Skyllaney Introduces the Limited Edition of a 50mm f/2 Sonnar Formula Lens “Bertele” with Native M Bayonet

Skyllaney Opto-Mechanics, the only rangefinder lens manufacturer in the United Kingdom, has just announced the development of its new 50mm f/2 Bertele lens. By 2021 they will release the first limited edition run of a 50mm f/2 Sonnar formula lens, with native M bayonet, which optically is based very closely off the 1937 pre-war era design by Dr. Ludwig Bertele.

This version contains the same element radii that were established by Bertele in 1937 but marries them with modern AR coatings which have increased contrast and reduced flaring. They also are implementing a 9 bladed 1937 style rounded aperture for enhanced bokeh, a high precision brass helicoid, 90-100 degree focus swing from 0.7m to infinity, a high-speed focusing body utilizing a finger tab, all kept in a compact body no larger than the v4 corn.

It will be initially offered in black anodized (6061 Aluminium) or chrome (Brass) finishes, with an initial run of 150 lenses, with possibly another 100 to follow. Each one will have the front filter ring customizable by the customer with up to 18 characters, in addition to ‘Bertele 50mm f/2’ and the lenses limited-run serial number.

“The optical blocks containing the lens elements with modern AR coatings and the 9-bladed 1937 aperture design, are already at our workshop. We have 170 initial sets. They currently are undergoing testing against other Sonnar formula lenses such as the Zeiss-Opton’s, Jupiter 8’s, Zeiss Jena’s and Cosina C-Sonnar, and plan to be included in our ‘Big Sonnar Review’. At the moment, they are performing very close to the 1937 Jena originals, with the added benefit of higher contrast, punchier colors and greatly increased flare resistance, due to the AR coatings.
The high precision mechanical bodies are still a work in progress, as we want to be sure we get it right the first time, not rushed. Of the initial 170 sets we have now, 20 of them are being used for pre-release prototype purposes. A few of these plans to be given to certain photographers to use in the field and provide us with feedback. After everyone involved is happy, we will then finalize the design and begin the production manufacturing runs.

Many parts of the lens, final assembly, engraving, testing, calibration, and collimation is all performed here in England, with each final specimen being checked then by our chief Opto-Mechanical Engineer. Pending the success of our first lens, we look to do a limited run of at least one new lens design each year going forward” says the company which is inspired by Mizakisan and is aimed to become a designer and manufacturer of limited-edition boutique lenses in Europe, but also servicing customers beyond the European market with our repair, conversion, servicing and custom engineering/fabrication abilities.

There are already discussions about what that next lens might be. At the moment, they plan on either doing an ultra-compact 28mm or a 85mm f/1.4 portrait lens, either would be native M mount also.

“Limited run boutique lenses became an idea from seeing other companies, such as MS-Optics, do well in this area. We are more inspired by Mizakisan than anything else and would like to see other small manufacturers enter into this market. All of us have great respect for Mizakisans’s work, and it is why we believe we could also begin to design lenses in small batches that were made to high-quality standards, and succeed at this.”

More info on Skyllaney’s website.

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