View Full Version : 1951 J3 Zeiss elements .
I have seen a 1951 J3 with Zeiss glass for Kiev at @ 160 euro .
Would this be much ' better ' than my 1959 J3 ?
I can't really afford it but am curious .
For collectors this would be a "better" investment
It's hard to know until you try it. I had one 1951 J-3 sent to me from Russia to make work correctly. The rear optics were just wrong. The optics fixture was the wrong length. I made a working lens by transplanting the front element and front triplet to a late 1950s J-3 module, shimmed it in the LTM focus mount, worked beatifully.
$160 for a Contax mount 1951 J-3 is not bad. Even the best will not be much better than the one you have.
Thanks Brian and Ron , I love the J3 on fllm , though admittedly , just on the lazy K 4m from Oleg [which also donated the Helios ] so I will leave the 1951 for collectors .
I like the J-3 on Digital and on film.
1967 J-3 "back-hacked" into Contax mount, wide-open on the EP-2 using an Amedeo Adapter.
Thanks Brian for your precise operation on my lens! The patient feels very well despite double translantation and overseas shipment! Here are a few photos made with this lens - the first couple of color pics with R-D1 and B&W with M8.2. The focus was spot on where it supposed to be. In the leaves picture it was right on the tip of a leaf. In case of B&W J-3 delivered great quality in the complicated light situation - it's fantastic for 50 year old lens!
(Although, the sized down pics don't show all details that are seen on the full version)
I cannot agree with the thesis that Russian glass from the 50's is just for collectors. First, everyone knows that the optic elements in the beginning of 50's were made of German glass (up to 1956) and I can assume the German supervisors participated in production of J-3; even the coating was similar to CZJ; therefore ZK and J-3 may be considered as almost German; second, the quality control was much better in those years v. the 60's - each lens had to pass the QC dept test and got a certificate; and lastly the J-3 performance is not much different from CZJ Sonnar in LTM. I have both and J-3 is a better lens!
In my case, the lens was vandalized by someone and it was misrepresented on the evil site by a seller whose name is "cameramatecom". I'm sure he knew that this lens was made of different pieces, but didn't say a word in the ad.
It's good that in the end J-3 got the second life and became almost a perfect Sonnar. Being a unique Frankenstein J-3 (1951-1956) it's not exactly a collectors piece, but I don't care :-))) Thank you, Brian - you saved J-3 reputation!
The photographs of your Daughter are beautiful. The B&W portrait is magical.
The KMZ lenses through 1956 are the best that I've used, and I believe they are German glass. The focus mount is simplified and improved compared with the Wartime Sonnars and the ZK Sonnar. I currently have five 1950's KMZ J-3's, a 1949 ZK 5cm f1.5 Sonnar, and a 1950 J-3 that I never could get to work. When I saw the 1951 KMZ with the same optical fixture, "my Speculation" was that these were transition lenses. I would not hesitate to buy one- but I've gotten pretty good at taking them apart. On the 1950 lens, I transplanted the front triplet into another wartime Sonnar that had a bad group. The "new lens" was perfect.
With the fall colors, I need to take out the 1956 KMZ J-3 and the 1956 ZOMZ J-3. The latter is probably one of the first few hundred made at the new plant. The optics are good, the helical had a lot of play in it. "Vacuum Pump Grease" to reduce the play, but exact focus can be a little chancy.
ZOMZ, wide-open on the M8:
1956 KMZ, wide-open on the M8.
So- need to bring them out together. Again "Speculation", but I believe the ZOMZ J-3's switched over to Russian glass while the KMZ's used the Schott glass.
This image is incredible.... I really need to get a J3 for my IIIF!!!
You should be aware that Brian's photos (and several others, too) are the result of an overhauled and properly collimated lens, reverently referred to on RFF as a "Sweeneyized J-3" :D Oh, and I agree that the pic of the back-lit young girl is stunning!
Still, an off-the-shelf J-3 is often a very good lens; I have a 1951 KMZ version that performs pretty well, even without Sweeneyization.
I regret having had to sell my 1970 J3 about 4 years ago, I was then in dire need of funds. I remember sourcing a 1951 J3 for a fellow RFF member from London, I believe he never regretted buying it. Here's a link to a photo I took with it while testing:
Also visible at http://mortilla.ro
The J3 is one of the most fantastic lenses, and I would sacrify much to get a hand on a stunning performer!
EDIT: I am of course talking about Contax mount J3s :)
I love that B&W image of the girl. I have been enjoying such lenses for a while now.
vBulletin® v3.6.8, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.