Having recently succeeded in crowdfunding the revival of the Biotar 75mm lens, Oprema is at it again and is looking to bring back the “legendary” Biotar 58mm f/2.0… with an aperture containing a record 17 blades.
Having only just got started with their crowdfunding efforts, the project has already surpassed the goal of $50,000. If it successfully funds and launches, the lens will be the only lens in the entire world with a 17-blade aperture.
“We absolutely wanted to maintain the optical features of the lens. We wanted to keep its subtleness, its wonderful ability to catch lights and colors and, of course, its legendary center focus and the one and only Biotar bokeh,” writes Oprema. “In other words, we wanted to build a worthy continuation of the famous blueprint while maintaining the grace of the original design.”
It’s all possible because of the lens’ fully manual design. Autofocus lenses have fewer blades to reduce the number of moving parts, but the Biotar doesn’t have to adhere to these limitations.
The lens will have less than 1% distortion, a minimum focusing distance of 0.5 meters, a 58mm filter threads, and a weight of 410 grams.
Here are some sample photos that show what the working prototype of this lens can do:
Here’s a short video introducing this new lens:
The Biotar 58mm f/2.0 lens is on Indiegogo with a minimum contribution of $1,000 if you’d like to receive one of the first units. The lens will come in mounts for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, and Leica M. It’s expected in October 2018, and by that point will retail for $2,000.
Update on 9/25/17: Commenters have correctly pointed out that there have been lenses with 20 or more aperture blades on the market before. It’s unclear whether Oprema got its facts wrong, or whether they mean that this is a record for an in-production lens.