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Silicon Imaging SI-2K
2/3" 1080p IT-integrated 10-bit digital cinema w/direct-to-disk recording.


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Old June 16th, 2010, 04:35 PM   #1
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Fantastic vintage lens for use with SI-2K

I just discovered Kilfitt Makro-Kilar F:2.8 90mm lens.

What a gem! (if you don't mind that it is a Kilar... :)

Works wonders from 1ft to 500ft, macro to telephoto, and everything in between.

A bit pricey but if you can grab a good one, I thoroughly recommend it for your SI-2K. Truly a fantastic lens.

Sorry for all the excitement, the lens is just that good.

And I hear this was the very first macro lens on the market, made in West Germany by Heinz Kilfitt around 1950.

Mine came in Arriflex mount, so I used an adapter to PL. Infinity focus is fine.

See photo.
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Fantastic vintage lens for use with SI-2K-kilfitt-lens-iimg_3454.jpg  

Last edited by Alex Raskin; June 17th, 2010 at 07:07 AM.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 06:03 PM   #2
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There are a whole lot of Kilfitt lenses out there, seem to remember there were 300 and 400mm ones for instance.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 10:11 PM   #3
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I have played with one over here that was in a backup kit of already well-used older lenses leftover from the heady days of filmed commercials in the 80s. Gavan O"Sullivan handed them to me to try out. They were in rough shape when he got them with a camera and he bought a new set. The sharpness was not good, flare was pretty bad but otherwise the type was apparantly very useful for product shots.

The poor image of this one is caused by a lot of cleaning scratches on the front element and being in the tropics it had been fungussed. These appear to have been partially polished out over time and many cleanings and this affects the refraction of the front element.

When you are cleaning your lens, take care not to use a large lens cloth which will pick up grit from the inside of the front of the barrel on your way in. Clean inside the barrel first, then do your glass.


FOOTNOTE:

I wish you hadn't mentioned that lens. I got the one here out again for another look and just spent the first half-hour extracting, then the last three hours manually polishing the front element. The dents and crocodile skin on the surface seem to be a badly deteriorated surface coating, almost like lexan that's had phenyl spilled on it. It is quite thick.

However after two cramped thumbs and aching muscles some progress seems to have been made. I can now see the cobwebs inside between the iris and the rear group. Thus emboldened, I might finish the job.

There is another toy in the box which I have not worked out yet. It looks like an ARRI standard mount with an ARRI standard mount inside the front of it. The good lord knows what it is for. I don't.

There is also a 40mm Kilfit macro lens in the same condition as the big one, with polished crocodile skin on the front element. It has a 4" witness mark on the focus barrel and appears to have been modded as it turns past the stop mark and focuses to the front edge of the lens barrel in a sort of beige misty sort of way. I might have another look at this too.

Last edited by Bob Hart; June 17th, 2010 at 05:56 AM. Reason: deleted redundent wordstuff
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Old June 17th, 2010, 06:22 AM   #4
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I had a talk with Gavan about the above lens. Apparently he was sceptical when one was first handed to him to use on a job which included a close-up of a wine label covered in dew. However the image was the equal of the other high quality lenses they had in the kit with good contrast and sharpness.

So Alex, you could have something worthwhile on your hands. How does it go for sharpness cropped down to 2/3" on the SI2K? It is a 35mm film cine lens.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 07:17 AM   #5
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Sharpness is absolutely fantastic with SI-2K, that's why I liked this lens. I needed it for the sharp macro work to begin with, and proved to be wonderful.

You can see the photo shows Makro-Kilar 90mm attached to my SI-2K camera.

Mine is in great condition optically.

Bob said:

>> When you are cleaning your lens, take care not to use a large lens cloth
>> which will pick up grit from the inside of the front of the barrel on your way
>> in. Clean inside the barrel first, then do your glass.

Good advice, thanks.

This can be even easier done, since you can actually unscrew the concentric front barrel and take it out, making access to the front element super easy, with a very wide opening around it.

I don't know why the inside barrel is removable, but now I'm inclined to believe that one of the reasons might be for the cleaning purposes...

Saves your fingers, Bob, ain't it ;)
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Old June 18th, 2010, 08:32 AM   #6
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Tested again and the one here remains definitely not the sharpest kid on the block. However its condition will have most to do with it. There was an opaque blaze on the very front of the element in dead centre which had penetrated the coating and fogged the glass itself in a patch about 3/16" wide.

When you polish off such defects, a ruined lens can be recovered but as careful as you might be to polish the entire surface equally, the "figure" of the element will change for the worse according to the reading I have done.

Must have been something shook loose in the lens case in shipping, got inside the front of the lens and settled on the glass and wore away at it.

That internal shroud is a curious thing and serves no apparent purpose. My suspicion is along the lines that a production run had been committed to and a whole bunch of lens barrels or partially completed blanks may have been manufactured before some fault or design flaw was discovered. For a small low-volume outfit, not using them and remaking from scratch would have been cruelly expensive when another simple added part and an extra thread cutting operation could recover them.

My imagining is along the lines of there being perhaps a fresnel reflective effect from the flutes on the original barrel getting into the lens and flaring when head-on to strong light just off frame. The inner shroud would have been the most economic workaround for changing the design yet using the original barrels.

There is probably a better reason than that.

When you get a chance, maybe post a grab or two from the lens. As bad as this one here is, it improves muchly when the iris is closed to about f5.6 - f8. Being a f2.8 to f32 iris range, the sweet spot may well be in the ballpark of f8 - f11.

Last edited by Bob Hart; June 18th, 2010 at 08:42 AM. Reason: error
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Old June 18th, 2010, 09:31 AM   #7
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Bob, also there could be another reason for the removable insert.

AFAIK there were mechanical/optical additions to this lens. Maybe the insert should be removed to connect them.

Could also be that you can exchange it for the hood (purely a speculation.)

Pics: will post, thanks. For now just believe my word, super pleasant yet sharp image across from macro to telephoto. Me happy.
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Old June 18th, 2010, 10:12 AM   #8
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In the end, and often in spite of all the high science, happy is what counts.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 03:00 PM   #9
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Alex.


Looks like that inner cone is an extra filter holder.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 03:12 PM   #10
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A-ha! Thanks Bob.

Now, where do I press on the lens so it'd wash my dishes???
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 08:58 PM   #11
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I don't know about a Kilfitt dishwasher but it would make for an interesting exercise to use one as a wine chalice at an ASC function if you wanted to be simply crass.

Last edited by Bob Hart; June 22nd, 2010 at 08:59 PM. Reason: error
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 09:18 PM   #12
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...with the inner cone removed, no? Enchanté !
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