Question Old DDR Jena Zeiss lenses Any good

G

Guest

I recently came across this site:

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It's in Japanese, but it has a few pictures of the Sonnar auto 2.8/200 MC Carl Zeiss Jena DDR lens.

I've been looking around but I can't find any info on these lenses, so I was wondering if someone here knows anything about these lenses?

For ex&le:

- When were they made?
- What does the "auto" mean?
- Are they uncoated? and if so, would they still be considered usable by today's standards?
- And, most important of all: is the quality comparable 'normal' Zeiss lenses?

Thank you very much in advance!

Onno van der Velde
Groningen
Holland
 
G

Guest

It is improved Sonnar Olympia. I used it for a while, and it was made in 1992. Auto means thay you can use aperture mode in cameras with M42 bayonet (for ex&le Practica). It doesn't work on Contax mount, you have to work at working aperture. It was coated (and it worked very good). There is a hood witch helps a lot, but IMHO should be longer. And finally, I was suprised how good that lens was. However I have never used Sonnar 180 2.8. If you want, I can send you some pictures. It obviously lacks tripod collar, because it weights around 800 g. The price in Poland for EX+ is around 150$ Maybe it will help you.

Jerzy Kolaczynski
 
G

Guest

Hi all,

There's a history of DDR lenses at this site:

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and also a few facts about the 200/2.8 manufactured after the German = reunification:

Speed/Focal length 2.8/200mm =C3=98 72mm Weight 850g Made in DDR Comments Extremely rare.

This page (in Polish=C2=A8- can anyone translate ... Jerry?)=20

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makes this statement about the lens:

'CARL ZEISS JENA SONNAR 200/2.8 Legendarny teleobiektyw (jak g=C5=82osi=C5=82y artyku=C5=82y w = fachowej prasie niemieckiej, lepszy od Leica Telyt 180/3.5) na gwint = M42 =E2=80=93 rzeczywi=C5=9Bcie rewelacyjnej jako=C5=9Bci optycznej, a = przy tym o doskona=C5=82ym =C5=9Bwietle. Ten egzemplarz posiada = dodatkowo styki electric =E2=80=93 super rzadko spotykany na rynku. = Stan (3) 850 zl'

While Mr. Valerio Saulini says on this page:

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'There was a Carl Zeiss Jena MC Sonnar 2,8/200 (It seems to be an = outstanding lens, definitely better than the ancient Olympia Sonnar = 2,8/180. I saw one modified to fit Leica R cameras, but is a very rare = lens).'

BTW the Olmpia Sonnar originally appeared in 1936 with for the time = absolutely record-breaking combination of tele length (180mm) and hign = speed (2.8). The lens was HUGE - it weighed several kilograms - and was = developed especially to capture the Olympics in Berlin that year. = Prominent film maker of the German regime - Leni Riefenstahl - used this = lens for many action-packed close up shots of the sportsmen in her = olympic documentary 'Triumph des Willes' - in itself a revolution modern = film making.

A new Olympia Sonnar appeared in 1966 (still 180/2.8), and it must be = this lens that was improved into the Sonnar T* (West Zeiss) 180/2.8 = sometime around 1980 and then again in 1992 into the Pentax-Sonnar = 200/2.8.

There are a lot of pictures (mainly flowers and cats) taken with the = 200/2.8 lens at this page:

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This other guy does a lot of astronomical work with the Sonnar 2.8/200 = lens (and it seems that this particular lens is actually often used by = astro-photographers):

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Regards,

Jakob
 
G

Guest

This page (in Polish=3DC2=3DA8- can anyone translate ... Jerry?)

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Legendary telephoto (better than Leica Telyt 180/3,5 as the articles in german press stated), M42 thread version - indeed outstanding optical quality, along with the minimum aperture of 2,8. This particular lens has also got 'electric' contacts (for Practicas and such) - which make it extremely rare on the market. Condition (3 - out of 5) Price is ~$210.

regards,

Krzysztof
 
G

Guest

Hi folks,

I am using the MC 4/50, 2,8/120, 2,8/180mm CARL ZEISS Jena mendium format lenses with success over an adapter with my CONTAX 645 AF (!) No complaints at all, superb qualities which mtach up with other good medium format lens manufacturers. These lenses are excellent!

