Yoshizen's Blog

Robot with Leiz (?) Lens


Among my camera collection, the most peculiar one must be this Robot camera with a Leiz Xenon lens.  Leiz lens though, it was made by the Taylor Hobson.  Taylor Hobson is a British optical, precise engineering company, so why British lens was sold as Leiz Xenon Lens may have interesting story. (You may find.)  And the lens was made for Leica camera and further modified to fit this Robot camera.

  The name Robot came from its spring driven automatic shooting mechanism.  And this particular model has double length of the spring which enable the whole 50 shots in one charge of the spring.  I think this camera was designed to be used on the scientific or military front in mind.  = such as that the camera was mounted on top of a microscope or under a wing of a spying aircraft where the shutter was triggered by a remote cable.


The camera was very well designed and solidly made (= heavy).  Film was loaded to the double cassett of which the film slit will be opened for a smooth winding of the film when the back cover was closed.  36 exposure film (about 1.5 m long) can have 50 shots with its square (24 x 24) format.

robot-leiz3-a09a693480, 90 years ago, 50 mm lens with F1.5 was an exceptionally bright lens and as its optical design was protected by the Taylor Hobson, no way else, Leiz needed to buy it from them. 

Leica lens can be easily used on the Sony A7 camera with a simple and cheap (about £5) adapter. (Photo left)

There are funny mix of the British-German conflict.  The distance scale was in imperial = feet, and it goes down to the closest distance 3.5 feet.

On the test shot on A7 camera showed quite sharp image = it convinced me, that the military reconnoissance people desperately wanted this lens on a Robot !


On the photo above left, about 70% to the right, you may see faint red spot, and that part was enlarged on the right photo.


And the same shooting of the same dried Rose on 3.5 feet distance. = photo middle was F1.5 fully open and the right was F6.3. —– Whether the softness on F1.5 was caused by the aberration or internal reflection (ghost) was questionable.   Still, somewhat common with the Zeiss lens’ softness isn’t too bad.  And I’m quite happy with it.   🙂


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