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05-29-2014, 05:24 AM - 3 Likes   #1
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Only Zeiss Flektogon 35mm lens club

I recently noticed there was no lens club for this particular lens ( both f2.8 and f2.4 versions ) - which surprised me really, considering the cult status these lenses have ( and the prices they commands too !). I own the f2.4 version for about 2 years - it is not my most used lens but when I go for a walk with a K-01 - it often goes with me. Although I have my Sigma Super Wide 24mm for it as my main AF lens - this Flektogon has proven to be a superb a performer with great colours, unmatched sharpness and some unique capabilities that simple made me 'believe'

Since I noticed recently 2 threads asking about what's so special about this lens - I decided to put some stuff together and start this lens club as I believe there are many Flektogons out there serving patiently to many forum members - anonymously and unappreciated enough. And yes I am aware of the fact that the Flektogon 35mm f2.8 is a different optical formula - but since I handled and tested one (of a friend of mine ) I saw no significant difference between Flektogon f2.4 and f2.8 - apart from the fact that one is faster and other one focuses closer - both were equally good at the same apertures. Maybe the coating on that f2.8 version is older ( appeared to be only single coated) where the f2.4 Flektogon has quite good multi-coating - but these advantages of the f2.4 version are often reflected in their price so I consider the Flektogon 35mm f2.8 a real bargain - but I found about it after I already got my f2.4 version.

Also I wondered about the sample variation - I had a chance to use 2 different Flektogons f2.4 - one was with red MC and other one was with white lettering. I didn't see any serious difference apart from slightly different colour balance that camera have applied in AWB setting - with red MC version being slightly warmer - but I think this might have been up to the camera setting more than to the lenses itself.

Generally speaking my experience with the Flektogon is superb - my copy proved to be very sharp - even wide open which to some might be hard to believe - but I think that even my 16 MP Pentax K-01 couldn't out-resolve this lens wide open in the central area. In contrary to some - I found it to be a superb performer on both close focusing range and at close-to-infinity setting - I hope that samples I provided below will provide a good starting point for any further analysis.

And a note about the build quality - my copy is in good condition, has been probably serviced ( as it was clearly advertised as perfectly working copy with good focusing, snappy apertures and so on ) - and it indeed is in really good working order. The focusing ring operates very smoothly - although not as smoothly and silently as my Takumars or SMC-M lenses - but that is because Pentax lenses are simple superior in built quality to almost everything I ever handled Apertures are clean and open/close snappily when Auto/manual switch is used. The optics are absolutely clean and have no visible dust ( again -it must have been professionally serviced, as I doubt it would be in this condition after 30+ years of service ) - I have one single coating mark on front element ( like tiny dot ) - but I don't think it would affect the photos in any way. So bare in mind that the images below are from a good, clean and serviced copy.

And about the images and shooting process : I normally use my Flektogon with a deep lens hood designed for a 50mm lens paired with Pentax Ghostless UV lens ( which proved to offer good protection as well as not reducing the IQ in any significant way ) - this is how it looks like mounted on my K-01 :




Below are some real life shots - these are selection that I had post processed from last and this year - write what aperture was used if I remember - otherwise I would need to guesstimate. These were moderately post-processed - in some cases vignetting was added, some brushing etc.. - nothing major - clarity I usually use selectively - and contrast is usually good enough - so I balance the shadows, blacks and highlights - as I underexpose my shots by default.

Make sure when you post your shots to inform what version was it ( f2.8 or f2.4 only ) of the Flektogon 35mm lens as well as what camera , ISO, shutter and other important factors.

Also please post only Carl Zeiss Flektogon shots - not Mirs or other copies which share the same optical formula - I would like this place to be an exclusive Zeiss space

All shots below are with Carl Zeiss Flektogon 35mm f2.4 version and Pentax K-01 camera :

#1
Almost dark, right before the sunset, shot at f5.6, ISO 200


#2
Shot wide open f2.4 - it was almost dark and after the Sunset - I had to underexpose it badly in order to keep the shutter at 1/30 s. and reasonable ISO 400.


#3
Shot probably below f5.6 - most probably f4.0 but could be wider. ISO 100, 1/250 s.


#4
Shot probably wide open at f2.4 but 100% sure below f4.0. ISO 100, 1/50 s.


#5
Shot at f5.6 if I recall - It was a compromise because it already was almost dark right after the sunset ( around 9pm ) and I wanted to keep the ISO low at 200 and 1/160 s. - still I managed to get the shot I wanted with some extra effort in post. Focused intentionally at the foreground/ bridge - not infinity.


#6
Shot in f2.4 - wide open because it is a night shot and I had to use ISO 800 anyway. - the shutter speed was 1/30 s.



