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HISTORY

1992

After his studies in precision engineering Klaus Eckerl became the deputy technical head of optic production in a Munich optic company, ENNA. As a young engineer, he started working at the production site in Wegscheid with approximately 200 employees. He was responsible for the organization and the development of synthetic injection molding and precision optics. The company has got numerous patents in the field of illustrating systems in optic calculation and was a leading manufacturer for recording lenses in the 1950´s until 1970´s and later for projection optics for OEM clients all over the world. They collaborated for example with Schneider Kreuznach, Isco, Kodak, Docter Optics, Leica and other well-known companies. The developed products were released with the corresponding brand logos but all produced at ENNA. The company became an insider tip for many renowned manufacturers. Products like the well-known projection optics 2,4/90mm for Rollei twin projectors, all Docterlux and Docteron optics, Leica´s 70-120mm projection optics or Kodak´s 24mm and 51mm for professional projectors were all produced at ENNA.

Klaus Eckerl brought new innovations in the slightly ´dusty´ company and installed newest CAD workplaces for mechanical construction. He became acquainted with optic design and attended numerous further educational courses in this fascinating field in the US, UK and Germany.    

Besides optic calculation Klaus dealt with thin layering, bought needed software and installed first vacuum coating systems by Leybold to be able to conduct the former expensive procedures for anti-reflection coatings in-house. For this, he calculated the multi-coating, programmed the software and shared his knowledge with the employees.

Moreover, new and more modern optical polishing machines, centering systems and measuring equipment, for example an interferometer, was installed. Due to excellent contacts to Leica management, the purchase of some machines of their production was possible.      

Besides to classical photography Klaus steadily established the new field ´machine vision´ at ENNA. This field of image processing started to become popular in the end of 1980´s: Measuring with light. Numerous innovative applications were installed afterwards, for example the first decoupling optic for ARRI cine cameras  for simulating on Leo II, which even should win the technical Oscar later. 

Due to this dynamic development, ENNA was bought by a former client, Docter Optics, and the production site in Wegscheid was closed. Klaus Eckerl, finally technical director, didn’t want to move to Wetzlar. So it was obvious to continue working in the business fields established by him at ENNA at his own company: the hour of birth of ´Ingenieur-Büro Eckerl´, short IB/E. 

2001

In this year, IB/E optics GmbH was founded in order to do more than prototyping. The main issue was to manage the prototyping and production of smaller series. The company started with four more employees.

2003

IB/E optics developed the OptiBench measurement system for ultrafast MTF, distortion and telecentricity measurement. Our first customer is JenOptik, Germany.

2004

IB/E optics invested in an own CNC turning and milling technique to realize faster prototyping.

2005

IB/E developed various machine vision systems such as a fully automated test facility for Plansee or stereo zoom lenses for HWS in the field of medical technology. Due to the steadily increasing tasks, new staff was hired.

2006

IB/E optics entered the film business. By designing the broadcast 3 CCD lens HD Scope the first own product could be realized: A fully flexible tool for the professional video industry with two axis rotation with image derotation feature; With focus, iris, rotation, tilt and pan you have five axes to be driven. 

Another fantastic lens has been created, an ultra low and low budget wide angle lens up to 130° horizontal field with distortion less than ten percent for a well-known automotive supplier. The only system that is allowed to be used instead of front mirrors.

2007

IB/E optics invested in new high precision assembly and clean room facilities with now 60 square meters. The company now had the possibility to do high precision assemblies on opto-mechanical systems.

IB/E developed a complex surface inspection system in the sub micron region within all the imaging and illumination optics as dark field and through the lens illumination.

Moreover, IB/E optics developed the optimizer for Trace Pro and is certified partner of Lambda research and Trace Pro.

2008

IB/E optics developed a new series of cine and broadcast lenses for 2/3″ HD. These systems are characterized by great performance and extrem low vignetting due to image-sided telecentric beam path.

Moreover, further MTF systems were delivered.

