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  1. #11
    piu58's Avatar
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    I use the 50, 80, 120 and 180 lenses for my P6. I had never some kind of proeblem with them. The lenses are pretty sharp. The 80 and 120 Biometar are from Gauss/Planar type. I have never seen any lubrican outside.
    ---
    Uwe Pilz

  2. #12
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    The discipline these lenses shine most is bokeh. The 180mm is incredible, followed by the 120mm. I think it is hard to beat this bokeh with any other MF lens. Hasselblad 110/2 and 150/2,8 come close, but the Jena lenses are even smoother. As said, the 180mm is h u g e

  3. #13

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    When reading "Carl Zeiss Jena", people in fact read "Carl Zeiss" and forget "Jena".

    For a pre-war lens, no problem as Carl Zeiss was located in Jena and lenses were very well made. In fact they were at this time among the best not to say the best.

    Then, things were sharply down the drain after WWII when Carl Zeiss split in 2. The western part in Oberkochen continued the quality and innovation tradition but the Jena part, well... Spotty quality control, poor mechanical quality (diaphragm), poor lubricant, you name it, one step above the soviet production, no more. When I see now people paying top dollars to buy a '60 or '70 CZJ lens and all the buzz about these lenses on various forums, I wonder if people would have the same attitude if lenses were wearing a different name... To me CZJ means pre-war lenses, superb craftsmanship, precise engraving, not these mass-produced low quality products.

    Take care.

  4. #14
    outwest's Avatar
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    I have the 80, 180 and a 300 MC (the 50 Flektagon lost out to a 55 Russian) and, after my Pentagon 6 expired, got adapters for Mamiya 645 and even Nikon. The 180 f/2.8 is a great lens, even my old zebra one, and excellent for long range macro. The 300 f/4 is beautiful and is even a killer with a good 2x extender for 600 f/8. The lenses were of a much higher quality than the Pentagon 6 unfortunately.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dali View Post
    When reading "Carl Zeiss Jena", people in fact read "Carl Zeiss" and forget "Jena".

    For a pre-war lens, no problem as Carl Zeiss was located in Jena and lenses were very well made. In fact they were at this time among the best not to say the best.

    Then, things were sharply down the drain after WWII when Carl Zeiss split in 2. The western part in Oberkochen continued the quality and innovation tradition but the Jena part, well... Spotty quality control, poor mechanical quality (diaphragm), poor lubricant, you name it, one step above the soviet production, no more....
    I think that is a little unfair. Remember that when the management and R & D were moved to Oberkochen, they didn't just walk into a new factory. In fact, most of the personnel were employed elsewhere, at least in the short term. The West Germany company actually started in a wooden shed in the grounds of the Leitz factory. (Not Leitz the lens manufacturers, Lietz the woodworking tool makers!). It was a long time before the factory was built and production restarted - and don't forget the priority would have been medical equipment, microscopes, military equipment. Camera lenses would have been way down the list. Consequently early post War West German lenses probably came from one of the factories in the Zeiss group that remained in West Germany - possibly the microscope production facilities at Wetzlar or Gottingen or more likely one of the other companies from the former Zeiss Ikon group in Stuttgart. Early post WW2 Zeiss Opton Tessars have a reputation for poor quality control and for having the lenses glued in place. It took a while for CZ West Germany to get back to (and beyond) the quality of the pre-war production - and even then they tended to concentrate only on high end prestige optics (Rollei and Hassleblad and cinema lenses).

    Meanwhile - the Jena factory was essentially ransacked and destroyed by soviet troops. Later, after East Germany became part of the Soviet Union, it was rebuilt. Remember this is the start of the cold war - and neither the US or the Soviets were fighting over Zeiss employees because they were interested in Tessar lenses. Ultimately the Soviets pumped billions of Roubels (and East German Marks) into building a huge state of the art optical factory at Jena. It is (was) many times the size of the one in Oberkochen and employed most of the inhabitants of the city, directly or indirectly. The Soviet military, space program and electronics industry relied heavily on CZJ - I think to characterize it as a budget maker of dodgy camera lenses is wide of the mark.

    I suspect the reason for the poor reputation of some of the lenses probably comes from the late 1970s and 80s, when the collapsing Soviet block was desperate for Western currency. Lots of manufactured goods were churned out with little regard for quality control and it seems at a price that had little relation to the manufacturing costs in many cases (Kiev 60! Kiev 88!). Hence lots of very cheap but poor quality goods flooding the market and trashing the reputation of anything manufactured on the wrong side of the iron curtain.

    Consequently - I think CZ Jena lenses are often over hyped by those who like brand names - but equally over criticized by those who don't rate Soviet technology! I do take the point, though, that a Carl Zeiss Jena 135mm telephoto (i.e a Sonnar) will fetch about five times the price of a Pentacon 135 mm lens (i.e: exactly the same lens, after CZJ lost the right to use the brand name). Such is the power of brand names....

    Maybe the moral is - buy Pentacon lenses in preference to CZJ whenever you can - yes, the lubricants may be dried up and the diaphragms a little sticky, but they can be easily serviced and you will get a lot of lens for very little money.
    Steve

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by vegeotto View Post
    I've been thinking about trying a P6 because I've read that the CZJ lenses were sharper in the center than the western Zeiss lenses. Anyone else observe this? I'm most interested in the 80mm f2.8 Biometar and care most about center sharpness and bokeh, especially wide-open.
    Pre WWII CZJ lenses were and are superb, world class. After WWII, the Zeiss operation was is Oberkochen, West Germany, and the Jena factory in East Germany was under "new" management. Quality control was iffy, and in general the products were comparable to other Eastern bloc products. Which is to say, nothing to write home about. A good one was very good, and the worst were truly horrible, and the majority probably fell in the middle in typical bell-curve fashion.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    After WWII, the Zeiss operation was is Oberkochen, West Germany, and the Jena factory in East Germany was under "new" management.
    I suppose there are some myths that are so entrenched that they just can't be debunked
    Steve

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by steven_e007 View Post
    I suppose there are some myths that are so entrenched that they just can't be debunked
    What's the myth?? Carl Zeiss Jena effectively ceased to exist after 1945. The name was retained, but the content and all else changed. You can buy a car today that says "Bugatti" on the front, does that make it a real pur sang Bug?

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    What's the myth??
    Did you read the post I made before yours?
    Steve

  10. #20
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    What's the myth?? Carl Zeiss Jena effectively ceased to exist after 1945. The name was retained, but the content and all else changed. You can buy a car today that says "Bugatti" on the front, does that make it a real pur sang Bug?
    Carl Zeiss Jena continued trading after 1945, it certainly didn't cease to exist, ownership changed when it was effectively nationalised but the machinery, designs, some of the workforce were the same. I have a 1950's CZJ 150mm f4.5 T (coated) Tessar that's identical to the first coated version made in 1938.

    You also need to bear in minf that there was some early co-operation between the newer West German Zeiss set up by the Americans and CZJ, they expected to be able to reunite the company. This co-operation was stopped by the Communists in East Germany in the early 1950's.

    Ian

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