Carl Zeiss high speed lenses, commonly called Super Speed introduced the largest aperture available for cinematography in a coplete series, F1.2.
The Zeiss high speed lenses had their genesis in the Planar 0.7/50mm lens commissioned by NASA in 1966.
The Zeiss High Speed lenses were series produced in various generations from 1975 to 2004. They were replaced by the Arri/Zeiss Master Prime series in 2005.
These are the first generation and origonal series Carl Zeiss High Speed (HS) lenses were first manufactured in 1975. Apart from the 50mm T1.3 which is a Mk.2. They were amoung the first Zeiss lenses to have the Zeiss T* multicoating, which increases contrast and overall light transmission (T-stop) and reduces flare. They were only avilable with ARRI Beyonet lens mounts. This mount had been introduced in the mid-1960's on the Arriflex 16SB, 16BL and 35II-C and was ARRI's lens mount until the introduction of the ARRI PL mount in the early 1980's.
The HS series have housings that are designed to fit into the prime lens blimp that the Arrifles 35 BL-I and BL-II required for silent shooting. They do not have focus or iris gears, but instead use removable tabs fitted to the focus and iris rings that are ment to be actuated by rubber coated leavers inside the pime lens blimp. However these lenses have been modified so that the focus tab has replaced by a 0.8Mod focus gear.
The HS Distagons were the first Zeiss cine lenses with aspherical elements. They incorporated a molded aspherical element that is positioned in the rear group just behind the iris.
The 16mm set comprises of four Distagons (however we have added a 50mm later sereis lens to the set): 9.5, 12, 16 and 25mm, F1.2, all with a photometric apature of T1.3. These were the first 16mm prime lenses designed to cover Super 16mm format. The 9.5mm focal length covers the full S16 aperture, but is somewhat compromised in sharpness and illumination past the corners of N16. For this reason ARRI did not include the 9.5mm on their list of S16 compatible lenses. All the S16 Mk.1 lenses were fitted with 6-blade hexagonal iris.
The mechanical design of the Mk.1 S16 Superspeeds was similar to the 35mm Superspeeds, but smaller. The lens mount is the origonal Beyonet design that uses a pin on the back of the lens for location and a lock ring to hold the mount in place. Front housing diameters were 70mm for the 9.5 and 12mm and 62mm for the 16 and 25mm. However these lenses have a constant 80mm outside diameter throughout via adapters to save matte box adjustments.
All of these lenses cover the Super 16 Format. ARRI does not list the 9.5mm as covering Super 16 because it is not sharp in the corners of the S16 frame as it is in the corners of the regular 16mm aperture. Also thereis some vignetting when the 9.5 is stopped down past T8. In practice, the 9.5mm lens should have no problem working with the S16 format as long as the aperture remains T8 or wider.