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Kern Macro-Switar 26mm Preset


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#1 Tim Halloran

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 02:13 PM

I am now convinced I will never own one of these beauties:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...e=STRK:MEWAX:IT

$1,887.91?!?!

I already have a really nice Switar 25mm RX for my Bolex, but I've always thought I'd upgrade to the later presets. At these prices, not likely.

Does it entirely have to do with the fact that people now use these c-mounts on those little digital cameras? Always rare and pricey but this is crazy.

Tim
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#2 Chris Millar

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 05:59 PM

I am now convinced I will never own one of these beauties:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...e=STRK:MEWAX:IT

$1,887.91?!?!

I already have a really nice Switar 25mm RX for my Bolex, but I've always thought I'd upgrade to the later presets. At these prices, not likely.

Does it entirely have to do with the fact that people now use these c-mounts on those little digital cameras? Always rare and pricey but this is crazy.

Tim


Ha,

wow - and that's an auction also not just a price fixing buy it now...

Glad I got mine when I did for less than half of that - my 75mm and 150mm came from Argentina and I think Spain, brand spanking new for about $150 each - the 10mm I paid a bit more for ...

Its nice to know but kind of wasted in that - I don't want to sell them !
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#3 Chris Elardo

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 12:02 AM

I was really trying to get ahold of one of those beauties. I have the preset 10mm and 75mm, but that 26 is in huge demand and for the prices they're currently fetching, I decided on a mint 25mm and a Super16 conversion for my camera!
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#4 David Auner aac

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 06:53 AM

Wow! I got my 26, quite a nice one that is, for around 300 Eu a year or two ago. Amazing what these lenses are worth these days...

Cheers, Dave
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#5 Jeremy Rumas

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 12:48 PM

Wow. Unreal. I got a 26mm preset about two years ago off Ebay from a member who sold a lot of Bolex stuff. Cost was around US $500 I think.
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#6 Boris Belay

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 07:35 AM

Welcome to the new New World Order, people ! Not only is 16mm. film-shooting hanging by the thread of its teeth (or something like this!), pushed ever-closer to the precipice by the "Digital Revolution", but the Financial Center of the world has now effectively shifted, probably for good...
Now, to be a little less cryptic : what you are seeing from the pinhole side of the Bolex world ("I love my Kerns and nobody much but other friendly Bolex nuts bothered me about it thusfar"), is that the Far-East Asians are gobbling up anything with a recognizable European brand name that will mount with some sort of adapter on their brand new digital puppies, be they Lumix, Olympus or what-not. The new pocket cameras with 4/3 sensors and replacaeable lenses have ushered in a new standard for prices, one that had only touched longer focal lenses so far, either to be mounted on larger sensor DSLRs, or -- with the Almighty PL-Mount added -- on the RED (upper-case not my own, for a change...).
This, combined with the fact that the ones with the deep pockets are now on the other side of 'our' world, makes the phenomenon a bit more startling. And deep, they are, as deep as their desire (at least according to my analysis of the facts) to buy a piece of history/culture with their newfound (if much belated) wealth. Anyone familiar with how the Romans took over Greek culture after having proven their technological-practical superiotity over them -- and because all they had thus far was that techie/handy advantage -- will see where I get my analytical clues from.
To be even more down to earth : I deal quite a bit on eBay (or off -- if anyone is interested in Bolex or Eclair gear, PM me ;-) ), especially when I need a bit of cash. I was preparing for a long thrip last December and got selling, including some C-mount lenses I had around for a while but did not have much use for... like an Angenieux video lens in C-mount, Focal 35mm, f:0.90. Pretty rare stuff, but not very useful (it was designed to be motorized and not handy at all without motor/outboard controler). Within a few hours of the posting of this lens on the Bay, I was negotiating directly with several dealers (only one was west-based, and dropped out quickly), to finally sell the lens for USD 2000 or so. All of the other cine lenses I was willing to part with, whether C-mount or C-mount adaptable, went (Far East) for sweet prices too. It left a strange taste in my cine-head mouth, I have to say. But had I been normally made-up (at least mentally), this taste should all have been washed away by the giddy-silly, totally over the top, absolutely unfathomable consumerism I witnessed on a short stopover in singapore during the trip itself. Believe you me, if you haven't seen Orchard Road in the last decade (or some equivalent main shopping strip in an equivalent Asian city), you don't know what excessive wealth spent on useless luxury gods means... NYC was the prototype, the giant malls that spread across the Occident were the working models, and this is the fully mature machine...
And it's ongoing too : I need money again, so I throw a line into that new ocean, baiting with the common Angenieux 75/2.5 C-mounter (yes, the one made 50 years ago for B&H, etc), and I get this response right away: USD 3000 instead for a rather rare Angenieux 75/1.9 Cameflex mount lens. And just as much for its sister 40mm model. From a regular guy "who likes to take pictures of his wife and daughters", without even getting on eBay. I closed the deal, got paid lightning fast again, all the while wondering how stellar the price could have been, had the lens gotten some Bay-xposure...
So yes, 'they' are buying us out of our lenses : so long as as they're called Angenieux, Kinoptik, Kern, Zeiss... even SOM Berthiot, and a few others, fixed focal lens, cover a micro 4/3 sensor (more or less, it doesn't even matter), and no matter the shape of it, its age, etc... It all goes for 3, 4, 5 maybe even 10 times as much as it did one year ago (not to mention before the RED PL-mount craze started). Only the wide-angles are safe so far -- funny, since they used to be the pricier ones...
So hang to what you have, if you really treasure it (it's hard to resist these offers, let me tell you : I wasn't going to sell those two last ones), and dig into the rest of your cupboards for those old things you haven't given a thought to since you got them off eBay for cheap and figured out they didn't clear the Bolex prism (or equivalent technical limitation). Particularly if it's got a WOW-WIDE aperture (like the Kern 1.1, or that Ange 25/0.9 that couldn't stand the side-by side quality test with your old Kern 25/1.4), and yes, even if it's a SOM-Berthiot lens designed in 1954.
I'm afraid that is all a bit larger trend than whatever can happen in the Bolex (or Cine-16) world, so we'd better get use to it, perhaps adapt to it, to maybe even benefit from it a litlle...
Sorry for the long-winded post, but I wax lyrical when it come to macro-trends, especially if they spell the end of an era (and I don't mean 16mm., for once).
Cheers,
B.
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#7 Boris Belay

