The lens is now sold out, please see here for details on the second production run.
The simplest optical design that is capable of correcting all of the seven Seidel aberrations over a wide field of view is the Cooke triplet, developed by H. Dennis Taylor in 1893. It is named after the optical company in York, England, for which Taylor worked at the time, Cooke and Sons (later to become Cooke, Troughton and Sims). Taylor’s designs, despite their antiquity, are close to optimum for the aperture and field he intended, given the glass types available in his day.
However, at around 1925 with the rise of the Tessar lens designed by Paul Rudolph of Zeiss the Cooke triplet was starting to be relegated to cheaper lenses such as those in compact cameras, due to its simple design affording low cost manufacturing.
Mr Miyazaki of MS Optical, a small independent manufacturer of lenses and camera accessories, believes that a well-designed triplet is superior to the Tessar. Only very few lenses in history exploited the full power of the formula, such as an early version of the Leitz Elmar 90/4 with three elements. He started researching and designing his own ideal triplet lens at the highest level possible, using 21st century materials and manufacturing techniques. The result is the MS Super Triplet Perar 3.5/35, which has just been released. (For those wondering about the origin of the lens name, in Japanese pera-pera means thin or flimsy.)
Despite it’s deceptively simple construction of three lens elements Miyazaki was able to design a lens of not only outstanding performance, but also with a very interesting form factor and at comparatively low cost.
Here are its key features:
- Very high optical quality triplet formula lens
- Ultra compact design, weight 75g, collapsible (4.2mm height when collapsed)
- Premium quality Tantalum glass, superior to Trium and Lanthanum glass with best refractive qualities
- Refined triplet design with two double thickness positive lenses, superior to Tessar design
- Round aperture for smooth and pleasing bokeh (Edmund Optics, Made in USA)
- Minimum focus distance 0.8m
- ALL glass surfaces multicoated, 97% light transmission
- Vivid, real and beautiful color reproduction, high contrast high resolution images
- Lot of 200 lenses, designed, manufactured and hand-assembled in Japan by Mr Sadayasu Miyazaki
The MS Optical Super Triplet Perar 3.5/35 is available now in our web shop. Below you can see a sample selection of images taken with the lens using a Leica M8.
Just like MS Optical’s lens conversions, please be aware that this lens is slightly different in operation from “normal” mass-manufactured lenses. For example, the aperture scale rotates with the whole lens barrel when the lens is focussed and there are no aperture click stops. This is not a lens for photographers who want all their lenses to function in the same way and cannot adjust to a different way of working. This is a design for the connoisseur with an appreciation for optics and their history.
Photos courtesy of Pieter Franken
I did quite some shooting yesterday with the lens [on the Leica M9 and MP] and had it compete with a 35mm Summilux aspherical lens. Obviously there are significant differences, but am quite impressed with what this little lens does. First of all the focus is perfect on the M9 and the view field is good. Bokeh is pleasant. The focussing is very smooth! I liked the hood and front and rear covers – nice detail and execution!
Pieter Franken, September 2010
There is no other independent maker of Leica M mount lenses that offers the same level of quality and creativity as MS Optical in the world today. The Perar is not just a lens, it is a celebration of the spirit of photography.
Note: we sell the MS Optical Super Triplet Perar 3.5/35 in M mount. Actually, at the core the lens is screw mount, however its use on LTM bodies requires some additional technical calibration with the camera. Unless you send us your camera, for customers outside of Japan we only offer the M mount version. The L-M ring is semi-permanently fixed and could be removed if you really wanted to, but doing so may create focussing and other issues so it is not recommended.
UPDATE: We have created a stand-alone Automator application that sets the lens name, focal length and maximum aperture of your image to MS Super Triplet Perar 35mm f/3.5 in the file’s EXIF data. (Mac OS X only). [Download]