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Info needed on unusual Zeiss 50mm f/2.8
Old 12-07-2018   #1
Gott23
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Info needed on unusual Zeiss 50mm f/2.8

Hi,

I got lucky on ebay and got a job lot for £10 including a near mint Trip 35 and a Zeiss 50mm lens.

No I'm a bit new to the mounts thing, but I do have some praktica bodies with m42 mount. The lens fits but doesn't allow the mirror to move. I've managed to fit it on my DSLR via an adapter but it's a distance out, and not focusing at infinity.

Furthermore, the labelling of it is unusual in that it's c. Z. Jena and no mention of Germany/ddr on front. (photos below).

Person bought from says stuff was from 50s.

I'm wondering if it's Exa mount? Didn't fit an m39 Fed either.

(checked serial numbers and it dates between 56 and 58, supposedly, so Exa might be it)

Pictures below;



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Old 12-07-2018   #2
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It may be in Exakta mount. I have one like it. I also have one that was changed from M42 to ltm.
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Old 12-07-2018   #3
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In say 1954–1956, this was a completely normal, usual M42*1 (Praktica) lens
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Old 12-07-2018   #4
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Yeah it's just that it's not fitting any of the m42 mount cameras I have. As I'd the thread is. Longer. If it is an Exa mount it just gives me an excuse to get an Exa. �� (or another adapter..)
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Old 12-07-2018   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gott23 View Post
Furthermore, the labelling of it is unusual in that it's c. Z. Jena and no mention of Germany/ddr on front. (photos below).

There exist many variants...


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Old 12-07-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gott23 View Post
Yeah it's just that it's not fitting any of the m42 mount cameras I have. As I'd the thread is. Longer. If it is an Exa mount it just gives me an excuse to get an Exa. �� (or another adapter..)



"M42 screw-mount Exas

Additionally, from 1977 to 1987 another Exa line was made: Exa Ib (later renamed to Ic without practically any other changes). This camera was basically an Exa Ia accepting M42 screw-mount lenses (Pentax/Practica standard). Therefore it was not a part of the Exakta/Exa system, although its family relationship with Exa cannot be denied. I decided to add the screw-mount Exas to this list, if only to avoid confusion."

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/exakta/exa-serial.html


Your lens is much older than 1977
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Old 12-07-2018   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gott23 View Post
Yeah it's just that it's not fitting any of the m42 mount cameras I have. As I'd the thread is. Longer. If it is an Exa mount it just gives me an excuse to get an Exa. �� (or another adapter..)

Then: You now need a Contax/Praktica/etc. of the 1950s!
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Old 12-07-2018   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumarongi View Post
Then: You now need a Contax/Praktica/etc. of the 1950s!
Thank hell this stuff is cheap! 😂

Saying that, even just with some rough test shots this is a beautiful lens for what really was about £1.

Wonderful contrast and circular bokeh. I'm going outside in a bit to give it a proper shot.
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Old 12-07-2018   #9
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Re the variants, that's what I figured. Given the split of Germany around that time it was obviously a bit chaotic. So the name they could use probably changed with the weather at times. Just never seen a c.z. Jena one until now.
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Old 12-07-2018   #10
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Your lens was quite a bargain! See eBay item number:312336963038; there's a «C.Z.Jena Tessar 2,8/50», Nr. 4766313
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Old 12-07-2018   #11
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Given I'd figured it'd be worth 50 that's pretty neat..

Heres a shot I took with it earlier, despite the focus being off.

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Old 12-07-2018   #12
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An m42 lens from the fifties should work on a current m42 body. It’s possible that the lens is simply not adjusted properly and needs to be collimated.

It’s most definitely not an Exakta mount as Exakta is a bayonet system and not a screw-mount.

Carl Zeiss Jena went through many, many naming iterations during the time there was legal wrangling between the Eastern and Western halves of the company. Some lenses don’t have any mention of Zeiss at all and simply say “Jena” on them. It was a big mess for CZJ but they’re all pretty comparable regardless of which version of labeling is used.
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Old 12-07-2018   #13
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This is my Tessar. It cost $200. Someone machined a beautiful LTM mount for it.




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Old 12-07-2018   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pentode View Post
An m42 lens from the fifties should work on a current m42 body.
Basically yes, except those lenses made before implementation of auto-diaphragm; the preset lenses that simply have more flesh can collide with the larger mirrors of later cameras.

[Well, depends what you mean by «current» —— if you mean «(then) contemporary», then a clear yes ]
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Old 12-07-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
This is my Tessar. It cost $200. Someone machined a beautiful LTM mount for it.




