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Neo Baltar and Neo Super Baltar revival?

Feli di Giorgio
 

Speaking of new lenses does anyone know anything about the revival of Bausch+Lomb Baltar and Super Baltar lenses by Brian Caldwell and Caldwell Photographic, Inc.

Supposedly these will be available in 2018.

http://www.caldwell-photographic.com/Products.html

http://www.caldwell-photographic.com/uploads/Neo_Baltar_Brochure_2017.pdf

http://www.caldwell-photographic.com/uploads/Neo_Super_Baltar_Brochure.pdf


Thanks

Feli di Giorgio
VFX / Bay Area

_______________________________________________
Feli di Giorgio - feli2@... - www.felidigiorgio.com

Roy H. Wagner ASC
 

I have both Baltars and Super Baltars. A friend has The Godfather Baltars.  The barrel is almost as important as the glass. 
Roy

Roy H. Wagner ASC
Director of Photography
Honorary Fellow Royal Photographic Society
AMPAS, SMPTE
(310) 614-8362

On Mar 8, 2018, at 2:51 PM, Feli di Giorgio <feli2@...> wrote:

Speaking of new lenses does anyone know anything about the revival of Bausch+Lomb Baltar and Super Baltar lenses by Brian Caldwell and Caldwell Photographic, Inc.

Supposedly these will be available in 2018.

http://www.caldwell-photographic.com/Products.html

http://www.caldwell-photographic.com/uploads/Neo_Baltar_Brochure_2017.pdf

http://www.caldwell-photographic.com/uploads/Neo_Super_Baltar_Brochure.pdf


Thanks

Feli di Giorgio
VFX / Bay Area

_______________________________________________
Feli di Giorgio - feli2@... - www.felidigiorgio.com

Tim Sassoon
 

Roy,

Would you mind expanding on why the barrels are important?


Tim Sassoon
Venice, CA




On Mar 8, 2018, at 3:25 PM, Roy H. Wagner ASC <rhwasc@...> wrote:

I have both Baltars and Super Baltars. A friend has The Godfather Baltars.  The barrel is almost as important as the glass. 

Roy H. Wagner ASC
 

Refraction of light. The coating on the old barrels affected the mtf, contrast, resolution. The Baltars barrels are not coated anywhere near the new lenses.

Roy H. Wagner ASC
Director of Photography
Honorary Fellow Royal Photographic Society
AMPAS, SMPTE
(310) 614-8362
rhwasc@...

Roy H. Wagner ASC
 

Indeed the lower coatings on the barrels help to create the creamy quality and gat everyone loves. It’s somewhat the same principle as diffusion. 
In order to create the creamy quality you must be below T4.0. That’s why we always exposed no lower than f/4.5. 

Roy H. Wagner ASC
Director of Photography
Honorary Fellow Royal Photographic Society
AMPAS, SMPTE
(310) 614-8362

On Mar 8, 2018, at 3:45 PM, Roy H. Wagner ASC <rhwasc@...> wrote:

Refraction of light. The coating on the old barrels affected the mtf, contrast, resolution. The Baltars barrels are not coated anywhere near the new lenses.

Roy H. Wagner ASC
Director of Photography
Honorary Fellow Royal Photographic Society
AMPAS, SMPTE
(310) 614-8362
rhwasc@...

Tim Sassoon
 

Internal flare, in other words, from barrel paint that wasn’t as dark as it could be, that was knocked out beyond f/4,5.

So, in theory, then, the exact lens formula was probably less important to the look, and one could “Baltar-ize” a set of CP.2’s, for instance, by taking them apart and repainting the insides with some shade of gray?

I wonder if there’s a critical point, like the lens center, where the effect is at a maximum, that could be modulated with an internal sleeve element that covers/reveals a white-ish reflective band according to an external ring setting, to introduce more or less flare into the scene like a kind of “flashing” as desired? In my mind I’m making it pretty bright so that the effect is visible at deeper f/stops if one wanted.


Tim Sassoon
Venice, CA




On Mar 8, 2018, at 3:51 PM, Roy H. Wagner ASC <rhwasc@...> wrote:

Indeed the lower coatings on the barrels help to create the creamy quality and gat everyone loves. It’s somewhat the same principle as diffusion. 
In order to create the creamy quality you must be below T4.0. That’s why we always exposed no lower than f/4.5. 

