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Carl Zeiss Jena lenses

kubik

Member
On a few occasions, I have seen and heard of Carl Zeiss Jena lenses (from the former DDR). Some of these are available with the C/Y mount and regularly surface up on eBay, at seemingly bargain prices. Of particular notice are the CZJ Flektogon MC 20/2.8 and the Sonnar MC 180/2.8 (apparently based on the famed Olympia Sonnar... what a coincidence). Apart from their collectible value, how good are these East-German lenses? Does anyone have hands-on experience with these lenses? Are they worhty of the Carl Zeiss name?

G Couture
 
J

John_bird

Hi Guillaume
I think you will find that none of these were produced with C/Y mount but have instead been converted to C/Y from Pentacon or 42mm screw fitting. this normaly means that there is no automatic shut down of appature so you must stop down manualy prior to exposure, I am not sure this is 100% true but do check with seller prior to purchase. Optical performance of these lens can be very good. Early versions will only be single coated and don't expect the same flare performance as T*'s even from the later multi coated versions. Just out of interest ther is a man on ebay selling un-used last production 300mm f4 tele tessars for around £80.
Hope this is of some help John
 
W

writing4me

John, Would you email me privately and let me know the ebay name of the man selling these lenses? I need something relatively inexpensive for the short term in the 300-400mm range in C/Y mount, and this might fill a gap. I presently have a 100-300 f5.6 yashica that I just do not like one little bit. It is so dark and so extremely soft that it's useless to me. (Great paper weight) I wanted something to use on the birds in my yard for my own personal enjoyment. So, if it isn't as good of a lens as the $XXXX counterpart present day Zeiss, I'll live with that until I can justify buying something better in this focal length. You can reach me at Lynn@turnkeydesign.net Thanks! -Lynn
 

coyot

Well-Known Member
>I have a Sigma (or Tamron??) 400 mm in a CY mount that I would let go for 150.00 U.S. The quality is good, but not great!

Michael Hahn.
 
C

craignorris

Before I became a Contax user, I had a Minolta X-700. I accumulated a collection of second-hand lenses for it, my favourite being a Carl Zeiss Jena 75-300 f4.5-5.6 macro. It was a gorgeous lens. It made beautifully sharp and contrasty photos at all focal lengths. It was my favourite portrait lens. I regret losing that lens when I sold all my Minolta gear in favour of Contax bodies. That lens was better than my VS 80-200 f4. I really miss it. I only paid 80 UK pounds for it in a second hand camera shop in England.

So in my experience with that one lens, I'd have no hesitation to buy another Carl Zeiss Jena lens. They are a bargain.
 
W

writing4me

Hi Michael, Thanks for the kind offer. Unfortunately, I'm biased against Tamron rather strongly. Have hated every image I've ever made with their stuff (used a lot of it on a Tamron outting on day) Sigma isn't that bad really for color and contrast really, but one of their lower-end lenses nearly fell apart in my hands and I'm slightly biased against them as well. Thanks anyway though. Wouldn't turn my nose up if you had the Tokina 400 though!
-Lynn
 
W

writing4me

> Hi Craig, I had a look through Ebay for the lens you mentioned and the one John mentioned but came up empty. Do you have any idea if they still come up on Ebay? Or, where else to look for these in C/Y mount? Thanks, Lynn PS: I'm in SE Wisconsin, US, if that matters.

QUOTING: Craig Norris on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - 8:35 pm: > > Before I became a Contax user, I had a Minolta X-700. I accumulated a > collection of second-hand lenses for it, my favourite being a Carl > Zeiss Jena 75-300 f4.5-5.6 macro. It was a gorgeous lens. It made > beautifully sharp and contrasty photos at all focal lengths. It was my > favourite portrait lens. I regret losing that lens when I sold all my > Minolta gear in favour of Contax bodies. That lens was better than my > VS 80-200 f4. I really miss it. I only paid 80 UK pounds for it in a > second hand camera shop in England. > > So in my experience with that one lens, I'd have no hesitation to buy > another Carl Zeiss Jena lens. They are a bargain.
 
