I was hoping to reference a similar built lens just to approximate a date but this lens looks very different. Intriguing considering the speed, seemingly good build quality in a zoom. That the web doesn't turn up anything remotely like it piques my interest some.
Jerome, How much does it weigh and have you used it to determine quality of results?
Do you think there's any way we could talk to someone who was with canon back in 1959? Maybe in engineering or pr or marketing? He'd be my age (pushing 80) or better, but I'll bet there was considerable displeasure about not producing the lens. It would still have been state of the art 5 or even 10 years later. They'd remember.
I've studied the picture of the lens some more and concluded that it is my lens with a shade and a sleeve for motor driven zoom and focus. My lens is definitely an slr lens: The aperture ring has f-stops and click stops, and it has obviously been used on an slr. They probably made it in a tv version also, like their contemporary 50 0.95; but this one is for a still camera.
I'd really like to know if they made any more. Wouldn't you?
Canon themselves may have details, but we can be sure it was not made for an SLR or still camera, it is a Cine / TV type. ABSOLUTELY NO POWER ZOOMS WERE MADE IN THE 60s/70s except for TV and film. Clicks stops do not indicate still use, they can be easily disabled. Try a written letter to Canon in Japan, large format, not a note, with photos of the lens inclused. You might try an Email, but they are easier to disregard.
Headquarters Canon Inc, 30-2, Shimomaruko 3-chome, Ohta-ku, Tokyo 146-8501, Japan
Another thought is that the lens was made quite a bit later than 1960, after all it is only a Magazine reference to being made for the Canonflex, and we know none were made, never listed, no examples. But by the late 60s early 1970s, the design may have revived for TV lens or Cine Production.
Thanks for the canon address, and your earlier contact with your canon guy. I don't think either of us doubted that canon had never sold this lens.
As collectors we have a tendency to conflate "sold" with "made". What I have here is not an example of a production lens, but a pre-production or prototype lens.
There's no question that canon made it, because here it is. There's no question that it dates to 1959, because the press release referenced by the article was issued in 1959. The article includes a complete description and a picture of the lens mounted on a canonflex.
We can ignore the silly power zoom and focus added on, as just typical canon (circa 1959) overkill-- like their base plate trigger advance.
I presume from your post that you have reason to think that canon also didn't release the lens as a tv lens, at least at that time.
The f-stopped and clicked aperture ring does strongly suggest it was an slr lens. While it's easy to convert it to tv or movie use, why build it that way in the first place and then have to convert it?
The lens in 1959 was a super-lens, far advanced over it's contemporarys, and its hard to see why it wasn't produced. Maybe it was just too expensive and hard to make.
I will write to that address you gave me-- thanks again.
Any other thoughts you guys have are most welcome!
There's no question that it dates to 1959, because the press release referenced by the article was issued in 1959. The article includes a complete description and a picture of the lens mounted on a canonflex.
Les, You didn't miss it, I inferred It. Here's why.
First, canon is quoted as saying the lens has excellent sharpness, very high contrast and very low chromatic aberration. Second, he gives accurate details of the lens, including number of elements. (He didn't mention that it has a 13 blade aperture.) Third, he describes how to operate it.
All of the above suggests he's reading off a press release, not passing on an industry rumor.
Fourth, he includes a picture of what is obviously a canonflex mounting this lens. Press releases often have pictures-- rumors usually don't.
Before I retired I was an investigator-- tracing the provenance of this lens makes me feel younger--not a day over 70-- and I plan to do it-- with a little help from my friends.
I'm checking out Canon's claims as to image quality this weekend.
Just to make clear about this Lens: I had 3 of them, I sold one to a Mexican cinematographer friend, I still have 2. It's the C-35 Zoom, the "C" is for CINE lens, precursor of the K-35 series, and they matches with them. There is also the "C" prime set with aperture of f1.8. The 2 I have are in ARRI mount, but the mount can be easily change to PL or other. I confirm they are very rare, made only for Japanese market, Canon made a very few of them, anyway they are not a prototype. I also have the C-16 Zoom for the 16mm cameras. The one on eBay is in mint condition, but 40,000$ looks quite too much. I sold mine in good condition for 20,000$, thinking to sale another one. I can upload pictures if someone need.