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The Solinar is a variation of the Carl Zeiss Tessar, made by Agfa; that is, a lens of four elements, arranged as a modified triplet, with the front element replaced by a cemented pair [1]. In the Tessa, the cemented pair are the rear elements.

It is essentially the same lens that Agfa inherited as the Solinear upon taking over Rietzschel in 1925. The Solinar was offered as the high-specification lens option on Agfa cameras, especially folders, for many years.

In principle, it is capable of better performance than Agfa's simple triplet lenses (the mid-price Apotar and cheaper Agnar), especially at wide aperture.

On older folding cameras (up to the 1950s) the Solinar is almost always an f/4.5; f/3.5 Solinars are found on later examples of some of the Isolette models, and (as the Color-Solinar) f/2.8 versions were fitted to later 35 mm cameras.

Solinar lenses can be found on some versions of the Silette, Solinette, and Selectronic Sensor.


  1. Page 89 of Rudolph Kingslake's book ["A History of the Photographic Lens"]