Projector Lens Group Test 1: Basic 85s

If you average out all the lenses sold with all 35mm slide projectors, the most average – the most commonly fitted and seen – would be the plastic-barrel 85mm f2.8. Zeiss, Rollei, Wilhelm Will, Isco, Schneider, Rodenstock, Cabin et al – their entry-level bog-basic triplets were always the best sellers, most often selected by customers, given the choice between this and the deluxe option that tended to be a bit longer, a bit faster, and lot more expensive.

There aren’t quite as many as there appear to be, given how much rebranding went on, but let’s have a closer look at how a few of the most frequently seen 85/2.8 lenses compare:

Rollei Heidosmat 85/2.8

Reflecta Agomar 90/2.8 (AKA Agfa Agomar, Wetzlar Agomar)

Will.Wetzlar Maginon 85/2.8 (AKA Gnome Maginon et al)

Rodenstock Stellar 85/2.8 (metal barrel version)

Rodenstock Splendar 85/2.8 (metal barrel version)

Meyer Optik Diaplan 85/2.8 (late all plastic version)

Isco Projar 85/2.3 (AKA Gnome Projar 85/2.3)

Zeiss Talon 85/2.8 (AKA Zett Talon 85/2.8)

. . . to be continued.

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