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Finally! ~ I bought a "wartime" 1943 CZJ Sonnar T f1.5/50 in LTM
Old 12-21-2007   #1
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Finally! ~ I bought a "wartime" 1943 CZJ Sonnar T f1.5/50 in LTM

Post your wartime Zeiss LTM lenses here.

LeicaTom deleted this thread.

I restored it, without LeicaTom's posts.

Much valuable info still remains.

Stephen
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Old 05-27-2009   #2
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The "T" means the lens is coated. The "T" is for Transparent.
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Old 05-27-2009   #3
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Tom's right as far as he goes. But a good J3 can scream that Sonnar look just as loud, hard & long. I have a 1956 J3 in Contax mount that is easily the best 50/1.5 Sonnar I've ever used. From anywhere.

Now, I tend to use my 50/2 more often because of ergonomics, but when I want _that_ look, I grab my J3. Just see Raid's test of fast 50's & you'll find this lens right up there.

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Old 05-27-2009   #4
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Tom,

You have to stop this... I have a '49 J-3 which Brian is pretty certain contains Zeiss glass and looks identical to your CZJ Sonnar with the exception of the 'little m'... which has been sitting on my shelf unused for the past 6 months or so, I was planning to send it to live in Brian's collection.

But with all your ranting and raving about the 'Sonnar' signature, I have gone back and pulled prints from various portrait shoots and they are gorgeous. Now I am thinking of keeping the J-3...

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Old 05-27-2009   #5
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Tom.

I was not trying take anything away from the momentous occasion you are celebrating... rather your enthusiasm for the CZJ 50/1.5 has made me reconsider selling my J-3 which is the closest I have come to using the Sonnar lens that you are proclaiming you love for!

So most of all I am looking forward to seeing the work of this lens in your hands after a visit to the 'master of the Sonnar'.
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Old 05-27-2009   #6
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The HC 50/2 is pretty nice for color too


Nikkor-S.C 50/2 LTM at about f/2.8 (or maybe a bit wider -- hard to be sure with no click-stops on the aperture ring) on an Epson R-D1s at ISO 400.

I find that my Japan SC 50/1.4 is pretty soft at f/1.4, but sharpens up nicely atf/2 and smaller. I guess I need to do a direct comparison and decide whether I should keep both Nikkors (acute Too Many 50's Syndrome). Like you say, the Canon 50/1.5 is more of the go-to Sonnar.

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Old 05-27-2009   #7
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I must admit, that I had the chance to play with a Leica III, probably a C or F, and it was very hard to give it back the owner. Hard to explain, but the feeling was like hefting a vintage Stanley Bed-Rock hand plane, or working the action of a '02 Marlin 1894, or wearing my vintage Rolex Explorer, I just had this unjustifiable 'I want one' feeling.... hard to explain, even harder to justify.

But so far, I have managed to avoid further contact with Leica LTM's and thus avoided buying more cameras I truly do not need.

I know nothing about the 'Kugellager' series, dare I ask or as ignorance bliss?
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Old 05-28-2009   #8
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I think the 1938 uncoated CZJ 50/1.5 LTM conversion lens Brian cobbled together for me is my favorite lens, maybe tied for first place with my Canon 35/2.0 - I have the Zeiss still mounted on my M4 as seen in my avatar, have not taken it off since I shot my first roll with it. I used to think a black paint camera needed a black lens, but this combo not only looks great together but works great together. Can't wait to get back to shooting with it.

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Old 05-28-2009   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjlapier View Post
I'm glad I read this thread, and appreciate all the photos. I too have a Sweeney Opton Sonnar shimmed for Nikon S ( and Amedeo's adapter ), and the Nikkor HC. The Opton was a mess he brought back to life--I'm confident he can do the same for your new lens. But since I bought the DR 'cron I've been using it on my M3 and shelved the other two lenses. Time to take these out and have another "look" at the sonnar signature of my photos.
Hmm, that's interesting - I have been talking to Brian about conversions and he explained the tricks of the trade to me (thanks Brian!). I have converted a 1935 f2 uncoated CZ Sonnar and await the first test roll eagerly. Of more direct relevance to your mail, I have an Opton T f1.5 that I'm trying to convert. This will not fit easily into any of the Russian focus mounts, and I don't have any "surplus" Leica mounts to cannibalise. I think I'm going to have to machine out a spare Canon 1.8 mount that I have - it's about 1mm too small in diameter for the optic unit, but good in other respects (like the diameter of the surround for the aperture ring being within 0.5mm on the diameter, as is).

