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Product Announcement: Original Baltar Lens Rehousing

Zero Optik’s introduction to the motion-picture lens rehousing market comes in the form of an 8 focal length set of Bausch and Lomb’s original Baltar lenses.

Designed in the 1930’s, Baltar lenses were sold as stand-alone optical cells that could be built into any focusing unit. Among the first cinema lenses to be offered with single-coated optics, they resist veiling glare, even with point sources in the frame. As a set, Baltars produce an unmatched aesthetic that is surprisingly sharp and contrast-rich with gentle corner fall-off on wider focal lengths.

Designed around the simple and well-established double-gauss optical layout, the original Baltars are more consistent aesthetically than Super Baltars of the 1960’s and substantially more compact. The first seven focal lengths (25mm, 30mm, 35mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm) have uniform T2.5 apertures, while the 152mm opens to T3.2. With the Zero Optik rehousing, this consistency is extended with common 95mm front diameters, expanded focus and iris scales, as well as identical gear placement across focal lengths.

Engineered to stay true to the lenses’ lightweight and compact build, Zero Optik has taken Bausch and Lomb’s existing vintage gems and rehoused them in 7075 aerospace aluminum with 316 stainless steel PL mounts and reliable cam-driven focus mechanisms. Each lens has smart and dumb-side focus and iris marks, as well as scales that can be delivered in metric or imperial units.

Clients must provide their own Baltar optics, as Zero Optik does not currently maintain inventory of completed lenses. Pricing covers parts and labor. Refurbishing, recoating, or any further service or repair to sourced lenses is available for an additional fee. Shipping begins Spring 2017.