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09-24-2018, 02:50 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Pity that they did not revive any old lenses, only the names.
Forgive my ignorance, but didn't any of the lenses make it to market? I thought some of them did... But I don't know for sure

09-24-2018, 06:22 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Forgive my ignorance, but didn't any of the lenses make it to market? I thought some of them did... But I don't know for sure
They were not revivals except in name. The lenses are real but the formulae were different as was the image qualities.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-24-2018 at 06:29 PM.
10-18-2018, 07:12 AM   #48
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Postscript:

If You Backed Meyer Optik GŲrlitz on Kickstarter, Your Money is Gone
10-27-2018, 09:56 AM   #49
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Company behind Ihagee Elbaflex SLR & Meyer Optic lenses files for bankruptcy

Meyer lenses were the budget models for those in the former Second World who could not afford Carl Zeiss Jena lenses. Those who used cameras with mounts served by these companies always preferred the CZJ lenses, because they were...better.

For Pentacon Six users, a Meyer Orestegor 300/4, with its old-fashioned preset-aperture telephoto design, versus the excellent CZJ Sonnar 300/4, with its classic Sonnar rendering? Not a chance, except for the severely price-constrained.

I have a Pentacon 500/5.6 in P6 mount, which is easily adapted to many cameras, including the 645z. Itís...okay...for its age. Itís not as good as the ancient Takumar 500/4.5, and itís not in the same solar system as the 645 400/5.6 ED. But as an offensive weapon itís unmatched, for those muscular enough to wield it. It wasnít even that cheap.

A fast short tele of vintage design is cheap to findóthe Sonnar-inspired Russian Jupiter 85/2. Common in M42, often less than a couple of C-notes. Still not as good as a modern lens (the Canon 85/1.8, for example, kills it in every dimension, including rendering, and it isnít even that much more expensive).

The prices people are willing to pay for copies of old junque sometimes astonish me.

Rick ďhave we lost a sense of proportion?Ē Denney

10-27-2018, 12:30 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by rdenney Quote
Meyer lenses were the budget models for those in the former Second World who could not afford Carl Zeiss Jena lenses. Those who used cameras with mounts served by these companies always preferred the CZJ lenses, because they were...better.

For Pentacon Six users, a Meyer Orestegor 300/4, with its old-fashioned preset-aperture telephoto design, versus the excellent CZJ Sonnar 300/4, with its classic Sonnar rendering? Not a chance, except for the severely price-constrained.

I have a Pentacon 500/5.6 in P6 mount, which is easily adapted to many cameras, including the 645z. It’s...okay...for its age. It’s not as good as the ancient Takumar 500/4.5, and it’s not in the same solar system as the 645 400/5.6 ED. But as an offensive weapon it’s unmatched, for those muscular enough to wield it. It wasn’t even that cheap.

A fast short tele of vintage design is cheap to find—the Sonnar-inspired Russian Jupiter 85/2. Common in M42, often less than a couple of C-notes. Still not as good as a modern lens (the Canon 85/1.8, for example, kills it in every dimension, including rendering, and it isn’t even that much more expensive).

The prices people are willing to pay for copies of old junque sometimes astonish me.

Rick “have we lost a sense of proportion?” Denney
IMHO, Rick, it's very much an individual and subjective thing. As I've said before in many threads, whether one lens is better than another depends on the likes and dislikes of the individual photographer. The optical limitations of certain lenses are the very reasons a lot of folks shoot with them. Consider the hugely popular Helios-44 (a direct copy of the Biotar), beloved by many for its swirling bokeh when shot at f/2. Not a great lens technically (whether the Helios or original CZJ versions), but very, very appealing.

I don't doubt that the Canon 1.8/85 you mention is a great lens and technically superior to even the Jupiter-9 2/85. I haven't used the Canon, but I can assume with some degree of confidence that it offers better resolution, better correction for optical aberrations and better flare performance. As for whether its rendering is better than the Jupiter's, that would be subjective as I already inferred (it will certainly be different). Furthermore, there's a certain amount of pleasure some will derive from using an all-metal Jupiter lens with its quirky vintage design that I doubt is matched by the sleek, plastic-bodied Canon.

