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Zeiss High Speed - Quality ?


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#1 Michael Schroers

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 08:19 AM

Hello,

I've got some questions about the older Zeiss High Speed Prime lenses from the 1970s:

How is there quality compared to newer or even Ultra and Master primes ?

Whats the difference between lenses with T* coating and without ?
(older with Arri St often don't have T* in contrast to Arri Bayonett or PL)

What about the lenses for 16mm ? I Think they will cover Super 16, won't they ?


I've got seen a lens High Speed distagon 1,2/16mm (T*) with a serial number 26XXXXX.
I don't think that It will be 50 years old, I think it looks newer. It has got
a arri steel bayonett, too.

It looks very similar to the other Zeiss lenses from the late 1970s or eraly 1980s.

Could It be a lens which was made for the ddr east germany ? (and so it has got another serial number ?)

thanks.

Micha

Edited by Michael Schroers, 04 April 2011 - 08:20 AM.

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#2 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 08:10 AM

In their day the Zeiss Super Speeds were top of the line and used on countless features, TVCs, docos etc, but lens design has come a long way in 30 years. The modern Zeiss cine lenses are cooler, sharper, less prone to flare, breath less and have higher contrast, especially at wider apertures. But that's a comparison with some of the best lenses currently on the planet.. As with anything to do with art, what's 'good' is often subjective. Some people prefer the look of older lenses to newer ones, sometimes it suits the mood required. Ultra Primes are actually slower, if speed is a requirement. As far as build quality goes, the newer lenses are probably more robust, and heavier (especially Master Primes) but just as accurate in their scaling.

Given the age of Super Speeds though, there can be quite a difference lens to lens. Coating damage or element scratches, thread wear, shiny iris blades etc can impact on an individual lens's performance. Also certain lenses, such as the 12mm, were never that great to begin with.

The T* marked lenses had what was then a newly developed technology: multi-coated elements that reduced flare and increased contrast, speed and colour fidelity. Much like the stars on detergent packets that say "new and improved".

Not sure about the 26.. serial no lens. East German Zeiss lenses were always branded Zeiss Jena as far as I'm aware. It might be an old lens that was rehoused?
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#3 Michael Schroers

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 05:07 AM

I don't believe that this lens has been rehoused;
it seems to cover S16mm and it's a little bit larger than
the old lenses from the early 70s.

Perhaps I can send you a photo by email, if you
send me a private message.

Micha
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