#7
Shot in f8.0 for good sharpness across the frame, ISO 100, 1/100 s.


#8
Shot in f4.0 as far as I remember - probably correct judging by the shape of those highlights in bokeh. ISO 100, 1/400 s.


#9
Shot in purpose wide open at f2.4, ISO 100, 1/80 s.


#10
f2.4 - shot in purpose with this aperture to see the bokeh and to achieve shallow DOF. ISO 100, 1/4000 s. ( yes, that is correct, 1/4000 s! - it was super sunny ).



Ok - that was intense - I hope you've enjoyed this post and the photos - hopefully I managed to give the justice to this superb lens!
Comments and more importantly - other shots shot with either f2.8 or f2.4 Flektogon are more than welcomed !


,,,
' >' manntax


Last edited by manntax; 12-20-2014 at 01:36 PM.
05-29-2014, 02:30 PM   #2
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Compliments on your enthusiasm manntax. Do you think this could be the Flektogon club rather then specifically the Zeiss Flektogon club, thus including eg the Mir's?

I snapped this gull with my Mir-1 while I had it. It illustrates the distinctly insipid contrast off the card. I buffed up this jpg in Faststone. However as I said in my review I was pretty happy with it's IQ.



05-29-2014, 02:41 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
Compliments on your enthusiasm manntax. Do you think this could be the Flektogon club rather then specifically the Zeiss Flektogon club, thus including eg the Mir's? I snapped this gull with my Mir-1 while I had it. It illustrates the distinctly insipid contrast off the card. I buffed up this jpg in Faststone. However as I said in my review I was pretty happy with it's IQ.
Thank you for your comment as well as the appreciation of my work - it indeed took me some effort - but I thought I should do that considering how good these Flektogons are.

And yeah - I would like to keep this club exclusive for those two mentioned lenses : Zeiss Flektogon 35mm f2.4 and f2.8 versions.

I know Mir shares similar ( or the same ) optical formula but let's keep the club focused as after all these Mir's are not Zeiss - which is reflected in their price - deservedly or not - I am not able to check , but other Mir users can by looking at the shots in this club see for themselves whether Zeiss' premium price is justifiable or not
Thanks for coming along
BTW Great shot !

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05-29-2014, 03:55 PM   #4
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I was sidling up to the gull when it took off ... so I hit the shutter. Just another lucky one for this ol hacker..

I was looking through my Mir snaps, I would say from your test pics that the CZJ has an edge, certainly looks contrastier. But my early version Mir-1 was dating from 1964, judging from it's 64xxx serial..

PS need to put it in LR and straighten the horizon


Last edited by marcusBMG; 05-29-2014 at 04:09 PM.
05-29-2014, 04:06 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
I was sidling up to the gull when it took off ... so I hit the shutter. Just another lucky one for this ol hacker.. I was looking through my Mir snaps, I would say from your test pics that the CZJ has an edge, certainly looks contrastier. But my early version Mir-1 was dating from 1964, judging from it's 64xxx serial..
Yeah often we get crappy shots that we planned to be fantastic - and opposite - we get a fantastic capture where we didn't expect it coming :P - You must have been really close to that bird to got your shot ! I certainly agree that these russian lenses - and I have the Helios 58mm ( who hasn't got one of those ?) and also Jupiter 135mm - and both are indeed fantastic lenses. You might be right abut Zeiss being a bit more contrasty though - I never need to adjust contrast in PP if I shot with Flektogon.

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Last edited by manntax; 05-30-2014 at 03:01 AM.
05-29-2014, 05:59 PM - 1 Like   #6
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The Flektogon is one of my favorite lenses, too, although I haven't gotten to play with mine in awhile. So many lenses, so little time... All shot with my 'zebra' CZJ Flektogon 35/2.8

Present and Future, *istDS, ISO 400, f/4, 1/45.


Getting in close, *istDS, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/30.


At last, sunlight! K-x, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/250.


Invaders, possibly from space! K-x, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/400. The Flek has a bad habit of seeing things that I didn't see, like spider webs and leggy bugs.


Better than Live, K-x, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/20. (It was late and getting murky in the woods.)


Hawthorne - Flektogon, K-r, ISO 100, f/8, 1/80.


Pink Japanese Apricot, K-r, ISO 400, ~f/5.6, 1/80. (Probably more like f/3-f/4)

Last edited by THoog; 05-30-2014 at 07:59 AM.
05-29-2014, 11:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
The Flektogon is one of my favorite lenses, too, although I haven't gotten to play with mine in awhile. So many lenses, so little time... All shot with my 'zebra' CZJ Flektogon 35/2.8
Thanks for coming along - looks like your copy is a good one - I especially like those close ups - first few shows amazing sharpness and colours with that istDS ! Funny shot with two spiders.
In shot of that building in the woods looks like wider aperture (5.6) and higher ISO have affected the sharpness a bit - but this is quite impressive shot hand-held at 1/20th of a sec ! It must have been really dark! The last shot has bokeh with highlights looks like there were 8 blades - is that the case ? Great series !

