Is 17 the magic number for bokeh? Biotar announces campaign for 17-bladed 58mm f/2 optic


posted Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 1:05 PM EDT


If you have ever scoffed at a mere 9 or 11 aperture blades, then Oprema Optik's latest Indiegogo campaign is a must-see. The German lens maker, Oprema Jena, is resurrecting the Biotar 58mm f/2 optic, including its unique and "world record" 17-blade aperture design. What's old is new again.

This is Oprema's second lens project following a successful Kickstarter campaign for a Biotar 75mm f/1.5 revival project, so the company has experience bringing distinct lenses back from the past.

Let's talk more about the 17 aperture blades. This frankly insane number of blades leads to a different background blur that is unlike what you're apt to find in modern lenses. How is this possible? Part of the explanation is that the Biotar 58mm f/2 is a fully manual lens, so the large number of moving parts won't affect usability with autofocus as there is no autofocus capability to worry about.


Looking at additional technical specifications for the one-of-a-kind optic, the lens has six elements across four groups and offers a close focus distance of half a meter. The lens is about as long as it is wide, around 2.2 inches (just under 60 millimeters) and weighs 14.5 ounces (410 grams).

The lens is going to be available in most major mounts, including Sony E and Fujifilm X. At the time of writing, you can still score a new Biotar 58mm for just under US$900 with shipping expected in September of next year. That represents a 55 percent discount off the eventual $2,000 price tag. If you miss out on the "Crazy Perk" backing option, there will be a $950 price point available too. But wait, there's more! If you want both the new 58mm lens and the previous Biotar 75mm f/1.5 optic, you can score them both in a $2,000 bundle, which is 57 percent off their retail prices. Plus this option comes with a pouch for each lens. The campaign looks primed to reach its target, having raised around $47,000 of its $50,000 goal with 23 days remaining.

Biotar 58mm f/2

(Via Fuji Rumors)