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06-16-2008, 06:38 PM   #1
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Zeiss M42 club?

I have recently bought two old M42 screw mount Zeiss Jena lenses from ebay. Both I had sent to my parents in the UK (shipping was cheaper, than to Canada), and intend to get my hands on them this week.

The 35mm F2.4 Flektogon, and 135mm F3.5 Sonnar.

The first seems to be the almost similar to the 35mm Macro limited by Pentax.

Anyone tried these Zeiss lenses, especially the Sonnar, and want to post a couple of pics and experiences?

p.s. I paid C$145 for the 35mm and C$97 for the 135mm, both look clean from photo's (we will see when I pick them up).
p.p.s I got a genuine Pentax M42 to K mount adapter for C$25 + tax at Henry's here Toronto.

I don't have and K, or M lenses excluding me from other clubs, so I started a new one on here.. lol


Last edited by lbam; 06-16-2008 at 06:50 PM.
06-16-2008, 07:07 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by lbam Quote
I have recently bought two old M42 screw mount Zeiss Jena lenses from ebay. Both I had sent to my parents in the UK (shipping was cheaper, than to Canada), and intend to get my hands on them this week.

The 35mm F2.4 Flektogon, and 135mm F3.5 Sonnar.

The first seems to be the almost similar to the 35mm Macro limited by Pentax.

Anyone tried these Zeiss lenses, especially the Sonnar, and want to post a couple of pics and experiences?

p.s. I paid C$145 for the 35mm and C$97 for the 135mm, both look clean from photo's (we will see when I pick them up).
p.p.s I got a genuine Pentax M42 to K mount adapter for C$25 + tax at Henry's here Toronto.

I don't have and K, or M lenses excluding me from other clubs, so I started a new one on here.. lol
You are going to love the flektogon 35/2.4, i had a low serial number one (Apparently there are 2 serialnumber ranges, one for export, and one for DDR domestic sales, rumor has it, the lower serials are for international sales and had more QC) a while back, but the misfocusing body "made me" sell it, when i looked recently to get one for the K20D, i could not even find one at the $160US i had paid for mine, so $145CAD is a steal, and you are right, it does focus close and it's blistering sharp, that aside, i expect you will appreciate it's color and contrast.
Good luck with your club, if people can get steals like that, they should join you. I won't have the leftover $160+ right now to rejoin IS this the elektro or the full mechanical i am talking about?
06-16-2008, 07:13 PM   #3
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Hey, thanks for the info!

The Flektogon is the MC (multicoated) in Red, non electric version, serial 19839 if that means anything to you...
06-17-2008, 04:33 AM   #4
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I am in this club as of last Friday when I received two CZ Jenna Tessars M42 50mm 2.8s in a consignment together with a Spotmatic II.
As they took a while to be delivered I spent a lot of time exploring other people's experiences. I realise that they may not be the most fantastic but at times can be surprising.
Both are rather stiff to focus and one had sticky aperture blades and the other had a couple of spots on the lens coating that tends to flare when facing into reflections. They are freeing up nicely and the aperture blades came good with a q-tip and acetone via the rear mount and the rear lens group. One of the two lenses was not specifically listed by name and focal length and I was hoping that it might be a Flektogon as it is by far a better lens and I don't have a 35mm prime at present so congrats on your purchase.

This are two of the first pics - the very first few were exploring the functions of the lens as it operates with a stop down lever rather than having the A/M switch like my Takumars and Tokina.




Converted from using ACR and resized in PS CS3 only.

As I was reshelving them I realised I have acquired 5 50mm-55mm lenses by seeming osmosis :->.

Cheers, Arjay


Last edited by Arjay Bee; 06-17-2008 at 04:48 AM. Reason: added an image
06-17-2008, 10:10 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by lbam Quote
The 35mm F2.4 Flektogon, and 135mm F3.5 Sonnar.
Yes, I have them both. I bought my Sonnar 20 years ago with a used Praktica camera, it was my favourite lens then, and I still use it a lot. I have a SMC-M 135/3.5 but I rarely use that. The Sonnar has a much better bokeh than the M135, and it is sharper too. Also the closest focus of the M135 is 1.5m whereas it is 1m for the Sonnar. The M135 has a wonderfully smooth focus ring (something that Takumars and manual focus Pentax lenses are famous for), you don't get as much focusing pleasure with the Sonnar <g>. The other advantage of the M135 is that Av mode on my K100D meters accurately, but with the Sonnar I have to add +1.5 or +2EV. Focusing is an issue with the Sonnar at smaller apertures, but I am in the habit of flicking the A/M button so I focus on A and meter (and shoot) on M.

I bought my 35/2.4 Flektogon recently. It looked a bit battered in the ebay picture, but it turned out that the optics were not affected - just the filter ring was mangled. I think stiff focussing rings are a problem of Zeisses of this age, because both my Sonnar and my Flektogon get stiff near close focus. That's a pain. I have a non-Pentax M42/PK adapter (without the leaf spring) that I use by screwing it on the lens and then treating the lens as a K-mount, but because of the stiff focus at close focus I tend to disengage the "K-mount" lens (I guess I could drill a hole for the body locking pin). When I use a genuine Pentax adapter (with the leaf spring) I don't have the problem, but since it is fiddly to remove the adapter it means that when I am out I have to treat the camera as M42 only. I took the Flektogon apart to clean the focusing - it turns out that the Sonnar and Flektogon share the same mechanics - so taking them apart is the same (simple) process. My Flektogon focuses much better now, but no where near as pleasantly as a Pentax lens. The Flektogon works fine in Av mode without any EV compensation, and again the bokeh is very nice. I have recently bought an SMC-M 35/2.8 so at some point I intend to do a like-with-like comparison between the Zeiss and Pentax lenses. (The closest focus of the Flektogon is 0.2m and with the M35/2.8 it is 0.3m.)