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05-30-2014, 07:25 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by manntax Quote
Thanks for coming along - looks like your copy is a good one - I especially like those close ups - first few shows amazing sharpness and colours with that istDS ! Funny shot with two spiders.
In shot of that building in the woods looks like wider aperture (5.6) and higher ISO have affected the sharpness a bit - but this is quite impressive shot hand-held at 1/20th of a sec ! It must have been really dark! The last shot has bokeh with highlights looks like there were 8 blades - is that the case ? Great series !

,,,
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It's five blades and forms a regular pentagon at f/5.6, so my notes must be off - has to be f/4 or wider. The shot in the woods definitely could be sharper - I was so pleased to get anything. (Of course, non-closeup focusing can be tricky - there's only a couple degrees of throw between 4m and infinity - is it different on the f/2.4?)(and... I just remembered why I don't use the 2.8 as much as I'd like - it's awesome at less than 1m, difficult to use above that). I definitely need to put the Flek on a K-01 and see what it can do with focus peaking.


Last edited by THoog; 05-30-2014 at 09:03 AM.
05-30-2014, 09:28 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
It's five blades and forms a regular pentagon at f/5.6, so my notes must be off - has to be f/4 or wider. The shot in the woods definitely could be sharper - I was so pleased to get anything. (Of course, non-closeup focusing can be tricky - there's only a couple degrees of throw between 4m and infinity - is it different on the f/2.4?)(and... I just remembered why I don't use the 2.8 as much as I'd like - it's awesome at less than 1m, difficult to use above that). I definitely need to put the Flek on a K-01 and see what it can do with focus peaking.

Yeah it is similar - from 3m mark to infinity is like 5mm throw - but somehow it doesn't make this that hard - on K-01 things seems to pop for me right into focus!
Your version is fantastic as well and I am sure it can do a lot - especially with K-01 where liveview + x6 magnification and/or focus peeking gives great accuracy. I am not so much keen on that focus peeking feature though - somehow I was loosing more shots with it than without so I switched over to magnification in MF mode ( under OK button ).
I am very pleased with results from this combo!
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08-25-2014, 04:45 PM   #10
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Here is a sample photo I took with a Flektogon 35mm f2.4. I posted a small review in this thread.
The photos are post processed in lightroom, but I did not change the saturation and vibrance (only added a little contrast)


Zeiss test

Last edited by Na Horuk; 05-23-2017 at 09:09 AM.
08-27-2014, 01:31 PM   #11
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Had a sunny day today. This summer has been too much rain, so whenever it is sunny, I run out to take some photos. Here is one from today with the Flektogon 35mm f2.4 at a botanic garden. Don't remember what aperture I used for this photo. And the photo is cropped down to 2400px.


Flekto flower
09-02-2014, 08:30 AM   #12
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I got my MC Electric Flektogon 2.4/35 from a fellow Pentaxian for $40. (I know!)
I need to get out and use it more, but it was immediately obvious to me that this is a special lens.

Click here to view larger:


Last edited by cheekygeek; 09-02-2014 at 03:41 PM.
10-24-2014, 05:10 AM   #13
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my flektogon arrived today and managed to make a few test shots at lunch time and i noticed that it underexposes by half a stop. is this normal for the flek? my 2 other m42 lenses (helios 44-2 and 44m-7) seem to be fine however.
lens is in mint condition and aperture blades are snappy. just wanted to see what others are experiencing and hopefully soon add a few photos to this thread.
10-24-2014, 05:13 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by schnitzer79 Quote
my flektogon arrived today and managed to make a few test shots at lunch time and i noticed that it underexposes by half a stop. is this normal for the flek? my 2 other m42 lenses (helios 44-2 and 44m-7) seem to be fine however. lens is in mint condition and aperture blades are snappy. just wanted to see what others are experiencing and hopefully soon add a few photos to this thread.
Yeah it could be - all M42 lenses are stop-down metered and lens has no linkage to the camera - so any fluctuation of the exposure will be from the camera not the lens side. I apply various exposure compensation with my Flektogon - all depends , but the exposure varies greatly, depends on which camera I use ( K10D or K-01 ).

Post some shots soon - in fact, I should do the same .. .
10-24-2014, 05:42 AM   #15
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thanks for the reply manntax. hopefully will have some time this weekend to take a few photos.
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