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  1. #181

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    That's funny E.
    I got the AIS Gauss version of the 105 as an "upgrade" from the Sonnar versions and never bothered to do a C/C
    ....and now I want to get a Sonnar version to do just that.

  2. #182

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    I'd have thought it makes good sense to have a sharp 105mm lens. Those wanting soft portraits can always add a filter to get the desired effect, and you'll be able to sell the lenses to people who want a sharp short telephoto as well.
    Matt

  3. #183

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    Quote Originally Posted by PentaxBronica View Post
    I'd have thought it makes good sense to have a sharp 105mm lens. Those wanting soft portraits can always add a filter to get the desired effect, and you'll be able to sell the lenses to people who want a sharp short telephoto as well.
    I've used my Sonnar for portraits, and believe me when I say it is very sharp at portrait distances. I think the Gauss version focusses closer, I know the Gauss closes down to f:32 as opposed to the Sonnar's f:22.

    The Sonnar is staggeringly sharp at distance, I have trouble seeing how much sharper a lens could be.

  4. #184

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    IIRC the Sonnar design was supposed to be at its sharpest at the largest aperture (it was originally designed for shooting sporting events at the 1936 Olympics)?
    Matt

  5. #185

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    Quote Originally Posted by PentaxBronica View Post
    IIRC the Sonnar design was supposed to be at its sharpest at the largest aperture (it was originally designed for shooting sporting events at the 1936 Olympics)?
    I had a lens marked "Contessa-Nettel Sonnar 135mm f:4.5" mounted in a dial set Compur from the late 20s or early 30s, according to the number on the shutter. From disassembling the lens and comparing it to Sonnar diagrams, I am confident it was a Sonnar design. It was for a 9x12cm folding camera, and had soft corners on 4x5 no matter how far down it was stopped. So I'm pretty certain the Sonnar design predates the 1936 Olympics.

    There was an "Olympic Sonnar" high speed, f:2.8/180mm lens made for the '36 games, but I do not know how it was optimised. It could very well have been at it's best wide-open, but this indicates absolutely nothing about other iterations of the Sonnar design.

  6. #186

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    Interesting - could be that the site I read that on had been confused by the special olympic design and thought it was the original (and that all Sonnars were designed that way).
    Matt

  7. #187
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    Kingslake discusses the development of the Sonnar series of lenses in 'A History of the Photographic Lens'. These lenses were designed by Ludwig Bertele who worked for Ernemann before becoming a Zeiss employee when Ernemann was absorbed into the Zeiss Ikon conglomerate in 1926. His first Sonnar type lenses were the Ernostars mounted on Ermanox cameras in the mid 1920s. He started designing Sonnars for Zeiss beginning in 1930. His f2.0 Sonnar lens was released in 1931.

    Kingslake also mentions the first Sonnar type lenses to go on the market were designed by Charles Minor of Chicago in 1916. His designs were marketed by Gundlach as the Ultrastigmat as a fast motion picture taking lens. Scroll up a bit at the following link to see the paragraph on the Ultrastigmats.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=OJr...ed=0CEUQ6AEwBQ
    Last edited by desertrat; 09-25-2012 at 10:29 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling
    Happiness is a load of bulk chemicals, a handful of recipes, a brick of film and a box of paper. - desertrat

  8. #188

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    Quote Originally Posted by PentaxBronica View Post
    Interesting - could be that the site I read that on had been confused by the special olympic design and thought it was the original (and that all Sonnars were designed that way).
    Probably just typical internet vagueness and assumption. Folks have forgotten how to research things, it seems.
    There's also a great deal of nonsense about the Olympic/Olympia Sonnars.

  9. #189

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    Quote Originally Posted by desertrat View Post
    Kingslake discusses the development of the Sonnar series of lenses in 'A History of the Photographic Lens'. These lenses were designed by Ludwig Bertele who worked for Ernemann before becoming a Zeiss employee when Ernemann was absorbed into the Zeiss Ikon conglomerate in 1926. His first Sonnar type lenses were the Ernostars mounted on Ermanox cameras in the mid 1920s. He started designing Sonnars for Zeiss beginning in 1930. His f2.0 Sonnar lens was released in 1931.

    Kingslake also mentions the first Sonnar type lenses to go on the market were designed by Charles Minor of Chicago in 1916. His designs were marketed by Gundlach as the Ultrastigmat as a fast motion picture taking lens. Scroll up a bit at the following link to see the paragraph on the Ultrastigmats.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=OJr...ed=0CEUQ6AEwBQ
    Thanks for digging that out. I think Contessa-Nettel was part of Zeiss-Ikon after '26? I've always wondered why they used that design for the lens I had, it didn't behave much if any differently than an equivalent Tessar I had at the same time.

  10. #190

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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    It was replaced with a Gauss type in the same focal length and barrel in the 70s, the Gauss (symmetrical) design has slightly sharper close-focus performance. Just what you want for a portrait lens....
    I have read on the internet (so it must be true) that Nikon was a little surprised that the Sonnar 105 was becoming popular as a portrait lens and not just a short tele. Perhaps they expected the 85 f/2 to keep that crown. So they improved the 105's near range performance with the Gauss design. The fact that they extracted still more resolution in general use is just the icing on the cake. I've shot both side by side using Tech Pan and the Gauss is a tiny bit sharper (although this might have been just visual due to an increase in contrast) but it took a 32x enlargement to see it and then only barely, in the wings of a distant bird over Long's Peak. I'll print up the neg and post a couple images.

    s-a
    I photograph things to see what things look like photographed.
    - Garry Winogrand



 

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