Is uncoated Zeiss Tessar 150mm f:3.5 any good?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by robsoe, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. robsoe

    robsoe Member

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    A friend offered me this lens (sn: 1,5xx,xxx) mounted in compur dial shutter. Is it worth getting? I have already had a 180mm heliar which I like. How different is it than its little brother f:4.5?
     
  2. mjs

    mjs Member

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    I suppose that it depends on how you define 'good'. Since it's uncoated it's going to have a different 'look' than a coated lens; probably a little softer, lower in contrast but shadows will be more open. Most photographers prefer coated or multicoated lenses for a variety of reasons but I have a 1939 Rolleiflex with an uncoated tessar lens which I absolutely adore: b&w looks very dated, vintage in appearance. With color film, things look very different than with a modern lens. It's hard to describe but hue and saturation are lower and skies especially have a look that I really, really like. Your mileage may vary! I think that your best option is to try the lens out for a while, if possible, see if it works for you. :wink:

    Mike
     
  3. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i have an uncoated 21cm 3.5 tessar in a barrel.
    it is my favorite lens these days.
    if the price is right, grab it!

    john
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    SN: 1,5xx,xxx should be in a rim-set Compur as it dates from 1934 which is 5 years after the Compur was redesigned.

    I was using a 135mm Tessar on my Crown Graphic and found that edge & corner sharpness only became reasonable at f16 and good at f22. The lack of coating gives a rounded tonality, different to modern coated versions I found the major difference was alack of micro contrast when I compared prints made with it to those from my Symmars, and more recently 50's T coated CZJ f4.5 150mm Tessar and modern Xenar f5.5 150mm (21st C SN).

    The extra speed of the f3.5 is likely to be at the expense of edge/corner sharpness, there was also an f6.3 version of the Tessar's.

    If your Heliar is uncoated the Tessar should be similar in its results.

    Ian