C

craignorris

Hi Lyn. The only place I've ever seen the Jena zoom lenses is in England, usually in out-of-the-way second hand camera stores. In Hong Kong, where I live, I often see Jena fixed focal length lenses in the second hand shops. I saw a 35mm F2.8 Jena lens for M42 screw mount a couple of weeks ago, going for only US$80. I've never seen a Jena lens for C/Y mount. Sorry.
 

bunthorpe

Active Member
On eBay I purchased two old Jena zooms converted to Canon Fd mount (each for around $120),and IMHO, found them to be very sharp, though a little awkward for me to use. Occasionally they turn up, in FD or , I vaguely recall, also in C/Y mount. Another sold in FD mount just 10 days ago, for a similar price. There was no need to stop down.If you are not in a hurry you may find a bargain.You may want to search using a variety of variables.
 

tbc

Well-Known Member
>RE: Carl Zeiss Jena lenses. > I have seen and heard of Carl Zeiss Jena lenses > (from the former DDR). Some of these are available with the C/Y > mount and regularly surface up on eBay, at seemingly bargain prices. Of > particular notice are the CZJ Flektogon MC 20/2.8 and the Sonnar MC > 180/2.8 (apparently based on the famed Olympia Sonnar... what a > coincidence).

I read in a book published in the '70's that a pro liked the quality of the 20 2.8 Flektogon, but it's reliability was dubious. He had several, so that he would have a user when the other(s) were being repaired. I think at one time, some Japanese made zoom lenses were marketed under the Carl Zeiss Jena name. Sold only in eastern europe, I believe. But now, with e-bay and such, they may turn up.
 
J

John_bird

Hi to all who have express a wish for a link for 300mm f4 tele tessa have been through the first 10 pages of a of Zeiss with out success and have given up for now, so anyboby looking start on page 11. I will continue to look, I will also go through my address book as the fellows email address should be in there. He is based in the far east but will ship he seems to have a stock of these and offer 1 a week for sale.
Hope my next post is of more use.
John
 
A

arthur

I have a Carl Zeiss Jena C/Y mount which I really like, it's a 28mm F2.8 and for a while was my only wide angle, I've absolutely no reason to replace it with a distagon though I do now use a 25mm distagon along side for wide angle stuff (and want a 21mm eventually).

I have seen a 35mm F2.8 Jena for sale in C/Y mount, this was a couple of years ago, but have not seen the longer zooms or for that matter any other Jena lens with C/Y mount. I must add that I have not been hunting for these, just casual observation when passing camera shop and browsing as one does!

Cheers,

Art

Craig wrote:

>Hi Lyn. The only place I've ever seen the Jena zoom lenses >is in England, usually in out-of-the-way second hand camera >stores. In Hong Kong, where I live, I often see Jena fixed >focal length lenses in the second hand shops. I saw a 35mm >F2.8 Jena lens for M42 screw mount a couple of weeks ago, >going for only US$80. I've never seen a Jena lens for C/Y >mount. Sorry.
 
W

writing4me

Thanks everyone for the really good ideas and suggestions. I just discovered that there are adapters for the M42 mount lenses to nearly any camera system. Here's a list from B&H:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


I am debating over trying this out. At $15 for the adapter and whatever price for the Zeiss glass in an M42 mount, this sounds reasonably good. If I'm about to embark on a useless endeavor, please let me know. I guess one would have to stop down the aperature manually, but doesn't that just mean I would have to manually open up for focussing, then stop down for shooting, or am I missing something else? I'm going to think this over a few days before leaping in. Barring this, I'll look for a Tokina 400. I have a veritable zoo of songbirds in my garden that I can't identify in any of my bird books just begging to be photographed. This Sunday I went from window to window in the house with a pair of binoculars just wishing I had a lens of better focal length and glass to get them. (Watch them disapear when I have the right gear!)

