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Beautiful blur: gold version of Trioplan 'soap bubble' bokeh lens costs $3,500

meyer optik trioplan 100mm limited edition
Meyer-Optik-Göerlitz just announced a pair of limited-edition versions of its Trioplan 100mm f/2.8 lens. Photographers looking to add a bit of exclusivity to the already unique lens will be able to choose between the Trioplan Titanium and the extra special Trioplan Golden Eye, but neither will come cheap. The Titanium can be pre-ordered for $2,500, while the Golden Eye breaks the bank at $3,500.

This may seem high for a lens that is only $1,500 in its standard form, especially since the limited editions don’t alter the optical formula at all. Meyer-Optik doesn’t intend to sell very many of them, however. According to DPReview, the new versions were made to honor the 100th anniversary of the classic Trioplan lens, and will be available in extremely limited quantities. Only 100 copies of the Titanium will be produced, while the Golden Eye will see an even shorter run of just 10 units.

Beyond the gold or titanium plating, what makes the Trioplan unique (and gives it its name) is its apparently simplistic design: just three elements in three groups. At 100mm and a maximum aperture of f/2.8, the lens achieves a shallow depth of field, with the optical design rendering the characteristic “soap bubble” blur in out-of-focus areas (also called bokeh).

Thanks to the unique look of the images it produces, the Trioplan is less of a workhorse lens and more of a specialist tool. Meyer-Optik describes it as being like a paintbrush, a lens for the purpose of creating art. Its uses, however, are varied, as it is equally capable for portraits and for close-ups.

Meyer-Optik looked to Kickstarter to help it resurrect the Trioplan lens in 2015. It went on to raise nearly $360,000 on a $50,000 goal from 452 backers. That’s an average pledge of $796, proving that photographers were ready to add this lens to their bags. A subsequent Kickstarter campaign for a 50mm Trioplan would go on to earn almost double that.

The 100mm Trioplan is available in mounts for Canon, Nikon, Micro Four Thirds, and Sony cameras. Meyer-Optik is currently accepting pre-orders through their website.

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