Oprema Jena Biotar 75/1.5 lens launched on Kickstarter

The Oprema Jena Biotar 75/1.5 lens is now officially announced and is listed for funding on Kickstarter. The lens will be available in Canon, Nikon, Sony-E, Leica-M (rangefinder coupling supported), FujiX and M42 mounts.

Technical specifications and MTF chart:

Sample photos:

Here is the full press release:

Global All-Star Team Forms to Resurrect Famous Biotar 75/1.5 Biotar Project Launches Today on Kickstarter

(Koblenz, Germany) Dr. Stefan Immes, who revived the Meyer Optik brand three years ago, is joining with two prominent lens designers and Japanese lens maker Kenko Tokina to resurrect the Biotar 75mm f1.5 lens, the famous Carl Zeiss lens that was produced in small batches up until 1960.

The collaboration to bring the Biotar 75 back to the market is independent of Meyer Optik and will operate under the brand name Oprema Jena and fall under the umbrella of the German firm net SE, which is led by Dr. Immes. Oprema Jena is introducing the lens today through a Kickstarter project.

The Oprema Jena team includes famed designer Andre de Winter, who has won awards for the mechanical design of the Leica Summicron-M 35mm ASPH lens and the Leica Summilux-C lenses. Also on the team is Wolfdieter Prenzel, a leading expert in the field of optical design of classic lenses. Prenzel, who worked for the original Meyer Optik, is the designer who created modern versions of several classic Meyer Optik lenses, including the legendary Trioplan and Primoplan lenses.

The Tokyo-based Tokina will handle the production of the new Biotar 75, which Dr. Immes says was a key part of the plan to revive the Biotar as it means the project won’t impact the production of Meyer Optik’s own brand of art lenses.

The Biotar 75 was designed in 1938 by Willy Merté for Carl Zeiss. The lens is known for its famous swirley bokeh at f1.5, along with an extreme center sharpness. Photographers also rave about an almost 3D-like effect with the center-focused subject seemingly separated from the background.

When the aperture is stopped down to f5.6 or 8, the lens becomes extremely sharp and contrasty, especially taking into consideration that it is a design dating back to the early part of the last century.

“We are excited to see this lens come to life and very happy that we have been able to land Wolfdieter, Andre and Tokina for this exciting revival,”Dr. Immes said. “This is not a one off but the beginning of a collaboration that will also bring back the Biotar 58, as well as the famous Flektogon lenses. The team has a great spirit and we think those lenses should not be forgotten.”

Dr. Immes has already revived Meyer Optik Goerlitz back to life in large part through several successful Kickstarter campaigns. Meyer Optik lenses are finding an ever-growing community of photographers throughout the world. The Oprema Jena project, which pays homage to the city where the Biotar was born, will operate independently of Meyer Optik.

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  • FountainHead

    $899 and up.
    What a laugh.

    • Marc W.

      That’s what I did before closing the tab.

    • MB

      Laugh or not they already ripped of 132 people and reached the goal so go figure …

      $126,105 pledged of $75,000 goal
      132 backers
      19 days to go

  • Jeffry De Meyer

    Willing to spend €199 on it

  • Duncan Dimanche

    I am ALWAYS surprised at those “miracle” lenses that are being croud founded that NO ONE thought about doing before….

    Do people not realize that there are hundreds of old vintage lenses that have the same “quality” and characteristics for less than 100€…. sigh

    • Les

      If you can find a decent Biotar 75 for 100€, buy it and leave before the seller realises that they gave you a 90% discount!

      You will need to spend another 100€ on an adapter (most were made in obsolete mounts like Praktina and Practika), and 200€ to have it serviced (70-year-old lubricants…), but it’s still a bargain.

      I would avoid cheap adapters, it’s a very heavy lens, and the focusing is quite stiff even with new lubricant.

