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Biometar and Planar
- Subject: Biometar and Planar
- From: Marc James Small <msmall >
- Date: Fri, 07 Feb 1997 21:34:36 -0500
At 04:41 PM 2/7/97 -0800, peter.kotsinadelis wrote:
> The Biometar was a lower priced lens that Rollei got from Zeiss
> Jena and delivery problems, and particularly poor QC made
> Rollei swicth back to Zeiss Oberkochen. The Biometar is a poor
> resolving lens plain and simple. The only people who like them
> are historians who own them and claim they are better than the
> reality fo things.
Prior to the Second War, Ernst Wandersleb, head of optical design at Carl
Zeiss Jena, began to re-examine the six-element symmetrical Planar to see
whether its flare problem could be tamed by lens coating. He assigned a
young assistance, Dr Hans Sauer, to do the actual work. When the Zeiss's
split in the later 1940's, Sauer went west to Oberkochen but much of his
work stayed behind at Jena. Thus, both companies built the same design. As
Western Courts awarded ownership of Zeiss trademarks to Oberkochen, the Jena
lenses had to be marked 'Biometar' when sold in the West, while Carl Zeiss
lenses sold in the East were marked as 'Opton T' or 'P' as late as 1989.
The Biometar and Planar are thus identical lenses with identical
performance. Jena lacked quality metals and fine lubricants, so some Jena
lenses of the period suffer from poor lensmounts, but then, Oberkochen did
not enjoy as fine a supply of optical glasses until the late 1950's, so it
all evened out in the end.
msmall FAX: +540/343-7315
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