My initial reaction is that the Pentaxes are lovely lenses to use, but the images from the Zeisses - especially wide open - are much better.

QuoteOriginally posted by lbam Quote
Anyone tried these Zeiss lenses, especially the Sonnar, and want to post a couple of pics and experiences?
I hope to do some comparisons between my Sonnar and M135, and between my Flektogon and M35 sometime in the next few days.

QuoteOriginally posted by lbam Quote
p.s. I paid C$145 for the 35mm and C$97 for the 135mm, both look clean from photo's (we will see when I pick them up).
In the UK Sonnars sell for about 50 and Flektogons sell for about 80 (except for my battered one, which was 30). Since CDN = 0.50 UKP at the moment you appear to have paid about average UK ebay prices. (You mention that you had them sent to your parents in the UK, so I guess you bought them from ebay UK? If so, then that would explain the price you paid!)

Richard
06-17-2008, 10:47 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by lbam Quote
p.s. I paid C$145 for the 35mm and C$97 for the 135mm, both look clean from photo's (we will see when I pick them up).
I paid
- $180 - $200 for the 35mm Limited
- $190 for 40mm Limited
- $190 for 70mm Limited
Don't care much about any M42
06-17-2008, 12:38 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by romeovn Quote
I paid
- $180 - $200 for the 35mm Limited
- $190 for 40mm Limited
- $190 for 70mm Limited
Don't care much about any M42
At those prices I'd imagine you're VERY fortunate. I've never seen the 35mm Limited for less than $400 including tax.

Anyway, it's not really about me proving anything with these Zeiss lenses, I just want to play with them a bit :-P. If you get a lens in working condition for a good price it should hold it's value and you can always sell it later for around the same money..

I very much doubt the Flek would push my 35mm limited out of my camera bag for too long.
06-17-2008, 12:41 PM   #8
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Richard, thanks for the experiences...

Check out this link on servicing the CZJ sonnar... it's good to know the Flek is almost the same inside should I also have stiffness problems (phnar phnar ).

Servicing The CZJ 135mm f/3.5 Lens

06-17-2008, 04:11 PM   #9
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Hello Ibam,

it's in the colors and it's in the bokeh.
Both lenses have those abundantly and the Flek is really versatile.

This is the Flek uncropped, nopostprocess, full open,





This is the Sonnar, suffering from bad postprocess and compression, colors still there,





And yes you're right the aperture housing is the same. As an extension to the before-linked disassembly tutorial you can have a look on my flickr for the Sonnar disassembly. As a last resort you can completely disassemble the aperture if it's stuck - not recommended, better clean with alcohol from the outside til it snaps again.

Serial numbers are not import / export oriented. The later ones have the smaller numbers. Other than that I've not seen any means to distinguish image quality other than taking oh-so beautiful pictures with them :-) BTW, there's not the old '1Q' sign on any of these, that was only on older production.

More Flek pics here, Flickr: The CARL ZEISS JENA DDR FLEKTOGON 35mm f/2.4 Pool

Good luck in finding one of these and nice pics,
Georg

Last edited by georgweb; 06-17-2008 at 04:20 PM.
06-18-2008, 11:56 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by lbam Quote
Check out this link on servicing the CZJ sonnar... it's good to know the Flek is almost the same inside should I also have stiffness problems (phnar phnar ).
Oo err missus... a bit of lubrication will help out there ;-)

Yup that's the page I used to take my Flek apart. The first time it was a bit worrisome, but it is so easy that I knew that you can repeat it many times One tip, if you plan to do this. Use masking tape to tape the aperture ring to the rear part of the case. This way you won't accidentally take off the aperture ring and lose the detente spring and ball. Unfortunately once released, the spring and ball escape to another universe.

Richard
06-18-2008, 12:25 PM   #11
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Great service info.
I like the lamp shot George, nice feel to it.
Fabulous pics on the Flek Flickr link (say that fast lol), can't wait to get some close ups with mine tomorrow.
06-19-2008, 06:38 PM   #12
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Well I got both the 35mm and 135mm today. The good news is that the 135mm Sonnar seems to be in great shape, and fully functional. The 35mm Flek seems to have a unscratched glass also, but the aperture blades are stuck wide open.
It seems when I next get some micro screw drivers, grease, some masking tape and a spare bit of time I'll have to do the repair job from the link posted above.

Apart from the annoyance of not being able to stop down (giving me a lot more chance wide manual focusing), I'm actually looking forward to the task.
06-20-2008, 01:28 AM   #13
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HA! Finally. Been in this club for ages already.







All taken with a Praktica MTL5 and a Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm f/2.8
06-20-2008, 05:45 AM   #14
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All intersting shots, Dan. 21st century webcam and shades taken with mid 20th century equipment - love the connection across the decades.
06-20-2008, 07:37 AM   #15
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I have a Zeiss Jena Sonnar 200mm f2.8, which I bought off Gruoso, and I'm so happy that I did.

I don't use it often, but when I do I'm assured sweet results every time.
here's one


If anyone knows where I can look up the serial number, and see when it was made could they please let me know
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