Acknowledgement: The above, as well as the majority of the informational pages in this Ducati Sogno section of our website, is a translation (loosely and with additional text added) by us of the the fine research and work of Mr. Donato Consonni. He is the owner/designer of the Italian Camera's website: http://bencinistory.altervista.org/ With his kind permission and help.
The Ducati Sogno lenses, including the Ducati Argon, Luxtor, Eltor, Teletor, Lator, Vitor & Fitor by year of manufacture, their price over the years, and their variations are here. Note that all the lenses were coated on all elements,
and are extremely sharp!
DUCATI SOGNO - LENSES FOR THE MICROCAMERA
(S.S.R. DUCATI )
One of the most important and appreciated features of the Ducati Dream microcamera was the possibility to replace the "normal" 35mm / 3.5 lens with other lenses. To allow this, the designers planned and designed various lenses from the beginning, but at least at first, not all of them went into full production.
The earliest official Ducati documents in our possession are two leaflets dated September 7, 1946, and even these did not perfectly agree, but both indicated 5 Lenses were planned:
But in one of the two documents there was a sixth objective, but without the Ducati code, it was the Aplanator 100mm / 1: 4.5. In the documents some details were expressed as:
"All these objectives excel for an extraordinary fineness of image in all the field, and for the high transparency, not only as a result of an excellent optical correction, but above all a very careful choice of glasses and anti-reflective treatment (Coating) applied to the surfaces of the various elements of each optical complex."
Later, the indication of 6 lenses was confirmed in a leaflet dated October 1946, but from that time in the official documents, there is no further mention of the Aplanator 100/4.
The official documentation of 1947 once again contained variations and contradictions:
- The "normal" bright 35mm / 1: 2.8 lens changed its name to Fitor.
- The Argon wide-angle lens in some publications was indicated with a focal length of 28mm.
The first price list with the prices of the Ducati Optical Production was in 1948: In this document 5 lenses are shown with the relative prices as:
Among the objectives described so far, those actually produced for the Dream were probably only:
We found no trace of the Nitor 35 2.8, (and only one Fitor 35 / 2.8, marked OD 6402.1, possibly a prototype? or just very rare) nor the Argon 26/4, but could later observe some examples of the Aplanator 100mm / 4.5 (and an 80mm as well), but they were in slide projector mount, not for the camera.
The production of lenses for the Sogno micro-camera stabilized only in 1949. In the Ducati list of that year, 8 lenses were shown that were confirmed to have been manufactured in quantity, and in that list the objectives are divided into two categories, retractable and non-retractable (and the Fitor was replaced by the Vitor 2.8 version):
Even in the following years, and until the cessation of production, the lenses remained as those listed above, even if there were some small variations. For example starting from about 1950 the external structure of the Teletor was changed from the “fat” to “slim” version, and also changed the Ducati code number to become OD 6408.2. Some of the other objectives were also produced in two series that can be recognized by the position of the serial number (on the ring or on the focus lever) and by the first digit of the same (zero or three) and also the color (red instead or white or black) of the digits on later versions.
Also, for the Teletor lens, in some official documents, a model with a brightness of 1: 6.3 is indicated, but it has never been observed in reality, probably it was an error on the part of the person writing the literature.
At the end of production in 1952, the price targets were much reduced, probably in an attempt to increase sales and or to dispose of the remaining warehouse stock:
For each of the lenses various accessories were created such as additional finders, hoods, filters, and more. And for each of the lenses we have made a specific page with further detailed information for each, as well as a table showing the details of each accessory, its pricing at the time, and another table showing our estimations of the number produced.