Pentax patents telephoto lens that can be taken apart for easy transportation

Update: Nikon has done something similar in the past.

Pentax filed a patent for a telephoto lens that can be disassembled into two or more pieces for easy transportation:

"Since lens barrel length is long and the whole weight of the lens barrel of super telephoto lenses is large, if it really which cannot separate such a lens barrel manufactures as a thing, carrying at the time of un-taking a photograph will become inconvenient. Then, after dividing a lens barrel with such a long overall length into two or more removable cylinder members, The moving mechanism for moving a moving lens group (focus lens group) and a moving lens group to the cylinder member by the side of front, If the focus ring for operating this moving mechanism is provided and the cylinder member on the backside is used as what is called an extension tube (cylinder member which does not build in a taking lens), carrying of the lens barrel at the time of un-taking a photograph will become easy.

Such a division type lens barrel of structure can perform looking-far photography by manual focus by carrying out manual operation of the focus ring provided in the cylinder member by the side of front, observing a photographic subject. If the signal transmission medium which transmits a signal to the cylinder member on the backside between the cylinder members by the side of a camera body and front is established, AF operation (auto-focusing) and diaphragm adjustment operation by the camera body side will be attained."

  • Patent number: 2011-22280
  • Release date: 02/03/ 2011
  • Filing date: 07/14/ 2009

Via Egami

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  • Global

    This is genius, because there are some “low-end” super teles that could really use this. I wouldn’t recommend any break points in a high end lens (just that much easier for the front of your lens to fall off and smash to the floor), but for “low-end” super teles (I’m especially thinking xxx-500 or maybe one day xxx-600 zooms), this would be extremely helpful for keeping one’s bag small.

    • Just A Thought

      Nothing new about spitting a lens. I got an el cheapo 500mm off eBay which splits into two pieces. Also a old Russian made 400mm f4.5 can be split for transport. Nikon made 400 and 600 split lenses (in the 60 I believe) – you got a focusing unit which was common to which you added either the 400mm or 600mm lens part. Always available on eBay.

      There was a 600mm Canon super telephoto lens on eBay that I recall telling the seller to contact Canon as it was museum piece – one of the very first Canon super telephotos. That lens also had a focusing unit and a lens unit. That seller did not have the focusing unit, just the front end.

      If the Pentax patent allows Autofocus then that is something new – especially if it is screw drive AF.

  • gp
  • The Leica APO-Telyt system is all about that. Nothing special.

    • Discontinued

      Leica’s Apo-Telyt-R was a cool modular lens system indeed.

  • Zaph

    Pfft, you guys all missed the point. All those old lenses come apart, sure, but not when you are un-taking a photograph.

  • Alan

    Bronica used a similar system for 6×6 telephoto lenses – focussing units and separate lens heads. I seem to remember lens heads from Bronica themselves (Zenzanon?), Nikkor, and Komura were available.

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