Kern was a maker of optical measuring instruments. It was founded in 1819 by Jakob Kern in Aarau, Switzerland. In 1919 it founded a new optics department with help of optician Walter Zschokke who forced the company to produce photographic products from 1924 to 1936. After that period it continued to make photographic lenses for movie-camera maker Paillard-Bolex and SLR maker Pignons until the 1970s. Its movie camera lenses for C-mount are revived nowadays since they are superb fast optics, adaptable as still photography lenses to digital cameras with Micro Four-Thirds lens mount.