Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 200mm f2.8

It has always been one of my dreams to get this lens. There aren't many available on the market . It looks like a medium format lens, but made with an M42 mount. Its a bit heavy and quite inconvenient to use as you need to hold the lens not the camera body as usual. It is a very sharp lens, even at wide open and pretty fast too. It has outstanding image quality, rendering nice colours, if you ever see pictures taken with this lens you will be falling in love with the oldies. This lens started me off using vintage lenses on DSLR's. If you ever have a chance to grab it, do it! Even if it looks ugly, all pieces are excellent I have never heard from a bad opinion from anyone about this lens.

Fact Sheet

Vendor name Type Product year
Carl  Zeiss  Jena
Focal Min(mm) Focal Max(mm) Focus Min(cm)
Aperture Max Aperture Min. Barrel length(mm)
Elements In Group Diaphragm action Weight (g)
6 in 4 fully automatic
Filter Size (mm) Push on diameter (mm) Angular field


Comments (6)
stiff focus ring
6Thursday, 03 January 2013 16:37

I have one like this, but it has a very stiff focus ring.
Does any one know how to re-lube it?
Is it hard to do it?

Soft but pretty
5Tuesday, 14 August 2012 23:35
I must agree that this lens is quite soft compared to modern lenses. However, the rendering is great, the bokeh is creamy, contrast is good. For wedding and engagement photography it's beautiful. I think you'd want something sharper for stuff like wildlife photography though.
CZJ Sonnar 200/2,8
4Saturday, 05 May 2012 19:36
A Sonnar that looks like a Pentacon ? I wonder if it's the original 1/3/1 formula or a Pentacon design branded CZJ for promotion reasons
( Not that some Pentacons aren't great lenses )
Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 200mm f2.8
3Sunday, 04 December 2011 19:57
Sure it's sharp, but compared to a good modern lens (eg Canon 70-200 f/4 IS) it is relatively soft.
Great build quality though.
Zeiss Sonnar MC 200mm f2.8
2Tuesday, 18 October 2011 23:01
I got this lens recently and use it with my Pentax cameras. It is indeed one of the sharpest and more color rendition loyal lens. It is a big big and heavy, but I love every single photo taken with it. I got a long hood and took care of a small CA that it showed when shooting against the sun without a hood. Great lens, I am lucky I have it.
Sonnar 200 1:2.8 - perfect lens for available light tele
1Thursday, 04 August 2011 09:30
Hi, as written above, I can confirm that the 200mm Sonnar is very sharp an provides perfect images in low level light surroundings and at daylight. Only it's heavy body compared with modern designs may be a little problem when carrying it with you. Compares it to a 150mm Sonnar from Zeiss (west) for the Hasselblad F Series and found no quality-reduction.
Zeiss 200 mm 2.8
Wednesday, 31 October 2012 18:38
You have to comare it with Canon 70-200 f/2.8, which is by no means much smaller and lighter.

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