Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

35/2.5 Angenieux for Exakta

The 35/2.5 Angenieux with manual diaphragm

In 1950 Angenieux introduced the first retrofocus wide angle lenses for still reflex cameras. Angenieux had a reputation as a manufacturer of top quality movie lenses. Their new retrofocus design finally allowed the single lens reflex to become the versatile and dominant design it is today. Prior to the advent of the retrofocus design, single lens reflex were hampered by the lack of wide angle lenses that could be used with reflex viewing, as non-retrofocus wide angle lenses protrude too far into the mirror box to allow the mirror to swing up out of the way.

The retrofocus design is basically a telephoto turned around backwards. This lens was made in many different mounts, including Alpa, Pentax thread, Rectaflex and even Leica thread. The Leica version is very unusual, as it is unnecessary as the Leica is not a single lens reflex and does not need the clearance, so the lens is needlessly large. The lens was first offered in manual diaphragm, then preset, and finally in automatic diaphragm. The automatic version can be found finished in chrome.