2009

IB/E was the main push for Schneider to go into cine optics again. So IB/E worked as a consultant for Schneider on the Cine Xenar prime lenses.

With the ´Null Lens´ IB(E Optics showed an easy to use utility to adjust the perfect back focal at the RED One digital cams.
Another OptiBench MTF measurement equipment was installed. Further development around the UPMOS assembly to mount optical components precise in the mechanical tubes. Development of a macro zoom lens 9x on 3 CCD 1/3” sensors for medicine care, an ultra highspeed wide angle lens with FNo 0,9 for roboting areas observing and high aperture MWIR lenses.

2010

IB/E optics won the Cinec Award 2010 in the category ´Optics´ in Munich for their MTF Star testing unit for projectors. The system has been applied for patent. 

IB/E developed the B4/PL Adapter HDx2 for Phantom, RED and Panasonic cameras.

2011

It was getting too small and the workflow required optimization. So IB/E optics planned a new building in Freyung.

IB/E launched the HDx35 adapter at NAB. This adapter allows the use of even B4 Mount extreme zooms at the Arri Alexa, Sony F3 and others.

2012

In August, IB/E Optics moved to its new „castle” in Freyung.

A new rapid prototyping machine, a new clean room area, further assembly machines and enhanced testing equipment provide more flexibility and speed for our customized opto-mechanical systems.

Moreover, additional staff initially strengthened the montage team.

2013

IB/E Optics now worked with two ZEISS K Testers inhouse. This provided the ability to evaluate with a well accepted measurement utility in optic industry. The newly installed EMCOTURN 45 SMY including full CAD/CAM package allowed to realize our own ideas more effective.

New items were the PLx2 and PLx1,4 extender for most PL lenses out there.

2014

IB/E optics established a new assembly factory in Shanghai. With the new brand HandeVision we now offered consumer lenses in cooperation with our Chinese partner Shanhai Transvision.

New products in the professional field were the PLx2, the PLx1.4 and the HDx1.4 converters to cover super 16 with your ENG HD lenses. Since spring Band Pro in Munich was the new exclusive dealer for our products in Europe. ARRI showed their new ARRI65 camera with new lenses from IB(E Optics at the Cinec in Munich. IB(E Optics hired more assembling specialists and technicians to fulfill the needs in the product development.

2015

IB/E optics had one of its most successful years ever in 2015. We developed innovative optical tools in the area of film such as the S35xFF, an expander which adjusts all S35 optics to the new full frame cameras including the RED Weapon 8K.

Furthermore, we developed a splitter system designed for real time recording in VIS and IR to ´quot;live´ mask various advertising contents on the side fences in sport stadiums all over the world.

For the ARRI Alexa65 camera we designed, manufactured and delivered a complete line with eight Primes and one Zoom lenses. The first project with these lenses was the Oscar winning movie The Revenant.

From now on, IB/E optics will manufacture HandeVision IB/E optics systems for the consumer market. The first lens in the series is our extremely fast 0.85/40mm in APS-C format. Furthermore, a complete family will follow with fixed focal lengths in a classic style for the full frame (24x36mm) format.

In the professional cinematography world IB/E optics together with Band Pro announced the new RAPTOR Macro Lenses during Band Pro’s ´Open House´ in Burbank. Last but not least, we expanded the production capacity by extension of the building. In autumn 2016, construction begins.

2016

2016 was the most successful year for IB/E optics to date.

Investments totally €500,000 in new production equipment and measurement technology were made.

In the realm of cinema, movies like Star Wars: Rogue One, The Great WallAssassin’s Creed and many more were shot using the ARRI65 lens series, the new ARRI65-S and DNA optics

Moreover, we extended our Cine Prime RAPTOR family with focal length of 40 mm, 60 mm, 80 mm and presented them to a large audience in Los Angeles at the end of the year.

Expansion of full-frame IBERIT series for Leica M, SL Sony E and Fuji X focal length 2,4/24, 35, 50, 75 and 90 mm. OSD GmbH is responsible for sales in Europe.

