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Pancake 45mm Tessar any made in Germany

grumpoid

Well-Known Member
Hiya,

Does anyone know for certain if any of the C/Y mount Tessar 45mm f2.8 Zeiss pancake lenses were made in Germany, or does anyone own a German made one?

If so, are the German made ones AE, or MM, or both?

Oh, and how good is the Tessar? how does it compare to the 50mm lenses?

cheers Steve.M. (UK)
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Hi Steve,

I have a fairly well used ex&le of the 45 pancake which I bought second hand about a year ago.

I have to say that I love it. I was warned that I might find it difficult to focus because of the thin focusing ring but I don't find it a problem.

Mine is MM and made in Japan. I don't know if there were any made in Germany or if there were earlier ones made as AE.

Apart from being very small and light I find that it is very sharp and contrasty. I think it gives a different feel somehow compared to my 50mm f1.4. It may be that it appears more contrasty but I feel that the pictures stand out. I use it on my Aria.

I couldn't put one up to view because all my pictures need sorting and I now do not know which were were taken with what but on receiving them back from the processor and scanning pictures made with the 45, I was very pleased although I could wish it was faster.
 

biggles3

CI-Supporter
Hi Steve,
The earliest AE lenses were made in Germany before production was quickly transferred to Japan for all other AE and MM lenses. The German ones are VERY rare - a bit like the German 50 1.4's.

Cheers,
Graham
 

grumpoid

Well-Known Member
Hi,

Chaps, thanks for the most rapid responses!

If anyone else has any comments about the qualities of the Tessar, I would like to hear them also.

John, as an aside, how do you rate the Aria? I fancy a lighter, smaller SLR, but after using the ST & RX, worry that the Aria would feel flimsy and unsubstantial. Also, how does the viewfinder compare, both in regard to brightness, contrast, ease of focus and also what is the display like?

cheers Steve.
 

wang

Well-Known Member
If you prefer lenses being contrasty and sharp, I vote for C-Y 50 1.4 and 50 1.7. Both are sharp and contrasty at centre and corners. Unfortunately, these lenses have ugly bokehs which suggest they are quite astigmatic.

On the other hand, Tessar 45mm 2.8 has nice soft bokeh. Although it has less resolutions at the corners, it produces images with a more pleasing character.
 

garaidh

New Member
> I believe based on subjective evaluation of negatives that the 100th anniversary Tessar has been improved over the existing design. Perhaps only the coating is different. Also, the anniversary edition in titanium has 46mm filter threads and accepts Contax G filters and the GG-2 hood and cap.
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Hi Steve,

I like my Aria. It is a fair bit lighter and easier to lug about than my RX. I have just compared viewfinders and I think that the Aria's is the brighter of the two and also a little bigger. The camera feels well made and does not seem flimsy. The stiff on off switch takes a bit of getting use to but it is very positive. The camera is comfortable to hold. I wish it had a dioptre adjuster but perhaps they were not so commonplace when the Aria was brought out. I bought an add on lens for the viewfinder but have taken it off now that I wear glasses permanently.

The display is fine. It is on the right of the viewfinder and is in orange. I find it quite easy to see and understand and do not find it obtrusive.

Gary,

That's interesting. My 45 has a 49mm filter thread so I would think that the anniversary edition must be new design.I have just done an internet search for the anniversary version and could not find it although I remember it coming out. I think there was a silver Aria too. Perhaps people are hanging on to them

Cheers,

John
 

biggles3

CI-Supporter
Hi all,

The Anniversary 45 Tessar is around - there's a regular listing for one on eBay from one of the German shops at a crazy price (hence the constant relisting!) and Mapcamera in Japan normally has a couple for sale; there are also a few to be found in Italy. I was unaware of the change in filter size.

If I was looking for a simple camera to use with Zeiss lenses, I'd go for the S2b or even a refurbished 139. Both are uncomplicated, easy to handle and have good viewfinders. The S2b can also take quite a bit of punishment. The Aria is the only Contax that's never appealed to me - perhaps a foolish blind spot on my behalf. But the Tessar is a joyous little beast - although I only have a few AEs and have never tried an MM - and it fits the 139 like a glove.

Cheers everyone.

Graham
 

gunteach

Well-Known Member
> [Hello all..I have a 45mm Tessar on a 139Q body, which I gather it was originally designed for. I drop this combination in the inside pocket of the photograper's vest I normally wear when casually dressed. It rides flat and the whole package is pleasingly light. Picture quality is wonderful and I second the comments about contrast and the overall pleasing quality of the images. Often my photo processor will ask me what I shot my pictures with when they look at my prints and make note of how good the images look.

Sometimes I do wish the lens was a bit faster, so it won't be totally replacing my 50's anytime soon. I find the images quite similar to those taken with my G series 45mm f/2, with a slight subjective edge going to the G lens, perhaps because it is easier to get pinpoint focus with.

I tend to think of the Tessar/139Q combination as a very high quality snapshot camera with more flexibility if I want to add another lens, something I carry with me for "just in case" purposes. It always surprises me how many photos I find to shoot when I am carrying it that I never planned on. Cheers.] >
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
I used to have a 139 and loved it. It was my first Contax.I might see if I can find one again. I can see that it would go well with the 45. I had the power winder base for it as well.

I often wish I had kept all my cameras down the years but as I expect is the same for most people, it was question of funds of course.


I also had an S2. I thought it was a lovely camera but I found I had problems with the display which I believe was due to my colour blindness.

I also use the 45 on my Yashica FX3 Super 2000 which is another simple camera I enjoy.

I remember there was a problem with my 139 relating to the flash although I cannot remember exactly what it was. But I remember it could not be repaired due to a lack of parts and this is many years ago so there may be a similar difficulty now if it goes wrong.

The physical smallness of the actual glass in the 45 amazes me.
 

garaidh

New Member
> 139's are easy to find on eBay but almost always require extensive cleaning, lube, and adjustment. Older serial numbers are a poor gamble. I had the great good fortune to find a 139 with serial number above 200000 which appeared to be new in the box! I also recently had my own original 139 cleaned and re-foamed. I've had it for 25 years, and it works perfectly. On another tack, the camera I had the most fun with using the 45 Tessar is the AX. I put the anniversary Tessar, which is MM, on it and used it as an autofocus, programmed-exposure point-and-shoot. It has to be the world's largest point-and-shoot! But it worked beautifully. --Gary
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
How fantastic to find a 139 in such condition. I must keep my eyes open although I expect that such opportunities are few and far between.

I have never used the AX but have heard good reports about it. Great idea to use the 45 on it.

When I mentioned the flash on my 139, I think it was the flash confirmation light in the viewfinder that stopped working. I don't use flash very often so it wasn't a tremendous drawback.
 
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