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Jan Jacobsen Obituary
1916 - 1998

This article first appeared in
..in 70mm
The 70mm Newsletter

Written by: Mr Gerhard Fromm, Cinematographer. Munich, Germany Issue 54 - September 1998
Mr. Jan Jacobsen, OSCAR-winning movie pioneer and camera engineer died June 23, 1998 following cancer surgery in a hospital in Augsburg, Germany. He was 81.

The name Jan Jacobsen was well known in the movie business for his expertise with cameras, lenses, sound equipment, front projection equipment and other pieces of film apparatus. In 1987 he was awarded a Special Photographic Technical Achievement Academy Award. He was born in 1916 in Norway and his career took him to Germany, Denmark, America, back to England and ultimately to his final home in Germany. He built his first 9,5mm camera when he was just 16 years of age.

Click to see enlargement

The highlights of his career include the first IMAX camera, the front projection Dual Screen system (for which he received his technical Academy Award), a series of MCS 65mm cameras [M.C.S.-70 Superpanorama, -ed], the UltraScope lenses, a 360 degree Swiss-O-Rama 65mm camera for a 360 degree cinema, a very beautiful 65mm camera for MGM, and a series of 5 perf, 8 perf, and 15 perf cameras in his beloved 65mm film format. During his later years Jan Jacobsen led a quiet and modest life in his house outside Augsburg where he kept himself busy in his small machine shop with new ideas and inventions. He recently applied for a patent for his Flipping Focus system and spent much of his time building cameras and lenses.

He is survived by his son Jan and his daughter Jeanette. Jan Jacobsen developed many significant and important innovations for the movie industry. The movies were his life and the industry has lost a brilliant engineer.

Further in 70mm reading:

The Work of Jan Jacobsen

MCS-70 Superpanorama

Jan Jacobsen Story

MCS-70 Superpanorama films

The M.C.S.-70 Process and European Cinema of the 1960s

MCS 70 Superpanorama Films Adverts and posters

MCS 70 Field Camera


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Updated 07-01-23