Raid, does that RF couple or just Scale Focus?
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Old 12-07-2018   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
This is my Tessar. It cost $200. Someone machined a beautiful LTM mount for it.


I also have exactly this type w/red T and 1st Q, but a tad older: #3922xxx — wouldn't have guessed that it's worth that much!
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Old 12-07-2018   #17
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This lens will fit early Prakticas - the earliest had no stop down mechanism, and the later models (IV and V) had a button to disengage the stop down mechanism. I have 2 x 58mm f2 Biotars with this type of mount.
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Old 12-07-2018   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumarongi View Post
I also have exactly this type w/red T and 1st Q, but a tad older: #3922xxx — wouldn't have guessed that it's worth that much!
Is your lens modified to Leica LTM too? Without LTM modification, it may be worth $50.
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Old 12-07-2018   #19
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Raid, does that RF couple or just Scale Focus?
It has full RF focus. This is why it cost me $200. Brian Sweeney told me that it is impossible to machine the ltm mount so well for $200.
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Old 12-07-2018   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
This is my Tessar. It cost $200. Someone machined a beautiful LTM mount for it.




I have been looking at one of these on e Bay but in the original M42 mount. The thing putting me off is that the Oz / US exchange rate is diabolical, on top of which the rapacious Oz government has put a 10% tax on all eBay sales inbound to Australia. So I have to add about 50% to the US ticket price. Makes it hard to justify buying anything much unless it is an ultra bargain or something I can get no other way.


https://www.ebay.com/itm/Carl-Zeiss-...5fSe:rk:6:pf:0

They are nice looking lenses and I imagine would perform well within the limits of a Tessar lens. I also have an LTM copy from Russia. How does yours shoot Raid?
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Old 12-07-2018   #21
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Hi Peter,
Such taxes don't make much sense to me. Too bad for you.
The lens may have some shimming needs when used on a film RF camera, but it does fine on a digital camera where I get quickly feedback on the focus. It is a Tessar and you get what you expect from such a lens. Mine was originally in M42, I was told. The SN can expose its history.

The ebay link shows $120 for the Tessar in M42 mount.
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Old 12-07-2018   #22
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It may have been intended for a Contax S or D slr in the late 40's/early 50's.
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Old 12-08-2018   #23
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Thanks for all this. I'm going to have to research this further.

Regardless, I'm highly impressed by what use I've been able to get out of it; fitting it to a 5DSr with an M42 adapter.

This is unprocesssed expect the exposure upped a stop. Shot wide open at 800, 1/60, using light from a shop front.

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Old 12-08-2018   #24
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M42 is not completely universal. This is a little different situation, but I have a DKL (lens) to M42 (camera) adapter. It works on Practika MTL5 and LTL3 plus Fuji 605N, but it will not screw completely on Pentax Spotmatics nor my Zeiss Icarex 35S TM, and thus I cannot focus to infinity in the latter cases. In the former cases all is well (other than it has some issues on the lens side with the Schneider-Kreuznach 50mm f1.9 Xenon, but that is a separate issue).
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Old 12-10-2018   #25
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Ok so here's a picture of the mount type I've found on another ebay listing, which says it's M42....




Now i've mounted M42 lens on my 5DSR with an adapter before and I know they can obstruct the mirror if focused at infinity, so I tend to use live view when shooting like that.

However, this lens doesn't fit into that mount, it fails to thread fully and is a few mm out..
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Old 12-12-2018   #26
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So a bit of an update!

I got the lens working via live view on an EOS 5DSr by using an adapter with a constant thread rather than a shoulder at the back, thus allowing for full threading.

In short, it's beautiful. The contrast and tones are superb. Focus is a bit niggly because the focus ring is stiff at extremes, but I can live with that...

Here's some samples shot handheld - and generally wide open given how dull it is (and cold - couldn't keep my hands still this morning!)







I've got an album on flickr of shots using the lens, the majority of which are unprocesssed apart from exposure as needed..

https://www.flickr.com/gp/darryl_scot-walker/X66Wwq

So in short, an amazing ebay bargain but a tad tricky to use.

Would I be right in understanding that this might be easier to use with a mirrorless system?

I use a Fuji x100t as my daily camera and I am thinking of upgrading to one of their mirrorless systems, so being able to use the likes of this lens with it would definitely make that far more appealling.
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Old 12-13-2018   #27
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Yes. I would use it with a mirrorless camera for ease of use and focus.
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Old 12-13-2018   #28
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In case anyone's wondering what their lens mount is and what it can fit to, read here...

https://www.johanniels.com/camera-ge...ister-distance
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