Feli di Giorgio
 



On Mar 8, 2018, at 3:25 PM, Roy H. Wagner ASC <rhwasc@...> wrote:

I have both Baltars and Super Baltars. A friend has The Godfather Baltars.  The barrel is almost as important as the glass. 
Roy

Roy H. Wagner ASC

That’s interesting Roy. I have a set of Super Baltars that were rescued from a dumpster on a studio lot about 20 years ago. I recently had them refurbished and I hope the internal black paint wasn’t removed. 

Feli di Giorgio

VFX / Bay Area

_______________________________________________
Feli di Giorgio - feli2@... - www.felidigiorgio.com



Feli di Giorgio
 



On Mar 8, 2018, at 4:37 PM, Tim Sassoon via Cml.News <tsassoon=aol.com@...> wrote:

Internal flare, in other words, from barrel paint that wasn’t as dark as it could be, that was knocked out beyond f/4,5.

A lot of old barrel paint I have seen is a flat black that after many years looks more charcoal.

So, in theory, then, the exact lens formula was probably less important to the look, and one could “Baltar-ize” a set of CP.2’s, for instance, by taking them apart and repainting the insides with some shade of gray? I wonder if there’s a critical point, like the lens center, where the effect is at a maximum, that could be modulated with an internal sleeve element that covers/reveals a white-ish reflective band according to an external ring setting, to introduce more or less flare into the scene like a kind of “flashing” as desired? In my mind I’m making it pretty bright so that the effect is visible at deeper f/stops if one wanted.


Painting the interior barrel of any lens with a less absorbent shade of black would probably increase scatter and cause a drop in contrast etc. But that’s not going to turn a set of CP into Super Baltars.

I’m not an optical designer, but from my experiences internal reflections and light scatter are only one factor. When you put the Super Baltars on a lens projector you will see all sorts of aberrations that increase as you reach the edge of frame and vary depending on what stop you’re shooting at. But that imperfection is the secret sauce that makes them special. The coating are also nowhere as sophisticated as what we have today and you get lovely blooming in highlights.

Glass types also seem to be a factor and the glass in many of the older lenses is now banned from sale, because of lead content etc. I saw an interview with Ed Lachman, where he briefly went into discussing the lead content in old lenses and the potential effect on the image. I have a theory that the lead oxidizes with time on the surface of the elements and forms what you may call a microscopic patina that acts as a diffusion. Lead oxidizes as a white powder or film. I saw this clearly with an old collapsible Summicron 2/50. I had this lens fully cleaned by Leica and when it came back the magical glow was gone and contrast had increased dramatically. Prior to cleaning the lens did not exhibit excessive hazing, when examined with a flash light, but in the process of refurbishing the lens something was removed that had a dramatic impact on the resulting image. Essentially the lens had been reset to how it drew it’s image back in 1954 when it was sold in factory fresh pristine condition.

Another big factor is that the optical formulation of older lenses are not as ‘perfect’ as the newer glass. As an example the roll of from sharp to out of focus is usually much longer and gentler. You get color fringing and all sorts of artifacts (almost none of these lenses are APO). I also suspect that much of the high refractive index glass that is now banned filtered certain wavelengths in the spectrum differently that modern glass does, which probably passes a much broader spectrum unmolested. 

To my eye all of those ‘flaws' give the image a depth that you don’t see in newer glass, which feels very flat.

The Super Baltars also have an interesting quirk with the aperture. They are marked around T2.2 or T2.4, but you can open them up a little beyond the marking and the bloom will kick up a notch. It reminds me a little of the old Verito portrait lens that behaved similarly.


Cheers

Feli

VFX / Bay Area


_______________________________________________
Feli di Giorgio - feli2@... - www.felidigiorgio.com


Roy H. Wagner ASC
 

I’m sure it was. Truthfully the mtf readings through the glass is quite good. The Super Baltars were raced into production because of the mirrored reflex cameras. The old Baltars wouldn’t fit.
My tests with the Baltars and The Godfather Super Baltars were about the same. 
As long as you don’t stop down past f/4.0 you should be good unless you’ve got new barrels. 

Roy H. Wagner ASC
Director of Photography
Honorary Fellow Royal Photographic Society
AMPAS, SMPTE
(310) 614-8362

On Mar 8, 2018, at 5:31 PM, Feli di Giorgio <feli2@...> wrote:



On Mar 8, 2018, at 3:25 PM, Roy H. Wagner ASC <rhwasc@...> wrote:

I have both Baltars and Super Baltars. A friend has The Godfather Baltars.  The barrel is almost as important as the glass. 
Roy

Roy H. Wagner ASC

That’s interesting Roy. I have a set of Super Baltars that were rescued from a dumpster on a studio lot about 20 years ago. I recently had them refurbished and I hope the internal black paint wasn’t removed. 

