Carl Zeiss Lenses

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Nicole, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Could someone please explain to me the difference btw a
    Carl Zeiss Planar lens and a Carl Zeiss Sonnar lens is?
    Are any of these autofocus?
    Cheers
    Nicole
     
  2. fingel

    fingel Member

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    The Zeiss website can explain the difference between the Planar and Sonnar lenses better than I can. www.zeiss.com

    As far as autofocus, it depends on what camera you have. If you have a Contax 645, or N 35mm or G series camera then yes. If you have a Hasselblad or Contax Aria or RTS then no. Rollei, I'm not sure about, most of the Zeiss lenses for Rollei are MF, but there might be a couple of Autofocus models available.
     
  3. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Thanks fingel. I have just ordered a Hasselblad 501cm with the standard kit lens Carl Zeiss Planar CFE 2.8 80mm lens. Forgot to ask about autofocus lenses. :sad:
     
  4. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Planars are generally more highly corrected for near distance, normal focal length, Sonnars are telephoto and Biogons are wide angle formulas
     
  5. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Thanks Shaggy! :smile:
     
  6. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    On MF cameras like the 'Blad and Rollei, Sonnars are long focal length lenses.

    Historically, Zeiss (both West & East German) and Rollei Sonnars have covered the range from normal (50mm, Zeiss Contax) and wide normal (40mm, 38mm small Zeiss and Rollei cameras) through long focal length lenses.
     
  7. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Ok ... grinding fine:

    The Planar is a six -element design, first introduced by Rudolph in 1895. The "standard" 80mm Zeiss lens on the Hasselblad 50X series ... and if memory serves, which it sometimes doesn't, the autoexposure-capable 2XX series - for many years has been the 80mm Planar.

    The Sonnar is a seven-element lens first introduced by Bertele in 1934. In the Hasselblad this design is applied for use in the "longer" lenses: the 150mm Zeiss is a "Sonnar"

    Neither are "zoom" lenses. The only Zoom I'm familiar with for the 'Blad, is a Schneider Variogon ... (I think) ... I've forgotten the focal length/s -- they are long ... something like 250mm - 500mm? - and 'WAY expensive - and I'm comparing these to the other Hasselblad lenses.

    In practical use, the *only* difference is in the maximum speed and the (obvious) focal lengths. Otherwise I can't see one tenth of one iota of difference in quality.
     
  8. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    The classic Zeiss Sonnar design is 5 elements in 4 groups.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Hi Ed and Tom, thank you very for your input! I guess I won't be chasing kids with that camera will I? :smile:
     
  10. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Hmmm!!!! Your diagram of the Zeiss Sonnar doesn't look like MY diagram of the Zeiss Sonnar!!

    One way to resolve this ... It is late tonight - 0041 hours. Tomorrow, I'll check out the Hasselbald lens catalog in my darkroom, and see what the Hasselblad Zeiss Sonnar looks like.
     
  11. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Why not "chase kids"? It is a medium format camera ... and has been used extensively for just that purpose.
     
  12. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    Its great to hear your questions Nicole and your enthusiasm for your 500cm

    I had all these questions myself and a friend of mine gave me The Hasselblad Manual by Wildi Fourth edition. You can pick these up easily on the net, you dont need the current version.

    A good resource for lens info is also http://medfmt.8k.com/mf/hassylenses.html
     
  13. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Actually ended changing my order in the last minute from the 500c/m to a 501c/m.
    Thanks Ed - I will be chasing the kids and can't wait! :smile: Just 1 or 2 more days before I get my hands on it. :smile: Thanks everyone!
     
  14. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    OK ... research done.

    I've scanned the lens diagrams from the Hasselblad Lens catalog, and I'm attaching two of them, for the Planar CF f/2.8 80mm and the Sonnar f/4 150mm.

    Caveats abound! Apparently, there is *no* cast-in-steel standard as far as configuration go... the CF f/2.8 80mm Planar, the CF f/5.6 135mm Macro-Planar, the FE f/2 110mm Planar all have seven (7) elements; the CF f3.5 100mm Planar has five (5); the CF f/4 120 mm Makro-Planar has six (6). The Sonnar CF f/4 150mm, FE f/2.8 150mm, and f/4 180mm have five (5);the Sonnar f/5.6 250mm has four (4).

    If one squints - a lot - there appears to be a general uniformity of configiration in the design of Planars, Sonnars, Distagons, and Tele/Tessars - but they once one gets closer than two or three feet, they seem to differ more than conform.
    Anyway ... thay are ALL damn fine pieces of equipment, in my book.

    Here are my attempts at attaching:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2007
  15. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    I don't know whether anybody's interested, but here goes with a very simplifed and generalised explanation of the differences between Sonnars and Planars. I ain't no Erwin Puts.

    Sometimes it's a good game to compare the groups rather than the elements - and more of a pattern may emerge. However, compounding and splitting can affect both the number of elements and the number of groups without altering the basic lens type.

    The Sonnar is generally an 'improved triplet' design - ie three groups with the addition of a positive meniscus in front. The triplet itself may be compounded and it may be split. Lots of variations on the theme. They are generally compact for their focal length - the rear node may be very close to the front of the lens - ie the lens isn't much longer than its focal length.

    The Tessar is a simpler improvement of the triplet, usually by compounding only but splitting is also used.

    The Planar is a 'double Gauss derivative': Ed's diagram is a good illustration of meniscus groups with the concave surface facing the iris - a characteristic feature of the double Gauss arrangement. Meniscus lenses have both their surfaces curving the same way, but with different curvatures. Double Gauss derivatives represent some of the finest fast standard lenses around.

    Zeiss seem to use the lens names to describe the type, pretty much. Leica, on the other hand, tend to link the name to the maximum aperture.

    So there you go.

    Best,
    Helen
    PS It's ages since I used a Hasselblad - but I use Planars and Sonnars etc with my Rolleiflexes.
     
  16. davet

    davet Member

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    And just to add to the confusion: Tele-Tessars are telephotos, Distagons are reverse telephotos (wideangle), and Biogons are symmetric (nonretrofocus) wideangles. Wasn't that useful? (let's not even get into Schneiderspeak ...)