About this project
Returning the Wonder Bokeh Lens to today's photography
80 years after Meyer Optik's ingenious engineer Paul Schaefter constructed the Primoplan 58/ f 1.9, we are breathing life into one of the most famous lenses of all times – known for its ability to create different bokeh effects all with one lens. This lens gives photographers a tool which truly enables them to express themselves in different ways with this single lens.
They have the choice of creating a bokeh of melting, rotating bubbles, catching light reflections softly or to compose a creamy, dreamlike background. Furthermore, he can employ the unique, discrete swirl of the lens, thus dramatically enhancing a portrait or making use of the wonderful and smooth transitions from fuzziness to classical sharpness.
All these capabilities are in the photographer's hand with this single lens – this is a true wonder bokeh lens. Images created with the Primoplan 58/ f 1.9 lens do not need post-processing filters – this is pure art.
Built with an optical construction of five lenses, Primoplan images became famous for their dreamlike diffluence of hazy bubbles in the bokeh, discreetly swirling around the center of the image. The moony bokeh and the soft haze in the background are characteristic. Yet, the object of interest is in astonishing sharpness and thus the viewer's attention is focused to where the photographer wants it to be. The Primoplan 58/ f 1.9 is the lens that allows you to create images full of creativity without any post production.
Our new Primoplan 58/ f 1.9 is at the same time a mechanical masterpiece. Our engineers have integrated the five lenses into a very small housing almost the same as the equally famous Trioplan 50. That allowes us to pass on the effect of larger scale production to our Kickstarter backers and make a groundbreaking offer.
With this lens you add yet another fantastic piece of creativity to your fingertips. Don’t miss this opportunity and check out the possibilities of this truly wonder bokeh lens. Get one lens and have the creativity of four lenses in your hand. But see for yourself!
The background bubbles softly melting into each other create the one and only bokeh often referred to as the butterfly bokeh of the Primoplan 58. It unveals at f 1.9 and when the photographer is close to the subject. It is at its best when the pictures are taken in the early morning or late evening hours and some backlight is used. If there is still some morning dew, the reflections of light in the bokeh will melt into each other. They resemble natural pearls that slowly melt into each other. This is a must have for every photographer!
Between f 2.8 and 4, the bokeh becomes softer, more creamier and quieter so that the photographer can put full emphasis on the object of his portrait. Soft and more direct light is conducive for this bokeh. A dreamlike flow of soft sharpness creates an atmosphere of dreamlike realism of an almost surrealistic mood.
Only through the ground breaking design of this lens can this effect be created.
At f 1.9 and with a little bit of backlight the swirly bokeh is enhanced. Thus, impressive portraits with a little bit of natural light are the result. The harmonic change from sharpness to unobtrusive swirl of the bokeh is a characteristic of this lens. The attention of the viewer is inevitably drawn to the main subject of the image.
Nature photographers will get their special kick out of the creative possibilities of this lens. Bubbles seem to be floating into each other and swirling in the background enhancing the focus drawn to the object of interest.
This lens is world renowned for its soft transition from fuzziness to sharpness to fuzziness, creating a bokeh in front of and behind the area that the photographer wants to put in focus. The soft transition of these areas create the kind of art that only the Primoplan 58/ f 1.9 can give you. The images become part of your surrounding and you almost want to dive into them.
Sometimes one can hear cynical remarks about all that bokeh palaver. Isn’t it just another way of saying that my image is out of focus? While we disagree and strongly believe that the bokeh of your images make all the difference, there is also some truth in the fact that some lenses which produce great bokeh have their issues with sharpness. But this is not the case with the Primoplan 58/ f 1.9!
Just as unique as its bokeh is the style of its sharpness. No question, the lens does not want to compete with today's ultra-sharp lenses that are optimized on computer screens but sterile and with no soul. The Primoplan 58/ f 1.9 has the kind of classical sharpness that will remind you of the great street photography of the last century. It is surprising and extraordinary.
The Primoplan 58/ f 1.9 is a lens that allows you to take pictures with excellent sharpness, if needed, and thus the ability to capture images of the finest textures.
Again, see for yourself.
The Primoplan 58/ f 1.9 gives you endless possibilities to turn your images into pieces of art. In the following, we show you some applications in different fields of photography. Perhaps, you'll want to try it out yourself someday?
The Primoplan 58 was developed some 80 years ago for professional photographers of the time. When it first came to market, its aperture made it one of the first lenses to be used for low and available light photography. This kind of photography was now possible with a totally new quality. Still, today the capabilities of this lens under these conditions are impressive. With the aperture wide open, the lights in the bokeh shine but do not dominate the image. This is an outstanding feature of a lens capable of available and low light photography.
The small and compact lens fits every photographers pocket. The focal distance of 58 mm creates a special density of the images that truly reflect the environment as seen by the artist. To go out into the city and urban environment fascinates many photographers. The sharpness, the bokeh and the brilliant colors over the whole frame are a characteristic of this lens. The contrast in the images adds a pervasive depth to the image. The city and its life are shown in a realistic, yet fascinating manner.
