Fast lenses of the 60s

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by johnny_tsang, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. I was having a debate with my manager at work about which manufacturer has a 0.95 lens back in the 60s. He said that Minolta and Kowa had 0.95 lenses and that they were made for slrs. To my knowledge the only company that had a 0.95 was canon back in that era. At least for main stream 35mm cameras and not xray camera lenses or c mount lenses. Please shed some light on this topic.
  2. SCL


    I don't remember others having f/0.95 lenses for 35mm cameras, but perhaps. Monaghan didn't mention them in his cult classics. Perhaps your manager could provide some insight, links, etc to validate his claim. Camerapedia doesn't list a 0.95 for Kowa in its list of their SLR or rangefinder lenses - perhaps they did some one-offs or specialty items for the military. As for Minolta - I don't remember ever hearing of an f/0.95, but I wouldn't be surprised considering their prominence in lens research.
  3. SCL


    Update - Kowa did produce a 50mm f/0.95 lens in a C mount for TV, and various <f/1.0 lenses for Xray machines. but not for 35mm bodies. Here's an interesting list of fast lenses, manufacturers and proposed uses:
  4. The really famous 0.95 lens fast lens of that era was the Canon. It was first made for the Canon rangefinder 35mm, so it is an oldie.
  5. I believe Canon also had an extremely fast lens for the SLR with no moving mirror. The name escapes me at the moment.
  6. The Canon SLR with the stationary mirror was the Pellix. Because of the light loss through the semi-silvered mirror, they announced an f/1.2 lens along with the camera.
    f/1.2 was the "super-speed" frontier for SLR cameras in the 1960's, with such lenses from (at least) Canon, Konica, and Minolta. Pentax didn't do an f/1.2 until 1975, Nikon until 1977 (the 58mm Noct-Nikkor).
  7. Nikon made an f1.1 lens, but Canon were the only ones to make a 0.95 for 35mm. I think that there were a couple of fast cine lenses around. There certainly were no 0.95's for SLR's.
  8. Didn't Nikon come out with a 55mm f1.2 S in time for X-mas in 1965? I believe something like that is
    at Roland Vink's website. Jim
  9. According to the Canon Camera Museum website, the 58/1.2 FL came out in March of 1964. This means it could have been used on the FX and the FP. The original Pellix did not show up until April of 1965, more than a year later. The 58/1.2 FL was later replaced by a 55/1.2 FL which is in my FL collection. Sample variation is always an issue but my 57/1.2 Konica Hexanons are sharper than the 55/1.2 Canon FL. I think the Minolta 58/1.2 and Nikon 55/1.2 were both better than either the 58 or 55 f/1.2 Canon FL lenses. The Canon 50/1.4 FL II on the other hand is a very good lens and dates back to 1968. There was a 55/1.2 lens made by Tomioka and sold under various names which was in M42 mount. Designing fast lenses for the M42 mount was difficult because it wasn't very wide.
  10. Yes, there was a Nikon f/1.1 lens for their S-series rangefinder cameras.
    OK, there was a 55mm f/1.2 Nikkor-S introduced in December 1965. The Noct-Nikkor was the first aspherical f/1.2 Nikkor.
    Agree with Jeff, the Pentax f/1.2 lens had to wait for K-mount. Small throat of M42 and Exakta mounts was an impediment to fast lenses. (Look how large the Topcor 58/1.4 was.)
  11. Sometime during the 60's Olympus produced a 42mm f1.2 lens. But it was for their half frame Pen F series cameras. I think it was in a brochure as early as 1967, the same year the Pen FT was introduced.
  12. Zeiss did make some f/0.7 camera lenses back in the 1960s
  13. There was a 55/1.2 lens made by Tomioka and sold under various names which was in M42 mount.​
    There's a rather spectacular Tomioka website that's both decorative and informative:
  14. I bought the model marked Chinon Tomioka years ago as a gift for my brother-in-law. I had no idea it was such a cult lens. My f/1.2 collection is a small one. I have one late model 55/1.2 Canon FL and two 57/1.2 Konica Hexanons - chrome and black with the lock pin. I think these were the first model because I have never seen one without a lock pin and later ones have a rubber covered focusing ring and different coatings.
  15. Canon made a 58/F1.2 in "R" mount for the original Canonflex. It was introduced in 1962. The same optics were carried over to FL mount in 1964. The "R" version is somewhat rare and, today, is a collectors item. The FL version is somewhat common.
  16. Canon is not alone, but they have made a number of very fast lenses - including the 1956 (LTM) 50mm f/1.2, the later (modified LTM) 50mm f/0.95, then the FD 55mm f/1.2, the FD 50mm f/1.2 and the EF 50mm f/1.0.
    As noted, there are lots of very fast lenses out there that cover 8mm or 16mm film sizes, but those don't count in this particular sweepstakes.
  17. The first fast one was a Zunau(sp) f:1.1.

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