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  1. #31
    André E.C.'s Avatar
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    Funny, nobody mentioned the legendary Zeiss Sonnar Opton 50mm f/1.5, old glass indeed, but what a heck of an old piece of glass that is, surely one of the greatest 50's ever made, razor sharp at all apertures and incredible performance in low light conditions.

    It's so good, that outperforms the usually better slower versions, 50mm f/2 for example.

    IMHO, it´s superior to newer similar product offers by Nikon, I've used Nikkors 1.8 and 1.4 and prefer the rendition of the older Opton.


    Great thread, thanks for all the info!



    André
    Last edited by André E.C.; 08-07-2008 at 11:52 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Correction!

  2. #32
    Guillaume Zuili's Avatar
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    I know quite a few printers who have a Summicron DR on their enlarger.

  3. #33

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    I use 3 rf 50mm lenses: Planar 50/2, DR Summicron 50/2 and C Sonnar 50/1.5. In terms of the type of photography you do, (we are talking B&W here) the DR Summicron gives the most interesting rendition, though it is neither as sharp as the Planar or is it as perfect for conventional portraits as the C Sonnar, so if you want to look for something with a genuine "leica quality" try one of the old Summicrons as suggested here. I made several interesting portraits with this lens and Tri-X developed in Prescysol EF ( Pyrocat HD), and the results are exquisite. This old Summicron also has an intermediate type of bokeh - less creamy than the C Sonnar but with a broad brush like soft strokes, which can be very pleasing. Mind it, I am not at all a fan of Leica lenses as such - I much prefer Zeiss, but this lens in B&W is really quite something.
    This is an example of the grays it makes:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/5917703...06889/sizes/l/
    And here you see the background sketch like drawing:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/5917703...30547/sizes/l/

  4. #34
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Zeiss Sonnar Opton 50mm f/1.5,

    I grant you that the Opton Sonnar is a wonderful lens, but the Opton was never made in LTM.

    The wartime Jena lenses were never DESIGNED for LTM, but were shoe-horned into a focus mount, and usually never performed acceptably, being impossible to calibrate for a normal working range. Few lenses were made well enough to last very long (hand filed parts of soft aluminum, and so on, due to nightly bombing and shortage of material). Lenses which survived the war are few, and have 63 years of use to be overcome. The other LTM Sonnars have their OWN problems.

    On the OTHER hand the Nikkor and Canons were made under ideal circumstances, and were designed exceedingly well for their purpose.

    I know quite a few printers who have a Summicron DR on their enlarger.

    Silly choice because the DR Summicron is EXACTLY the same as a plain vanilla Summicron of the '50s, just in a mount that will focus more closely. But back in the dark ages, there was a legend that any imperfections the taking lens imparted on the negative would be removed if the image were printed THROUGH the same lens to print it. Actually, lots of folks used their taking lens to print with because enlarging lenses were expensive and in short supply after WW2 and the early '50s. As late as the '70s, though, taking lenses were used to make big prints, 16x20 or bigger, for their correction might be as good or better than Focotar or Coponon: both types of lenses were out of their design ranges. Leica suggested the 2.8 Elmar as the best choice. By the mid '70s, though, normal enlarging lenses were better than taking lenses at the higher range --- today there is no comparison.

  5. #35

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    > The wartime Jena lenses were never DESIGNED for LTM, but were shoe-horned into a focus mount, and usually never performed acceptably, being impossible to calibrate for a normal working range.

    It did not require any shoe-horning to fit a pre-war 5cm F1.5 Carl Zeiss Jena into an LTM J-3 mount. Basically, unscrew the optics module and screw it in. The shims are interchangeable between the CZJ 5cm F1.5 and the J-3. Collimated the lens to work wide-open and close-up. Infinity is best when stopped down a little, where the Sonnar Focus-Shift works in your favor. The Zeiss-Optpn will not fit into a J-3 mount.



    TTL viewer makes collimation much easier.



    Performance on both is quite good, as is the uncoated 5cm f2 in a black J-8 mount. Just to be fair, I put the J-3 optics into the CZJ Contax mount and shimmed it for the Nikon.

    the 5cm F2 pre-war and wartime 5cm f2 Sonnar fits into a J-8 mount, shims are interchangeable.

    Last edited by lens_hacker; 08-08-2008 at 01:39 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by lens_hacker View Post
    > The wartime Jena lenses were never DESIGNED for LTM, but were shoe-horned into a focus mount, and usually never performed acceptably, being impossible to calibrate for a normal working range.

    It did not require any shoe-horning to fit a pre-war 5cm F1.5 Carl Zeiss Jena into an LTM J-3 mount. Basically, unscrew the optics module and screw it in. The shims are interchangeable between the CZJ 5cm F1.5 and the J-3. Collimated the lens to work wide-open and close-up. Infinity is best when stopped down a little, where the Sonnar Focus-Shift works in your favor. The Zeiss-Optpn will not fit into a J-3 mount.
    Of course, there is the current "M" mount Zeiss ZM T* Sonnar F1.5, I have one, and it is a fantastic lens!
    Tom Hoskinson
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    Everything is analog - even digital :D

  7. #37

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    One day- I'll have to add the current Sonnar to the collection. It is a beautiful lens. But there would be nothing to hack!

  8. #38
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lens_hacker View Post

    It did not require any shoe-horning ]
    Great post, hacker.... flies in the face of about three tons of data,
    but it's easier to believe a simple truth. Handy, too, when you can do it yourself and see the results. Thanks


    d

  9. #39

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    This set of test photo's is from my second CZJ 5cm f2 converted to LTM using a J-8 mount, I've done 5 conversions so far:

    http://flickr.com/photos/oldcamerapi...7603706389629/

    Shots at F2 and F4, those at F2 were spot-on with the RF. Infinity shot at F4 was also good. I just shot about 10 rolls on vacation with the two lenses shown here, will be scanning. The "look" is very similar to the Nikkor 5cm f2, which I tested on the same roll. The sky was a deeper blue on the Sonnar, and was closer to cyan on the Nikkor. I attributed that to the Sonnar being uncoated.

    Just one more... 1935 Optics Module in a 1986 J-8 mount. The aperture ring is also compatible.

    Last edited by lens_hacker; 08-08-2008 at 06:56 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #40
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=lens_hacker;664800]This set of test photo's is from my second CZJ 5cm f2 converted to LTM using a J-8 mount, I've done 5 conversions so far:

    http://flickr.com/photos/oldcamerapi...7603706389629/

    I'm slow on the uptake (what's new ?)

    So, you're using the Jupiter lens mounts to REMOUNT an early Jena Sonnar to Leica thread mount. Very cool, I like it.

    It's too bad that when Zeiss was making LTM lenses in WW2, they didn't have a stash of lens mounts handy. But they didn't, and in the war years the mounts were cobbled up as best they could,
    with soft alloys and hand shaped parts. And THEY didn't work very well.
    But then, they were never intended for fine photography.

    Re-mounting a pre-war lens into a post war mount IS a cool idea,
    and seemingly a cool way to get André's Opton Sonnar onto Sander's M3.

    AND it looks like I've got a nice winter-time project !

    Thanks

    d

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