Regards, Rainer
 
G

Guest

Hello,

I have a chance to have an Exakta RTL 1000 with some lenses (made by Carl Zeiss Jena). These lenses are CZJ Flektogon 35/2.8, Pancolar 50/1.8 and Triotar 135/4. What do you think about these lenses from optical quality point of view? Are they still usable in 21th century? Is there a big difference between these lenses and todays T* Planar 1.7 or 1.4/50, Distagon 35/2.8 and Sonnar 135/2.8?

I'm deciding between buying this Exakta (really cheap) and lenses or second hand Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 and some second hand CZ lenses (Planar, Distagon).

Thanks a lot,

Karel
 
G

Guest

Is there anybody having experience with lenses for Contax II (production approx.: 1935-1955 - after 1945 in Jena only) ?

JerryQuax
 
G

Guest

"Is there anybody having experience with lenses for Contax II (production approx.: 1935-1955 - after 1945 in Jena only) ?"

see

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and
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Summary

contax II and III were considered the proffessional cameras while Leica was for amateurs.

The Zeiss lenses were generally considered to be better than the Leica lenses at the time

In paricular (from
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) " 21/4 Biogon, hard to find, outstanding reputation 35/2.8 Biogon, Legendary 50/1.5 Sonnar, West and East, outstanding reputation. The 50/1.5 Sonnar is generally considered one of the best normal lenses ever. 85/2 Sonnar, West and East, outstanding reputation

"

etc check out the links.

The best mailing list to ask is the rollei list.

MAJORDOMO@MEJAC.PALO-ALTO.CA.US

in the body of the email

"SUBSCRIBE rollei"

They are VERY knowledgable about all things Zeiss, and they include Marc James Small who maintains a database of every Zeiss lens made, when and where.

they regularly comment on all sorts of Zeiss matters(its only loosely a Rollei list) try searching the archives at
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boc
 
G

Guest

Hello all,
In a local shop I have found a CZ 20mm screw mount, made by Contax Jena DDR. Is it possible to get an adapter to modify it to MM mount? Can any one let me know about the optical quality?If you have used it or know any links which may lead me to see any picture taken with it.
Thanks.
Mohan
 
G

Guest

Subject: Carl Zeiss 28-200mm Jena Lens

I am new to the forum and have this question: I saw this CZJ lens on ebay (item # 1372444583)

Someone on another Contax forum list said of this lens (and those like it)?

"This is not actually built by CZJ, however. It is a Japanese OEM'd lens. I think <name> had mentioned that the CZJ zooms were made by Sigma. In any case, CZJ never had tooling capability for zooms."

Can anyone please clarify, deny, or add to this statement?

Thank You,
Ron Myers
San Diego
 
G

Guest

I bought a Sonnar 2.8/180 back in the 1960'<font color="ff0000">•<font color="ff0000">•<font color="ff0000">•<font color="ff0000">•<font color="ff0000">•<font color="ff0000">•<font color="ff0000">• basically a 2 1/4 lens with an adapter to fit a 35mm camera, mine was for an Exakta. If you took off the adapter, it would fit a Praktisix II or similar camera. It's an excellent lens.

When I started as an active photographer circa 1960, I used Carl Zeiss lenses, on the Exakta, Rolleiflex {Planar 3.5/75, a great lens}, and later Praktisix II. This attachment to the Carl Zeiss name led me to using Contax Cameras about five years ago.

In talking about old Zeiss lenses, I have a Zeiss-Opton Sonnar 2/85 with red "T". It's for a classic Contax rangefinder type camera which I don't have yet, but it's on my wish list. Has anyone had any experience with this lens?

I seem to remember that I have a few old brochures and catalogs that show Carl Zeiss lenses, so I may come back with another message.

Terry
 
G

Guest

......> In talking about old Zeiss lenses, I have a Zeiss-Opton Sonnar 2/85 ......> with red "T". It's for a classic Contax rangefinder type camera which ......> I don't have yet, but it's on my wish list. Has anyone had any ......> experience with this lens?

It is a single coated lens made between the war and early 1950s This is a excellent lens, see.

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Why not try a Kiev 4 Contax copy? ~50 bucks on ebay. Seems a shame to leave it on the shelf. The cameras are not bad. The Russian lenses are variable, but you can get some gems for very little cost.
 