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 07:48 AM

PS. The fad for Classic Cinema lenses may die out as quickly as it's flared up (so hurry if you want to profit, and be patient if you can't), it all goes very fast.
What won't go away so quickly, I believe, is who calls the financial shots from now on.
The good news is that make-doers like us thriving on obsolete technology (and perhaps knowing why we bother to), are a bit better-equipped to handle the sea-change than the average citizen of the now-enlarged Old World. At least that's what I tell myself when I fell bad about selling out ;-)
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#8 Peter Tripodi

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 02:30 AM

OK, I get it now. I was wondering why the Yvar 100mm macro I wanted is eBaying away for 7 times what it went for 2 years ago. C'est La Vie for a shallow pocket Bolex fan like me.
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#9 Chris Millar

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 06:38 PM

Prices still going strong :)


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#10 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 04:31 AM

The funny thing for me is that these buyers are dropping sometimes a grand or more on lenses that were designed for reflex Bolexes, with optical corrections built in to negate the effects of a 10mm thick glass prism in the light path. One day I should post some photos comparing test projections of an RX lens next to a non-RX lens. Without the prism, RX lenses look terrible until you stop down to at least f/4 or more, with extreme halation and flare and utterly mushy corners. A non-RX Switar by comparison projects quite nicely, a bit washed out wide open, but pretty sharp right to the edges.

There's actually not a whole lot of difference between Switars and Macro Switars either, in terms of the image, and probably none at all if you're using them on a camera that's not a reflex Bolex. There'd be far more improvement gained using a non-RX Switar. But these tend to get the lowest prices. I get the sense either these buyers like the look of spherical aberration (which they could get with a cheap-arse CCTV lens or filters or a Coke bottle) or they're completely ignorant and just going with the herd.

What makes me suspect the latter is the unrelentingly high prices for H8RX lenses. These are designed to only cover an 8mm (or at a stretch a Super 8mm) frame, and also have built in prism corrections, but most pertinently, despite being C-mount they have a flange depth that is 2 mm shorter than the normal C mount standard. So anyone using one with a standard c-mount adapter will be limited to extreme macro shots. Yet they consistently sell for over $200, sometimes fetching up to 4 or 500. The power of the "Macro-Switar" name..
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#11 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 07:33 AM

I completely agree with what you said, Dom.

Jean-Louis
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#12 Chris Millar

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 04:57 PM

If there were space in these cameras do you think there is a possible market for spare Bolex prisms to be retro fitted to the RX lenses?

:D
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#13 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 05:57 PM

That's certainly an interesting concept which has crossed my mind before. In my view, better would be an adapter with a glass block built in. Bolex prisms on the H16RX are about 9.5mm thick. You would have to find glass of the same indice of refraction.
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#14 Chris Millar

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 06:13 PM

It had crossed my mind that similar glass would be a fine substitute also...  But the type of people forking out for the presets are really after 'authenticity' - of course not to the level of actually putting an RX lens onto you know ... a 'reflex' Bolex - I think only the real deal would suffice for them.

 

You could charge $500~$600 for it - maybe more, with a just-so emotional sub-text in your advertising.

 

(the cost of a dead bolex on ebay and a nice premium)


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