I have a lathe, and the work is fairly straightforward, and I would be interested to see some of your results to give me the impetus to get on and do it.
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Old 05-29-2009   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john neal View Post
Hmm, that's interesting - I have been talking to Brian about conversions and he explained the tricks of the trade to me (thanks Brian!). I have converted a 1935 f2 uncoated CZ Sonnar and await the first test roll eagerly. Of more direct relevance to your mail, I have an Opton T f1.5 that I'm trying to convert. This will not fit easily into any of the Russian focus mounts, and I don't have any "surplus" Leica mounts to cannibalise. I think I'm going to have to machine out a spare Canon 1.8 mount that I have - it's about 1mm too small in diameter for the optic unit, but good in other respects (like the diameter of the surround for the aperture ring being within 0.5mm on the diameter, as is).

I have a lathe, and the work is fairly straightforward, and I would be interested to see some of your results to give me the impetus to get on and do it.
When my M3 gets back I'll run a roll through it with the Opton and share my results--Tom, the Amedeo adapter is for M.

Funny thing though--I didn't buy the lens to use on my M3. I had the Nikkor HC at the time and was using it on the M3. The price was so low, and I knew the condition of the lens before I bought it, I figured I could play with it on my Panny G1. But this thread and the pics have got me curious what it can produce. Brian optimized the lens for close focus wide open--could be fun!
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Old 05-29-2009   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeicaFoReVer View Post
But I want to know where I can CLA those contax bodies and zeiss lenses? Is Youxing dealing with them?

Thanks,
Several folks on RFF have had Eddy Smolov from NYC do work on Contax cameras and lenses, and have been pleased with the service and turn-around time. Henry Scherer is very good, but has a 2 year waiting list.
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Old 05-29-2009   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dexdog View Post
Several folks on RFF have had Eddy Smolov from NYC do work on Contax cameras and lenses, and have been pleased with the service and turn-around time. Henry Scherer is very good, but has a 2 year waiting list.
Can I get the contact info for Eddy please?
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Old 05-29-2009   #14
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Eddy Smolov's info:

[email protected]
(347)922-7275

He's in Brooklyn, NY. He's currently working on my Kiev 4, and says I should have it back next week. That will be three weeks total, and that's supposedly a long time for him. He came well-recommended.

Hopefully I'll be able to report back when it returns.


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Old 05-29-2009   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney View Post
Raid: His Sonnar is the best that I have ever seen. Our's are close...

It cured his lust for a Canon 50/1.5.
What made Jim's lens the best?
I mean, is it the glass being clean or is it the sharpness or ... ?

Good for you, Jim.
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Old 05-29-2009   #16
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This thread is a hoot! Just finally read through it. Some GREAT shots above!!!

Tom -- Congrats to you on your most successful acquisition. I'm sure a spell at Spa Sweeney will do your lens a world of good!

Brian -- This thread is further proof that you are a god.

Jim -- How's the eye doing? Best wishes for a speedy recovery! (you're not left eye dominant, are you??).

Tom (again) -- Agree w/ your comment about what sonnar lenses are good for...

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Old 05-29-2009   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeicaFoReVer View Post
Great deal, I have been looking for this combo too unfortunately now I had other priorities and I have 4 bodies and until I get rid of some of them I wont buy contax...

But I want to know where I can CLA those contax bodies and zeiss lenses? Is Youxing dealing with them?

Thanks,
Youxin Ye only works on Leica, I believe.
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Old 05-30-2009   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planetjoe View Post
Eddy Smolov's info:

[email protected]
(347)922-7275

He's in Brooklyn, NY. He's currently working on my Kiev 4, and says I should have it back next week. That will be three weeks total, and that's supposedly a long time for him. He came well-recommended.

Hopefully I'll be able to report back when it returns.


Cheers,
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Eddy is a great guy.
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Old 06-02-2009   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bingley View Post
This thread is a hoot! Just finally read through it. Some GREAT shots above!!!

