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Prakticar 1.8 50 Carl Zeiss Jena: Where have they gone?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2023 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My copy, awaiting for a cleaning of the fungus in the front glass. Number 5232.
Whenever I have the time (my most scarce resource right now, the kids are sucking it as calves!) I want to test it against the m42 Pancolar. Supposedly they will be the same, but I just want to test that. I did that with the 135mm 3.5 Sonnar, Prakticar and m42, and they were indeed identical.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2023 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zamo wrote:
My copy, awaiting for a cleaning of the fungus in the front glass. Number 5232.


Thanks Zamo! Do you know how to get the front lens block out? It is quite easy; it is not necessary to unscrew the ring with the lens data. Just unscrew the cylindric cover shell (with the filter thread and where the lens data ring is screwed into) against clock. Then the lens block is open visible and can be easily screwed out; a lens wrench or a compass if handled with care may help. If you are lucky it is a work of only 30min including cleaning of the lens with some alcohol.

Best regards
Andreas


PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2023 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pandreas68 wrote:
y wrote:
AFAIK the PB-mount era was characterized by aiming for the cheapest possible solutions. So the wast majority of 50mm were Oreston-based with the 50/1.4 acting as the premium product. The Pancolar-based 50mm did not really fit to that production strategy.


Cheapest possible solution: I beleave that this does not hold true. On the one hand side there was the mentioned 1.4 50, but also the 4/300, as well lenses also available for M42 like the Pancolar 1.8 80, both Flektogons, as well es the Sonnar 135. So the 1.4 50 was maybe because it has more modern properties and for some reasons they may have thought that a high quality 1.8 50 is superfluent then. Also the recalculation of the 2.8 29 into the 2.8 28 did not reduce the effort, but the main aim obviously was higher quality.

On the other side even if you take a so called "ratio lens", typically available the Pentagon 50mm lenses and the 2.8 28, then you may e.g. notice that they have no play, as many metal made lenses have. Also the plastics is of quite high quality, while reducing production costs. Comparing these lenses with Samyang lenses of the same time there are worlds between, and also if compared with Sigma and the upcoming Canon plastics lenses I'd regard the Pentacon "ratio lenses" as the higher quality. Companies like Nikon, Minolta and Olympus did not invent plastics yet; at that time they did not see the necessity yet which others already saw.

True however is, that the Praktica cameras in the West have mainly been sold by the low prices, often lower than for similar Japanese cameras. In the West many users bought them from catalog firms for being cheap and only some very few like me bought them for their quality.

For the low price buyers they needed to be sold by effenciently produced Pentacon lenses, while the Zeiss lenses mainly were bought in Eastern Germany, where only some very few official fotographers, e.g. working for Neues Deutschland, have been equipped with Nikon cameras. So yes the quality did not need anymore to compete with Nikon etc but only with Eastern products and in the West with the lower level Japanese cameras and for some few Western users as me offering the typical Zeiss Jena look and feel, which Zeiss West for some time missed, so that many regarded their lenses as too cold or technical while beeing much too expensive for pupils and students.

Quite funny, some lenses I bought as pupil and student, are now higher priced than the Minolta and Nikon lenses bought by class mates at the same time!-)

Both 50/1.4 were produced in relatively low quantities - introducing a completely new mount/line without a 50/1.4 would look well as of 1979. The same goes for the 55/2.8 Macro. The 300/4 was a truly new offering, I agree with that. The exact goal of the 29 to 28 recalculation of the early 60's Orestegon is not known. But the rest of the lineup was just a re-do of the old lenses from the M42 mount. This includes the 70's 80/1.8 or 20/2.8 but also Oreston and Orestor from the 60s.

The 80s with the PB moved the production to cheaper locations, made the cameras and lenses more cheap using plastics, etc. The basic line were still Pentacons using 60's Oreston 50/1.8 and Orestor 135/2.8 designs.

Btw Marco Kröger states the Pancolar-based Prakticar was discontinued as early as 1982. The production run was very short - just three years - compared to the Oreston-based 50/1.8.


PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2023 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

y wrote:
AFAIK the PB-mount era was characterized by aiming for the cheapest possible solutions. So the wast majority of 50mm were Oreston-based with the 50/1.4 acting as the premium product. The Pancolar-based 50mm did not really fit to that production strategy.


