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Meyer-Optik goes wide with 30mm Lydith in new Kickstarter project

Create: 06/11/2017 - 12:59
Meyer-Optik 30mm Lydith


  • Meyer-Optik's fifth lens via a Kickstarter campaign
  • Close focus distance is about six inches with "watercolor" bokeh
  • Lenses expected to begin shipping in December 2017


Meyer-Optik Goerlitz is rapidly making a name for itself among art photographers.

Those are the ones who aren’t concerned about utlimate sharpness and creamy bokeh. In fact, those who support the Meyer-Optik lens projects celebrate the old world quality of these lenses.

Meyer-Optik has announced its fifth lens that will be funded via a Kickstarter campaign – the Lydith f/3.5 30mm. This is another of its lens designs for film cameras.

First appearing in the mid-1960s, the Lydith was available in M42, Praktica/Pentina and Exakta mounts. The lens later became rebranded as a Pentacon product when Meyer-Optik was aborbed by Pentacon.


What makes this lens special is what Meyer-Optik refers to as “watercolor” bokeh that becomes more pronounced when shot wide open and at close distances.

Meyer-Optik also says the Lydith provides the highest degree of sharpness and contrast of all of its lenses.

Minimum focus distance of just over six inches (0.19 meters). It’s a compact and leighweight lens, weighing 7.9 ounces (225 grams).

Visually, the lens resembles Meyer-Optik’s previous lenses with a small front element with an aperture ring. The front of the barrel flares outward to the rest of the lens, which has the focusing ring.

Meyer-Optik says this isn’t coincidental. By retaining the same barrel design, it can achieve “economies of scale,” which means that sharing the lens barrel of the Trioplan, Primoplan and Lydith allow it to reduce production costs.

Like the original, the Lydith uses five Schott glass lens elements of which none are grouped, making it five elements in five groups.


It will be available in eight lens mounts:

  • Canon EOS EF (film and digital)
  • Nikon F (film and digital)
  • Sony E
  • Fujifilm X
  • Micro Four Thirds
  • M42 (film and digital)
  • Pentax K (film and digital)
  • Leica M (film and digital)

This is a manual-focus lens, and there are no electronic contacts. The Leica M mount version isn’t rangefinder-coupled, so it must be focused via Live View or scale focus or in conjunction with an external rangefinder device.

Meyer-Optik said it quickly surpassed its initial US$50,000 fundraising goal, racing past it in five minutes, and breached the US$100,000 mark in the first hour.

Initial shipments are expected to begin in December 2017 and continue through March 2018 for the rest of those who back the Kickstarter campaign. More information abouth the Kickstarter campaign can be found here:


Watch Meyer-Optik's promotional video for the f/3.5 30mm Lydith

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.