Home
SearchSearch MemberlistMemberlist RegisterRegister ProfileProfile Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages Log inLog in

Sonnar 1:2 f/8,5 cm T Carl Zeiss Jena 1947
View previous topic :: View next topic  


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:56 am    Post subject: Sonnar 1:2 f/8,5 cm T Carl Zeiss Jena 1947 Reply with quote

Description:

Lens for Contax I/II/III rangefinders.
First built in 1933, last production batch dated 1949. This copy is a Jena copy from 1947, one of the first post-war copies, and it's T coated.
The post-war Eastern (Jena) copies are faithful to the original lens design. The post-war Western copies (Oberkochen) feature
a slightly modified optical scheme, that was later inherited by the Contarex SLR version of the lens.
The 2/85 Sonnar became a very famous lens since the beginning for the speed and the quality of the out-of-focus blur.
It's been one of the most counterfeited Zeiss lenses.

My copy (will replace image soon with my own image):


Short review:

The lens lives up to it's reputation. Of course it's a pre-war lens design and it shows the typical pre-war fast Sonnar characteristics
(strong macro-contrast; residual spherical aberration at wide open which tones the contrast down and adds some glow to the image;
excellent resolvance around f/5.6 and f/8 ). The T coating is single layer and it does not prevent the lens from flaring when image
is framed near the sunlight, however if the sun stays out of the frame even slightly, the flaring happens only with the lens wide open.
Stopping the lens down has the same consequence as using a lens hood: the resulting image is neatly contrasted. Obviously the
sun rays have an easier entrance at the edges of the glass, causing parasite inner reflections that can not enter when the iris is
even slightly closed. Wide open, the lens still has good resolvance, but lower micro-contrast (due to spherical aberration). The result
is an image that is detailed but smooth, optimal for portrait work. Stopped down, the lens delivers aggressive performance, good
for sports and landscapes. Under these respects, the Sonnar shows the same characteristics of it's "bastard" son, the Jupiter-9.
Where the original and the copy may differ, it's at the bokeh. Both are smooth and pleasing when no highlights are present, whereas
the Sonnar out of focus highlights are probably less edgy and more pleasing than those of the Jupiter-9 (a direct comparison
is scheduled). This appears to be a common characteristics in the relationship between the original Zeiss lenses and their Soviet
clones: the same circumstance happens with the 2/58 Biotar and the Helios-44. Evidently the Soviets (for military reasons?) did
choose to over-correct their lenses, making them slightly sharper than the Zeiss originals at the expense of the organic image quality.

Samples (on Leica M9 - I will add B&W film samples in the upcoming days):

#1 - wide open, displaying the delicious image blur quality that this lens is deservedly famous for


#2 - stopped down


100% detail crop of previous image


#3 - stopped down


100% detail crop of previous image


#4 - stopped down


100% detail crop of previous image


100% detail crop of previous image (note the moir on the guys' clothes)


#5 - wide open


#6 - slightly stopped down (compare with following)


#7 - wide open


#8 - wide open (compare with following)


#9 - stopped down


#10 - wide open (compare with following)


#11 - slightly stopped down


#12 - wide open (compare with following)


#13 - stopped down


#14 - stopped down (compare with following)


#15 - wide open


#16 - wide open (compare with following)


#17 - stopped down


#18 - stopped down around f/8 (compare with the following two)


#19 - wide open


#20 - slightly stopped down (around f/3.5)


100% detail crop of the stopped down image (#18 )


#21 - wide open


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Outstanding! Shocked


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks better than my 1967 LZOS made J9. I've tried some Zeiss rf lenses such as pre-war Sonnar 1.5/50 uncoated, pre-war Triotar 4/85 uncoated, prewar Sonnar 2/50 uncoated collapsible, postwar Zeiss-Opton Sonnar 4/135. I've also tried a lot of the Russian copies - four J8s, three J12s, four J11s, a J9. My overall opinion is not that the Russians are sharper, the Zeiss lenses I've tried are at least equal in sharpness imho.

That's just rf lenses, SLR lenses, well I have a 00 serial Helios 44-2 that is very sharp indeed and sharper than my Biotar 2/58 T and I had a J11A 4/135 in M42 that was sharper than my Zeiss Sonnar 3.5/135 zebra in exakta, but I haven't tried enough Zeiss or Russian SLR lenses to conclude much.