Hi y,

the original question was, whether PB mount era was heading for cheapest possible solution. This is what I put into question. Whether then the low number of some lenses came because nobody wanted to buy them for their high prices or whether they simply did not produce, this is always difficulty to say in German Democratic Republic. In GDR it may have been quite difficult to introduce the PB series, for the M42 lenses being much cheaper at for PB. E.g. the 28 Prakticar for M 470, the 29 M42 for M 227 and the Lydith 30 3.5 for M 150. So which would I have bought? Most likely the Lydith. The very low numbers of the Zeiss Prakticars is most likely, because they did not want to produce them and limited the production rather then nobody did want them. I remember back, that it was even difficult to buy them in the West; while you could quite often see Jena Binoculars in shops you virtually never saw Jana lenses in the shop; only on order.

The PB mount itself, and that is my main point, at least originally headed to better solutions as the M42 lenses of the same time, which e.g. can be seen in materials used, where e.g. Zeiss replaced plastic parts back into metal parts and instead of aluminium also brass was used again, not only on lenses but also on bodies like B100, B200, BC1 and maybe even BMS and BCS.

The other point is, that the use of plastics was to head for the most efficient solution. Cheap in the sense of efficiently produced quality: yes; cheap in the sense of low quality: no.

Maybe the last point that they moved production of some lenses to Romania. Yes, but... ..."Westgerman" cameras and lenses came from Singapore, Japan, Canada and whereever; so here Pentacon was not the first; maybe just that they were not marked "Made in Romania" ...

Best regards, Andreas


PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2023 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pandreas68 wrote:


Thanks Zamo! Do you know how to get the front lens block out? It is quite easy; it is not necessary to unscrew the ring with the lens data. Just unscrew the cylindric cover shell (with the filter thread and where the lens data ring is screwed into) against clock. Then the lens block is open visible and can be easily screwed out; a lens wrench or a compass if handled with care may help. If you are lucky it is a work of only 30min including cleaning of the lens with some alcohol.

Best regards
Andreas


Thanks! I have not started to research that, but now you made itt much easier. And yes, it should be fast. I usually use H2O2 against fungus. If not too strong it works wonderfully. Thanks again!


PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2023 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zamo wrote:
I usually use H2O2 against fungus. If not too strong it works wonderfully. Thanks again!


In which concentration do you use it? How do you handle it?

Best regards
Andreas


PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2023 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pandreas68 wrote:
Zamo wrote:
I usually use H2O2 against fungus. If not too strong it works wonderfully. Thanks again!


In which concentration do you use it? How do you handle it?

Best regards
Andreas


Just regular, pharmacy one. If needed, I re-apply. Sometimes even add a bit of ammonia (also supermarket concentration) if fungus is persistent, but I prefer not to, it can take away coatings (although most often it does not).


PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2023 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Pancolar based CZJ made Prakticar 50mmF/1.8 serial numbers:

10934146
10934976

8801 (no AUS YENA)


Last edited by koji on Sat Mar 04, 2023 12:25 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2023 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"YENA" in my previous post should be "JENA".

Last edited by koji on Sat Mar 04, 2023 12:26 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2023 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

koji wrote:
"YENA" in my previous post should be "Jena".


You can edit your post from the top right corner of it:


PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2023 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have one with the serial 8420.


PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2023 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two of mine


PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2023 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know from which year the batch with serial numbers 3501-11000 is?

All of Zeiss pages I found with dating serial numbers only go up to 10 million from around 1975. Not much is said from the new numbering.


PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2023 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

StuG wrote:
Does anyone know from which year the batch with serial numbers 3501-11000 is?

All of Zeiss pages I found with dating serial numbers only go up to 10 million from around 1975. Not much is said from the new numbering.



I don´t know if they still do that, but if you contact Zeiss in Germany via their contact information on the website and ask them about the production date of a specific serial number, you might get what you want.

There´s still one additional information to what I know we have here on our forum pages, that is related to the West German Zeiss in Oberkochen. They started in 1946 with 10.000.

http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Carl_Zeiss_serial_numbers


PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2023 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

StuG wrote:
Does anyone know from which year the batch with serial numbers 3501-11000 is?

All of Zeiss pages I found with dating serial numbers only go up to 10 million from around 1975. Not much is said from the new numbering.


Hi,

yes they changed to the new numbering scheme somewhen in the early 80ies. Here they count each lens type separately. This means, that it is only possible to determine the age if you know the lense type and serial number looking into the "Thiele" which I for my self do not have. In 1989 the production stopped during reunification. So all lenses with new numbering scheme are roughly between 83 and 89.

Best regards
Andreas