DEFINITION August 2019

I NTERV I EW | SET- UP

We looked at the old lenses and tried to figure out what made them unique and tried to simulate that

CONTACT LENSES INTERVIEW Gerhard Baier, previously of Leitz cine lenses and Band Pro Europe, has taken his contact book to P+S Technik and is looking forward to lens co-development WORDS JULI AN M ITCHELL PICTURES P+S TECHN I K T here are a lot of positives in lens companies cooperating; development is expensive and you cannot do it all by yourself anymore. You need to have partners for specific parts of the project. I strongly believe that we are now in a time where the practice of doing everything on your own is over,” says

ABOVE Gerhard Baier and top a Kowa lens clean during rehousing

NEW GLASS FROM OLD “It’s a fascinating project as we’re using new glass. We looked at the old lenses and tried to figure out what made them so unique, tried to simulate that by modern glass types and production possibilities and start from scratch with a reference to the old Technovision lenses. It’s the basic idea of what P+S did with the Evolutions, based on the Kowa lenses,” Baier says. Baier was instrumental in pushing lens ideas forward at Leitz, previously Leica. He explains his thought process: “You try to look at what people are using, what is the definition of the image of tomorrow that can also refer to the images of the past, what made them unique? Are people looking for dedicated lenses to visualise their ideas and can this be done with modern production techniques, glass types and more advanced mechanics? Also, what needs to change for digital sensors and how they see the light in comparison with how film sees the light.”

He adds: “These are all the questions that you run into and then you look at the sharpness, the resolution area, bokeh; all these things that you find hard to translate into technical terms. You can’t try and simulate this with lead-free glass, but you need some of the old lenses for reference; you measure them, you check in projection, you do tests. Then you confirm the type of colour response they have, the type of distortion that they have and what needs to be adjusted in technical terms to achieve this type of look. Also, what type of glass or combination of glass do you use? Really, it’s a process.” GET YOUR COAT Using new for old glass is becoming more important as the old stuff starts to disappear. P+S is close to prototypes and is also experimenting with an uncoated version. “These have a protective coating, but are like the Tokina coated ones. We

Gerhard Baier, who joins P+S Technik at a pivotal time in the company’s existence; unfortunately, the founder Alfred Piffl unexpectedly died earlier this year – a year before the company’s 30th anniversary. Also, Technovision Classic Prime lenses are nearing completion and Gerhard is overseeing the final tweaks and designs. “The history of Technovision lenses is well known with the original Henryk Chroscicki lenses shooting hundreds of movies, such as Apocalypse Now and La Dolce Vita . But this is a new line based on the old lenses; the look and image, and the way they used to and still behave,” explains Baier.

AUGUST 20 1 9 | DEF I N I T ION 09

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