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11-28-2019, 11:55 PM   #1
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Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar 500mm f/5.6 for Pentax 645Z

Hello all,

The most likeable of the images I shot in the Masai Mara came from Pentax 645Z and not the K1 or K3 ii, despite all the limitations of the 645Z.

I own the 645 lenses 300mm f/4 and 400mm f/5.6. I have been thinking of buying a 645 A* 600mm f/5.6 lens. However, good copies are all upwards of USD 2000.

Then I read about this interesting lens Carl Zeiss Tele Tessar 500mm f/5.6. It is at least 40 years old, but could be bought at less than half the price of the Pentax 600mm. It is however a Hasselblad lens adapted to Pentax 67, and would need to be further adapted to the 645Z, whereas the Pentax 600mm could be directly mounted without any associated paraphernalia. And the Pentax is an ED lens whereas the Zeiss is unlikely to have any ED elements due to its vintage. The Zeiss weighs 2 kg and seems to be unused.

Does anyone have any first hand experience with this Zeiss lens? Any thoughts? Any conjectures or theoretical musings?


Last edited by leonine; 11-29-2019 at 02:09 AM. Reason: Spellng mistake
11-29-2019, 12:01 AM   #2
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Can you please share your pics from the trip. By the way, hi from an ex-Mumbaikar (now settled in California)
11-29-2019, 12:58 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I don't know anything about the Zeiss lens mentioned, but I have the 67 ('SMC Pentax 67' branded) 500/5.6 and have nothing to complain about it on my D. It weighs about 3kg but works seemlessly with the Pentax adapter (open aperture metering & auto stop-down when shooting) and was surprisingly affordable.

I also shoot a P67 but have only used it on the D so far. If your shooting at very long distances, atmospherics play a big part with lenses this long.

The test shot (with 100% crops) below was shot on a day with very good atmospherics - I only realised afterwards how much better they were than usual. The tower blocks are 1.8Km from the camera, the wind farm about 25Km:

Pentax 645D, 67 500/5.6, ISO 200, 1/125th @ f/11 on a heavy tripod with ball head using 2 second self-timer:


Another shot from the same day:


I haven't tried it wide open, but can't fault the above images given the distances involved - it's a big heavy lens though and I don't know whether it would work in a safari context.

John.

---------- Post added 11-29-19 at 08:07 AM ----------

The obligatory distortion test needs a bit more than a brick wall - a tower bock a few hundred metres away:

Last edited by johnha; 11-29-2019 at 01:09 AM.
11-29-2019, 02:11 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by manishved Quote
Can you please share your pics from the trip. By the way, hi from an ex-Mumbaikar (now settled in California)
Hi. Nice to see you here.

I have posted a few images on some other threads. Still working on the other images. Don't get much time for it nowadays :-(

---------- Post added 11-29-19 at 02:15 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by johnha Quote
I don't know anything about the Zeiss lens mentioned, but I have the 67 ('SMC Pentax 67' branded) 500/5.6 and have nothing to complain about it on my D. It weighs about 3kg but works seemlessly with the Pentax adapter (open aperture metering & auto stop-down when shooting) and was surprisingly affordable.

I also shoot a P67 but have only used it on the D so far. If your shooting at very long distances, atmospherics play a big part with lenses this long.

The test shot (with 100% crops) below was shot on a day with very good atmospherics - I only realised afterwards how much better they were than usual. The tower blocks are 1.8Km from the camera, the wind farm about 25Km:

Pentax 645D, 67 500/5.6, ISO 200, 1/125th @ f/11 on a heavy tripod with ball head using 2 second self-timer:


Another shot from the same day:


I haven't tried it wide open, but can't fault the above images given the distances involved - it's a big heavy lens though and I don't know whether it would work in a safari context.

John.

---------- Post added 11-29-19 at 08:07 AM ----------

The obligatory distortion test needs a bit more than a brick wall - a tower bock a few hundred metres away:
Thanks.

Another interesting lens is the Leitz 560mm f/5.6. I wonder how it performs on the digital sensor. Also, how would you adapt it to the 645Z, K1 and K3?

Why I am exploring these lenses is because to use anything beyond 400mm on the 645Z, you anyway need to use MF lenses. Then why not these Zeiss or Leitz old lenses, which were reportedly reputed during the film era and are now available at ridiculous prices?

11-29-2019, 09:24 AM   #5
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All I can say is that if you buy the Pentax 600mm lens, and work out a support system sufficient to keep it steady (needs at least 2 points-of-contact), you will not regret the quality you achieve. But it is not exactly a carry-around lens and using it in-the-field will require determination and planning.
11-29-2019, 05:30 PM   #6
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Thank you Ed.
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