Jump to content


Photo

Zeiss Jena glass any good?


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 kevin jackman

kevin jackman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 350 posts
  • Other

Posted 29 October 2011 - 03:11 AM

I have an opportunity to buy some Zeiss Jena lenses in standard mount. Any thoughts on image quality? I'm mostly thinking of using them for super16.
  • 0

#2 Dom Jaeger

Dom Jaeger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1597 posts
  • Other
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 30 October 2011 - 09:50 AM

Well the glass itself is the same as that used by Zeiss Oberkochen - from Schott AG, which is very good indeed.

The story of the two Zeisses is actually quite interesting, and in many ways still shrouded in mystery, a small mirror of early post-war German history. From its beginnings in the 1840s until the end of WWII Zeiss was based in Jena and the lenses were branded Zeiss Jena. Some of the most successful lens designs of the previous century had been Zeiss innovations, and by the time of the war years their ground breaking lens coating technology (first developed in the late 30s) was so effective it was a classified military secret. So both the US and Russia were intensely interested in the knowledge that was held in the Zeiss collective. The Americans reached Jena first and promptly escorted many of the upper management and designers to the US controlled region in the west, where they eventually set up Carl Zeiss AG in Oberkochen. When the Russians arrived, they appropriated the factory tooling and what remained of the skilled staff to assist their own optics industry, primarily in Kiev, but the Zeiss Jena factory was soon restarted by the East German government and began producing optics for the East Block.

Most of the East German Zeiss Jena lenses were made in M42 (Practica/Pentax/Krasnogorsk 3) or Pentacon 6 (medium format) mounts, but they also made cine lenses for the Pentaflex 16 and Pentaflex 8 (the most over-engineered R8mm camera ever made), which both had their own mounts. Due to licence arrangements some of the designations are different to Western Zeiss lenses, but basically Flektagons are Distagons, Biometars are Planars, etc.

I'm not aware of any Zeiss Jena lenses in Arri Standard mount, unless they are 35mm war-era lenses from before the split.

The Pentaflex 16 lens mount looks similar to Arri mount but I'm pretty sure they won't fit without modification, if at all:

http://www.canon-boa...ead.php?t=51217
  • 0

#3 Stephen Williams

Stephen Williams
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4708 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Europe

Posted 30 October 2011 - 09:59 AM

I have an opportunity to buy some Zeiss Jena lenses in standard mount. Any thoughts on image quality? I'm mostly thinking of using them for super16.


I suspect that most will not cover Super 16 completly, they were designed for 16mm.
  • 0

#4 Tim Carroll

Tim Carroll
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2165 posts
  • Other
  • Chicago, Illinois

Posted 30 October 2011 - 12:26 PM

I suspect that most will not cover Super 16 completly, they were designed for 16mm.


I've only had the opportunity to use one Zeiss Jena lens and it was in ARRI Standard Mount. The optical quality, to my eyes, and looking at it with my Richter Collimator, wasn't on par with the Western German Zeiss lenses, or the Cooke Kinetal lenses, and a bit below the Schneider Cine lenses.

I might have just gotten a bad lens, but I would make sure the sale is contingent on you testing them first.

Best,
-Tim
  • 0

#5 Stephen Williams

Stephen Williams
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4708 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Europe

Posted 30 October 2011 - 02:07 PM

I might have just gotten a bad lens, but I would make sure the sale is contingent on you testing them first.

Best,
-Tim


I don't thin you got a bad example, they were never in the same league, which is why they are unloved even on Ebay.
  • 0

#6 John Sprung

John Sprung
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4635 posts
  • Other

Posted 31 October 2011 - 03:00 PM

I don't thin you got a bad example, they were never in the same league, which is why they are unloved even on Ebay.


Interesting -- I could use some junker lenses in original Arri mount. I have a bunch of empty holes in the turrets of the WWII Arri's in my collection.




-- J.S.
  • 0

#7 georg lamshöft

georg lamshöft
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 310 posts
  • Berlin

Posted 13 November 2011 - 03:37 AM

Well the glass itself is the same as that used by Zeiss Oberkochen - from Schott AG, which is very good indeed.


That's actually not the case. Carl Zeiss was a company found in Jena, which is a city in east Germany, after WW2 it quickly became apparent that the soviets have little interest in rebuilding the industry and infrastructure the way it was did in West Germany. So Zeiss decided to relocate to Oberkochen. Pretty much the same can be said about Schott (which relocated itelf to Mainz, another West Germany city). Very little skilled people and machines remained until the border was closed and the Soviets/GDR tried to make it operational again with these limited resources.

Carl Zeiss Jena is basically pre-WW2-know-how and standards, they had very little access to state-of-the-art machinery/equipment (which was/is also build in West Germany) and Glass (Schott was also located in West Germany, CZJ used the so called VEB Jenaer Glaswerke, the remains of Schott Jena).

Carl Zeiss at the same time in Oberkochen invested billions of €/marks into pushing the envelope in optical design and technology, till today where they manufacture the core components for future EUV-lithography production with tolerances of up to 0.15nm - nobody else can do that.

But Carl Zeiss Oberkochen also bought the remains of Carl Zeiss Jena after the reunion and invested billions into updating the standards, machinery, training of the people and today they do the glass grinding for many products and the assembly of most light microscopes there, with entirely different standards than before 1989.

So you should not pay any premium for the brand name "Carl Zeiss" in Carl Zeiss Jena products, you might be disappointed.
  • 0


Glidecam

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

Wooden Camera

The Slider

Opal

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

Opal

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

CineTape