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Newbiebs perhaps silly question

emotepix

Member
Hello all
Have a basic question for you Y/C mount ch&s.. Basically, will a CZ lens made for the Rollei SL35 mount work on a Contax Y/C body mount? I'm talking about having it fit and working manually, I'm not doing any AE or MM work at all, mainly preset macro stuff.
Secondly, would a CZ lens made for the Rollei mount be made in the German factory or the Japanese one, and if the latter, what might the construction/performance differences be?
As I said, I'm new to all of this so these questions, either whole or part, may seem a little silly to those in the know. (Course I've been shooting for awhile, but on other systems).
Thanks!
Cheers
Chris
 

nickser

Well-Known Member
Hi There Chris,
The short answer is no:-(
The lens mounts are different. That is a pity as the Rollei lenses are cheaper. Maybe there is a way to change the mount to a C/Y one, but I would think that all the internal linkages would be different as well. Plus the cost would be quite a lot.
If any one took your fancy then it would be worthwhile getting a Rollei body. There are qite a few on ebay to choose from.

Regards

Paul
 

tbc

Well-Known Member
> Hi Chris, > Carl Zeiss Rollei manufactured lenses. Q: Secondly, would a CZ lens made for the Rollei mount be made in the > German factory or the Japanese one, and if the latter, what might > the construction/performance differences be? Some of the Rollei lenses were made in Singapore. The Zeiss website commented on Carl Zeiss T* coating vs Rollei HFT. The T* came first, but the process was relatively slow. HFT was thus used by Rollei. Zeiss stated that there is no difference between the 2 types. I remember some of the advertised prices in the late '70's. 85 1.4 Planar HFT for less than $100! A friend bought the SL35 but alas, didn't buy a collection of Zeiss optics. If you already have a Zeiss Rollei lens and like it, buying a Rollei body makes the most sense. Otherwise, put your money into a Carl Zeiss lens you can use on your Contax/Yashica bodies.
 

pkipnis

Well-Known Member
Since I'm being a pain in the butt, let weigh in with the point that it's the optics that make the photo. The camera body is necessary to keep the lens square to the film plain, focused and exposed correctly. All very important, but it's still the optics that create the image. I had considerable experience with the Rollei SL 35 and it's variants when they came out and used them ONLY because I could get quality Zeiss optics ( remember I was trained by Zeiss back in the good old days!) The camera bodies were disposable as opposed to repairable. Sadly on one hand I sold the whole outfit for a profit and bought something called a RTS. Despite being made by Yashica, it was obvious that the Porsche design group, the Zeiss optical group and some damn fine engineers really got it together. The rest is history.
 
W

writing4me

Sorry to go down a tangent, but this brings up something else I'd like to know. A friend who owns a Rollei 28D with a Schneider lens(es) that has been handed down in his family. (his father bought it for his wife, and now it belongs to their son). At the same time, a good friend of their family bought a Rollei too, but with Zeiss optics. Now, please understand, this friend and I disagree about what makes a good image, what type of film is most pleasing, which glass produces images to please our eyes, etc. He claims that both the Schneider and Zeiss lenses produced such similar results that they were virtually indistinguishable. (I would like to see those images, but I have not) That statement concerned me, however this next part actually caused me to raise an eyebrow: He claims that when Schneider and Zeiss were supplying lenses for Rollei, that a percentage (between 20-40% I think he said) were returned to Zeiss for not being up to standard and not sold, however, he also claims that the Schneider lenses were uniformly consistant and did not have rejects. In the opinion of those who know the Zeiss history and Rollei history better than I do, does this sound like myth to you? Hope you don't mind the question going off topic. -Lynn L.
 

butlp

Active Member
I have heard this story too, but it may be another internet myth. I have both Zeiss and Schneider lenses, and I'm astonished by all of them. However, they have different personalities.

I haven't yet heard on the internet of any complaints about modern Zeiss QC. This really says something!
 

tbarry

Member
I had the Rollei SL35 (and later the SL35E) system long before I got into the Contax one. I got the Rolleis because of the lenses. I still have them. Whether the lenses are Schneider, Zeiss or made by Rollei under license - or in the case of the 200 f3.5 Rolleinar, made in Japan by Mamiya - all are still excellent lenses that are comparable to my modern Carl Zeiss lenses made in Germany and Japan. I imagine the SL35 bodies are not repairable (mine still works fine, except the meter's long dead), but Essex Camera has a guy who repairs SL35E and he overhauled mine about three years ago for, if memory serves, about $120, and it is perking along like new.
 

bunthorpe

Active Member
McBroom's Camera Bluebook makes a very similar comment, quoting Gene Lester, President of The American Society of Camera Collectors, as the source.

