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Thread: Carl zeiss jena 20mm f/2.8

  1. #1
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    Default Carl zeiss jena 20mm f/2.8

    Hi, is anyone used this lens before? Carl zeiss jena 20mm f/2.8
    care to share the optics wise?

    TIA
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    The lens is basically using the M42 (42mm-diameter) thread mount. With adaptor (available), you can use it on minolta, pentax, canon-EOS, contax and some less common camera make. CZJena which is a east-germany (before united germany) firm producing optics from earlier design, which can be very different from the modern CZ T* lenses which is legacy from the West Germany (before united). The CZJena (East G) has been defunct since 1996 and production stop and their binoculars division merge into the Carl Zeiss Group (united). Some user ever shared in the internet that the quality of the east products can be very eratic, some are very fine and others mediocre even in the same line of production. You may find most of these on the auction online, especially lots from the poland users at very reasonable price. I am an avid user of these lenses, but is only though alot of buying as well as selling, to retain the really good ones through lens testing. The most common fault/damage even from the new box is the amount of dust and dirt, only seem by strong back light through the lens with torch. Other common problems i find are defective coating and misalignment of lens elements due to drop/rough handling. Some of the lens coating especially from my 80/2.8 and the 20/2.8 is quite soft and required very careful storage and usage. Since i have two 20/2.8, one of them has little bit of fog/haze between the lens elements, despite being selected out of four 20/2.8 which i sold off 2, brought from germany and US. Other common fault is the aperture blades not able to close fully due to "frozen" grease especially for used lens stored away for long while. Also keep in mind that the etching of fungus is almost permanent, and to re-coat is expensive and not economic (unless its a leitz lens). Other less common fault are not able to focus to infinity in one of my sold lens, i believe someone have it badly serviced before selling to me.
    There a shop, fotographix in Lucky-Chinatown in Singapore which specialised in selling these CZJena lenses, you can seek more advice from Mr. Wong the operator there which is quite knowledgable. Remember to bargain with him though.
    So my advise is to test it yourself before buying is the safest, or you have to sell it later. Patience is the key. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by CZJena; 13th March 2005 at 12:12 AM.
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    thank CZJ, i know mr.wong, but all his pricing is not right for me, though i bargain already, only for certain ppl he gives a very good prices.

    well i guess i skip this lens
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    Quote Originally Posted by xl1
    thank CZJ, i know mr.wong, but all his pricing is not right for me, though i bargain already, only for certain ppl he gives a very good prices.

    well i guess i skip this lens
    if possible look for lens like 50/1.8 and 135/3.5, they are good lenses experienced by many. Furthermore you can really find them easily on auction. Due to quantities you can get very good bargain and better quality compared to the rest. Still, you need to test them for the used one, and buy only from reputable sellers. I have the same experience with fotographix, usually have to pay at least 100bucks extra, and usually lens quite used which he brought from his pool of local users. He does buy from Germany from time to time but you have to wait and pay more. So i very seldom visit him since many years back. I am glad to provide more info if you have further queries. I have used almost the entire family of CZJena except the 29mm which i personally find redundant. I also avoid the pentacon series as i find the flare control is still not on par with the former. Which lens system are you using currently?
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    Just a tips for you in selection of these lenses (or even other lenses):
    Use a super-bright white LED torch (key chain type) to shine through from one end of the lenses and observe for flaws from the other (e.g shine from back element and observe from front of the lens). This will clearly reveals most of the flaws, i have spotted many "mint" lenses with flaws with this method taught by experienced trader, the most difficult are alignment unless you need laser equipment to test, or take resolution test. fog, coating problem and bad balsam (optical glue that stick two elements together) required strong backlight for examination. telephoto are usually easier to spot compared to wide-angle (contains many thick glass elements). When i complaint and requested a refund from seller, most common excuse is that they pretend not been able to notice, even though they claim their lens as NEW or MINT. Nasty seller refused to refund for that.
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    For the 20mm range in M42 family, you can also look out for the russian 20mm/3.5 MIR series. They are offered in the range of SGD130, giving excellent contrast and moderate vignetting in the corners. I owned two of these and very delightedly in taking out to shoot during my oversea travels and local streets photojournalism. This lens is designed with provision for a small UV filter from the BACK of the lens! i managed to brought with one filter on it and find this concept interesting. The lens also have slight barrel distortion but sharpness is as good as jena in the center especially when you stop down to f8 onwards. So try them out. The only two russian i like in my M42 series is this 20mm MIR and the 200/4 jupiter, recently also tried out the tessar type 50/2.8 industar (macro) with saturated results.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CZJena
    For the 20mm range in M42 family, you can also look out for the russian 20mm/3.5 MIR series. They are offered in the range of SGD130, giving excellent contrast and moderate vignetting in the corners. I owned two of these and very delightedly in taking out to shoot during my oversea travels and local streets photojournalism. This lens is designed with provision for a small UV filter from the BACK of the lens! i managed to brought with one filter on it and find this concept interesting. The lens also have slight barrel distortion but sharpness is as good as jena in the center especially when you stop down to f8 onwards. So try them out. The only two russian i like in my M42 series is this 20mm MIR and the 200/4 jupiter, recently also tried out the tessar type 50/2.8 industar (macro) with saturated results.
    wow, thanks for the informations!
    im learning a lot now from you, btw yes i also use rusian lens, i own 55 f/2 helios and 16 FE, i haven't try out the 20mm, may be i should look for it now and try it out, but f/3.5 .......hmmm let see 1st the result.

    im watching the Tair 300mm f/3,5 from kiev camera, haven't find a good deal for the price yet, been looking from ebay and 2nd hand shop in here.. u use it before?
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    yeah, 300/4.5 famous, found it about 5-6yrs ago from cam-x nick's former company (san-mei operared by mr.tay). Have not used it, but mr.tay claim it to be good, the only things i noticed is that the coating is almost - none existence - ?? there are only very light coating with light purple and blue, mostly clear like my 150years old daguerroetype lens or my plaubel-makina MF lens. There is an auxiliary tripod hole, and weights a least 2.5kg. I go search my database on this lens and get back to you on this again.
    Last edited by CZJena; 13th March 2005 at 10:27 PM.
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    check out the test from this site:
    http://kievaholic.com/LensTestsLongTele2/
    This 300/4.5 lens seems to be built for the militia, i call it a "bird shooting" lens, the tair-S version come with a rifle holder attached below the lens, so that you can carry over the shoulder. The normal tair come with a special focusing mechanism/gear below the lens, also could be used with medium format camera like the pentacon66/kiev88.
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    thanks for the info, looks like Schneider-Kreuznach 250mm F5.6 is very good in sharpness and color, but seems the price also not cheap i guess hehehe....
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