You Can Own a NASA-Grade Lens for $28k

By Kehl Bayern / December 25, 2017

Have you ever wanted to own aerospace-grade glass?

Now you can.

If you have enough money to buy a reasonably equipped Toyota Camry lying around.

NASA’s missions to the moon captured the zeitgeist of a time period during the Cold War era. A time when the two superpowers were competing with the latest cutting-edge technology to reach our nearest satellite. Photography and optical science were key components in making this happen and in recording it for posterity.

The Jonel 100 with a 2540mm focal length and f8 aperture is powerful enough to capture the light of distant stars, or drain your bank account, and is on offer currently in an Ebay auction.

Image via Ebay.

Just what kind of camera could you pair the Jonel 100 lens with if you wanted to get started in astrophotography?

The Phoblographer recommends you pair it with a 70mm movie camera such as the Photo-Sonics 70mm 10R high-speed camera just as NASA did when tracking and filming rockets like the Saturn V and even the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. The listing describes the camera as “a Schmidt-Cassegrain design with a two element field corrector to produce a 57x57mm image format (80mm image diameter or more).”

You could also use a Hasselblad which is suggested in the auction description. Don’t know about you, but this puts most of us out of the running for this gear if the lens price alone wasn’t prohibitive.

When it was produced the lens cost enough to buy a family home, so the $USD 28,000 asking price might be reasonable in comparison.

For photographers looking to add a unique piece to their collection, it’s hard to do better than the Jonel 100. Not only does the lens have a pedigree imitable by few but it also carries with it a history only matched by the other pioneering makes in the history of photography.

Image via Ebay.

Image via Ebay.

Image via Ebay.

Image via Ebay.

Image via Ebay.

Image via Ebay.


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About the author

Kehl Bayern

Kehl Bayern is a freelance writer and editor of Demagaga.


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