Kowa Inflight 1.75x

The History By Redstan-theman

The Kowa Inflight was designed for movie projection on 707 airplanes in the 1970s.

This specific model with the 1.75x squeeze, along with the also rare KOWA Prominar C35 1.5x lens, are the best quality Kowa anamorphic lenses ever made. Nice optics but most were trashed.

These optics are from the movie unit of Kowa. Kowa purchased the rights to the Bausch and Lomb Baltar lens series. This was a set of movies lens that was used in the Godfather 1 and 2. Spherical optics with some of the most interesting movie lens ever in American to compete with the Cooke Speed Panchro sets that dominated Hollywood for decades.


Kowa made sets of movie optics very lovely and proper high end stuff and they invested loads into it but it did not pay off because of the Saudi oil embargo of the 1970s. Many films where delayed or cancelled. Kowa used these teams to make proper sets of movie anamorphics when this did not work out they were taking commission from military government.


Like the parallax corporation the inflight group did a lot of custom optics for the military.

sometimes kowa sometimes isco was used.


In rocket bases in New Mexico they used high speed Polavision instant fast cameras shooting super 8 film in a cassette.  It processed inside the player you shot on a camera then put into the T.V. and it processed then played. Polaroid also made a plastic home version that did not take off.


I am talking about a high speed very expensive industrial camera they shot on s8,16 and 35mm film. Also remember industry military spy’s shot on every film format including regular and super 8,  9.5mm  in the 50s and 60s. Also  other weird cameras for shooting 70mm film of rockets and missiles hitting targets.


The tavistock institute and the CIA also used them for mind control work cinemascope image projections into each eyeball.


They messed about with film formats projecting super 8,16mm and 35mm. Flat pack pull down complex projections systems costing 10s of thousands even back then so the lens optics would all of been custom order maybe compression matching whatever new system they were using. High end jet set entertainment. Some optics are lovely and small and others are as big as a Isco 54.


Anyone could buy these things but I think the minimum order was 10. Many of the lens have been trashed on military bases, thrown in the sea, used for filming and projection and reduction prints needed for different squeeze ratios.


Some lens has more modern coatings. I once that had a lens with freaky green coating.


Even with a modern coating, it makes the Kowa Bell Howell seem like not such a great lens.


So when I say those optics are movie quality optics, they are just modified for different markets.

© Ian Edward Weir - 2020

  • Bandcamp - White Circle
  • Soundcloud Classic
  • LinkedIn Classic
  • Vimeo Classic
  • c-youtube