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03-15-2009, 03:19 PM   #1
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Help please to identify this CZ 2/58 lens

Hi, I came across this site through google. It seems that people here really know their stuff so I thought I'd ask this question here.

I have this lens that I would like to use on my Canon EOS 5D MKII, but I would like to know the exact type.

I have found very similar looking lenses on the internet but none that look just line mine.

It's been in the family since the late 60's. It came with a Pentacon camera that my dad bought.

I have been using it for macro only, as the adaptor I have doesn't allow focussing to infinity. I am hoping to get a better adaptor that will, but I need to know exactly what type this is because from what I've read, certain types can catch the mirror.

Is this a "preset" or "semi-automatic" and what is the difference? Also wat is that number on the front? Is it a model number or a serial number?

Here are a few pictures of the lens. As you will notice it has no release pin on the back. It has been modified so that it no longer locks fully open.

Thanks.







03-15-2009, 03:56 PM   #2
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The Carl Zeiss Biotar is a 58mm f/2 lens and is both rare and common at the same time - rare(ish) to find in Zeiss livery but as common as muck as the Helios 44 (the standard lens with Zenit cameras for donkey's years). After WWII the Carl Zeiss factory in Jena was in the "Russian" half of Germany and much of the tooling and materials were taken to factories in the USSR as war reparations - this included the Biotar design and many of the first Helios lenses used parts from Germany that had been stockpiled in the Jena factory. It's fair to say that the Russian (Helios) lenses suffered from patchy build quality hence the Zeiss versions are generally worth more on the used market.

Whichever version you have can be a very good performer with excellent levels of sharpness right from f/2 and an unusual (yet pleasing) bokeh.

The version you have is a preset lens. You set the desired aperture by pulling the front ring down and selecting the required f-stop. You actually stop the lens down by rotating the ring - keep it open for focussing and close it for taking the picture (and metering). The number on the front is the serial number; Zeiss apparently use some form of osmosis to randomly choose serial numbers so it won't tell you much I'm afraid.

You should get excellent results, although obviously not quite as good as the results you'd get if you used it on a Pentax...
03-15-2009, 06:33 PM   #3
Igilligan
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Hefty 1 nailed it

I have the Helios copy of this lens and enjoy it very much... The silver Jena's are harder to find and cost more than their Russian brothers. I have a different CZ Jena and it has a very stiff focus ring. But if yours has been in the family for years it may be in perfect shape.

If you have trouble finding a adaptor that allows infinity focus with it on the canon, please stop back in here and put it up for sale in our market place. Lots of us would love to try it out on our Pentax's which will meter with these old lenses.


Good luck with it, and please post some shots when you get it working. I would love to see how the CZ Jena's do on the canon.

You can see in this link, I use the helios version as a macro sometimes too with the raynox 250 on it...

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/51826-close-up-cacaphony...stuff-end.html

Also it is a great family snapper. As seen in this thread I just posted.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/54120-random-helios-44m-shots.html

I love this lens as you can tell from the pics. So I am rooting for you to get that infinity focus working with the canon.
03-16-2009, 01:56 AM   #4
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Thank you both for your help.

The focus ring on this lens is quite tight too, but I think it has always been like that. It's not been in regular use for at least 25 years.

If it's the preset type then I may run into problems with it hitting the mirror.

I've had great results with it as a macro lens with my current (non infinity) adaptor, which is why I was keen to see it working through its full range.

The main reason I want to try this lens is for video. The 5D MK II can do full 1080P HD but there is no aperture control using canon lenses (It's always in auto mode). With this lens I will be able to choose what I want.

Most of the photos of me as a baby and child were taken with this lens.

I will certainly post some results here when I get some.

Thanks again

Paul

03-16-2009, 09:29 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul (UK) Quote
Thank you both for your help.

The focus ring on this lens is quite tight too, but I think it has always been like that. It's not been in regular use for at least 25 years.

If it's the preset type then I may run into problems with it hitting the mirror.

I've had great results with it as a macro lens with my current (non infinity) adaptor, which is why I was keen to see it working through its full range.

The main reason I want to try this lens is for video. The 5D MK II can do full 1080P HD but there is no aperture control using canon lenses (It's always in auto mode). With this lens I will be able to choose what I want.

Most of the photos of me as a baby and child were taken with this lens.

I will certainly post some results here when I get some.

Thanks again

Paul
I have this exact lens, I have not confirmed on the serial but the look are the same. You can see my blog post for the product shot and test shots

I have only tested it on flowers and I am already impressed with the sharpness, color and bokeh. I also feel that the focusing ring is a bit tight. Since the focus throw is long, it will make it even harder but I think with use, I will get use to it.
03-16-2009, 10:30 AM   #6
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You have some nice photos there hinman. Your lens looks very similar but your aperture ring looks different to mine plus yours looks in better condition. Mine is a little scratched but the optics have always been protected.

On mine I have to pull the ring towards the camera and then turn it to choose the aperture. I find this less than useful for my purposes. I may take the lens apart again and see if I can modify it so that it's a continuous movement.

I have seen these lenses with a red T on them. What does this mean?

