Photographic lenses and who makes them

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Carsten Hoberg
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2023 11:00 pm

Photographic lenses and who makes them

Post by Carsten Hoberg »

Hi,
I found a list of photographic lens makes and who owns them. Often, the country of manufacture is mentioned; otherwise it's a good base for research. It's German but Google Translate gives an understandable Translation. A few brand names get translated, too, :D so if in doubt (e.g. names are not in alphabetic order) check the brand in the original text. This is the site:

https://www.fotointern.ch/archiv/2021/0 ... re-marken/

Btw., I checked on a claimed-to-be 900mm/f8 mirror lens in the Size of a 500mm, which you can order under different brand names. That combination of size and magnification would be a sensation, but I learned it's physically impossible. (Just think of this bucket-sized Russian 1000mm/f11!) And apart from the inscription, the 900mm looks like the 500mm offered by the same import firms... I read posts from guys who had a chance to try the "900mm", and they describe it as being Chinese-made, more like 500mm (what a surprise!'), and impossible to focus. Or in other words: Just forget it, it's world's worst 500mm!. If you want a mirror lens for a reasonable price, look for Tokina.

P.s:: Wasn't Alpa sold to China or am I mistaken?
steve
Site Admin
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2021 8:43 pm

Re: Photographic lenses and who makes them

Post by steve »

Awesome find, Carsten! Thanks for posting!

From what I can see, the original ALPA went bankrupt in 1989, and its assets (mainly its name) was purchased by Capaul and Weber in 1989.

in 2022 ALPA of Switzerland was sold by Capaul & Weber AG to Hans Keist, who is now the owner and CEO, who appears to be Swiss through and through (although he did do consulting in Asia). According to their Web site, ALPA cameras are still made in Switzerland and they even changed their domain name from alpa.ch to alpa.swiss because too many people (as a dumb American I can tell you they were all dumb Americans) were mistaking the "CH" for "China" :D

It looks like they outsource their lens production to Rodenstock, which appears to still do all its production ]out of Germany. It's troubling to know that Rodenstock is owned by Excelitas Technologies, which is an American private equity firm (and we all know how much American PE firms love China).
Carsten Hoberg
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2023 11:00 pm

Re: Photographic lenses and who makes them

Post by Carsten Hoberg »

Thank you for the information, so we know Alpa is still worth it's money. Rodenstock lenses btw are a legend in large format photography and they also produced quality equipment for darkrooms , while most people know them for their eyeglasses.

Taking "CH" for China is man easy mistake to make unless you live in Europe where you should have a nationality sticker on you car if you cross the border. CH means Confoederatio Helvetica; they used Latin because they felt they shouldn't prefer one of the three official languages which are German, French and also the minority language of Rhaeto-Romanic.
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