T

thomar

Does anybody know the CZ Jena lens 2,8-3,5/35-70 mm, which is currently for sale at Ebay Germany? Any good?
 

wang

Well-Known Member
I brought a 200/2.8 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR about 1/3 the price of my 100/2.8 Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar C-Y. To me it is huge(filter ring 77mm).There were two in the shop and I chose the one with less bubbles and less fungi in the lens, mine one has only one visible bubble and fungi visible under magnifying loupes but not to naked eye. I use a small ring to fit the M42 to my RX.
Although it is full of scratches,the image quality is the most important.I compare this lens with my CZ 100/2.8 makro Planar.I took portraits using studio flash with f8 in both lens. The photos are enlarged to 8X10. The images produce by these two lens have no significant difference in terms of clarity, but I noticed the colour saturation of the Jena lens is not as good as my makro-Planar.I also see through the lens with my naked eye and find out that the Jena lens produces colour sligthtly less saturated compared to makroPlanar and also my C-Y 85/1.4 Planar lens.
In conclusion,after paying 1/3 the price, I am owning a good 200/2.8.I am happy.
I have a question,could the diminished colour saturation be due to less than perfect lens material or because it is a 200 mm lens. Does all 200mm lens has this problem ?
 

europanorama

Well-Known Member
I have a question,could the diminished colour saturation be due to >less than perfect lens material or because it is a 200 mm lens. Does >all 200mm lens has this problem ? its waisting time compairing a rollsroyce/mercedes to a only eatern-germany trabant-car. i have a fat 3 kg 135/1.5 t-mount lens with tripod-collar. its nice but i will never compaire it with my 85mm(both) and 135/2.8. shoot your portraits but do not complain if you have difficult light. i had the 180/2.8 sonnar with m-42-adapter. if light comes from back its worthless, only troublesome. i already have mentioned it here endless times: buy zeiss and win time and top-quality!
 

wang

Well-Known Member
It is not wasting time to compare a rollsroyce/mercedes to a eatern -germany tradant car,if you find out that the latter has a comparable performance to the former. I am happy with the Jena lens.
I wrote the comparison because I wish others could read this,and have the idea of how good the Jena lens is. Perhaps,after reading my comparison,others might decide to buy the lens.To the consumers,it is important to know which is better and which is not and decide which to buy.To the lens manufacturers,it is important to know which is better and which is not,and decide which to keep.I learn more about my lens by comparing them,and decide to keep my Jena lens rather than to sale it. If someone doesn't compare lens,I do and a lot others do.
Although someone might have mention it here endless time,you have to test it yourself.
I am still left behind with my question,I will know the answer by finding out myself or someone might be able to answer it.
 
J

jakob_groes_ii

Hello,

Anyone with some interest in classic Contax/Zeiss lenses might have a thrill with some of these titles that are still available from my 'totally-out-of-space-now-summer-sale'.

Feel free to write me directly (jg@tdc-broadband.dk) and never hesitate to ask me whatever if in doubt.

Here we go:

'ZEISS IKON CAMERAS 1926-39' the whole story by D.B. Tubbs. Well written. Very informative. Richly illustrated. Hardback. 144 p. Hove Camera Foto Press 1980. Mint. EUR 15.

'DAS CONTAX REFLEX SYSTEM - RTS, 137Q, 139Q' by Heinz von Lichem. Cameras, lenses, accessories described and their use explained in detail. Richly illustrated. 206 p. Laterna Magica 1979. EUR 15.

'ZEISS IKON CONTAXPHOTOGRAPHIE'. Beautiful replica of original 116 p. handbook from Zeiss, 1938. Detailed descriptions and specifications of every camera, the already then impressive lens range etc. Richly illustrated. Mint. EUR 15.

'ZEISS IKON GENERAL CATALOGUE OF CAMERAS AND AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, ACCESSORIES AND SENSITIVE MATERIAL 1936'. Complete reprint of authentic 68 p. English Zeiss catalogue with detailed information on every item. Richly illustrated. Hove Foto Books. Mint. EUR 15.

'IHAGEE KAMERAS'. Photografic reprint of complete 32 p. impressive Zeiss-catalogue from 1939. All camera-models, all accessories included. Richly illustrated. EUR 10.

Kind regards,

Jakob
 
J

jakob_groes_ii

Regarding my 'totally-out-of-space-now-summer-sale' (I forgot):

DISCOUNT

Take any three titles and get the cheapest free.

Thanks,

Jakob
 
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