An adjacent 2.000 square meters plot of land, just north of the current building, was recently purchased opening the door for further expansion of the company in Freyung, Germany.

2017

In September 2017, the construction of a new building to expand the production floor by 500 square meters and development laboratories by 250 square meters began.

Simultaneously, a number of new employees were hired to strengthen the professional team in assembly, marketing and sales to support the current growth. 

Machinery investments including the addition of another laser engraving machine and two state-of-the-art ZEISS K12 MTF Test Benches were made. In assembly we also added many new machines including a vision quality check tool, an in-situ machine measuring laser and a new molding machine.

In 2017, IB/E optics developed and produced three lens series for the ARRI ALEXA 65 camera: the ARRI Prime 65, the ARRI Prime 65 S and the highly successful ARRI Prime 65 DNA. All made by IB/E optics in Freyung, Germany.

2018

Production and Assembly came online in the newly built expansion, effectively doubling the size of the company’s facilities. 

Roma, lensed by Alfonso Cuaron, won the Camerimage (Bronze Frog), Venice Film Festival (Golden Lion) as many others. The film was shot on the Prime 65 lenses. IB/E optics was proud to design and manufacture these lenses for Arri Rental.

The Smartfinder director’s viewfinder prototype was introduced at IBC and will be ready for market in 2019.

The Raptor Macro 60 mm lens was introduced, thus completing the Raptor Macro Set of four lenses: 60 mm, 100 mm, 150 mm and 180 mm.

The PLx2 VV was introduced to the market providing a high-quality extender for large sensor cameras.

Cinematographer, James Laxton’s, If Beale Street Could Talk, was nominated for three Golden Globes. It was shot using the Prime DNA lenses which were proudly designed and partially manufactured by IB/E for Arri Rental.

IB/E optics was proud to provide the American Film Institute with a complete set of our specialty lenses and optical tools in order to help provide the AFI staff and students with the professional tools they need in support of the education process.

We introduced our Rectangular Diopters to the market. These diopters come currently in three strengths: +0.5, +0.8, and +2.0. All three are designed to fit into 4″; x 5.65″; Matte Box, and the +0.5 and the +0.8 take up only one slot in a standard matte box, whereas the +2.0 uses two.

IB/E optics introduced the PL-LPL Mechanical Adapter to the market.

IB/E was proud to provide direct support to the American Society of Cinematographers Master Class Program as well as the ASC in general through donations and by providing a complete set of our specialty lenses and optical tools to help the community better understand our products and how they provide unique solutions for cinematographers.

2019

IB/E published the Smartfinder Standalone App in December 2019 to introduce young people to the variety of combinations of cameras, sensor formats and lenses on the market. Our new team member Manuel Kieweg will take care of it from now on.
 
Heiko Bethke, known for his Bethke Effect Filters at Vantage, joined IB/E optics in 2018 and was given the freedom to further develop his filters here, which specifically address the creative DoP`s of this world. Meanwhile IB/E offers almost 30 Optical Filters.
 
In 2019 we kept enforcing our workforce and some new jobs have been filled. With Selina Uhrmann we won a new trainee in the field of technical product design. In spring 2019 Markus Boxleitner joined us and strengthened the assembly department as a trained optician. Jacob M. Jibb, B. Sc. Optoelectronic, is a great support for the measurement laboratory. Stefanie Breit, Jolanta Pawlik and Tanja Küchmann have been working for us in the assembly department since 2019 and 2018 respectively. 
 
Thus, the workforce has grown to approximately  35 employees in 2019. 

2020

The BSC fair in London started the year very hopefully. IB/E has released the SmartFinder Pro and the independent SmartFinder APP.

The major projects OPTIMO for Angenieux and the TRIBE7 Blackwing are starting in series production. From March on we are also handicapped by the Corona Virus, but „thank God“ we don’t have to work „short time“ or even exhibit people. In opposite, until August 2020 we build the first 350 lenses for these two brands and grow to 48 employees by autumn.For Angenieux the Silver Set is available and for TRIBE 7 the first 7 focal lengths.

