P. Angenieux Paris 35mm F/2.5 [Retrofocus] Type R1

Wide-angle prime lens • Film era • Discontinued


Sample photos


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Production details
Production status: Discontinued
Original name:P. ANGÉNIEUX PARIS F.35 1:2.5 TYPE R1
Optical design
Focal length:35mm
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Contax [34.85mm]
Leica screw mount [28.8mm]
M42 [45.5mm]
Diagonal angle of view:63.4°
Lens construction:6 elements in 5 groups
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Manual
Aperture control:Aperture ring
Number of blades:<No data>
Coupled to the rangefinder:Yes (from 0.7m)
Closest focusing distance:<No data>
Maximum magnification:<No data>
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Physical characteristics
Weight:<No data>
Maximum diameter x Length:<No data>
Weather sealing:-
Fluorine coating:-
Filters:<No data>
Lens hood:<No data>
Source of data
Scarce manufacturer's technical data + own research.

Manufacturer description

The introduction in 1950 of the RETROFOCUS wide-angle lenses has been widely recognized as one of the most important events in the history of photography. The significance of this event was proven by the early enthusiastic acceptance given to the RETROFOCUS and is now more than ever apparent by its continually growing success on the market.

The RETROFOCUS was the first product resulting from a planned series of entirely new types of lenses. In offering them to you, we feel that in addition to their superior advantages, you will also be interested to know what photographic needs originally led to their creation.

The initial problem we had to solve arose from the ever increasing use of miniature single lens reflex cameras. They were not equipped to use wide angle lenses with extremely short focal lengths - an inherent difficulty with all cameras of this type - and a satisfactory solution was generally considered impossible until the introduction of the RETROFOCUS.

The f/2.5 RETROFOCUS 35 mm lens, our first product, was followed by the f/3.5 RETROFOCUS 28 mm lens. The field covered by the RETROFOCUS 28 mm is 74 degrees (as compared with 64 degrees for the RETROFOCUS 35 mm) and its back focal length is about 38 mm. The pictures rendered by both lenses are perfect, without distortion, and their over-all quality comparable to results obtained from the finest lenses available on the market.

The same problem existed with miniature single lens cameras in connection with the use of very fast 50 mm lenses. Again, miniature cameras did not permit their use with very large openings. To overcome this difficulty, our new 50 mm 1:1.5 lens is now available. This new introduction fills this particular need in the miniature camera field.

The remarkable performance of the three types of lenses which are now on the market, the 28 mm, the 35 mm and the 50 mm focal lengths add immeasurably to the versatility of the 35 mm reflex cameras. In addition, and because of their exceptional quality, these lenses are currently being used with equal success with cameras of widely different types.

Lenses of longer focal lengths than the types afore mentioned, have been adapted, without any difficulty, for the 35 mm single lens reflex cameras. Our objective, therefore, was to find a formula which allowed increase of speed without making the lenses too bulky. As a result, we now have the new lens types P1 and P2, with outside measurements kept to a minimum. The quality of these types was immediately appreciated by even the most discriminating of experts, and used with complete success in the photographic world.

Judging from the encouraging comments constantly received, our chosen determination to avoid the beaten path in search of better and more versatile lens equipment has been eminently successful. As a result of this acclaim, we intend to follow this line of conduct and search for new ideas and designs.

From the FILM AND DIGITAL TIMES magazine (Special report - October 2013)

Angénieux History

1950 - Design and manufacturing of wide angle Retrofocus lenses for 24x36mm format still photography. These lenses used an inverted telephoto design, with a negative lens group at the front that increased the back focal distance. The first lenses were intended for rangefinder cameras, but the added distance was a boon to accommodate the extra room occupied by mirror mechanisms in the emerging technology of single-lens reflex cameras.

The first Angénieux Retrofocus still format lens was the R1 series, 35 mm f/2.5, introduced in 1950. Angénieux Retrofocus lenses came in focal lengths of 24 mm, 28 mm, and 35 mm. The R11 28 mm f/3.5 came in 1953, followed by the R51 / R61 24 mm f/3.5 in 1957.

From the editor

The lens was produced for Alpa, Contax, Exakta and Rectaflex bayonet mounts, as well as for the Leica screw mount and the M42 screw mount. Most likely, there was also a Nikon F bayonet mount version.

This page contains photos of the rangefinder version only.

The closest focusing distance is:

  • 3 1/2 ft. - for the rangefinder version with distance scale in feet;
  • 1m - for the rangefinder version with distance scale in meters;
  • 3 ft. - for the SLR version with distance scale in feet, as indicated by Angenieux;
  • 1m - for the SLR M42 version with distance scale in meters.

Typical application


Fast full-frame wide-angle prime lens

Genres or subjects of photography (5):

Landscapes • Cityscapes • Buildings • Interiors • Full to mid-body portraits

Recommended slowest shutter speed when shooting static subjects handheld:

1/40th of a second

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Copyright © 2012-2023 Evgenii Artemov. All rights reserved. Translation and/or reproduction of website materials in any form, including the Internet, is prohibited without the express written permission of the website owner.

35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2


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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.


Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),


CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.


A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.


The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Modified M42 mount

The mount has been modified by the manufacturer to allow exposure metering at full aperture.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/2.5 on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.


Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.


Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.


Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.