What lens from the past would you like to see make a comeback?
Quite the question for idle times. This week I learned what my answer to this question is going be for a while: the Hologon 8/16.
The diagram is so unusual that it’s unclear which way is forward from first inspection –it looks more like a geometric symbol than a lens diagram. This strange beast is obviously the brain child of a creative engineer.
From ebay, asking price: $1500.
The big element goes in front it turns out and the rest of the lens is buried entirely inside the camera, barely clearing the shutter curtain. This makes it a remarkably compact lens, one that could help the camera fit into a coat pocket. By the way, that lever on the side is for focusing, and there are no aperture controls because there is no aperture iris in this lens, there’s no room!
What’s most remarkable is the performance – it has a unique signature with a timeless quality. For a 15-year old lens, the MTF figures are not too shabby at all, I think this lens still figures among the greatest of this class. The distortion figures are the true appeal however, because here is a 16mm super-wideangle with no distortions of any kind. We expect wideangle lenses to come with (lately, massive) barrel distortions – the prospect of a compact, sharp and distortion-free lens just have me drooling at the lip.
So here is my hope: I hope to see the Hologon 8/16 return in ZM mount. Zeiss, please make it so! :^)