Meyer-Orestegor 200mm f/4-22 zebra

This lens a beautiful master piece it has preset diapraghm, very nice looking blades and zebra like alu finish. Light weight easy and pleasant use on any modern DSLR. Very few people know this lens real value, almost same quality than legendary Carl Zeiss Sonnar and much lighter weight. What can I say more look sample pictures.


Pentacon 135mm f/2.8-32

One of my favorite lens,  I suppose same quality than Carl Zeiss sister, but lower respected on the market. Enough sharp above f/4. It has 4 different variation, pre-set zebra, black finish auto and electric and the latest multi-coated version marked on the tube MC. Electric version generally better buy than auto , because more stable mechanically.

Pentacon 500mm Review

This lens a big gun, I only owned it for a couple of weeks before I sold it. Why? Because its heavy, 3.3 kg means impossible to use in hand. Sample pictures are all taken by hand except one. If you are ready to use a massive tripod all the time, its probably a good choice, but optical quality is far from that of other East German lenses. I changed to a 500 mm Russian mirror lens, mirror lens is small, easy to carry and very sharp. Ok, bokeh is ugly but if your target fills the entire screen , bokeh doesn't appear at all. So my conclusion, for a cheap budget I recommend you buy a mirror lens rather than old big glasses like any Pentacon, Praktica etc above 300 mm

Lens finish types

It is difficult to describe the precise markings on the lenses since the markings were different depending on the country that they were sent to. The earliest were marked "Carl Zeiss Jena". Many have the first quality symbol and many have DDR for Deutsche Demokratische Republik (the official name for East Germany). Lenses intended for the U.S. may be found marked "Aus Jena" or "Jena S" from about 1969 when Zeiss West Germany won a law suit in the U.S. Courts against Carl Zeiss Jena over who owned the trademark(s) for Carl Zeiss. The lenses intended for West Germany all were marked this way since the court case there preceded the introduction of the Praktisix. The serial numbers were assigned by some system known only to the East Germans. They may have been assigned annually or by lot or by intended destination or by all of these or none of these. Lenses can be found with 7 digits, 5 digits, and 4digits. One interesting fact is that 4 & 5 digit numbers are found on the last year of production.

Helios 40 85mm f/1.5 vs. Carl Zeiss Contax Planar 85mm f1.4

A very detailed  test from Orio Menoni between two excellent lens, you can read genuine forum thread here.

The total filesize of the TIFs after RAW processing was near to 900 Mb. As this was insane, I had to make some reduction choices. So I converted the files to 8bit depth and I converted them into 98% JPGs, which means unfortunately some compression but the quality rate is still near 100% and the gain in filesize is huge (from 509Mb to the current 49Mb)

Carl Zeiss History

Carl Zeiss - A History Of A Most Respected Name In Optics.

From its inception through to the middle 19th century, lens making was a craft that was essentially passed on from generation to generation. Innovations had typically resulted from trial and error experimentation; this was a costly and time consuming process that could not factor in all of the possible variables in lens making materials and design. It would be left up to one who could employ scientific methods of study, and then devise the mathematical formulas to characterize the physics of optics to make the next important technological leaps possible. It would then be asked of a chemist to invent and manufacture those raw materials necessary to make the new designs possible. And it would be one man to bring this combination together to create a concern of unrivaled accomplishment.


Helios 40-2 85mm f/1.5 M42 MC Lens Review

Finally I got a chance to buy most famous and perhaps most expensive Russian M42 lens Helios 40-2 85mm f/1.5. This is not a surprise this focal length and this speed expensive range in every maker product line. This lens is quite rare and bit heavy and excellent performer as well. I guess hard to find better portrait lens on the market.



Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 58mm f/2 alu M42 Lens Review

Little brother of legendary Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 75mm f/1.5. Pretty sharp well usable lens for close-up photography even reverse back on other lens.


Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 135mm f/4 zebra Lens Review

A hidden diamond ! Most people know MC version of Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 135mm is very sharp good lens, but much less people know oldest version like this zebra at least good as or better than MC version.


Carl Zeiss Jena II 28mm f2.8 Macro Japanse version

This lens made by Sigma under name of Carl Zeiss Jena II 28mm f2.8 Macro, surprisingly good lens I believe better than similar East German lenses like Pentacon 29mm f2.8. Easy to catch the right focus, well built quality lens. This lens has eye catch looking I like it very much even if I know this is not a genuine CZJ lens. Before communism was end in East Germany and in CCCP their sold their valuable brand name likes Carl Zeiss Jena and Helios etc to Japanese third party makers. I suppose Carl Zeiss (West German company ) wasn't happy at all :( This lenses are very rare if missing part of your collection don't hesitate much.


Carl Zeiss Jena Issue date by serial number

Carl Zeiss Jena lenses issue date by serial number

3,000,000-3,200,000: 1945-1949
3,200,000-3,470,000: 1949-1952
3,470,000-4,000,000: 1952-1955
4,000,000-5,000,000: 1955-1958
5,000,000-6,000,000: 1958-1961
6,000,000-6,000,000: 1961-1964
7,000,000-8,000,000: 1964-1967
8,000,000-9,000,000: 1967-1970
9,000,000-10,000,000: 1970-1975

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