Sorry for my ignorance
03-16-2009, 10:54 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul (UK) Quote
You have some nice photos there hinman. Your lens looks very similar but your aperture ring looks different to mine plus yours looks in better condition. Mine is a little scratched but the optics have always been protected.

On mine I have to pull the ring towards the camera and then turn it to choose the aperture. I find this less than useful for my purposes. I may take the lens apart again and see if I can modify it so that it's a continuous movement.

I have seen these lenses with a red T on them. What does this mean?

Sorry for my ignorance
I am novice to the Czj glass. When I read up on mflenses, the T* is the new version with mc coating (corrected by Ryan S). Mine is 10 blades. Your and mine has a letter '1' overlapped with a letter 'Q'. According to Ryan S, those refer to export copy with better qualities.

Please treat your as a special one. About the preset ring, I was not aware of the preset ring until someone told me to pull the aperture ring towards the camera. This is a MUCH better preset ring design than my Jupiter9 85mm f/2.0 as I can set the preset ring on the f/16 and forget about the presence of the preset ring at all. Once the preset is set at f/16, I can continuously move the aperture from f/2.0 to f/16 in a continuous turn and the blades close down the diaphragm in the turning. In the past, people use the preset ring to help in focusing in wide open aperture and flip back the aperture ring to the preset aperture.

My copy is always in manual diaphragm, meaning that the blades close down as you stop down. There is NO a/m switch.

Whatever you do -- I suggest NOT to take the lens apart unless you really know what you are doing. I am NOT a handyman and I ruined lens before, see my flickr set on Soligor.

Last edited by hinman; 03-16-2009 at 05:43 PM.
03-16-2009, 03:39 PM   #8
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The T* versions are actually newer, multicoated versions. Just by looking at the pics posted, it doesn't have a "colored" tinge to it when held sideways to a light source. That just means this single coated version needs a lens hood and a boost in contrast in PP.

As far as it hitting the mirror...what adapter are you using? Is this lens the M42 or M39 version? You could always put the adapter on the lens and see how far back it sits when at infinity focus...maybe compare it to another EF lens you have.

03-16-2009, 04:24 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul (UK) Quote
You have some nice photos there hinman. Your lens looks very similar but your aperture ring looks different to mine plus yours looks in better condition. Mine is a little scratched but the optics have always been protected.
I have two of these, one with an aperture ring like yours and one with a ring like Hinman's.

QuoteQuote:
On mine I have to pull the ring towards the camera and then turn it to choose the aperture. I find this less than useful for my purposes. I may take the lens apart again and see if I can modify it so that it's a continuous movement.
To me, these lenses are like an annoying mechanical puzzle that I can't figure out. The first step in disassembly is to remove a small ring around the rear element. Then the lens separates into two pieces, one with the front aperture ring, both lens groups and aperture, and the other with the focus helix and mount. You should be able to get to the helix threads and add grease to them. The aluminum body can even be polished to a nice shine.

I can't figure out how you would access the aperture mechanism at all. On one of mine, the lenses come out easily. On another, it seems like they are welded in. Every so often I see Gus's photos and take out my box of Zeiss parts for another go, with little success.
03-16-2009, 05:09 PM   #10
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QuoteQuote:
Paul said:
It has been modified so that it no longer locks fully open.
...
On mine I have to pull the ring towards the camera and then turn it to choose the aperture. I find this less than useful for my purposes. I may take the lens apart again and see if I can modify it so that it's a continuous movement.
Hello Paul,
as far as I understood the lens is modded in a way that it does not allow to open/close the diaphragm by turning the aperture ring? I have never seen a lens which could not do this (unmodded).

The T stands for Tessar-coating (not to be confused with the 'Tessar' lens name), but on the Biotar, this just looks like Hin's lens, blue-ish coating. It is right out of the time - end of 40's start of 50's - when Zeiss split up in two.

QuoteQuote:
Paul said:
If it's the preset type then I may run into problems with it hitting the mirror.
You have probably gotten this information through M42 lenses on Canon EOS 5D - compatibility list

AFAIK the 5DII has similar mirror clearances as the original 5D. If you have not seen it yet, have a look at fredmiranda.com 's forum and the alternative gear section, they probably have the latest on the 5DII in that respect.

I second Ryan's comments to simply check how far your lens-adapter combo protrudes back from the EOS flange and compare this to the other lenses.

And I've got to second Hin's advice not to take it apart, I remember having translated an english manual for a german guy who had already taken it apart. The term 'nightmare' was frequent in this case, in conjunction with 'double helicoid'. The stiff focus will probably come looser with some use in warmer days! Have fun with the lens,
Georg (the other)
PS: Dave, I can look up that manual again, PM me if you want it
03-17-2009, 02:01 PM   #11
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Thanks for the additional info.

My adaptor ring arrived today. With the lens at infinity the rear protrusion goes beyond the bayonet by about 1mm. The proper Canon lenses (or at least the ones I have) do not do this.

I lifted the mirror with my fingernail and it didn't go that close to the lens so I concluded I would be ok.

I tried it and there is no problem. I can't wait to take it out in the daytime to try it properly. I did a couple of tests and it appears to focus slightly beyond infinity, so that's ok.

I have just seen a 100% identical lens finish on ebay for 57 so it seems these are popular little lenses. The ebay one looked in a poor physical state too.
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