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jaques

Kilfitt Kilar Zoomar lenses on leica?

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I have just secured two Zoomar lenses- a 300mm Pan Tele Zoomar and a 90mm f2.8.

 

the 90mm hasn't arrived yet (I think it is m39 moutn but not sure)- but I have the 300mm lens. Unfortunately it does not have a lens mount adaptor- it is just the lens with a metal cap on the end. I am wondering if anyone knows much about these lenses and what adaptor I need to use it on leica LTM mount or M mount cameras? Do these lenses work with Visoflex? The Pan tele is a huge lens with a very nice focusing system with a lever for precise focus. It is a beast. I am keen to test it.

 

I can post some images of the lenses here soon.

Edited by jaques

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Posted (edited)

The 90mm makro has a leica screw thread for use on the visoflex via the OUBIO or just an M mount screw thread adaptor. There is ample extension without the OUBIO or visoflex for M camera mounting and this is more compact for travel. 

Edited by pierovitch

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The 300 Pan-Tele-Kilar is a fine lens (have one too) and can be adapted to various cameras and to either Kilfitt-mirror-boxes for Leica or Contax or directly to Visoflex. Problem is that you need the correct adapter which can be expensive, common is Arriflex, rare is Visoflex, plus Kilfitt changed the rear mount of their lenses from 39mm LTM to own WE-mount.  https://photobutmore.de/exakta/kilfitt/ is a german side but you can at least read the tables for the adapter. You may alos post a pic that we can have a look at.

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/95318-kaviar/page/168/?tab=comments#comment-3752693

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There are three series of Kilfitt/Zoomar lenses - the KI series that has an L39 thread but not Visoflex registration; the AN series which uses adapter cones; and the WE series which uses a different set of adapter cones.  The 300mm f4 was only available as an AN mount lens or as a WE mount lens.  Since you give Zoomar as the name of your lenses, they are likely WE lenses. I don't think there were any AN lenses that were marked Zoomar.

There are several AN mounts depending on which reflex housing you want to use - ANSIC means Basic and is for the KIlfitt Repriscope, ANSO is for PLOOT/Visoflex I, ANSPI is for Kilfitt Kilarflex/Kilarscope, and ANVIS is for Visoflex II/III.

There are two WE mounts depending on which reflex housing you want to use - WEKI is for Kilfitt Kilarflex/Kilarscope, WEVI is for Visoflex II/III.  There is no adapter that will allow any WE lens to focus to infinity on PLOOT/Visoflex I.

The 90mm f2.8 lens was available in KI, AN, and WE mounts.

There are several KI mounts depending on which reflex housing you want to use - no adapter is needed for Kilfitt Repriscope, COZWI is for PLOOT/Visoflex I, REZWI is for Kilfitt Kilarflex/Kilarscope, and KIVIS is for Visoflex II/III.

Note there is only a 2mm thickness for COZWI so you can mount the 90mm f2.8 lens directly to PLOOT/Visoflex I if you don't mind the lens focusing a little past infinity.  That is, you need to extend the focusing mount 2mm to get infinity with COZWI.

Some of these adapters are ultra-rare; some of the the adapters can be found on e-bay regularly.

One further note, the 90mm f2.8 is a cult lens because it was used by Stanley Kubrick extensively for his films.  It is the first production lens that I know of that uses an aspherical lens element.

The Kilfitt/Zoomar systems can be very confusing because of the huge number of adapters and fit combinations.

What is the difference between Kilfitt and Zoomar?  Kilfitt was started by Heinz Kilfitt in Germany shortly after WWII although some lenses may have been made during the war.  Zoomar was started in the US by Dr Frank L Back shortly after WWII.  When separate companies, Kilfitt focused on precision optics for the camera industry with the goal to allow any lens to be mounted on any still or movie camera.  Zoomar focused on the specialty optics market with few sales to the general camera industry.  Kilfitt and Zoomar cooperated with each other while still separate companies.  When Heinz Kilfitt retired(?), Zoomar bought Kilfitt and continued joint production and development of their product lines.