In the CNC department we continued to invest in a further Acsys Laser and in measurement technology.

In 2020 we delivered the first 6 lenses – silver set of Angenieux‘ s Optimos , 21-28-40-50-75- and 135 . Also we delivered the first 50+ sets on TRIBEs in a first set of 7 lenses .

In the machine vision area we helped to develop a hugh astronomic telescope for DLR in munich; another exciting work though. We invested in the CNC area with a second Acsys Laser station , a new EMCO CNC 4,5 axis machine, different measurement tools, like another K12 MTF tool, a new projection room with the brand new Chrosziel LED projector and a second collimator unit. Now we are really settled for any rim and surface black lacquering on lens‘ surfaces. We established new clean room boxes.

While all this, we also hired a lot of new staff in assembly and management as well. Corona luckily helped us getting really perfect people. One man’s misfortune is another man’s fortune. End of 2020 IB/E counts 56 people at all.

2021

Our major projects in year 2021 are the OPTIMO PRIMES for Angenieux. The first primes ever that Angenieux has been introducing to the Cinema World. All of their fans worldwide have been waiting for that exciting moment. We are very proud, that Angenieux decided to work with IB/E optics, developing and producing this huge series of 12 lenses . Our knowledge and experience with the ARRI65 Primes (Oscar winner) and the following success of the DNAs.

Just a bit earlier another big opportunity came up. Famous DoP Bradford Young and former ARRI manager Neil Fanthom decided also to gain more attraction with their own modular ideas on a lens set, that can be modified in four different types X,S,T,B.  As the Tribes are more the artistic looking lenses, the Angenieux ones are the more engineered, perfect lenses with much more glass and aspherics inside. This results in super MTF values and less distraction

Klaus was finally able to convince Angenieux to integrate a glass element inside the lens. However, this has to be done during the design process, because otherwise it would be impossible to add a glass of this thickness to the optical path without dramatically affecting the image quality, which Angenieux calls „optical palette“.

IB/E invests in its own coating machine!
This opens up the creative possibility for the IB/E optics team to „conjure up“ all technically possible color variations in the optics under their own control. Klaus started his career years ago as a young engineer in the field of coating design and programming of Leybold coating systems. Thanks to his tireless „play instinct“ he is now able to design and realize coatings in his own rooms and with the latest technology. The first results will be implemented in the innovative TRIBE systems. Later on we want to offer professionally coated lenses as a service to our customers.

Preview 2022

In spring ’22 we will release the newly developed SmartFinder APP Pro for the iPhone 12 & 13. With the extreme wide angle optics, this solution now allows the simulatin of almost all camera-optics combinations currently on the market, from small 2/3 CCD to IMAX format. Will be available for all models up to iphone 13.

We are currently developing another complex HiSpeed Converter, which will be presented in autumn 2022. Be curious!

In the coating area, we are currently working on some customer specific requirements.

The production of the Angenieux Optimo Primes is running at full speed, the delivery of the Blackwing TRIBE 7 optics as well. Approximately 1800 units were shipped in 2021.

IB/E is also currently working on a family of its own Big Sensor Anamorphic lenses for Cinema, starting initially with 5 focal lengths, which we will introduce in 2022.

IB/E developed the in-house O-tool , an evaluation test system to adjust lenses with using compensation parts ( lenses ) and / or AirTags in the system to adjust for the best MTF values at 3 frequencies in situ at the same time. The evaluation system is rather useful and something mandatory to get lenses well adjusted ! IB/E will offer the systems starting in mid 2022

Klaus Eckerl is planning an expansion with an own optics asphere production. For this purpose, a new building is currently being planned as construction phase III of the IB/E optics site. IB/E will then have all relevant areas of optics, mechanics design, mechanics manufacturing , assembly and evaluation in house. The complete production area will then be increased to approx. 3500 sqm.

So stay excited….more to come…!!!

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