At f 8 the lens creates extremely truthful images of landscapes, with high details in true colors. It becomes a tool, like a brush in the hand of the painter. Realism without being unemotional – this is what characterizes the shots taken with the Primoplan 58/1.9. Thus nature is shown in its purest form.
The Primoplan 58/ f 1.9 is like a true masterpiece. It's endless capabilities of designing the background, its unique sharpness and the overall charm of the images created turn this lens into one of the all times leading art lenses.
The groundbreaking construction of the Primoplan 58/ f 1.9 is especially predestined for black and white photography. The 1930s were the heyday of black and white photography and some of the most famous images of all time were taken then in black and white. All of the know how about black and white photography of the time found its way into the construction of this lens. Now, some 80 years later, this know how is brought back to life and the photographer can himself turn to create such striking images.
The Primoplan 58/ f 1.9 was historically the founding element of the so called night Exakta a famous camera of the 50s. This lens was the fastest lens for the famous Exakta and the successor of one of the most sought after lenses, the so-called Kinoplasmat by Dr. Paul Rudolph, one of the most ingenious optical enigeneers of all time.
The new Primoplan 58/ f 1.9 takes advantage of some of the components of the Trioplan 50. Therefore, we generate economies of scale and are able to make this fantastic offer available to you. The lens is also ultra compact and light weight. It weighs only about 225 g – it is the perfect match with your other lenses, especially your Trioplan lenses. The Primoplan is an enhancement of a Cooke triplet, in which a central dispersion lens is flanked by two groups of lenses, each acting as a converging lens. The rear group consists of a single biconvex converging lens, while the front group consists of three lenses. The field lens is slightly plano-convex, and is followed by another converging lens comprising two parts cemented together to form a slight meniscus (curve). This five-lens construction is renowned for its melting bubbles swirling in the background as well as its creamy and downright dreamy bokeh. Points of light are transformed into perfect circles at the narrowest apertures, with a blur that practically melts away. With the aperture wide open, the Primoplan 58/ f 1.9 shows a dramatic sharpness, which simplifies the focusing with this manual lens. The Primoplan 58/ f 1.9 was constructed by Paul Schaefter and was built between 1937-1940 and 1945 and 1957. It became a world famous lens especially for professional and ambitious photographers. It was then abandoned due to political reasons in post-war East Germany where several companies had been merged and their different portfolios were streamlined.
1936, precisely 80 years ago, Meyer-Optik filed for industrial trademark protection for this lens. The very fine turn from sharpness to softness, its outstanding sharpness to begin with and its wonderful bokeh, fuzzy, creamy and swirling at the same time, which make the lights merge into each other like being directed by a magician, made the Primoplan 58/ f 1.9 one of the most popular lenses of its time.
Meyer-Optik had proven its position as one of the most innovative lens developers and manufacturers of its time.
The lens was constructed and designed again from scratch by Dr. Wolf-Dieter Prenzel in Görlitz to meet today's expectations in digital photgraphy. His 40 years of experience in lens design and his deep knowledge of the historical Primoplan 58 make sure that the mythical character of the lens remains intact. Glasses from Schott and O‘Hara are the basis for fantastic images with modern digital cameras. Extremely precise mounts are produced by our partners from Novoflex and all parts and components are made from aluminum and are manufactured in Germany. The aperture blades are constructed by Otto Niemann, Berlin, and the lenses are built with enthusiasm and up to the highest mechanical and optical standards here in Germany.
Did you know that our Primoplan lenses are designed by members of the original development Meyer-Optik team in Görlitz. Or that they are handmade in Germany? We have constantly enlarged and improved our facilities. Take a look!
After bringing back the legendary Trioplan 50 and 100, Meyer-Optik Goerlitz is now taking the next step. We need your help to bring back not just a lens but the Meyer-Optik development and manufacturing of lenses on full scale. To solidify our development and production capabilities, we need to start another full line of lenses but at the same time do this in a manner that ensures that those fine pieces of craftsmanship are produced in an economical manner. This is why we follow a platform strategy of trying to share some of the components among our lenses. This is our first project where the advantage of this strategy has lead to a groundbreaking offer to our Kickstarter backers. Please help through your support!
The new Primoplan 58/ f 1.9 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 within the European Union are $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. For deliveries to Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland the shipping costs are $10 USD.
Deliveries outside U.S. and the European Union: For deliveries to regions outside U.S. or the European Union – besides Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland – the shipping costs are $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 or handling, 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.
Why we do what we do
We restored the Meyer-Optik brand to build lenses that are distinguished in their uniqueness. Today, our lenses are made for those who want more than standard shots for their everyday photography. These lenses are special hand-made optics designed for the artistic photographer who craves a special unique look.
We believe that every Trioplan lens is a masterpiece in its own right. The manufacturing of the Primoplan 58/ f 1.9 will be different from the start. Every single component is assembled by hand, meeting the highest standards and qualifications and giving each lens that special, unique touch.
Here is a look at the team that is behind our special project.
Risks and challenges
Any new venture or innovation includes an element of risk. The Primoplan 58/ f 1.9 is no different. Meyer Optik has a strong and experienced team of manufacturing, photography and business professionals and has 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 with the Trioplan 100 Kickstarter, but may change due to materials, suppliers and unforeseen events. 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 paymentsLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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