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  1. #21
    T42
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    Good Point, Rol Lei Nut.

    I wonder if this is true of the various "derivatives" of Sonnar, Planar, and others as well. I'm sure many of us believe that the fundamental designs of most of Zeiss's family of optical products are sound, and were not optimized to cater to the bottom-rung of the marketplace. But with so many derived products out there, it is not unreasonable to expect that some makers will not choose to meet Zeiss's strong quality standards.

    For example, I wonder about Japanese Zeiss optics. I understand that special equipment went from Germany to Japan to guarantee quality of manufacture. Was this just marketing, or was there a real and sincere concern that Cosina or others might not be able to meet Zeiss's level of quality without the German company's hands-on involvement to protect the integrity of their tradename?

    Now I see German names bantered about, showing up on Japanese and Korean cameras/lenses in the snapshot market. I wonder how the Japanese lenses with German product names actually relate to their German namesakes. My 50mm Summicron says "Leitz," but a certain Panasonic I saw says "LEICA" on the lens. I wonder what part Leica played in the creation of that Panasonic lens. Same with a Schneider lens appearing on a Korean dSLR I saw, Samsung GX-20. It is nearly identical to a Pentax lens appearing on a nearly identical Pentax dSLR. And, IIRC, the Schneider branded lens I saw was made in the Orient, but not in Korea or Japan.

    Last edited by T42; 02-11-2010 at 02:33 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo
    Henry
    A Certified Dinosaur
    Nikons F, F2, D700, Leica M3, & Kiev 4a

  2. #22
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Zeiss were very particular about the Japanese Contax lenses they were made to German standards and tolerances, same goes for the Cosina versions. It's not a matter of trusting other companies it's the Zeiss way of working before the name can be used, to ensure they have quality controlled.

    Any of those German companies will have a hands on part in the way their optics and name are used, the Leica lenses Panasonic use are full Leitz quality, as are the Zeiss lenses Sony use for Professional Video cameras.

    Ian

  3. #23
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Lenses are designed around their manufacturer's ability to maintain certain specifications (or should be!).

    That is partly the reason why German lenses were traditionally so expensive: They tended to use simpler schemes built to higher specifications.
    Typically, by adding elements or changing the design, you can make the building tolerances less important and come out with a higher percentage of good performers. That was the "traditional" Japanese approach.

    I don't have any precise information on the subject, but I strongly suspect that the Panasonic "Leica" lenses have no direct involvement of Leica in their actual design, though Leica has probably given some parameters and minimum performance levels that need to be met in order for their name to be used.
    (And I do also use a Panasonic d***** P&S which has a surprisingly good "Leica" lens)

    That is a different case from where a lens design is licensed to or made by another manufacturer. In that case, if tolerances are equal, the result "should be" as good as the original. Otherwise, the design might be slightly "dumbed down" to make it easier to successfully produce...
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

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    Reading that, Rollei Nut, you would almost believe only German companies know how to produce high quality lenses to exacting standards.
    That is, of course, not so. In particular, the Japanese companies (having an as long and reputable tradition in lens making as their German counterparts) do know very well what they are doing and how to do it well, consistently.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by T42 View Post
    My 50mm Summicron says "Leitz," but a certain Panasonic I saw says "LEICA" on the lens.
    It says "LEICA" on all Leica lenses since the company restructured a long time ago.
    Having "Leitz" on it is a sign of already great age.

  6. #26
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    Reading that, Rollei Nut, you would almost believe only German companies know how to produce high quality lenses to exacting standards.
    That is, of course, not so. In particular, the Japanese companies (having an as long and reputable tradition in lens making as their German counterparts) do know very well what they are doing and how to do it well, consistently.
    I didn't say or imply that, just different production and (especially) cost strategies...
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  7. #27
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    Two of my Leitz lenses were made in Canada; and my 90mm 4.0 Rokkor was made in Germany. Go figure.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  8. #28

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    I wonder what is known of the history of the M42 Zeiss Jena Tessar.
    From Amateur Photographer magazine 24 August 2002 is this on the M42 mount:
    "In 1949 after the announcement of (East German) Zeiss Ikon's Contax S,with 42mm screw lens mount,the Praktiflex 11,with some minor improvements,was relaunched with a 42mm screw lens mount as the Praktica...The Contax S was the the originator of the 42mm lens mount,but it was the Praktica that was to make it run and run"
    However it does not say when the M42 Tessar was introduced.

  9. #29
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Johnson View Post
    I wonder what is known of the history of the M42 Zeiss Jena Tessar.
    It's just an earlier SLR lens in a different mount, it was made to fit the pre-WWII Kine Exacta as well as the KW Praktina both of which pre-date the Contax SLR.

    Ian

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    The f1.8 Super Takumar is very significantly better at all apertures, I've had quite a few Takumars in the past from f1.4 through to f2 and they are outstanding, I currently have about 4 or 5.

    The Tessar's OK I have two, one on an Exacta the other Pentax thread, but they are not as sharp until about f8/f11.

    Alan missed the infamous Meyer Domiplan that must be the worst of the Easy German 50mm lenses from a company whose lenses once equalled CZJ in quality. The Pentacon was the later name for the Meyer lens the Oreston.

    Try the Tessar it might be fine, just don't expect too much.

    Ian
    With one exception Ian-the late recomputed Tessar first found in mid production Contaflex Supers is superior at least as far as sharpness goes.
    My Takumars are certainly extremely sharp but smooth tonality might be another issue
    Mark
    Mark Layne
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