Feli di Giorgio

VFX / Bay Area

_______________________________________________
Feli di Giorgio - feli2@... - www.felidigiorgio.com



Tim Sassoon
 

I’m a big fan of classic Leica glass, from the Mandler era especially, like the pre-ASPH 35mm ‘Lux. Because he designed them to do specific things really well, and the hell with the rest of it. High micro-contrast, low distortion, and often, coma out the wazoo! But man, do those pictures pop! And more “character” than you can shake a stick at.

I’m experimenting with lenses, how to get some more extreme looks out of them. Fortunately there are plenty of dirt-cheap M39 and M42 lenses out there to play with. I said CP.2’s as the lenses I think of when I can’t get to sleep at night, and reading Freud didn’t work.


Tim Sassoon
Venice, CA




On Mar 8, 2018, at 6:01 PM, Feli di Giorgio <feli2@...> wrote:

I had this lens fully cleaned by Leica and when it came back the magical glow was gone and contrast had increased dramatically. Prior to cleaning the lens did not exhibit excessive hazing, when examined with a flash light, but in the process of refurbishing the lens something was removed that had a dramatic impact on the resulting image. Essentially the lens had been reset to how it drew it’s image back in 1954 when it was sold in factory fresh pristine condition.

Feli di Giorgio
 

On Mar 8, 2018, at 6:11 PM, Roy H. Wagner ASC <rhwasc@...> wrote:

I’m sure it was. Truthfully the mtf readings through the glass is quite good. The Super Baltars were raced into production because of the mirrored reflex cameras. The old Baltars wouldn’t fit.
My tests with the Baltars and The Godfather Super Baltars were about the same. 
As long as you don’t stop down past f/4.0 you should be good unless you’ve got new barrels. 
Roy H. Wagner ASC

My set is still in the original barrels. They were only cleaned and lubricated by a highly regarded shop in Los Angeles. 
I did not see an enormous optical difference after they were serviced, except now they focus smoothly.



But I am very curious about this revival by Brian Caldwell and Caldwell Photographic, Inc. and just how close they will be to the originals. 

http://www.caldwell-photographic.com/Products.html

I believe Zero Optik is also involved in this project. They currently rehouse Baltars.



I haven’t been able to find a lot of information on this project, so I was curious if anyone had further details.


Thanks, 

Feli di Giorgio

VFX / Bay Area

_______________________________________________
Feli di Giorgio - feli2@... - www.felidigiorgio.com

David Stump
 


On Mar 8, 2018, at 6:13 PM, Tim Sassoon via Cml.News <tsassoon=aol.com@...> wrote:

 coma out the wazoo!

I’m not sure what coma out the wazoo is….  care to wax poetic?


Dave Stump ASC

LA DP

Matthew Duclos
 

Been working with Brian for some time now. I’m extremely excited about this project among others. 

Matthew Duclos
 

We've been working with Brian for quite some time now on this project (among others) and I'm VERY excited for these.

Marty Mullin
 

OK, I give up.  What is “gat”?

Marty Mullin




On Mar 8, 2018, at 15:51, Roy H. Wagner ASC <rhwasc@...> wrote:

to create the creamy quality and gat 

Marty Mullin
DP
Los Angeles
818 712-0272

Matthew Schroeder
 

I just looked at my Super Baltar set, curiosity struck by this thread.  

Indeed the "creamy" look of the super baltar's is what makes them my favorite vintage/character glass.  It renders highlights and skin smooth while distinct lines remain crisp and dark.  Walks a tightrope in this sense, seeming sometimes to be both soft and sharp.   

Interesting about their build/design is the variation from one lens to the next.  The optical group of the 50mm is compact, comparable in size to a cooke speed panchro, while the 25mm has a front element so large it's barely able to be accomodate a 110mm front ring.  Looking inside the set you can find plenty of dark metallic surfaces that must kick some light around.  But this also varies considerably from lens to lens.  So I figure the look must be due largely to the optics since the signature of the lenses is found across the set.  

That said, the barrel must have an effect i hadn't considered before.  it really is an interesting idea to design light bounce into the barrel of a modern lens.  especially if it's something that can be adjusted.

Feli, i doubt your lenses suffered.  Best dumpster find ever, i'd say.  

Matthew Schroeder
NYC based dp

 



On Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 7:37 PM, Tim Sassoon via Cml.News <tsassoon=aol.com@...> wrote:
Internal flare, in other words, from barrel paint that wasn’t as dark as it could be, that was knocked out beyond f/4,5.