The Russians did have to recalculate the lenses to some extent due to the different glasses available to them, maybe this is why there are some variations? My experience so far with RF lenses is that the character is very much the same between the original and the copies (a J8 has the same character as the Sonnar 2/50 and the J11 has the same character as the Sonnar 4/135, but the originals tend to have slightly cooler colours, slightly sharper and more pop(microcontrast?).

I was very happy with my J8, J9, J11, J12 for my Kiev until I tried the Zeiss originals, I'm still happy with the Russians, they are great lenses, but some of the Zeiss like the Opton Sonnar 4/135 were better and now I can never look at the results from my very nice 1957 J11 quite the same again - I long for a Zeiss original to replace it.

Sorry for the slightly rambling post but Kiev/Contax lenses are my passion at the moment, I have a nice set of Russians but am only starting to collect Zeiss, it's a slippery slope...


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes indeed, it looks very good. Perhaps back in the 1950s (when I started taking pictures) we really didn't know how good our lenses actually were. No pxel-peeping then. We certainly wouldn't ever have dreamed of using an f2 lens at full aperture in brilliant sunshine, instead we opened them up when the light had gone . . . how fashions change, eh?

It would be interesting to see some "available light" shots - more on the lines of your first photo - !


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the light of your #1 photo very much.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Ian: some soviet lenses like the Jupiter-8 or the Jupiter-3 seem really close to the Zeiss lenses, at least in my personal experience.

@scsambrook: I took photos on film, but it was daylight, and very bright. I'm sure the lens will do great in twilight.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

impressive quality on the M9! how do you focus this lens, is it rangefinder coupled ?


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

poilu wrote:
impressive quality on the M9! how do you focus this lens, is it rangefinder coupled ?


Yes, the adapter by Amedeo has coupling.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

congrat Orio to this lens
pic no 1 is my absolute fav and i hope we will see some of this type from festivals in your area ( ...am waiting... Smile )
regarding the bokeh in no 6 and 7, i find the 6 as whole picture is much better


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Thomas
I can not use this lens in festivals, because it's a pain to focus it on the M9 rangefinder. Impossible to see well.
I never use lenses longer than 50mm on a rangefinder. This lens is an exception because it was an occasion that
I did not want to miss.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beuatiful, clean, clear images , congrats!!


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
Thanks Thomas
I can not use this lens in festivals, because it's a pain to focus it on the M9 rangefinder. Impossible to see well.
I never use lenses longer than 50mm on a rangefinder . . .


Arrrrggghhh Shocked Such heresies ! If the Rangefinder-Ninjas from Leica User Forum hear of this, they will surely come and visit you with a view to some "attitude adjustment" Very Happy


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guess you should be very happy with it Orio! Really looks like a keeper to me!


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scsambrook wrote:
Orio wrote:
Thanks Thomas
I can not use this lens in festivals, because it's a pain to focus it on the M9 rangefinder. Impossible to see well.
I never use lenses longer than 50mm on a rangefinder . . .


Arrrrggghhh Shocked Such heresies ! If the Rangefinder-Ninjas from Leica User Forum hear of this, they will surely come and visit you with a view to some "attitude adjustment" Very Happy


I do not understand rangefinder enthusiasm. I am a reflex guy.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
@Ian: some soviet lenses like the Jupiter-8 or the Jupiter-3 seem really close to the Zeiss lenses, at least in my personal experience.


I agree, J11 is really close to the Sonnar 135 too. I've never had the opportunity to try a Biogon 35 but I suspect the J12 is close too.

I do know that after trying the Opton Sonnar 4/135 and Jena Sonnar 2/50 I decided I had to collect Zeiss for Contax.

The difference in IQ and build quality/finish between the Zeiss and Russians isn't large but once I had used and handled the Zeiss, that little difference did matter to me.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool photos, beautiful lens... I especially liked how still the whiter subjects you shot can stand Wink


PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very impressive performance by the photographer and the lens.


PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Camillo (Agfapan 100).
Not beautiful like Krisztina, but only model available Laughing

#1


#2


PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Orio"]Camillo (Agfapan 100).
Not beautiful like Krisztina, but only model available Laughing



Come on she is pretty just like Krisztina, perhaps miss GYM a bit Laughing


PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:

Come on she is pretty just like Krisztina, perhaps miss GYM a bit Laughing


Laughing Laughing
he does not like exercise, he prefers ready food. Wink


PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
Attila wrote:

Come on she is pretty just like Krisztina, perhaps miss GYM a bit Laughing


Laughing Laughing
he does not like exercise, he prefers ready food. Wink


Laughing just like we are damn it Laughing