Panavision X2 Anamorphic 50mm B-Series Auto-Panatar Lens: For Sale on eBay - YMCinema - News & Insights on Digital Cinema

2022-10-14 09:31:50 By : Ms. Alisa Xiong

One of the most acclaimed and rare glasses ever made is for sale on eBay. For $80,000 USD, a Panavision Anamorphic B-Series 2x Auto-Panatar lens can be yours. Let’s have a look.

Important! Sources say that this lens is stolen. So beware! We’ll update you on Panavision’s response if it will.  6mm Hex Screw

The more recently B-Series Panavision lenses were used on “Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation”,  “The World’s End” and the 2022 academy award-winning “Pig” to name a few. Also in shows “Mudbound” and “Superman & Luis”. Now, this rare (Auto-Panatar) piece of glass is for sale on eBay. You barely can find those, as the Panavision anamorphic vintage lenses can be only rented, but only if you can find a rental house that keeps those. Now, this gem is available for sale, with a focal length of 50mm (T2.5).

As stated by the seller: “Panavision B-Series Auto-Panatar 50mm T2.5 Anamorphic 2X lens in Panavision mount. Serial # B-2xx (mount is attached via 3 hex screws, so additional mounts could be manufactured and attached easily). This lens was made by Panavision in the 1960s and utilizes Bausch & Lomb Super Baltar 50mm F2 taking lens. This is why they have such unique characteristics compared to newer models. Furthermore, this lens was retired by Panavision in the 1970s when new models were introduced but currently gained big popularity once again”.

For test footage, see the test sample and lens characteristics below (the test performed on the B-Series 50mm lens here, fast forward to 2 min and 28 seconds of the video):

As mentioned by the seller, the lens is in “Excellent Used Condition”:

The Auto-Panatars were some of the first anamorphic lenses produced by Panavision. They were sold to movie studios before Panavision became a rental-only lens maker. Auto-Panatars are some of the oldest anamorphic lenses available. Despite their age, they still deliver plenty of performance but with all the characteristics expected from vintage front anamorphic lenses.

The Ultra Panavision 70 technology led to the 1958 unveiling of the 35mm-format Auto Panatar camera lenses, which eliminated the distortions created by early CinemaScope optics. Their popularity among filmmakers and actors cemented Panavision’s growing reputation as the motion-picture industry’s premier optics innovator. Incorporating superior technology and a patented optical system developed by Panavision partner Walter Wallin, Auto Panatar lenses quickly became the industry standard for anamorphic production and earned Panavision the first of its Academy Technical Awards. Director William Wyler’s epic feature Ben-Hur, was shot with the MGM Camera 65 system for which a 65mm Mitchell camera was housed in a Panavision soundproof blimp and Panavision Auto Panatar optics.

As stated by Lens Test Director, Cinematographer, and Owner of Old Fast Glass: “The lenses (Panavision Auto-Panatar Anamorphic) flared in a very classic, very Panavision way, with bold streaks and all sorts of other little reflections. They also produced the biggest and most obvious flares from our two bare light bulbs. Those little flares were warm and not too distracting. It’s safe to say these are one of the easiest lenses to flare. If anything, testing these lenses confirmed that Panavision has earned its reputation for building some of the best anamorphic lenses available. They are classic, they are beautiful and they produce stunning images. They are the first choice for many DPs for good reason”.

Pulled from the display shelf in 2012 for Bill Pope, ASC, the B Series was updated with modern mechanics by adding a gear ring to the T-stop to enable motor control. For filmmakers wanting vintage looks, the B Series produces a softer, pastel patina that blends hard lines, helps promote the illusion of depth, and creates a beautiful wraparound on subjects. We wrote a few articles about cinematographers who seek after the vintage flaring and thus use this outstanding glass. For instance, check out this article “Superman & Lois Preserves the ‘Snyder Look’: Shot on Panavision DXL2 and RED Monstro With B-Series Anamorphic”.

As for the 50mm B-Series Auto-Panatar on eBay, the seller mentions that the lens is available for inspection and/or pickup in Miami, or to contact him for other arrangements. The requested price is $80,000 USD. Would you pay that much for a real ‘vintage flare’?

Important! Sources say that this lens is stolen. So beware! We’ll update you on Panavision’s response if it will. 

Yossy is a filmmaker who specializes mainly in action sports cinematography. Yossy also lectures about the art of independent filmmaking in leading educational institutes, academic programs, and festivals, and his independent films have garnered international awards and recognition. Yossy is the founder of Y.M.Cinema Magazine.

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