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The Kilfitt system is complicated, and there is a misleading statement in my previous post.

The KI lenses longer than 135mm use - no adapter is needed for Kilfitt Repriscope, COZWI is for PLOOT/Visoflex I, REZWI is for Kilfitt Kilarflex/Kilarscope, and KIVIS is for Visoflex II/III.

The 90mm f3.5 (only KI) and 90mm f2.8 (in KI mount) use - no adapter for Kilfitt Kilarflex/Kilarscope, and REVIS is for Visoflex II/III.  They will not focus to infinity on Repriscope or PLOOT/Visoflex I.

That leaves the 135mm f3.8 (only KI) lens.  That was made in two versions; the first version was a long version and used the 90mm adapters; the subsequent versions had a shorter mount and used the KI adapters for the longer focal length lenses.

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wow guys- thanks so much. I was wondering if anyone wuld know what I needed- turns ut you guys know everything!

 

 

I will post pics of the two lenses when the 90mm arrives- which should be today.

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Let me add a few more words after looking in more detail in the photobutmore.de website, including some information on other lenses listed and on the situation for Leicaflex.

The 40mm f2.8 and f3.5 lenses only work on SLRs.  This lens does not use KI mounts, but seems to have its own special series of mounts that would have been attached to the lens when purchased.  The mounts can be changed by the user though.  I don't know if there is a mount for Leicaflex.

The 180mm f1.3 lens:  this amazing lens was a Zoomar lens, and it is in the WE series.  However, it will not work on reflex housings.  When a WE lens, such as a 300mm f4.0 Zoomar, was fitted to a 35mm SLR, it used a mount that was actually in two parts.  So a Leicaflex would use a WELEN (sometimes called WELE) mount.  It was actually in two parts consisting of a WE tube and an LEN adapter.  While the 180mm f1.3 was a WE lens, it only used the LEN part to mount to a Leicaflex.  Also note that there was a version of the 180mm f1.3 lens that had a permanent C mount and thus was not usable on a Leicaflex.  If you buy a 180mm f1.3 lens, make sure you know what version you are getting.

So for Leicaflex:

- KI lenses:  The first group of Kilfitt lenses used large single piece mount/adapter for 35mm SLRs.  The mount for Pentacon/Praktica was KIZPA.  There does not seem to have been a KIZLE mount.  Later the KIZxx mounts were replaced with a two piece mount, either KILLE or TULLE for Leicaflex, for 150mm and longer lenses.  KIL was a tube of fixed length and LE was an adapter held on by three set screws.  TUL was a tube of variable length to add closer focusing and used the same LE adapter.  When the 90mm f2.8 lens and the long 135mm f3.8 lens were introduced, a new tube was needed with code TUM.  So these lenses on Leicaflex would use TUM + LE = TUMLE.

- AN lenses:  For 35mm SLRs the mount was again two piece with a code ANLE for Leicaflex.  AN was a fixed length cone; LE was the same adapter held on by three set screws as used for the KI series.

- WE lenses:  For 35mm SLRs the mount was still a two piece unit with a code WELEN (sometimes called WELE) for Leicaflex.  WE was a fixed length adapter with a tripod foot and a filter slot; LEN was a new camera adapter that used a retaining ring to attach.

Leitz is called the Lord of the Rings, but Kiltitt was the King of the Rings.

As the Kilfitt systems aged, the pieces got rarer and rarer.  By the WE area SLR users wanted automatic diaphragms which the Japanese readily supplied.  Kilfitt/Zoomar never made a lens with an automatic diaphragm.  So the bulk of the later users were movie cameras shooters.  Thus most of the WE adapters you will find are WECI for C mount and WEAR for Arriflex.

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Aspheric Kilfitts were introduced well before the Zoomar linkup with dr. Back. It was really a biradially ground lens, not a continuous asphere. According to mr. Hervé Ponts book it seems that not all the 90mms had the distinctive circle that can be seen when looking at the elements. I have the most rcent variety in an Alpa mount. It has an ingenious extra helix.

p.

