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Re: [Rollei] Rollei Words
- Subject: Re: [Rollei] Rollei Words
- From: Richard Knoppow <dickburk >
- Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2001 15:47:04 -0800
- References: <3A9F81D0.5442759F >
At 12:34 PM 03/02/2001 -0800, you wrote:
>I am new to the list, well, sort of, been watching and
>I can't seem to find out why do they use 'mat, 'flex,
>'cord in some camera names?
>I have to say that the magical names of the lenses
>(plural form of lens according to my Pocket Oxford)
>distagon, variegon (sp?!) and other "on" ending ones
>are kind of poetic.
>I like "anastigmat" I saw on a lens in a camera shop.
>I have astigmatism, hmmm.
>What does Compur mean?
Some of this isn't too difficult to figure out.
Flex: Reflex, for the mirror finder.
Mat: For Automat, for the automatic threading and winding.
I have no idea where Cord came from, perhaps someone else knows. I think
Prochnow may explain this but I read German one word at a time.
Lens names are mixtures of Latin and Greek roots with other stuff.
Anastigmat is a double negative. Astigmatism is the failure of a lens to
focus radial lines and tangential lines at the same time. In other words a
astigmatic lens will not focus the spokes and the rim of a wagon wheel at
the same time. The correct name for a lens corrected for this would be
"stigmatic", and, in fact, there was at least one series of lenses bearing
this name. However, for some reason, Anastigmat became used. Originally,
Zeiss used this as a trade name fot its first lenses using Jena glass. The
new glass allowed the simultaneous correction of astigmatism and field
curvature, not possible before, or at thought not to be possible.
These lenses, designed by Paul Rudolph, were sold as Anastigmats, but
Zeiss could not enforce the trade-mark so it became generic, and in 1900
Zeiss changed the name to Protar.
All sorts of lenses have been sold as anastigmats since.
'gon is derives from (I think) a Greek root for angle. Generaly, lenses
ending with gon are wide angles of some sort, as in Biogon, Rectigon, etc.
I have no idea of the root for "ar, tar, etc." very common endings for
Other word parts sometimes found:
Bio, life (Biogon, Biotar)
Ektar Eastman Kodak + tar
Velostigmat (old Wollensak name) Fast Anastigmat. Raptar was the later
name, with the same meaning i.e., Rapid + tar
Rectigon (a Goerz WA aerial lens) correct + gon meaning it is well
corrected for geometric distortion.
Tessar suggesting four elements + ar
Heliar Bright like the Sun, + ar
Dynar Dynamic or powerful + ar
Xenar, Xenotar Distant, meaning it makes images of distant objects. (Xenos
can also mean strange)
Variogon: A Zoom lens, a variable angle of coverage lens.
A great many others, you get the idea. Typically, the names mean sharp or
bright or correct or something of the sort.
Some lenses are named for the manufacturer or in some other way. Boyer, of
france, named their lenses after jewels, e.g., Safir.
There were a few recycled names. Sonnar, famous now as a lens, was
originally a camera, and there are some others.
Some names, like Tessar, refer to a specific generic design, in this case
a four element lens originally designed by Paul Rudolph of Zeiss. Some
names are simply company names used for a variety of lens types; Ektar,
Velostigmat, Raptar, Paragon, are examples. Paragon is, of course, not a
derived word, it simply means the dictionary meaning, something so good it
is a basis of comparison for all others. I may have been a mild pun since
it ends in gon.