Pierre Angenieux Paris R11 Lens

Angenieux 28mm Retrofocus R11 on an Exakta Varex VX camera

Toronto. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I extended my Exakta Varex IIa camera with a 135m and a 28mm lens. I chose an Angenieux pre-set Retrofocus R11 lens for the 28mm as it focussed under 2 feet and was f/3.5 wide open. Unfortunately it used a retrofocus design. Unless you were perfectly level, the images it took had massive barrel distortion and vertical and horizontal lines went wildly off at odd angles.

I had no idea that a retrofocus design had such obvious geometric distortion before I owned such a design. To accommodate the Exakta mirror, even a normal lens had to be slightly retrofocus. It wasn’t until I owned a few Leica screw and bayonet mount 28mm lenses that I realized the short focal length lens could create a distortion free image after all IF the design could be made non-retrofocus…

The Pierre Angenieux company is still in business today making lenses for TV cameras and movie cameras. A clean R11 design still commands a decent value as a collectible lens. In an Exakta mount, not so much.

Angenieux Retrofocus R11 28mm pre-set lens mounted on an Exakta Varex VX

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