Tom -- Congrats to you on your most successful acquisition. I'm sure a spell at Spa Sweeney will do your lens a world of good!

Brian -- This thread is further proof that you are a god.

Jim -- How's the eye doing? Best wishes for a speedy recovery! (you're not left eye dominant, are you??).

Tom (again) -- Agree w/ your comment about what sonnar lenses are good for...

Great shot indeed. was this shot wide open? That nice softness in the background is very appealing, smoother than the Planars I have more of.

As for the eye, 2nd operation in under my belt and I'm healing. Uncertain how successful this will have been until a week or two clears things up. I need to start trying to shoot right eyed - not an easy transition for me, as I confessed in my thread/poll, called "right or left" or something like that.
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Old 06-02-2009   #20
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Eddy resurrected a lump of dead Contax II for me a while back. It is a project camera, nearly complete - I will post pics when it's all done. I finally shot a roll with it the other day and the speeds are a stop slow - the body has been in many pieces and shipped all over the country - so it may go back to Eddy, or maybe I will just rate the film a stop faster .

Youxin has been my go-to guy for Barnack repair, and has never disappointed. I'm hoping to get another project body back from him before he takes a vacation at the end of this week.
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Old 06-02-2009   #21
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It is good that there are many good repair people available to us. Just choose the person you are comfortable with.
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Old 06-02-2009   #22
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I only have 2 lenses right now... a ZM 35mm Biogon and a 1970's J-3 that was shimmed by Brian by the previous owner. I will admit that I haven't used the J-3 much since buying it because I like the 35mm focal length so much but this thread is making me think I need to shoot with the J-3 some more. It's funny, because I prefer the way the J-3 draws a scene.

That begs the question: is there anything in 35mm that will give me a similar look?
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Old 06-02-2009   #23
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Tom -- That's good news indeed on the lens!

Tom & Jim -- Thanks for your comments on the photo; yes, it was shot wide open (Canon 50/1.5, but you probably knew that).

Jim -- Like you, I'm left-eye dominant. I can't imagine learning to shoot w/ my right eye, so you have my sympathies if that's the ultimate outcome. But I hope your left eye heals up so you can back to shooting w/ it.
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Old 06-05-2009   #24
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Hi Tom,
Here is a shot from the Zeiss Opton Sonnar at f/1.5. I'm more than happy with this lens' performance.



The negative was dustier than usual

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Old 06-06-2009   #25
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Except or your Viewfinder problem it sounds like good news all the way! I'm quite interested to see what you can do with this lens.
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Old 06-13-2009   #26
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Fuji still has the roll of film. The focus on the lens looked good out of the box. The mechanics of it were a mess. Only One of the set screws was in good shape.

Using it on the camera revealed that the tap for the set screw that holds the helical into the mount was too big,. This allowed play in it when using it on the camera. I used a little was of Jon Goodman's double-sided sticky tape in it to shore things up. I am a lens hacker.
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Old 06-13-2009   #27
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I knew I should have flown the lens to Florida to test it.
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Old 06-13-2009   #28
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Brian,

I will carry your suitcase for you as your assistant!
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Old 06-13-2009   #29
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Ghah....my Sunday pales in comparison. Shooting pictures of my friends playing in a beach volleyball tournament. Life is so unfair
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Old 06-18-2009   #30
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Well, we'll just have to wait for Tom's up close-up and wide open focus tests.

I'll post the ones that I used to check the lens.

Wide-Open at F1.5 on the Canon P
Nailed the focus on this one!



There was a reason that it was sold for parts only.



The solidified grease gummed things up fairly bad. Nothing that Ronsonol and a few minutes in the ultrasonic cleaner could not cure.

And the ultrasound and Silver Polish really got the tarnish off of the lens.



Dr. Tongues House of 3-D Focus tests...