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So don't mix up the older 3.5/90 which came with seperate helicoid coupled to Leica screwmount and head with build-in heli for use on reflex-houses with the biradial 2.8/90. And be happy if you have the Chance and Money to buy some of the fast 1.8 or 1.3 Zoomars https://cameraquest.com/kilzoom.htm 

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We don't know much about the relationship between Zoomar and Kilfitt before Dr Back bought Kilfitt.  We do know that the Voigtlander 36 to 82mm f2.8 zoom lens (considered the first zoom lens for a 35mm camera) was designed by Dr Back and made by Kilfitt for Voigtlander in 1959.  Did Kilfitt provide glass for Zoomar lenses or even make Zoomar lenses as early as the 1950's?  My 20in f5.6 Zoomar Reflectar was made in 1958 and is labeled "Made in Westgermany".  Did Dr Back, the inventor of the optically compensating zoom lens in 1948 and the first macro-focusing zoom, design the Multi-Kilar or even the 90mm f2.8?  Herve Ponts' book is great for Kilfitt products, but provides little information on Dr Back and Zoomar products other than the Kilfitt Zoomars.

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Posted (edited)

OK- so after a tense delay with th mail- the 90mm Zoomar arrived (was mistaken calling the lenmses Kilfitt in the title)- and I am in Luck! It came fitted with two rings that combined give me M42 screw mount with infinity focus (I think just waiting for the moon to come out). I had an M42 to M adapter on hand so was all set. The adapter fits the 300 and the 90mm so I can use both thankfully. It is an odd one- with a horizontal flash shoe (?)- and makes the rig a little ungainly. I had a look around on the web and didn't see another adapter quite like it. It also came with a C cine mount cone adapter. So far so good:

 

 

Edited by jaques

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Posted (edited)

the 300mm f4 focus lever is amazing- and the overall build/engineering in another league:

 

 

 

 

Edited by jaques

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Congrats and welcome to the Kilfitt/zoomar-users 🙂 Hope you show some pictures shot with these lenses. Don't mind the flash-shoe but be glad you didn't have to look for expensive adapters.

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Thanks for the pictures of the lenses.  The lenses appear to be in beautiful condition.  You should enjoy them very much.  The rack focusing of the 300mm lens is very much fun to use; the built-in close focus extension compensates for the lack of full range in the focusing rack.  As you note, the build quality is excellent.  The WE mount is quite unique; I have never seen one like it with an accessory shoe.  When you disassemble the WE mount and the PAN adapter to change lenses, could you see if there are other engraved makings than WE?  

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Posted (edited)

yes- both lenses are in super shape- no damage and zero fungus, or even visible haze, etc. Minimal signs of use actually. The lubrication still feels very slick- they must have used the best quality products...  I am guessing these lenses date to the 50's? Or 60's? The close focus on both of these lenses is really amazing- technical marvel stuff.

 

There are no markings on the mount part with the accessory shoe (WE?)- the other m42 ring has 'PAN' marked on it. There is also a strange rod with a plastic brace on it- that screws into the bottom part of that adapter- and kind of makes it into a sort of rifle style shoulder support. If you are curious I can post a pic of that soon.

Edited by jaques

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I would indeed like to see a pic.  It is probably a Kilfitt KAGRI stock made from 1968 (about the time Zoomar took over Kilfitt) to 1979.

Using the information from Patrice-Herve Pont's book, your 300mm f4.0 lens is the second of three versions and was made between 1966 and 1979.  Your 90mm f2.8 looks like the third of three versions and was made between 1970 and 1979.  The serial number of a second version 90mm f2.8 lens starts with 243-; the serial number of a third version 90mm f2.8 starts with 301-.

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nope - this rod is cruder than the KAGRI stock. I will post a photo of it soon- I also have the very minimal manual that came with the 300mm lens. In the meantime here is my first atept with the 90 handheld in poor light and very high ISO:

 

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