Quote Originally Posted by Dali View Post
CZJ was a respectable lens maker until the '60. Then, the innovation stopped, the quality went down and they were somewhat competitive only because of their low price tag... At the same time, CZ West and japanese makers were able to adapt to the market and the consumer demand, offering an large range of lenses from fisheye to tele-lens, including zooms and catadioptric lenses I am not sure this diversity was part of CZJ business plan...

Take care.
Yep, that's pretty much what we've been saying. Thinks did go a little downhill later on, but I don't think the decline in quality was so severe as to take them from respectable to 'dodgy', though, IMHO. The optics were still very good, just the designs were getting a bit dated and the quality control was sometimes a bit lacking. Lack of development certainly, but if you were happy with the traditional prime lens designs then you were still getting good optics for little money. I wouldn't describe them as 'dodgy' (even though I think it was me who used that expression ;-)
I don't doubt a Hassleblad mount Zeiss CF lens would knock spots of an East German lens for build quality, but comes in at maybe ten times the price of a CZJ Biometar. Personally I don't own any modern West German Carl Zeiss camera lenses because I can't afford them.

I think to characterize it as a budget maker of dodgy camera lenses is wide of the mark.
I said that in relation to the idea that the Carl Zeiss factory in Jena was making poor quality camera optics. Most (maybe all) of the camera lenses were made at the Carl Zeiss plant in Saalfeld. The Jena factory was about as high tech and modern as anything you would find on the 'wrong' side of the iron curtain - but they didn't produce the camera lenses, That is what I meant by wide of the mark.