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Glorious Dr. Rudolph’s APO Plasmat Lens 105mm f2.7 returns

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105 years ago, in 1918, famous Dr. Paul Rudolph started his work on the Plasmat lenses. His goal was the design of lenses that would have the optimized correction of chromatic and spherical aberration and would generate a natural “in depth” view of space in the image.

“The Plasmat is a lens that is equal to the painter who is able to give his paintings a natural plasticity of total perfection,” he wrote in 1930.

Next to the so called “Set Plasmat” lenses and the “Kino Plasmat” his work culminated in what he called the “Makro-Plasmat”. By the word Makro he referred to the fact that this lens could also be used for the upcoming 35mm photography of the time. It has nothing to do with macro photography!

We have further improved this legend to become the APO-Makro-Plasmat 105 which offers natural sharpness, unbelievable color reproduction and a glowing bokeh united at every step of the aperture.

We are using only the most sophisticated and highest quality glass, mainly Schott, and our lead developer Dr. Wolf Dieter Prenzel has nailed down very tough, narrow and precise specifications to guarantee the highest possible optical performance in the spirit of the Plasmat lenses but also with the 21st century gear in mind. The same is true for the mechanical components which will be produced to the highest standards.

Images produced with the APO-Makro-Plasmat have that special glow, an unmet plasticity and aerial perspective that you will only be able to achieve with this lens. “I did not touch the images afterwards in post processing, it would only have ruined the picturesque looks”, says photographer Max Unuetzer who was excited that he could work with one of the first prototypes.

Connoisseurs pay unbelievable sums of money to get their hands on a historic Makroplasmat adapted to 35mm format. More than $ 30.000 have been paid for models adapted to Leica or other mounts of modern 35mm cameras.

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It is no exaggeration that a Plasmat photgraph can be identified and picked out from any number of images because of their perfect plasticity and depth perspective, their perfect correction and their ability of true rendering of colors and light. The image taken with a Makroplasmat is a picturesque, unique one off shot much like a painting of an artist.

The lens creates a glace that is unmet by any other lens ever. The lens is sharp but it takes away the razor cut, sterile, microscope like sharpness and replaces it by an even sharpness around the subject that flatters it and pleases the eye of the spectator. Thus the lens fills the whole space with amazing depth and at the same time with a smooth transition from focus to softness.

While a modern lens has clearly defined areas of focus and out of focus often with relatively abrupt edges which are totally unnatural when compared to the way the human eye works the APO Makro Plasmat resembles the human eye like no other lens. So the same image if taken with a Makro Plasmat is full of live, natural depth and plasticity.

The image has a soul!

We can also put it in the words of photogarapher Benedikt Ernst who describes his experience with the Makroplasmat as follows:” The look created by the Makroplasmat is extremely artistic, since everything becomes very pictureseque with the aperture wide open, which I have not seen with any other lens.

At f4 the Bokeh is still very artistic, almost illustrative by nature. At f8 focus and plasticity are unmet with the out of focus areas in the background still being beautiful and special. I think the bokeh deserves its own name to differentiate it from everything else I know. It is world class and I have not seen anything like it before”.

The lens will be available with mounts for 35 mm cameras (full format):

  • Canon EF
  • Nikon F
  •  Sony E  FujiX
  • Leica M (rangefinder not supported/focusing via live view)

It will also be available for medium format with mounts for

  • Fuji G
  • Hasselblad X1D .

The APO Makro Plasmat is the lens that overcomes an embarrassing “quality” of other lenses which is the togetherness of sharpness and clear cut out of focus areas. Instead it senses the world around you and is able to recognize depth and gains a feeling of space, like a hand that finds its way in darkness.

Don’t miss this opportunity and check out the possibilities of this wizzard lens. Do not refrain yourself from the charm of plasmat photography!

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At f 2.7 and with a little bit of backlight the typical Bokeh of the APO-Makro Plasmat starts to show its unusual characteristics. When we look at the areas away from the focus position it is not a sharp edge but it seems like the play between light and shade.

The sharpness subsides in a mellow way giving larger areas of what may be called semi sharpness and slowly lingers into a very unique bokeh which gives the image depth, a romantic haze and a moody atmosphere.

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The outstanding ability of this lens is to show a special view of the image, an artistically and picturesque insight into the space and depth of the scene. It extends over the whole range of aperture openings with different, fascinating characteristics at each f stop. This lens is world class at every f stop it offers. The work of Dr. Rudolph has been made for eternity and the effects are especially valuable in modern day photography.

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The APO-Makro-Plasmat is maybe the world’s best lens for color photography. The color rendering is so outstanding that our photographers felt that they should not even touch their images in post processing because they were afraid to only worsen the impression of color in their images. But see for yourself.

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Hans Windisch wrote in 1926: “Show me 10 pictures taken with 10 different lenses and I will be able to name those that were taken with a Plasmat lens. Only this lens can show life around you in all its plasticity and wealth. Plasmat photography adds the smell and the glow of life to an image.”

There is nothing more to add to this so we decided to show you some examples of plasmat photography in the different areas of photographic application.

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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.

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When Dr. Rudolph called his Plasmat 105 “Makro-Plasmat” he reffered to the fact that it was dsigned for 35mm film. But we wanted to add more meaning so we designed a specifically optimized achromatic front lens for the Plasmat 105 to turn this lens into a real makro lens in todays common sense of the meaning of the word. This achromatic front lens consists of 3 lenses in two groups and allows images of excellent sharpness with fullest correction of chromatic aberation and is specially designed for the lens so that its abilities and character do not disappear. The minimum focus distance is at 30cm / 1 foot.

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Built with an optical construction of six lenses in five groups the lens is also a mechanical masterpiece handmade in Germany.

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NEW: Mounts for M42 & Pentax-K have been added to the mix
NEW: Choice of color in black and silver

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Schematic Lens Architecture

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When Dr. Paul Rudolph designed the Makroplasmat he was aiming at the highest or better to say perfect stage of chromatic correction. The result was a lens that is spherically corrected to the highest degree for the colors of the spectrum at various diaphragm stops. For the blue rays the diaphragm opening is slightly smaller than for the yellow rays. Paul Rudolph called the fact that he had spherically corrected the Makroplasmat equally well for all colors of the spectrum “Sphero-Achromatic”. By using the most modern glasses with tightest specifications we could improve this feature some more and the Makroplasmat lens is therefore designed to bring the three wavelengths (typically red, green, and blue) into focus in the same plane. The Makroplasmat is also corrected for spherical aberration at three wavelengths. The effect which is derived is a chiaroscuro (light and shade) of the Plasmat that shows an enhanced plasticity and a unique transmission of space formation with greatest pictorial atmosphere.

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Makroplasmat longitudial (axial) spherical aberation

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Makroplasmat Transverse (lateral) spherical aberation

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.  Here is a look at the team that is behind our special project and at our production.

via kickstarter

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