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A month ago, we reported on some great news for the historic German brand, Meyer Optik Görlitz, who had just announced the opening of a refurbished factory in Hamburg, Germany. Now, the company is back with its first new product launch since taking its lens assembly back in-house. Say hello to the new Meyer Optik Görlitz Trioplan 35mm f/2.8 II.

The new lens is an attention-grabber for more than one reason. It’s also designed to yield the “soap bubble look” for which Meyer’s Trioplan lenses are famed —but at a rather wider focal length than other currently-available Trioplan models.

Who’s it for?

A sample photo shot with the new Meyer Optik Görlitz Trioplan 35mm f2.8 II.
A sample photo shot with the new Meyer Optik Görlitz Trioplan 35mm f/2.8 II. Meyer Optik Görlitz

With its wide focal length and unique soap bubble bokeh, Meyer Optik Görlitz is targeting the Trioplan 35mm f/2.8 II at travel, street, and nature photographers in particular. That’s not to say it’s not suitable for portraiture, but with its 35mm focal length, it’s probably better-suited for environmental portraits that help place your subjects in context.

The existing Trioplan 50mm and 100mm models were already broadly available for a total of nine different camera mounts, but for the Trioplan 35mm, Meyer has added two more to the list. In all, native variants will be offered for Canon EF and RF, Fujifilm X, Leica L and M, Micro Four Thirds, Nikon F and Z, Pentax K, and Sony E mounts, as well as for the universal M42 mount.

On APS-C bodies, the lens will have a 35mm-equivalent focal length of between 53mm and 56mm, depending upon your camera brand, and depth-of-field would be akin to somewhere from f/4.2 to f/4.5. 

Optical design

Meyer Optik hasn’t publicly stated the optical formula of its Trioplan 35mm f/2.8 II, but it’s hinted at in the product’s name. The Trioplan lenses are modern versions of an extremely old lens design, the Cooke triplet, which uses three elements in three groups. Like both existing Trioplan models, expect the new 35mm optic to follow that same basic formula and forgo any exotic lens elements.

Aperture

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The Trioplan 35mm has an aperture range of f/2.8 to f/22, which is identical to both existing Trioplan models. Its 12-bladed aperture, shared with the Trioplan 50mm, is more complex than most but still not as complex as the 15-blade aperture of the Trioplan 100mm.

Of course, the defining feature of this lens is its much-hyped—and beloved by many—soap bubble bokeh effect. In a nutshell, this gives its bokeh a hard-edged look which, with bright specular highlights, results in bokeh balls that resemble floating soap bubbles. It’s a look that, depending upon your subject and lighting, can either appear busy and distracting or give your creations an ethereal, almost other-worldly look.

Meyer Optik’s samples also suggest the lens’ bokeh can be quite swirly, appearing more elliptical as it approaches the edges of the frame, giving defocused backgrounds a spherical look. This, too, is a look that can be quite desirable or too distracting, depending on your background.

Focus

Like all of Meyer’s lenses, of which there are now a total of six models, the Trioplan 35mm f/2.8 is a fully manual lens. There’s no autofocus and aperture control is achieved mechanically as well.

Focusing is possible to a minimum distance of 7.9 inches (20cm), which should translate to a maximum magnification of 0.21x (1:4.8).

Build quality

Just like Meyer’s other lenses, the 35mm f/2.8 II has a black anodized aluminum barrel encircled by two mechanically-connected control rings and unencumbered by any other controls. The frontmost ring controls the aperture and the rear ring controls focus.

Up front, a 52mm filter thread is the same as those found on both earlier Trioplan models, allowing you to share filters between all three Trioplan optics. Barrel length is between 2.0 and 3.1 inches (5.2-7.8cm) depending upon the lens mount, while weight varies from 9.5 to 10.6oz (270-300g). Barrel diameter isn’t stated but will be just a little larger than the 2.0-inch (52mm) filter diameter.

Price and availability

Priced at $1030, the Trioplan 35 f2.8 II lens is available immediately from the Meyer Optik Görlitz website. That’s the same pricing as for the Trioplan 50mm, and $100 less than that of the Trioplan 100mm.

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