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08-10-2010, 10:39 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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Carl Zeiss 50mm f/2.8 Tessar M42

Anyone heard anything about this/used it ever? I found a really great price on one that I'm debating picking up, but I wouldn't mind hearing some reviews first.

08-11-2010, 03:00 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2009
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Hi! the Zeiss Jena Tessar 2.8/50 was the 'kit' lens for all the film cameras made in the former German Democratic Republic after WWII until the wall came down. After WWII the original Zeiss was split into west-sector Zeiss (Oberkochen) and east-sector Zeiss (Jena). Zeiss Jena then produced all the classic Zeiss lens designs (Sonnar, Tessar, etc.) in 42mm mount with good success and quality.
Tons of Tessar 2.8/50 were produced so it is a very common lens, thus cheap (10$ to 30$ depending on luck, on the bay about 35-40$).
Optically the Tessar is a mixed bag. I would say it has personality. It is not as well corrected as Planar designs or modern japanese 50mm lenses, however it is able of amazing rendering and wonderful, even unique, bokeh. It performs also very well on short distances and makes a very good macro lens when coupled with macro tubes.
Just grab it and experiment! (and post results!)
08-11-2010, 05:57 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
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The Tessar's pretty cool.
I posted some pics here:

And I'm sure there are more in the Zeiss M42 club, but you'd have to go through a lot of posts to find them... still, it's worth a look!

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