      • Duncan Dimanche

        Good to know 😉 You made me “waist” 30mn of my life searching for that lens ! hahah and yes it is expensive ! Damn !
        I’m sure that there are other cheaper old vintage lenses out there that will give you that look 😉

        • Zos Xavius

          Yes. The helios copy is much cheaper but still not exactly cheap. Also you have the added fun of Russian sample variation and build quality though they are built like tanks when tight.

  • BL

    These guys are running very close to a lawsuit, considering how much they throw around the Zeiss name in their Kickstarter advertising.

    This ain’t a dead company like Meyer.

    Calling it “Jena” Like the old CZJ/aus Jena lenses is a nice touch, too. “homage,” my foot.

    • Actually Zeiss did not renew the trademark “Biotar” and those guy grabbed it: https://photorumors.com/2017/07/31/zeiss-rumored-to-bring-back-biotar-lenses/ https://leicarumors.com/2017/07/31/zeiss-biotar-lens-coming-back-to-life.aspx/
      Not sure about Jena – my guess is the that they let it expire as well. Big mistake by Zeiss.

      • Mistral75

        Jena is the name of a city. It would be very difficult to make a trademark out of it.

        • that’s probably why they could use it

          • Mistral75

            Yes, they registered ‘Oprema Jena’ and that’s allowed.

          • MB

            The funny thing is the original Oprema Jena never made a single lens, they where optical machery tools factory for Veb Carl Zeiss Jena as far as I know …

          • fjfjjj

            Trade mark law isn’t that simple. I can’t sell “Oprema Hershey” chocolate.

          • Mistral75

            You’re right, I was simplifying but your example is different.

            Jena was a city centuries before somebody began designing optical devices there. Hershey is an unincorporated community founded by candy magnate Milton S. Hershey (Hershey’s / The Hershey Company), which has no legal status as an incorporated municipality.

            ‘Hershey’ is therefore primarily referring to a chocolate manufacturer and trademark, not to a city.

        • FountainHead

          ‘Montreal’ hockey sticks are made in… Finland.

      • BL

        Biotar did inded lapse, but it was re-registered as a trademark in Germany in 2011 by Galaxster Johannes Schreiber for camera lenses and other optical equipment. The trademark is still active. Globell registered a trademark in Belgium/Netherlands/Luxembourg this year. Their trademark in the U.S. is pending and could still be disapproved. Likewise, Schreiber can challenge their EU/WIPO trademarks.

        Jena is indeed the name of a place. However, Zeiss, who still own the CZJ trademark, could still enjoin them from using it under the concepts of trademark dilution and piggybacking, especially considering 1) they are not based in Jena or have any other connection to the place, 2) that they mention Zeiss all over their page, and 3) they derive the name “Oprema” from a famous Carl Zeiss lens design computer, another blatant attempt to associate themselves with the Zeiss brand.

        • I am curious to see how this will develop. Oprema Jena is planning to bring back also the Flektogon lenses.

          • BL


            German trademark on that one is currently owned by an outfit called net SE, registered in May of this year for “lenses for photo cameras.” net Se describes themselves as “a company that creates distinctive brands and quality products for the photographer and positions them with a distinctive brand identity.” So basically an IP shop. I imagine they will hold Globell over a barrel in negotiations for the trademark.

          • yes, net SE is the parent company I believe – if you go to their website you will see all the brands they own

          • BL

            Ah, you are correct. I’d only ever seen them referred to as Globell. Still interesting that they registered the Flektogon trademark in Germany, whereas they registered Biotar in Benelux. Looks like they know of and are trying to get around the Schreiber German Biotar trademark.

  • The image quality (drawing, bokeh, etc) is nothing to write home about. Why do people get excited for these mediocre lenses?

  • Anyone feel like joining forces and come up with more of these hipster ideas that sell like hotcakes to fools? Seems like it’s even easier than taking candy from a baby. These people want to get ripped off. In which case…

  • fjfjjj

    Says “Jena” on the barrel. Not made in Jena. Fail.

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