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Kilfitt Vaduz and Munich
Kilfitt Lenses
Click on the pictures for details
Macro Macro Kilar 2.8/40  Macro Kilar 2.8/90
 Makro-Kilar 2.8 / 40 Makro-Kilar 2.8 / 90
Tele Tele Kilar 5.6/300
Tele-Kilar 5.6 / 300 Tele-Kilar 5.6 / 400
Tele Tele Kilar 5.6/300  
Sport-Fern-Kilar 5.6 / 600  

Heinz Kilfitt was one of the best and most innovative German lens makers of the 1950’s and 1960’s. When Heinz Kilfitt retired in 1968, he sold the factory to Dr. Back, who operated it under the Zoomar name from its headquarters in Long Island, New York.

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Every Kilfitt lens was tested before leaving the factory. Film was not considered flat enough for accurate tests, so it was shot on glass plates -- two of them. One plate went out with the lens, the other stayed at the factory for future comparisons if the lens was ever returned for repairs. The lenses were bolted to a tripod head mounted in concrete in the basement of the Kilfitt factory. Mr. Kilfitt wanted to turn out quality lenses, and he did. Not only did he make lenses, he also designed cameras. The Robot, the Mecaflex and the Kowa 2 1/4 are all Mr. Kilfitt's designs. Kilfitt's and Zoomars are fine lenses of great precision and optical performance, but today they are hard to find -- at least in the US.

The 300 and longer non-mirror lenses are more likely to have coating problems than not, leading to believe the factory coating on large lens surfaces was often not up to the challenge. Well known for optical innovation, Kilfitt specialized in two areas: macro lenses and zooms - his factories invented both. In 1955 Kilfitt made world's first 35mm macro lens, the 40/2.8 Kilar. In 1959 the Kilfitt factory turned out the world's first production 35mm zoom lens, the 36-82/2.8 Zoomar. Not too bad for an independent factory

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Partial listing of Kilfitt and Zoomar Lenses most were made in interchangeable mounts

  • 75/1.3 Zoomatar for movie cameras
  • 90/3.5 Kilar. About 1952; $75
  • 110/2.8 Panosoft Soft Focus Lens
  • 135/3.8 Kilar. About 1952; $90
  • 150/3.5 Kilar. About 1952; $97.50; $120 in 1955
  • 180/1.3 Zoomatar See Profile
  • 240/1.2 Super-Zoomatar, introd at Photokina 1970, covers 6x9, built in hood
  • 250/4 Zoomar Reflectar, mirror lens, 1970, covered 6x6
  • 300/5.6 Tele-Kilar. About 1952; $130; $150 in 1955
  • 300/4 Pan-Tele-Kilar. PS; introd 1956; 5 elements; rack and pinion focusing, with lever; $444.50, covered 6x6, focusing to just under 6 feet
  • 400/5.6 Tele-Kilar, helical focusing, About 1952; $240
  • 400/4 Sport Fern Kilar. Intro 1956; rack and pinion focusing, with lever; $484.50
  • 400/4 Sport Zoomatar, focused 1:10 500/5.6
  • Zoomar Sport Reflectar, mirror lens, $550 1972 , covered 6x6 Black, built in hood, with focusing lever. Also seen another version of this lens, painted light tan for military service, with helical focusing. focused 1:10
  • 600/5.6 Fern Kilar. About 1953; $599.50 helical focusing
  • 600/5.6 Sport-Fern-Kilar rack, and pinion focusing 600/5.6 Sport Zoomatar 1000/8
  • Zoomar Sport Reflectar, mirror lens, $1390 1972, covered 6x6 focused 1:6
  • 400/600/800/1200 f/4 to f/5.6 Zoomar Tele-Combination PS $975 1972 50 to 125/4
  • Macro-Zoomar PS $220 1972, focused 1:1, the first 35mm macro zoom
  • 170-320/4 Rapid Focus Tele-Zoomar, covers 6x6 focused 1:8
  • 40/3.5 Macro Kilar D. MAN; about 1955; focus to 2 in.; $115
  • Macro Kilar E. MAN; about 1955; focus to 4 in.; $90
  • 40/2.8 Macro Kilar D.PS; introd 1956; focus to 2 in.; $139.50
  • 40/2.8 Macro Kilar E. PS; introd 1956; focus to 4 in; $119.50
  • 90/2.8 Macro Kilar. PS; introd 1956; focus to 1:1 magnification; $250
  • 90/2.8 Super Macro-Kilar PS $195 1972
  • 90/2.8 Macro Zoomatar 1:1 Tele-Converter: Multi-Kilar. Introd 1964; telephoto converter using a positive lens, variable from 2X to 4X, for use with Kilfitt lenses; 8 elements. A later Zoomar version was called the "Double 35."

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