adams (2) Congratulations, it's triplets! The re-birth of the Trioplan f2.8/100 (3) Stop, smell the roses, appreciate the bokeh... (4) OMG MOG

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Receive a limited edition canvas print (12.5" by 8.5") of a canvas soap bubble bohek print (canvas on wooden frame) - select one of three options taken with the new Trioplan f2.8/100 lens

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Stay dry and inspired! An exclusive golf-sized umbrella with an exclusive 'soap bubble bokeh' image taken with a Trioplan f2.8/100 lens. Made with durable frame, and pistol grip handle.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Share the bokeh love with this 24x20 inch photograph on a canvas frame. Choose from one of five limited designs created using the legendary Trioplan f2.8/100 lens. Also receive a hand-written thank you from the Meyer Optik Goerlitz manufacturing team in Goerlitz

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    Pledge $599 or more About $599

    VERY EARLY BIRD LAUNCH SPECIAL. Get your hands on a new Trioplan f2.8/100 lens with this really special reward to thank you for acting so fast!

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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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    Pledge $799 or more About $799

    EARLY BIRD LAUNCH SPECIAL Get the new Trioplan f2.8/100 lens as an amazing special launch reward

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    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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    Pledge $849 or more About $849

    EARLY BIRD LAUNCH SPECIAL 2 Get the new Trioplan f2.8/100 lens as an amazing special launch reward

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    Pledge $899 or more About $899

    EARLY BIRD LAUNCH SPECIAL 3!! Get the new Trioplan f2.8/100 lens as an amazing special launch reward

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    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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    Pledge $949 or more About $949

    EARLY BIRD LAUNCH SPECIAL!! Get the new Trioplan f2.8/100 lens as an amazing special launch reward

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $999 or more About $999

    Celebrate the relaunch and rebirth of the new Trioplan lens for a special price for this amazing and unique soap bubble bokeh lens.

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $999 or more About $999

    Celebrate the relaunch and rebirth of the new Trioplan lens for a special price for this amazing and unique soap bubble bokeh lens.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 9 backers
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,299 or more About $1,299

    Celebrate our historic date with a date of your own! Trioplan lens Kickstarter special edition engraved with special serial number that show a date: birthday, anniversary, graduation, or any other special date and optional name (up to 30 characters)

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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,499 or more About $1,499

    The Trioplan was first made in 1916. Mark history with the new Trioplan by having one of the first new Trioplans specially made for this Kickstarter project, your lens will be marked with the production number between [K01 and K30] to show the order of when it was hand-made in Germany. Numbers will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, so you will receive the number that relates to when you backed this reward, starting at B01). For ealier Trioplans being produced, please see the rewards below

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    Pledge $2,999 or more About $2,999

    Collector's item!
    For the Trioplan lens fan with a sense for history: Own one of the first Trioplans to be manufactured in almost 100 years, have a piece of history in your hands with a new Trioplan f2.8/100 lens marked from 2 to 10.

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  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Come to Goerlitz! An exclusive photography trip-of-a-lifetime to the beautiful town of Goerlitz, come and meet the team, see the birthplace of the Meyer Optik brand, see our production facilities of the new Trioplan f2.8/100, be presented with a new Trioplan f2.8/100 lens and a rare old Trioplan lens in an exclusive handmade bag. Then join one of our 'soap bubble bokeh' specialists to experience what you can do with your new Trioplan f2.8/100 lens

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Funding period

- (30 days)