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.
Dr. Back designed the first production 35mm SLR zoom, the famous
36-82/2.8 Zoomar in 1959. It was originally made in Voigtlander
Bessamatic mount, produced in the Munich Kilfitt factory -- as
were most Zoomars. Most Kilfitt and Zoomar lenses left the factory
with versatile interchangeable lens mounts. In 1986 Zoomar unfortunately
left the civilian market, concentrating on US military optics.