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06-16-2010, 06:14 PM - 1 Like   #1
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180 and 300 CZJ lenses mounted on a Pentax 67

I have really enjoyed using my Carl Zeiss Jena 180/2.8 and 300/2.8 Sonnar P6 mount lenses on my Pentax 645 NII and have taken some wonderful photos with these arrangements, as shown below. There are P6 to 645 mount adapters readily available which can be used and allow focus to infinity. However, there are no adapters available that I know of that allow the use of these lenses on a Pentax 67 mount, even with loss of infinity focus.

So I removed the male mounts from 67 inner extension tubes and replaced the P6 mount on the Sonnars with them. This operation is fairly straight forward, and is completely reversable for the lens, but not for the male mount from the extension tube. Since the mount flange to register distance is shorter for the P6 mount (75.1mm) than for the 67 mount (84.95mm), infinity focus is lost: on the 67, the furthest allowable focus is about 6m for the 180, and 20m for the 300.

However, the area coverage of the 180 and 300 is sufficient for the 6cm x 7cm film area of the 67, even though the Pentacon 6 cameras are designed with a 6cm x 6cm film area. To obtain infinity focus, and accurate distance measurements in accordance with the distance markings on the lenses, the back tubes of the lenses must be machined to a length 6.85mm shorter, which of course, then makes the lens mount alteration irreversible. This operation must be done in a machine shop and is quite a bit easier on the 300 than it is on the 180.

Best, ALan

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06-17-2010, 12:09 AM   #2
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That is effin' awesome! And I love how the Sonnar don't look so big anymore mounted on the beast that is the 67 :-D
06-17-2010, 03:49 AM   #3
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There have been some P6 lenses adapted to use with the 67. If I remember correctly, Zoerkendörfer did that adaption. There are quite a few of the old 500/5.6 Pentacons/Meyer Optiks available in 67 mount, but tat least the 300/4 should alsobe a possible conversion candidate.

Ben
06-24-2010, 11:46 PM   #4
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Hi Ben,

Yes, I have found two German firms that will do the conversion to 67 mount, including Zoerkendörfer. But they charge more for the conversion than the cost of a resonable copy of the lens in P6 mount! I have seen a photo of the 500/5.6 Meyer Optiks adapted to 67 mount, and below, there are two photos of my CZJ 300/4 after adaptation. I have also the CZJ 120/2.8, and by the look of it, it is a possibility for conversion. The shorter focal length P6 CZJ's (50/4 and 80/2.8), I believe, cannot be adapted to the 67 because there is not enough distance from the rear objective to the lens mount. The 50/4 (early distagon), 80/2.8 and 120/2.8 (both double gaussian) do not offer the same beautiful bokeh as the telephoto Sonnars, and I believe their resolution and other optical qualities are no better than, or exceeded by, the fine Pentax glass of similar focal length, so I really can't see the point of converting any of these lenses, were it even possible.

One of the problems with the 180 an 300 CZJ lenses is the tripod mount - it is really flimsy. I have dealt with it by running a mounting rail beneath the lens and camera, and bolting both to the rail, as shown in the picture below. This technique makes for a rock solid mount.

Best, Alan




QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
There have been some P6 lenses adapted to use with the 67. If I remember correctly, Zoerkendörfer did that adaption. There are quite a few of the old 500/5.6 Pentacons/Meyer Optiks available in 67 mount, but tat least the 300/4 should alsobe a possible conversion candidate.

Ben


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Last edited by ARCASIA; 06-25-2010 at 12:03 PM.
06-25-2010, 02:10 AM   #5
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Alan, your adaption looks very nice and the additional mounting bracket is certainly a good idea. I don't know the reason, but somehow all of those longer CZJ lenses have a very small tripod foot, though not all that weakly looking as the 180mm.

Ben
06-25-2010, 06:27 PM   #6
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Have you been able to compare the 180 Sonnar against the P67 165/2.8 and 200/4? Similarly have you compared the 300 Sonnar with the P67 300/4?
06-26-2010, 11:46 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Hi Paul,

I have not performed controlled comparisons between the CZJ Sonnars and the 67 lenses that you mentioned, but I own all of them, the 165, 200 (latest Ernostar) the 300 M*, and also the 400 Takumar. I have used these lenses extensively to shoot portraits and flowers, so I can provide an opinion based on my experience.

All of the Pentax 67 telephotos have very good resolution – good enough for almost all photography work. Even wide open, they are quite acceptable. The 165, 200 and the 400 offer good contrast, whilst the 300 M*, and my copy of the 165, provide significantly higher contrast, hence appear the sharpest of the group.

None of these lenses is particularly prone to chromatic aberration, except the 400 Takumar, which shows some lateral CA with strongly lit backgrounds when shooting wide open, or close to it, but the problem is solved by stopping down some. For the type of photography I do, the CA has not been a problem, even wide open – I really like this lens a lot, one of my favourites.

The colour rendition of the 200 and 400 is very natural, whereas it is more vivid with the 300 M*, probably due to the ED glass, as well as with the 165. In my estimation, the bokeh of all of these lenses is quite acceptable – no donuts around out-of-focus specular highlights and no double lines along long, thin objects – thus backgrounds do not tend to appear overly busy or nervous. However, I would not characterise the bokeh of any of these lenses as notable, but rather, competent - neutral and not normally distracting.