So, in theory, then, the exact lens formula was probably less important to the look, and one could “Baltar-ize” a set of CP.2’s, for instance, by taking them apart and repainting the insides with some shade of gray?

I wonder if there’s a critical point, like the lens center, where the effect is at a maximum, that could be modulated with an internal sleeve element that covers/reveals a white-ish reflective band according to an external ring setting, to introduce more or less flare into the scene like a kind of “flashing” as desired? In my mind I’m making it pretty bright so that the effect is visible at deeper f/stops if one wanted.


Tim Sassoon
Venice, CA




On Mar 8, 2018, at 3:51 PM, Roy H. Wagner ASC <rhwasc@...> wrote:

Indeed the lower coatings on the barrels help to create the creamy quality and gat everyone loves. It’s somewhat the same principle as diffusion. 
In order to create the creamy quality you must be below T4.0. That’s why we always exposed no lower than f/4.5. 

Ted Hayash
 

When reading the brochure it appears that only the optical elements and the iris and other inner workings are being reproduced, and any buyer would have to send them to a third party like ZeroOptik or TLS to have them housed. 

Ted Hayash
Cinematographer 
Los Angeles

 Ted Hayash
Ted Hayash
Director of Photography 
www.tedhayash.com


On March 9, 2018 at 2:25 GMT, Feli di Giorgio <feli2@...> wrote:

On Mar 8, 2018, at 6:11 PM, Roy H. Wagner ASC <rhwasc@...> wrote:

I’m sure it was. Truthfully the mtf readings through the glass is quite good. The Super Baltars were raced into production because of the mirrored reflex cameras. The old Baltars wouldn’t fit.
My tests with the Baltars and The Godfather Super Baltars were about the same. 
As long as you don’t stop down past f/4.0 you should be good unless you’ve got new barrels. 
Roy H. Wagner ASC

My set is still in the original barrels. They were only cleaned and lubricated by a highly regarded shop in Los Angeles. 
I did not see an enormous optical difference after they were serviced, except now they focus smoothly.



But I am very curious about this revival by Brian Caldwell and Caldwell Photographic, Inc. and just how close they will be to the originals. 

http://www.caldwell-photographic.com/Products.html

I believe Zero Optik is also involved in this project. They currently rehouse Baltars.



I haven’t been able to find a lot of information on this project, so I was curious if anyone had further details.


Thanks, 

Feli di Giorgio

VFX / Bay Area

_______________________________________________
Feli di Giorgio - feli2@... - www.felidigiorgio.com

Rodrigo Lizana Lamarca
 


Or P+S Technik in Germany.   Yes I understood the same thing from the brochure.   And those rehousing are very good, but not cheap by any means.   

Regards




Rodrigo Lizana Lamarca
Pixine Ltda.
Santiago
Chile




On Mar 9, 2018, at 3:57 AM, Ted Hayash <ted.hayash@...> wrote:

any buyer would have to send them to a third party like ZeroOptik or TLS to have them housed. 

Antonio Cisneros
 

This might be a stupid question but if you had to recreate the “baltars look” but with different glass (let’s just say Cooke S4 for argument sake) how would one do that? I realize the proper way is to get a proper set but when shooting in third world countries the glass selection is strictly to modern lenses. I’m currently in India and the glass upkeep here is the Wild West. After projecting our set of hawks we discovered fungus in them, no joke.

So back to the question; what filtration (front of back), retuning the mechanics , and/or changing the coating of the lens would you have to perform to get that look with modern glass?

I know Bradford Young did this with a set of ultra primes for a look closer to K35s.

Best

Antonio Cisneros
Dp
Currently in India but missing LA very much.

Feli di Giorgio
 




On Mar 8, 2018, at 6:17 PM, Matthew Schroeder <tunnelvision@...> wrote:


Feli, i doubt your lenses suffered.  Best dumpster find ever, i'd say.  

Matthew Schroeder
NYC based dp


I have to give credit to late the Mike Ferra (Ferraflex) and Norm Brown for the find. Apparently Norm got hold of them and several Mitchell packages when a studio (Fox?) was cleaning out their old camera department and everything was headed for the landfill. This was back in the mid to late 90’s. I ended up buying one of the Mitchell cameras and Mike ‘threw’ in the lenses “Here kid, I’ll throw in a box of lenses, so you got something to shoot with!”. So, this was about 20 years ago, when a lot of that old gear was considered worthless. But I’ve been grateful to both Mike and Norm ever since. I was a young, dumb kid back then and they taught me a lot about cameras.


Feli di Giorgio

VFX / Bay Area


_______________________________________________
Feli di Giorgio - feli2@... - www.felidigiorgio.com

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