CARL ZEISS JENA TESSAR 50mm 2.8
I am aware of the optical quality of the design, i own some copies, but this lens comes cheap and i would like to give it a try, would it be that different from a super takumar 1.8, better? worst?
I don´t know the Super Takumar but this is a great lens! My first camera was equipped with this Tessar in the black/chrome version. Gave pretty sharp pictures. Give it a try!
The only review I have seen of the 50mm Jena Tessar was in "Praktica Lenses" by AM Carlsson 1977.Of 3 50mm M42 lenses tested, at wide aperture the 6 element Pancolar was the best with the 6 element Pentacon next and the the 4 element Tessar the least good. Stopped down the difference between the 3 was less.
I have not done the comparison but it seems likely that the 6 element Super Takumar would outperform the 4 element Tessar.
One more vote for the Super-Multi-Coated Takumar in all its varieties.
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.
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Lets start this way:
The 2.8/50mm Tessars are good lenses.
I compared several 50mm lenses on my 24.6 MP digital FF camera last year.
Among some others there were
Super Multi Coated Takumar 1.4/50mm
CZ Tessar 2.8/50mm (Contax from my Grandpa)
Minolta AF 1.4/50mm
Minolta AF 1.7/50mm
The best performers in far distances were without any doubt
mostly because of the best flat field correction the 1.4 lenses.
For my examples the Minolta AF delivers the best sharpness up
to the corners.
The Minolta AF 1.7 and the Pancolar wheras very good in center
sharpness too need more stopping down to catch up in borders.
The Tessar shows good sharpness in center, but needs f11
to show acceptable border sharpness and there never really
reaches the resolution of the 6 and seven lens constructions.
So it is nice to have such a Tessar but against the competition
the design shows its age.
I picked up one of these last week in M42 mount in a collection of stuff but I haven't used it yet so it's interesting to read the comments. I also got a Zeiss 135mm f3.5 - any thoughts on that?
The Zeiss 135mm f3.5 Sonnar is an excellent lens, I have one somewhere with a 35mm Flektagon for my Exacta.
Originally Posted by lightdreamer
That's typical of the Tessar design, with the Large Format versions the faster lenses have the weakest performance, the best performers I have are a pre-WWI (1912/13 f6.3 165mm and the late production Tessar type - 150mm f5.6 Xenar (2002 S/N).
LF Tessar's are best at f16, or less, and edge and corner sharpness is lost quickly with wider apertures.
Welcome to APUG BTW
I'm glad this thread was raised. Last weekend I bought three camera bodies and about six lenses and a few other things for £10. Two of the lenses were a Zeiss Tessar 50mm f2.8 (as is being discussed here) and a Zeiss Sonnar 135mm f3.5.
I have spent the last week thinking that the 50mm Tessar was a special lens and the 135mm is just a standard lens with no great reputation. After doing a bit of a search and receiving a some information from Ian, it would seem that I had it the wrong way round!
I'm pleased about this as 135mm is my favourite focal length on 35mm.