-Lynn, a confirmed member of zeissaholics non-anonymous email: Lynn@turnkeydesign.net
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Dear Lynn,
The main problem with non automatic aperture closing is remembering to stop down. I have found this often in the past when I had an excellent 135 Carl Zeiss Jena in M42 with a Y/C mount. You open up to focus, get it just right, take the picture and then remember oh heck- I didn't stop down. That works OK when it was at full aperture anyway...
In the UK M42 lenses are rarely found now whereas once they were plentiful and very reasonable.
John
 
W

writing4me

You have a point John. Thanks. Maybe repurposing a long lens isn't the best idea for me. I can envision having the same problem you did now that you point that out. Well, I'll have to think about what I can use in either c/y or eos mount for these birds. Best, Lynn
 

bobbl46

Well-Known Member
While not exactly the on the same theme...but connected.

I used to have a 300mm f4 medium format Pentacon....Carl Zeiss Jena lens. Lovely construction! It had an M42 adapter to which I threaded on a 35mm C/Y adapter.

It was reasonably sharp but.....the contrast did not live up to my expectations. I was more impressed with my Tamron SP 80-200 f2.8 with a budget 1.4x converter!

I've recently acquired a s/h Tamron 300mm f2.8 LD IF....now we are talking impressive! It's a beaut!

OK... a pukka Contax 300/2.8 Zeiss lens will certainly show the Tamron's failings.....but I'd rather have a Tamron and splash out on a car, or 2,800 rolls of film than shell out all that loot on the Zeiss!

My 2p's worth.

Cheers, Bob.
 
J

jgban

Lynn,
I would not go out of my way to get a Zeiss Jena in M42 mount and then get an adapter for Y/C. However, I would keep my eyes open for a good bargain. For long teles you often use the maximum aperture anyway (if you are hand-holding, to get the fastest shutter speed), or you use a tripod and then the whole picture-taking is more elaborate and you have time to remember about stopping-down.

Regarding aperture and long teles, one can remember that mirror lenses have a fixed aperture. That does not prevent them from being extremely useful and economic for their specific purpose (a nice feature on cheap & light mirror lenses can be found in Keppler's SLR section on this month's Popular Photography & Imaging).

Good luck in your search for the 400mm Tokina (don't check Photodo's score!)

Juan
 
T

ttu

The prevalent problem is obviously the difficult compatibility between C/Y mount and lens screw mount. Bit off-topic, bought myself a 35mm 2.8 Flektogon several years ago and did some comparison shots between the Flektogon on my old screw mount body and 28mm Distagon on my Contax. I'm everything but a pro and didn't go down to single grain analysis, but for a hopeless CZ disciple the outcome was quite a surprise. Good sharpness, colors weren't as good on the Distagon, albeit the different and more modern metering on the Contax body must be taken into account - yet purchase price ratio between used Flektogon and used Distagon was about 1:8! As unplanned result the old M42 body wasn't sold and the Flektogon got company over time by a 50mm Tessar (once been nicknamed as eagle's eye) and 135mm Sonnar, all of CZ Jena. To make matters worse I've just read an article that Voigtlaender (OEM'ed by Cosina) supposedly plans to lauch a screw mount Bessaflex SLR soon. Thomas
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Good afternoon everyone.
In view of the recent discussions about Carl Zeiss Jena lenses,I though that people might be intersted in an ostensible 24mm Carl Zeiss Jena lens which I found for a fairly reasonable price in a camera shop locally. I already have the Distagon 25mm lens so I know that I didn't need the new one but as it's part of the web of Zeiss history I couldn't resist it, also it will make a useful lightweight alternative lens to use in circumstances where I don't want to risk the expensive Distagon.
I have tried to research the lens on the internet but I cannot find much out about it. Perhaps it's just as well as I don't want to be too disappointed!
The lens is marked "lens made in Japan under licence from VEB Carl Zeiss Jena".
Interestingly it is an MM type but with the smallest aperture marked in yellow rather than the usual green. The aperture controlling lever is a fraction longer than that of Zeiss West lenses and Yashica lenses and it very slightly marks the matt black paint in the mount area where it apparently just touches. It's not sufficient of a problem to be of concern.
It appears from research on the www that the lens may have been made by Sigma and that CZ Jena did contract some lens making to the Japanese in the 70's. I would have thought however, that as my lens is an MM type,it must have been made at least as late as the mid 80's. It is pretty well in as new condition.
John
 
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