"Rollei conducted rigorous quality-control tests on the Zeiss lenses, rejecting fully 60% of the ones they received, and that they didn't subject the Schneider lenses to these same tests. Collectors may be inclined to believe that the Zeiss optics are better because of this, but it sounds to me as if Rollei had a lot more confidence in Schneider's quality control process than Zeiss'."

Apparently both lenses were priced the same. Hope this helps.
 
W

writing4me

Thanks for taking the time to reply Paul, David and Tom. Your additional feedback is very interesting! I'm a zeiss-aholic and hope never to be cured.
happy.gif
Best, Lynn
 

butlp

Active Member
I believe Zeissaholism is only cured by embalming fluid.

FYI, it is much less financially destructive than "Leica Disease" because of Zeiss' sensible, rational product lineup. At any given focal length, for a given lens mount, there is little duplication of offerings and one finds consistent optical qualities in the different designs. This is not the case with the rival brand.
 

bunthorpe

Active Member
A pleasure! Perhaps I can trouble you with a different Newbie question? What is it about the Zeiss lenses that allows them to achieve such fabulous contrast? For ex&le, is it the lens design, the actual glass (and does Zeiss still supply the raw glass for the manufacture of the lenses), and/or the coatings?

Is there anything inherent in the rangefinder design that allows even greater contrast to be achieved? For ex&le, is it my imagination, or do the G2 images appear to be particularly superlative?

Finally, can PhotoShop digitally simulate the contrast achieved by the Zeiss lenses?
 

butlp

Active Member
No, not a newbie question at all. I don't have a clear idea how much is the design, how much the materials, and how much the coatings. Dirk, any ideas?

And no, I haven't been able to duplicate the contrast and color saturation in photoshop, with my non-Zeiss (read: 1950s Schneider) images. Anyone who has a favorite photoshop technique for achieving this, please reply!
 
W

writing4me

I agree, not a newbie question. I can see the difference the optics create, but as for how Zeiss achieves this, I'm not entirely sure myself. I look forward to hearing more about this from those who know more.

As for breathing Zeiss qualities into images created with other lenses through photoshop - sorry, it just doesn't happen. Photoshop is one of my stronger points since I use it for my work day in and day out. There are many wonderful things it can do, some things seem magical, but that isn't something one can create. However, that doesn't mean you can't help an image. Matter of fact, I had some really rotten looking images that were used in a catalog recently. I don't know how the originals were created, but I managed to work on them hard enough to improve them for a direct mail piece. There isn't any one magic button in photoshop, but I tend to use a moderate amount of several different things to achieve improvement. For ex&le, in this case, I started with the raw image and dealt with any color balance issues first. Sometimes correcting for color shifts will actually give you more brightness in the image than you realize. (If your whites are yellow, or your greens are cyan, correcting this can *seem* to sharpen and increase contrast) Then, I might go in and adjust the levels, usually on the CMYK setting. If it is a really tough image in need of a lot of rescue, I'll go in individually on each of the color layers (C, M, Y, K individually). After everything else looks perfect, I'll go in and do the unsharp mask at half a pixel and adjust the other slider bar only enough to improve the image, not enough to be unduly noticed. Like I said, this doesn't make a Zeiss image, but it rescues poor images enough to make them useful in my work (direct mail, catalogs, ads, web sites etc).

If anyone needs any particular help, I'm glad to try to help. -Lynn
 

kubik

Member
Paul, a visit to Zeiss' website (
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) is very instructive. There you can find a "virtual tour" of their facilities. They say that they actually purchase most of their glass from the Schott Glass Works. A visit to this site may as well be instructive: this is likely the ultimate birthplace of our cherished chunks of glass
happy.gif
. (
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). Apparently, Zeiss uses 114 different types of glass in the manufacturing of their lenses (Of course, Contax lenses represent only a fraction of their production).

Anyways, Zeiss' website has a complete section on Contax lenses. Incidentally, I noticed that the rumored-to-be-discontinued 25/2.8 is still listed will all technical specifications. I recommand any serious Contaxist to visit these websites. You can even order online a free brochure on the entire Zeiss lenses range (which I have).
 

bunthorpe

Active Member
Kind thanks to Guillaume for the most informative postings, which offer the following;

From the Schott website;

"As the largest business group of Carl Zeiss, Consumer Optics is responsible for the divisions Eyeglass Lenses, Eyeglass Frames, Contact Lenses, Binoculars/Riflescopes and Camera Lenses in Germany and abroad."

Excuse my ignorance, but does this mean that Schott the glassmaker owns Zeiss?

From the Zeiss website;

"Worthy of special mention here is the fact that Carl Zeiss actually invented the antireflective coating of optical surfaces in 1935 and was the first manufacturer to commence the industrial production of aspheric lenses in 1937."

Does this mean that Zeiss lenses have long incorporated aspherical elements, but, unlike say Canon with their "L" lenses, have chosen not to broadcast this especially in their marketing materials??

And....