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Old 06-18-2009   #31
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Quote:
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Well, we'll just have to wait for Tom's up close-up and wide open focus tests.
Hmm, a sure-fire recipe for camera shake?
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Old 06-18-2009   #32
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Ultra-sonic cleaner, what is that Brian, sounds very extreme for cleaning a lens !! Can I buy one lol
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Old 06-18-2009   #33
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Wink

Someone has sent me exactly the same lens for repair/cleaning. The internal component were absolutely identical. But I'm not convinced it is a true Zeiss lens. I think original Zeiss Sonnar in LTM, has a brass internal mount, and external aluminium rings. A french collector showed me one time an expertised authentic Sonnar LTM, and it was slightly different from yours and from the one I repaired. To me, your sample looks like very much early russian ZK lens for Fed/Zorki from 1949-1950. What gave me reasons to doubt with my sample was the lens and components were oxydized and showed wear, but the front engraved ring seemed just leaving the factory.

Early ZK have brass internal mount too from 1947-1948 (S/N000001 to approx. S/N 000700)

See this, copyright DVDtechcameras





Late ZK lenses has aluminium internal mount, like this one (S/N 000700 until Jupiter name appears and aperture ears disappeared)





I think every Sonnar LTM lens with aluminium internal mount must be considered a fake.

Anyway, it seems a very good performer, and this is what's important.
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Old 06-19-2009   #34
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Another thing is that true Zeiss Jena lens, according to the collector I just called, has no ears on aperture ring, aperture depth of field engravings do not have a comma separator but instead a point. The more I see pictures from this lens, the more it reminds me russian engravings.
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Old 06-19-2009   #35
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Perhaps, I am no ear's expert ! Archived S/N are one thing, but fakes another. The one I repaired was S/N 2724613. (BTW it has been stolen during french post shipping, if you see it some day...). I had the opportunity to compare it to the internal ZK LTM components I had and they were absolutely identical. S/N from the zeiss lens was reported on the internal barrel, but that is no proof, because engraving is easy to do.

Anyway, I do not want to offense you, just to share informations.

Maybe there were real Zeiss lens variations during manufacturing. The only thing I meant is that some russian early lenses shares absolutely the same internal and external construction, and that is surprising.
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Old 06-19-2009   #36
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>Another thing is that true Zeiss Jena lens, according to the collector I just called, has no
>ears on aperture ring, aperture depth of field engravings do not have a comma separator
>but instead a point. The more I see pictures from this lens, the more it reminds me russian
> engravings.

That information is wrong if he is referring to a Wartime Zeiss Lens in LTM. Your collector friend might be confusing a post-war CZJ 5cm F1.5 in LTM with a Wartime CZJ SOnnar in LTM I've seen photo's of the post-war lens in LTM, and it fits his description.

I've taken apart early J-3's with ears, and the optics barrel is different.

I've taken apart pre-war Contax mount lenses, wartime Contax mount lenses, Wartime Arriflex mount lenses, and wartime LTM lenses, and post-war Russian "copies".

http://ziforums.com/showthread.php?t=120

http://ziforums.com/showthread.php?t=143

http://ziforums.com/showthread.php?t=224

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Old 06-19-2009   #37
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Oh- and the ultrasonic cleaner was $30 in Ebay, shipped. Works quite well. Fill with water, drop in the metal parts. My wife had me clean her gold and platinum rings with it as well.
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Old 06-19-2009   #38
johannielscom
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So, what do I recognise a wartime CZJ Sonnar lens by? Any characteristic they surely possess? Anything they certainly do not possess?

I'd like to own and shoot a lens like that one day, but the one I sold in the past might have been one to start with? That one had a black front rim, capital 'M' for meters and comma-separated aperture digits. No aperture ears, 1939 serial number. Might have been real after all? Sold it off for the price of a well-kept Jupiter-3...
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Old 06-19-2009   #39
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It would have a small "m" for meters if it was a genuine wartime lens.

On a real one: the only way to know for sure is to take it apart and look at the inner serial numbers. The SN on the lens ring matches a stamped number on the read module. There are set screws underneath the aperture ring holding the name plate in place, and a set screw holding the rear module in. The helical has matching numbers on its three sections.

My later German LTM Sonnar has a black nose, the earlier one has a chrome nose.

And to really confuse things, I modify Contax mount Sonnars to LTM by using a J-3 and J-8 focus mount for the F1.5 and F2 lenses, respectively.
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Old 06-19-2009   #40
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Brian, those wartime Sonnar focus pic tests look no different than your Sweeneyfied J-3 test pics.
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