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What is special about CSJ Pancolar 50mm F1.8
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:28 pm    Post subject: What is special about CSJ Pancolar 50mm F1.8 Reply with quote

Hi All
I have zebra version of this lens in almost mint condition and I cannot figure out what is so special about it?
I see that on ebay , auctions are running with 10 to 40 bids per lens.
What is the hype about it ?
Can it do something that other 50mm cant?
Sometimes , price which ends auction are pretty close to regular CZJ Biotar 58mm F2, which , on my taste, is much more interesting than Pancolar.
Or I`m missing something ?


PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:32 pm    Post subject: Re: What is special about CSJ Pancolar 50mm F1.8 Reply with quote

gud wrote:
Hi All
I have zebra version of this lens in almost mint condition and I cannot figure out what is so special about it?
I see that on ebay , auctions are running with 10 to 40 bids per lens.
What is the hype about it ?
Can it do something that other 50mm cant?
Sometimes , price which ends auction are pretty close to regular CZJ Biotar 58mm F2, which , on my taste, is much more interesting than Pancolar.
Or I`m missing something ?

What is so special about any lens? The differences are subtle among good lenses.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a good lens, I wanted one for a long time and finally found one at a sensible price. I used it a lot, got some good images from it. But it isn't my "go to 50mm" - which is an ancient Minolta Rokkor PF 50 / 1.4. Is the Rokkor that much better than the Pancolar? Not really, I do prefer the colour rendition of the Rokkor, but otherwise they both satisfy my needs. As do many other lenses in the 50 to 55 range.

I won't get rid of my Pancolar, it will get used, and so will a lot of other lenses. Wink


PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CZJ Pancolar 50/1.8 is way overpriced on western markets due its rarity. If you want one, just use local eastern Europe sources. They are plenty & cheap there.

It is a sharp lens (f/2.4+) but the bokeh tends to contain double lining and other nervous details. For M42 there are better lenses for Pancolar's price.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might benefit from "the halo effect", the 80mm 1.8 is, justifiably IMHO, legendary. But it is a fine lens in its own right, but as pointed out, there are a plethora of fine 50mm lenses. Another consideration is systems. The pancolar is available in mounts usable on "Canikon". Then there is availability. Many more biotars out in the world. Usability? The pancolar will focus closer than the biotar. Finally FL. For some the 58 is enough narrower to be a factor in their choice. I have 3 pancolar, the 50s in F1.8 and 2, and the 80mm. I have 3 biotar in 58mm and 2 helios clones as well.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good copy of the Pancolar 1.8/50 is a great lens. Later ones, the Prakticars in particular, are excellent indeed.

MC Electric Pancolar M42 1.8/0 on Sony a850, my copies at least, are better than the earlier zebra 1.8/50 I also have.





PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
A good copy of the Pancolar 1.8/50 is a great lens. Later ones, the Prakticars in particular, are excellent indeed.
MC Electric Pancolar M42 1.8/0 on Sony a850, my copies at least, are better than the earlier zebra 1.8/50 I also have.


Thanks for the examples! Is it ok that images are not crisp sharp ? I mean that mine alu Biotar , Triotar and Sonnar i have , they deliver this crisp sharpness at the middle on DOF. But images from my Zebbra`s Sonnars 135 (I have both F4 and F3.5 ) and Pancolar 50 do not have this "crispness" , regardless what. Considering that Alu versions are older that Zebra`s, so i would expect more quality from Zebra , than from Alu.


PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me the reason I keep my Pancolar 50/1.8 is that it focuses down to 35cm as opposed to 45-60cm which is common with most 50s. It's plenty sharp enough for me and I like the bokeh (not too extravagant, but not bland either). It's a good lens. But then again so are most 50s.


PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gud wrote:
iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
A good copy of the Pancolar 1.8/50 is a great lens. Later ones, the Prakticars in particular, are excellent indeed.
MC Electric Pancolar M42 1.8/0 on Sony a850, my copies at least, are better than the earlier zebra 1.8/50 I also have.


Thanks for the examples! Is it ok that images are not crisp sharp ? I mean that mine alu Biotar , Triotar and Sonnar i have , they deliver this crisp sharpness at the middle on DOF. But images from my Zebbra`s Sonnars 135 (I have both F4 and F3.5 ) and Pancolar 50 do not have this "crispness" , regardless what. Considering that Alu versions are older that Zebra`s, so i would expect more quality from Zebra , than from Alu.


Crisp sharpness is made in post-production. If you state your Triotar to deliver crisp sharpness then other lenses of yours must suffer some kind of problems. Triotar is not very sharp lens by default. Any Sonnar or Pancolar beats Triotar in terms of sharpness and contrast even wide open if sample is reasonable healthy.


PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pancolart wrote:
gud wrote:
iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
A good copy of the Pancolar 1.8/50 is a great lens. Later ones, the Prakticars in particular, are excellent indeed.
MC Electric Pancolar M42 1.8/0 on Sony a850, my copies at least, are better than the earlier zebra 1.8/50 I also have.


Thanks for the examples! Is it ok that images are not crisp sharp ? I mean that mine alu Biotar , Triotar and Sonnar i have , they deliver this crisp sharpness at the middle on DOF. But images from my Zebbra`s Sonnars 135 (I have both F4 and F3.5 ) and Pancolar 50 do not have this "crispness" , regardless what. Considering that Alu versions are older that Zebra`s, so i would expect more quality from Zebra , than from Alu.


Crisp sharpness is made in post-production. If you state your Triotar to deliver crisp sharpness then other lenses of yours must suffer some kind of problems. Triotar is not very sharp lens by default. Any Sonnar or Pancolar beats Triotar in terms of sharpness and contrast even wide open if sample is reasonable healthy.
my experience as well. I find I am frequently grabbing the pancolar for 50 ish shooting. With the Nex helical m42 adapter it is a darn good macro. It makes it even more versatile.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the answers , guys!
Summarizing - it is usability with decent level of quality plus the bokeh , that catches they eye. That what makes this lens so wanted by other people some times.
Just today saw zebra version sold for 70 EUR with only 2 bids, so might be , that the hype , i`ve spotted, happens not so frequently.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gud wrote:
Thanks for the answers , guys!
Summarizing - it is usability with decent level of quality plus the bokeh , that catches they eye. That what makes this lens so wanted by other people some times.
Just today saw zebra version sold for 70 EUR with only 2 bids, so might be , that the hype , i`ve spotted, happens not so frequently.

The hype about DDR lenses in my opinion is also due cool construction and being "easy" to repair. Even more, the repair procedure itself is sometime more fun that taking photographs thus buying these lenses is like buying LEGO: one can never get enough parts to play with Wink.