Startup Aims to Put the “Insta” Back Into Instagram with the Citograph 35mm

If you’ve ever wished for a lens that combined the convenience of a smartphone with the quality of an SLR, this product is for you.

German startup C.P. Goerz recently launched the Citograph 35mm, an ultra-thin, always-in-focus lens for your point-and-shoot designed to revolutionize spontaneous photography and put the “Insta” back into Instagram.

Because of the lens’ fixed aperture and hyperfocal technology, everything from 9 feet to infinity is automatically in-focus. And with no mechanics to slow you down, you’re always ready to shoot. No autofocus, no zoom, no adjusting your aperture.

citograph lens on sony camera

Cue the collective “Why didn’t I think of that?” among photographers worldwide.

Capturing fleeting moments and fast-moving subjects without hesitation is the promise of the Citograph 35, the world’s first hyperfocus citography lens, according to its makers. And its compact size — you can easily slip it in your pocket — makes it ideal for use in street or “shoot from the hip” situations.

The Tessar-type lens is the creative concept of Benedikt Hartmann, a 20-year veteran of the German camera industry, who set out to develop a lens that was simple to use while delivering professionally results.

“We want to take the photographer away from behind the viewfinder and allow him to live in the moment in the scene,” Hartmann said in a news release. “Shooting spontaneously and even from the hip delivers new perspectives and makes the photographer part of what is going on around him.”

Hartmann goes on to assert that the lens will spawn a new style of photography known as “Citography.”

“Citography is a completely new form of spontaneous and pure photography, allowing you to create beautiful and highly professional photos of the world around you – create images that are just as unpredictable and spontaneous as life around you,” Hartmann writes on his Kickstarter page. “With the Citograph 35mm, you can truly express yourself and tell your very own story – from your own unique viewpoint, without compromising on image quality. It offers a creative freedom that has so far not been possible in photography.”

If the Citograph 35 sounds like a gift from the creative freedom gods, you’re in luck. But you’ll also need to be patient.

A Kickstarter campaign launched earlier this month has netted more than double the original ask of $30,000 needed to push the lens into production. Eager buyers still have time to secure early-bird pricing of $229 before the online funding campaign ends on July 27.

citograph sony camera

The Citograph is expected to be released in Spring 2018, and retail at that time for $549.

The lens will be available with mounts for Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fuji, MFT, Pentax, and Leica cameras.

For more details, visit the Kickstarter campaign:

Citograph 35mm technical specifications:

  • Focal length 35 mm
  • Magnification ratio 1:8
  • Optical construction 4 elements in 3 groups
  • Field of view +/- 31°
  • Distortion ≤ 1% Light loss max. 27 %
  • Focussing 3m bis ∞
  • Filter thread M 37 x 0,75
  • Dimensions Ø 58 mm x 23 mm
  • Weight ±. 120g