All said, the 300 M* is probably the best of the lot, optically, and it can be focused as close as 2m; however, a small turn of the focus ring produces a big change in the focus. Many say that the 300 M* tends to “snap” into focus – either it is in focus, or it is not, but I have found it difficult and unforgiving in practice, leading to many slightly out of focus images. Perhaps this is especially a problem for me, as I tend to use the lens wide open, or close to it, and at close subject distances, where the DOF is very small. But there is no doubt that this lens, when properly focused, produces stunningly sharp images.

The CZJ 180 and 300 Sonnars provide resolution comparable to that of the Pentax 67 lenses, but the contrast is quite high - closer to that of the 300 M* and the 165, rather than that of the 200 and 400. But I believe that the CZJ’s are sharper wide open, or near wide open, than the comparable Pentax 67 lenses. The colour rendition of these CZJ lenses is vivid, like the 300 M* and the 165, but it retains a very natural look – a quality often attributed to Zeiss glass.

Where these CZJ Sonnars really distinguish themselves is in out-of-focus rendition – it is outstanding, simply gorgeous. Under corrected spherical aberration leads to very smooth transitions in the bokeh – there are no donuts or double lines, yet colour fidelity is nicely retained. This leads to a very pleasing smooth and colorful background, a very worthy compositional element in its own right.

Lastly, the CZJ lenses render subjects in a very 3D way, much like the Pentax 645 FA 150/2.8 and 200/4, which provide beautiful 3D rendition similar to that of certain Leica lenses often raved about in this regard.

I have provided several photos below taken with the CZJ 180 as examples of what I have attempted to explain. In the first photo, (645, ISO160, f/5.6), one can see the subject sharpness and the smooth, yet colourful background bokeh. In the second photo (67, ISO400, f/5.6), the two subjects appear very 3-dimensional, and the colour rendition is typically Zeiss like. I included the third photo (67, ISO 400, f/4) because it demonstrates very nice out-of-focus rendition, even against a bright background, and very smooth transitions between in-focus and out-of-focus areas of the photo. The fourth and fifth photos (645, ISO160, f/2.8) demonstrate the beautiful bokeh of shots wide open and the compositional importance of the out-of-focus areas to the overall picture.

If you primarily shoot with the lens stopped way down to maximise depth of field, I cannot see much value in finding reasonable copies of the CZJ 180 or 300, which is not so easy, and going through the hassle of adaptation to the 67. However, if you often shoot wide open for narrow DOF, and bokeh is an important compositional element in your photos, these CZJ Sonnars add formidable tools to the 67 arsenal.

Best, Alan



QuoteOriginally posted by Paul Ewins Quote
Have you been able to compare the 180 Sonnar against the P67 165/2.8 and 200/4? Similarly have you compared the 300 Sonnar with the P67 300/4?
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Last edited by ARCASIA; 06-28-2010 at 03:39 AM.
06-27-2010, 04:34 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Alan, your lines are among the most useful lens comparissons I have seen so far. Not contemplating the differences in lab measurements, but real, photographically useful experience. Thanks so much!

Ben

06-27-2010, 08:44 AM   #9
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Great info, Alan.

I can echo the 300 M* focus sensitivity. I think Pentax should have made the focus grip with some turning resistance. Once focused, the slightest touch on the grip will change it and since the grip is so wide and rotates so -too- smoothly, it is easy to inadvertently do.
06-27-2010, 08:37 PM   #10
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Thanks Alan, that is a very easy to understand explanation. I have the 150, 165, 200 & 300 and none of them was particularly expensive so I wondered why you went to all that trouble. I am quite used to this sort of discussion of lenses in the large format world so your reason for doing this makes perfect sense.
06-28-2010, 01:26 PM   #11
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Why not just buy a Pentacon Six body for that Jena glass?
06-28-2010, 05:08 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by desertscape Quote
Why not just buy a Pentacon Six body for that Jena glass?
It looks like Alan is holding a 67II - I can't imagine anyone wanting to use a Pentacon 6 if they are used to using a 67II. It is also a bit impractical if you want to use different lenses in the same shooting session. Carrying two MF bodies into the field would test anyones muscles.
06-28-2010, 10:05 PM   #13
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No, I would not want to shoot with a Pentacon 6 body, in part for the reasons Paul mentions, but also, for so many other reasons. To list a few important ones:

1) Whilst I may occasionally crop to a square layout, I wouldn't want to start out with one;

2) The Pentacon 6 cameras are nororiously unreliable, and repair is difficult. This is not something I am much interested in. Previously, this was the main reason why I used Jena glass on the 645 - but the possibility of having it on 6cm by 7cm film was just too great a temptation; and

3) I have built a whole MF system around the 67. I am happy with its strengths and can live with its weaknesses - I really don't want to add another brand camera just to use a couple of lenses. So with the lens adaptation, I augment my existing system, unified around the 67 body, rather than to add haphazardly to it.

Best, Alan


QuoteOriginally posted by desertscape Quote
Why not just buy a Pentacon Six body for that Jena glass?

Last edited by ARCASIA; 06-28-2010 at 10:46 PM.
06-29-2010, 09:52 AM   #14
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Many years ago I saw a shooter using a Pentacon six in Germany. I couldn't identify it at first but later realized what it was. It was the only one I have ever seen. Not a popular camera. From your comment, I guess I know why.
06-29-2010, 12:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by desertscape Quote
Many years ago I saw a shooter using a Pentacon six in Germany. I couldn't identify it at first but later realized what it was. It was the only one I have ever seen. Not a popular camera. From your comment, I guess I know why.
The Pentacon 6 wasn't that bad, nothing like a Kiev 88… But the Pentacons are getting very old by now and need servicing, which can be had in Germany easily, but probably not as readily in the US or elsewhere.

Ben
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