On the subject of modern replicas or pseudo replicas, like these Meyer Optik lenses... Personally, I'd normally prefer to have the original version of a vintage lens. But, there are downsides to buying them... they usually need some degree of servicing - mechanical and/or optical cleaning, and re-lubrication. Occasionally, even minor repairs. Or, they may have been adversely affected during servicing by a previous owner / seller... Optical elements might have coating damage, scratches, chips; incorrect lubricants may have been used on helicoids, resulting in rough operation and/or lubricant migrating onto other parts. So I can see the attraction in buying a brand new pseudo-vintage lens that will have none of these problems for some years to come.

I'm sure the pricing of the Meyer Optik lenses is (was) excessive given the relatively simple optical formulae involved. But I can also understand why a small boutique operation manufacturing lenses in relatively small numbers would have pretty high production costs for appropriately-coated optical elements, bespoke metal body parts and hand assembly. Whether the resulting products are worth the prices asked depends on the individual prospective buyer...
10-27-2018, 01:36 PM   #51
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I prefer a smooth rendering that brings attention to the focused subject, not so much busy-ness in the background that it distracts from the subject. Thatís the whole reason for using selective focus in the first place, it seems to me.

But your money; your camera bag.

There are lists of $25 used normal zooms that have swirly backgrounds, like the plastic Canon 35-70 f/slow that I picked out of a junk box years ago. It was a cheapie for a Rebel back in the day; will people go nuts over it a couple of decades from now? Somehow I doubt it. But it makes a really swirly unfocused background.

If a lens isnít sharp, or if it displays strong purple fringing and lateral CA (as do those old four-element telephotosóessentially triplets with a magnifier), it will be a candidate for ďartĒ, I suppose.

Remember, I actually own the lenses I mentioned, and have written extensively on the subject of bokeh in other venues. I also moderate the little bit thatís left of the old Kiev Report. These are fun, but have to be sold at fun prices are or they arenít fun anymore. Thatís how Lomography became hipóit was fashionably cheap.

Iím not talking about 19th-century Petzval designs, though even those are used at apertures wider and for formats much larger than originally intended in order to explore their characteristics. But, like any special effect where the effect draws attention to itself, it has to contribute to the clarity of expression, and it should be a special effect, not a routine effect, lest it lose its specialness.

There is a place for such lenses. I just donít think there are as many old lenses that do something really special as current collecting zeal seems to suggest. I have this feeling that the $225 Jupiters will be $20 junkers as soon as the fad wears off (I think I paid $75 for my relatively recent M42 example and $85 for my much older LTM version). Even those 19th-century large format lenses arenít as sought-after as they were a few years ago.

But Iíve been wrong before.

Rick ďwho ought to put some lenses up for saleĒ Denney
10-27-2018, 03:29 PM - 1 Like   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by rdenney Quote
I prefer a smooth rendering that brings attention to the focused subject, not so much busy-ness in the background that it distracts from the subject. That’s the whole reason for using selective focus in the first place, it seems to me.

But your money; your camera bag.

There are lists of $25 used normal zooms that have swirly backgrounds, like the plastic Canon 35-70 f/slow that I picked out of a junk box years ago. It was a cheapie for a Rebel back in the day; will people go nuts over it a couple of decades from now? Somehow I doubt it. But it makes a really swirly unfocused background.

If a lens isn’t sharp, or if it displays strong purple fringing and lateral CA (as do those old four-element telephotos—essentially triplets with a magnifier), it will be a candidate for “art”, I suppose.

Remember, I actually own the lenses I mentioned, and have written extensively on the subject of bokeh in other venues. I also moderate the little bit that’s left of the old Kiev Report. These are fun, but have to be sold at fun prices are or they aren’t fun anymore. That’s how Lomography became hip—it was fashionably cheap.

I’m not talking about 19th-century Petzval designs, though even those are used at apertures wider and for formats much larger than originally intended in order to explore their characteristics. But, like any special effect where the effect draws attention to itself, it has to contribute to the clarity of expression, and it should be a special effect, not a routine effect, lest it lose its specialness.

There is a place for such lenses. I just don’t think there are as many old lenses that do something really special as current collecting zeal seems to suggest. I have this feeling that the $225 Jupiters will be $20 junkers as soon as the fad wears off (I think I paid $75 for my relatively recent M42 example and $85 for my much older LTM version). Even those 19th-century large format lenses aren’t as sought-after as they were a few years ago.

