Silvestri Silvetar 35mm Lens

Below are excerpts from a blog post from Cambo about the Silvestri Silvetar 35mm

The use of a Mirrorless camera body on a Cambo Actus view camera gives access to a vast choice of lenses. Since most cameras have an in-body focal plane shutter, you’re not limited to leaf shutter lenses. We offer our ever expanding range of Actar lenses, new lenses from Rodenstock and adapters for many legacy lenses. The latter including several medium format systems.



There was however a gap: A 35mm lens suitable for use with cameras like the Hasselblad X2D. Yes, we’ve got a lensplate that enables the use of 35mm lenses from Pentax’ 645 system. Highly valued. There is also the conversion of the Contax 645’s Carl Zeiss Distagon-35. Nice, but it requires a pre-owned lens, which is getting harder to find. Not in the least due to our activities.

Help was on the way though. This is a Cambo lens plate but credit where credit is due: The lens is Silvestri’s Silvetar 5.6/35mm. We were pretty pleased when one of our dealer informed us, that they had already supplied several to Cambo owners.

The specs are promising: The Silvetar has a long (65.4) Flange-Focal distance and a small rear element. That’s what you need when using it with anything other than a digital back. The image circle is specified as 75.6mm. That does not only suffice for cameras like the GFX-100s and the X2D, it still enables a reasonable bit of movement when using the larger sensor in Phase One’s IQ3 and IQ4 backs.

We were eager to try this new lens. Silvestri in Italy kindly sent a demo.

The first striking thing when opening the box is the small size of the lens. It can be fitted to every m39 or #1 (41.7mm hole) lens plate. Good to have that choice.

It’s not for us to publish a test on other manufacturer’s products. We’re obviously curious to see how it performs and also wanted to compare it to the Distagon-35. The Silvetar 35mm has one major advantage over that lens: It’s available. Brand new, you don’t need to search eBay to find a good one.

There are definitely differences in the look and feel of the images both lenses produce. The Silvetar 35mm shows more light fall-off at first glance. That cleans up nicely at f8 but can still benefit from an LCC. Very easy to make an LCC though, thanks to the tiny front element. The Silvetar’s image circle is large (75.6mm). Both lenses provide about 14mm of rise/fall when using a 33x44mm sensor in landscape orientation. For the Distagon that’s also the limit. The Silvetar can be shifted up to 20mm without showing any vignetting that can’t be corrected in post. However, the image quality towards the outer edge deteriorates when going beyond 15mm. This may still provide good results when there aren’t any fine details in that part of the image, like in the sky above a building or landscape.

For more information on the Silvestri Silvetar lens, the Cambo Actus and the Hasselblad cameras please visit our website,