The Oprema Jena Biotar 58mm f/2 lens will have 17 aperture blades



A quick update on the new Oprema Jena Biotar 58mm f/2 lens (currently on Kickstarter) - it will be the "world's only" lens with 17 aperture blades:

"The Biotar 58 is a true Biotar with the unique combination of edge-to-edge sharpness and dreamy bokeh that few, if any lenses, have achieved. But what really sets the Biotar 58mm apart is what you´ll find on the inside - just like the the very first versions of the original Biotar 58, which was produced by Carl Zeiss in Jena, Germany, the modern version will have 17 aperture blades that will help it produce an one-of-a-kind background blur. You won´t find another lens on the market with that many aperture blades."

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  • I’d love to sit in the Oprema Jena discussions – the new Biotar 75 will have 15 blades and the 58 will have 17. Would also love to see any prototypes if they ran the 75 with 17 blades for a review… 🙂 I love the direction they’re taking and can’t wait to see images from the 58 prototype…

  • Harry van Gastel

    I used to own an aluminium Helios 44, 58mm f/2 (copy of the Biotar),with 13 blades. Seems to me that bokeh depends as much on optical formula as on blades.

    • I think the Helios and the Biotar both have the double gauss design? Maybe someone technical (not me!) will clarify…

      • aurele

        it’s the same design, almost the same lens. imperceptible variation of the glass. the helios 44m4 is the same as this oprema will be, i bet

      • Zos Xavius

        They do. Same exact lens too. The helios is a a direct copy of the Zeiss lens.

    • Zos Xavius

      I have the m6 and it has 5 blades. Not that I care. That lens is best wide open anyways. I think the earlier 1 and 2 models had more blades.

    • Zos Xavius

      As far as the bokeh the 44s with less blades have the typical pentagonal bokeh, but it does swirl. The older ones with more blades are probably much better stopped down. The copy I have is really sharp though for a helios. The m6 seems like an adequate description if the scale went to 7.

  • TinusVerdino

    My Tair 11 133mm 2.8 has 20 aperture blades :p

  • Zos Xavius

    Seriously just save yourself $1900 and pick up the helios 44.

    • There’s definitely an argument to support your comment… but I think if you get in early on backing the 58, the cost will be considerably less. Regardless, I backed the original 75 and 58 on Kickstarter – some would say that this is foolish but I did it anyway as I’ve had real difficulty finding a good 75 copy without considerable expense. I’d also add that people scoffed at Sony and those who transitioned to the A7 series just a few years ago. I could be wrong – but my comment is always this: let’s celebrate all brands, all lens… never before have there been so many excellent choices, both new and vintage and the two blended. 🙂

      • aurele

        How can you do less than what the Helios 44 cost ? They go for less than 35$ on ebay !

        • Zos Xavius

          yeah depends on where you look. they go for more on ebay, but in the ukraine and russia they are nearly worthless. either way you are going to save a ton of money even over $1000. The helios 44 is one of my favorite all time lenses, but no way could I ever justify spending $1 or $2k on one. that’s just crazy.

          • Sorry – that’s not what was meant. If one backs the Biotar 58 under one of these Kickstarter or Indiegogo programs, you’ll received a heavily discounted price versus the full retail price when they go to market. There’s no question that the stolen (the Soviets just seized private property as they enslaved Eastern Europe) Helios is a very nice lens that can be had for a basement bargain price – the difference seems to be that they return the Biotar to its original 17 aperture blades and use modern coatings to avoid some of the issues with vintage lens. I love the Helios 44 – love the look. Some people want a new version of the special Biotar 75 or 58.

          • Zos Xavius

            I’m glad that they are making money obviously and that people are buying their lenses. I always support new competition in the market. I’ll admit that this just isn’t for me and leave it at that. I’d always rather have the originals personally. I’m mostly just feeling snarky today. I do love me some russian lenses though. Mmmmmmmmm.

          • you have to add also the price of an adapter for whatever mount you will be using it plus the risk of getting a broken lens from ebay

          • Zos Xavius

            Peter I hope they pay you well. 😉

            Even if you had to buy three copies to find a good one and a $15 adapter then you are still saving at least $700. Maybe new construction and 14 blades are enough for some to invest, but I truly fail to see the value in the proposition personally.

          • I agree, this is expensive but I already said this in another discussion – you have to add also the % that Kickstarter and Indiegogo will take, then you have to take in consideration that this is a limited edition run that brings the price up as well. This companies do not own a production line, they have to contract another company to produce the lenses for them. I personally like the two Biotar versions because they have rangefinder coupling.

          • Zos Xavius

            Oh I definitely understand the economies of scale. The MS Optics lenses are small runs and all very expensive too. I’m not really trying to attack meyer gorlitz or this sister company. Part of me really likes what they are trying to do. I am indeed a big fan of vintage lenses with unique rendering. I would be their target audience by far. I just can’t justify these prices though personally. Obviously some people can because they keep selling enough to market more.

            What I will point out is that their terrible rebrands of chinese lenses are shameful and shouldn’t cost anywhere near the 2x the asking price. That has been my only real fault with them, but I am certainly not the first to point this out.

            As an aside, my earlier comment was mostly tongue in cheek and was not intended to offend you good sir. I actually hope you are making some money in various ways here, but I’m afraid that probably isn’t the case these days with news being so dreadfully slow. In any case please keep up the excellent reporting. Your record is commendable.

          • No problem, I agree with you. I am still surprised that those type of lenses get crazy funding every single time. I think this is what the “new” Zenit will be after – to produce all those vintage lenses with different mounts.

        • Sorry – that’s not what was meant. If one backs the Biotar 58 under one of these Kickstarter or Indiegogo programs, you’ll received a heavily discounted price versus the full retail price when they go to market. There’s no question that the stolen Helios is a very nice lens that can be had for a basement bargain price – the difference seems to be that they return the Biotar to its original 17 aperture blades and use modern coatings to avoid some of the issues with vintage lens.

      • Zos Xavius

        The helios is a really cheap lens man. Plenty around too. The copy I have someone gifted to me from the Ukraine. Its not in great condition, but the glass was clear. I just use it like it is. Eventually I need to have someone CLA it though. Pretty much any old lens I buy I assume is going to need some love. Aperture blades stick, grease gets old and stiff, or just dries out and leaves you with sand in your threads. A lot of those old manual lenses are gems that will last for many, many years with just some simple servicing.

        • Totally! I’d love to have one… I was looking for a Biotar first and couldn’t find one that seemed like a good gamble on ebay without spending a fortune or potentially avoiding a hassle. At any rate, yes, I just love the look. I have a 1956 Leica Summari 50 1.5 and my clients are loving the images. Of course, it’s hard as hell!!! sometimes to focus at 1.5… 😉

          • Zos Xavius

            There are a few sites that sell them for reasonable prices. Google Russian lens for sale or something. I can’t remember. There is a link to a site in the comments too.

          • Yep! Thank you again, Zos!

  • Mistral75
  • Mistral75

    A Flickr album with eighteen pictures taken with the Oprema Jena Biotar 58mm f/2:

    https://flic.kr/s/aHsm5pdhm7

  • Zos Xavius

    Is that new stock?!? Good price

  • Yes, I was referring to difficulties of finding a really good, “low-risk” BIotar 75… harder to find from known buyer without spending much more $… I’ve looked at copies online but the better ones are pricey. I understand that the Helios is available and I definitely appreciate the link! Great to see! I’ve also been really amazed by the Cyclop! That thing has my interest… I know you won’t get a very sharp image but the backgrounds alone are great works of art.

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