Is photography simply reproducing realism, or is it art? For Meyer Optik, photography is artistic expression — and the company is working to make that a reality with the final lens in its “soap bubble bokeh” series, the Trioplan 35+, launched on Kickstarter on March 9.
Trioplans are art lenses that, when shot wide open, produce an unusual bokeh that appears similar to bubbles, giving the series the bubble bokeh nickname. The 35 is the third and final lens in the series, joining a 50mm now shipping to Kickstarter backers and a 100mm.
That wide angle soap bubble lens may be a Kickstarter project, but it was fully funded in a matter of hours. The lens has already nearly quadrupled a $50,000 funding goal, with the campaign running until April 13.
Meyer Optik says the final lens in the series is a storyteller’s lens because of the wide angle perspective shows both the subject and surrounding context, with a wide f/2.8 aperture making it a good option for street, nature, and travel photography.
The design of the lens is based on a 100-year-old idea. Ironically, the first Trioplan lenses were known not for that bokeh, but for center sharpness that was unheard of at the time. With sharpness now easier to come by, the unique lens design is making a literal comeback since the Meyer Optic company was only revived three years ago. The lens uses the classic design for that bokeh and unique color rendering with an additional two front elements to achieve the wide 35mm angle.
The lens weighs in at under 8 ounces (220g). Designed for full frame cameras, the lens will be available in Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sony E mounts, along with mounts for Fuji X, Micro Four Thirds, M42, and Pentax K. The lens will also be compatible with some Leicas including the M and L, but not all the camera functions are supported, including the rangefinder focusing.
All three of the Trioplan lenses are handmade in Germany.
With the earliest pledges already sold out, the lens sells to early backers for from $650 to $2,499 for all three Trioplan lenses. Shipping is estimated for the fall of 2017. The lens is estimated to retail for $1,600 after the Kickstarter campaign.
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