Hypergon Lens

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I saw in the Wisner catalog that they are selling a remake of the Zeiss Hypergon lens. Supposedly, this is an 85mm lens that can cover 8x10 with movement, and is rectilinear, flat field, and has virtually no distortion or astigmatism. Coverage is claimed to be a whopping 140 degrees. Of course, this is their ad copy, so I don't expect them to dwell on the lens's inaccuracies and problems. Wisner's version has waterhouse stops, and sells for something like $2000. From what I could gather from the ad, it's just 2 elements in 2 groups, looking a bit like a hollowed out glass marble.

I've never heard of this lens design, or anything like it. Has anyone used it, or any of it's cousins? Does anyone have any familiarity with it's history, design strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly, usefulness for photography? Are there any lenses of similar design for other formats? I can't imagine that a lens of this type, scaled down to 35mm (and perhaps improved to get up to modern lens standards) wouldn't sell well. But perhaps the 4x5 version would have the most usefulness, if it had a focal length of about 40mm, and could cover 4x5 with significant movement.

Any comments on this?

-- Martin F. Melhus (melhus@fdrc.iit.edu), March 31, 1998


???????????????????????? Never heard of.....

THe Hypergon is a very famous lens and anyone who knows lenses would know that. The lens I designed is a faithful copy and performs just like the original. The old one is the one which had a little fan in the middle to even out illumination. THese days we can use center filters instead. Anyone interseted can have complete optical information from the computer design.


The lens is a redsign of the original Goerz lens of the early 20th Century. The design was executed by Ron Wisner using modern glass. Computer data is computer generated and a faithfull representation of real performance of the lens. All data was generated at f45, the overall diffraction/resolution limited stop of the lens. Though its image circle is large enough to cover 11 x 14, this lens is intended to be used on 8 x10 and smaller.

Additional information: The lens is provided with its own special rotary sector-shutter. It is a bulb/time shutter only. The stops are the old-fashioned waterhouse type and have four settings: for viewing f14, f22,f32,f45.

The reason for this style of stops is that the waterhouse stops are the most accurate type. Accuracy is important for centering reasons and normal exposure values and conventional leaf diaphragms are not terribly accurate at small stops

The lens is recommended to be used with a center filter. Purchasers of this unique lens should be prepared to buy the center filter, although some may want to experiment photographing without it. Careful printing by dodging the edges of the negative can reduce the fall-off, while preserving some fall-of in the final print may enhance the wide angle effect to some degree.

The price of the lens is $ 2500. There will be a balance of 50% on receipt of the order. Balance will be due upon shipping, delivery 8-10 weeks.

Note: Because of extreme radii and full hemisphere the lens elements must be made as they were originally , one at a time. This means the cost of savings making many is nil. Each lens must be individually mounted and tested as well, since such extreme design parameters can lead to slight differences in focal length and astigmatism. More info: +--------------------------------------------------------------------+ | John D. de Vries Johndesq Consultancy | | | | Startup page http://www.johndesq.com | | http://www.geocities.com/~johndesq | | Shortcut http://www.johndesq.com/shortcut | | http://members.tripod.com/~johndesq | | | +--------------------------------------------------------------------+ | jd@johndesq.com Voice:++31(0)343 513927 Fax: ++31(0)343 513927 | +--------------------------------------------------------------------+


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-- John D de Vries (jd@johndesq.com), April 02, 1998.

Since this marvelous new/old classic is intended for 8x10 cameras, it would be very useful to get information on the lens-flange to film-plane distance, or bellows extension. How much would that be when the lens is focused at infinity? Can the lens be used on ordinary 8x10 cameras as, e.g., the Toyo M II 8x10?

-- Emil Ems (emil.ems@dg2.cec.be), October 06, 1998.

You can get a look at the original here: http://www.cosmonet.org/camera/hyperg_e.htm

-- sheldon hambrick (shambric@us.ibm.com), October 06, 1998.

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