"In 1935 Professor Alexander Smakula developed anti-reflex layers for glass surfaces (Carl Zeiss T-coating) in the Zeiss works. This coating, often regarded as the optics? breakthrough invention of the century, gives the lens constructor completely new possibilities in the development of multi-lens optics."

Does this mean that coatings (of predominantly internal elements??) are really more important than for ex&le, aspherical glass (usually limited to just one or a few elements?)?. Are the coatings patented, and if so, are coatings now the "decisive element" of lens manufacture?

The notion that Germany has better chemists than, for ex&le, the Japanese may not be entirely counterintuitive?

Given that a lens can have up to 13 elements, and internal reflections may be cumulative, then is it plausible that superior coatings may lead to superior contrast? (One may perhaps speculate that this could also be a good reason for Schott to have acquired Zeiss, since the coatings make the glass so much more valuable??).

But is there any credence to the notion that rangefinders can achieve better contrast (for ex&le because their lenses can be smaller than SLR lenses, and hence may have reduced internal reflections)?

Thanks to Lynn for the PhotoShop clarification.
 
O

ou1954

>Posted by Lynn Loeffel on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - 9:15 pm: > >I agree, not a newbie question. I can see the difference the optics >create, but as for how Zeiss achieves this, I'm not entirely sure >myself. I look forward to hearing more about this from those who know >more. > >As for breathing Zeiss qualities into images created with other lenses >through photoshop - sorry, it just doesn't happen. Photoshop is one of >my stronger points since I use it for my work day in and day out. >There are many wonderful things it can do, some things seem magical, >but that isn't something one can create. However, that doesn't mean >you can't help an image. Matter of fact, I had some really rotten >looking images that were used in a catalog recently. I don't know how >the originals were created, but I managed to work on them hard enough >to improve them for a direct mail piece. There isn't any one magic >button in photoshop, but I tend to use a moderate amount of several >different things to achieve improvement. For ex&le, in this case, I >started with the raw image and dealt with any color balance issues >first. Sometimes correcting for color shifts will actually give you >more brightness in the image than you realize. (If your whites are >yellow, or your greens are cyan, correcting this can *seem* to sharpen >and increase contrast) Then, I might go in and adjust the levels, >usually on the CMYK setting. If it is a really tough image in need of >a lot of rescue, I'll go in individually on each of the color layers >(C, M, Y, K individually). After everything else looks perfect, I'll >go in and do the unsharp mask at half a pixel and adjust the other >slider bar only enough to improve the image, not enough to be unduly >noticed. Like I said, this doesn't make a Zeiss image, but it rescues >poor images enough to make them useful in my work (direct mail, >catalogs, ads, web sites etc). > >If anyone needs any particular help, I'm glad to try to help. -Lynn

Lynn,

Yes, I need help. Just couldn't find your direct off-list email address.

In the meantime, have a look at some restorations done by a friend on the Rollei gallery at:

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Go to the restoration ex&le and you will see some 1963 slides fixed up by an automatic process and by Todd Belcher.

I have been able to do some reasonable work with Photoshop Elements 2, but I think the key to this whole thing is that it just takes a lot of practice and experience.

Todd had the full Photoshop system and he also seems to prefer to work in CMYK. Elements doesn't seem to offer that option.

What I really don't understand, just for starters, is why there are scanners on the market which produce 48 bit resolution but the digital management software available to the average user just doesn't provide for that. I think even printers exceed the dynamic range of the software.

I do know for sure that my flat panel display doesn't even come close to handling both ends of a grey scale step image I once found (but since then lost) on a website.

DAW

P.S. I have been doing photography, more or less, for at least 60 years and I am still not comfortable with the term "unsharp mask".
 

emotepix

Member
Thanks to all of you for this information. I'm going ahead with the Rollei system, just beause you Contax people always beat me to the ebay punch!
No, actually, this has been most informative. I came into Contaxes like most people, I guess, via Rolleiflexes, Hasselblads, and Zeiss (all of my pro movie lenses are Zeiss), and one of these days I'll get in there with you Contax users.
Thanks again!
Cheers
Chris
 

rico

Well-Known Member
Since this thread has turned into a meeting of ZA (Zeissaholic Anonymous), I confess to receiving a package today of used C/Y lenses. Truly, it is a buyer's market for mature glass. I got the fisheye, an item priced new while Contax Marketing was smoking crack ($6600 list). Also picked up the 28/2.8 for lightweight travel.

Buy... I mean, by this time, my conscience was muttering "Drop the plastic, step away from the plastic", so I had to settle for a couple of Yashica ML pieces. After all, how can one resist a 50/2 for $15?
 

butlp

Active Member
Be sure to post on the sister site, rolleiinfo.com. Many of these messages on Zeiss could just as well appear there, too! It lacks only the "critical mass" of members, as it is a brand new site.
 
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