But I’ve been wrong before.

Rick “who ought to put some lenses up for sale” Denney
No matter what your views or mine might be, if someone decides to spend $1000 on a weird semi-reproduction of a vintage lens and they get genuine enjoyment from it - or, better still, they take photos with a unique character they wouldn't have achieved with their modern super-corrected lens - does it matter if they paid what you and I feel is too much for something that's so simple and outdated optically?

So many people seem pre-occupied with the technical performance of lenses, and what therefore makes them "better". These days, we have reviews, charts, pixel-peeping views that will tear to shreds any lens that doesn't offer incredible resolution, amazing correction of aberrations, unbelievable resistance to flare, "amazing bokeh" etc. Anything less than this gets termed as an "Art" lens, as if that's a "bad thing". Unless, of course, people see photos taken with those lenses and think, "Wow, those are great photos!". Those people might be the general public, other photographic enthusiasts, or just the photographer responsible for taking the photos. It doesn't really mater, in most cases.

I own over 100 Soviet and former Soviet-Union lenses and tele-converters (athough I'm only guessing, I believe mine may be one of the more complete collections in the UK). I've shot at least a little with almost every one of them, and a good amount with most of them. I received a couple of them as donations at no cost to me, but paid from $10 to $200 for most, and spent considerably more on the rarest or new-old-stock models (most of my lenses are mint or near-mint). I acquired most of them to increase the coverage of my collection, but I'm well acquainted with the optical performance (and, in some cases, oddities) of them all. There are a few - just a few - that I wouldn't bother shooting with because they're simply not very good But in most cases, they're all capable of taking great photos with unique character. Not necessarily better than other lenses can offer, but different. Some people want "different", whether that's technically "better" or not

I also own some fine, and not so fine, modern lenses. I really enjoy the benefits they bring. But in most cases, they're very different propositions to my vintage glass.

Mike (who is still looking for the rarest Soviet lenses )

Last edited by BigMackCam; 10-27-2018 at 04:31 PM.
10-27-2018, 05:38 PM   #53
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Company behind Ihagee Elbaflex SLR & Meyer Optic lenses files for bankruptcy

Donít take me too seriously. Iím happy with anyone who wants to pay a fortune for one of those substandard lenses, particularly if Iím the seller. Which I should beóI donít have as many as you, and donít have any of the real esoterica, but Iím not missing it by much, and much of what I have doesnít get used.

And I donít worry about experienced collectorsóthey are empowered to explore whatever strange optical corners interest them.

I donít have a comprehensive collection, but I was never really a collector. At the time, they were affordable when pro-level Japanese and western German cameras were not, and that made them interesting for beginners and hobbyists. And it was fun. I donít regret a bit of it. But I canít make really big prints from those negatives like I can from film shot in my Pentaxes, so now when I use film, itís a P67 or large format. And used pro-quality medium-format film equipment is affordable now, and has been for a long time. That Soviet infatuation peaked in the early 2000ís, by which time the price advantage had diminished considerably. A beat-up old 6x7 was likely more reliable, and certainly had a more accurate shutter and film transport than a brand new Kiev or barely used Exakta 66.

But there are beginners who might be sucked into such vortexes, lacking discernment and sporting inappropriate expectations. If they spend just a few bucks and make a discovery that may not be positive, fine. Discovery is what, say, Lomography is all about, and they learn about what really pleases them. But should they spend real money, believing the talk that often makes these lenses seem magical? I prefer a more balanced view, and Iím sure you do, too.

You will see that I tested two of the Ukrainian medium format shift lenses in my test of many lenses for the 645z. Performance was okay with the 55, not so much with the 45. A lens that only has application for making sharp images should make sharp images, it seems to me. These do, but only for smallish prints.

Most Soviet lenses were ancient designs and heavy but minimally engineered constructions, with centrally dictated production and little to no quality control, and we should be honest about that. I ended up with several examples of my favorite designs to get the ones that were workable. I still use the CZJ Sonnar 180/2.8 on my Pentaxes for portraitsóthe CZJ Sonnars really do have the magic. If the aperture doesnít stick. I only had to buy two of those to get a reliable example.

As I said, they are fun and sometimes interesting to own, but perspective is important.

Rick ďitís a plain fact that the Meyer lenses were the budget alternativesĒ Denney

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