View Full Version : What are Jena lenses?

17-Jun-2007, 19:49
I often hear about Zeiss "Jena" lenses. Is this an acronym, or just a made-up word? Do Jenas have anything in common--quality, optical formula, time period--or is it just a random name that Zeiss gave to some lenses? Are they generally good?

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
17-Jun-2007, 19:52
Jena is a city in Germany and home of the Zeiss factory. Following WWII the Zeiss production was split between East German Zeiss in Jena and a newly established West German factory in Oberkochen.

17-Jun-2007, 19:56
ok, I feel a wittle bit embarassed :) What else can you tell me about the lenses. Are they made in Jena?

steve simmons
17-Jun-2007, 20:00
View Camera did an article about these lenses a year or so ago.

steve simmons

17-Jun-2007, 20:05
After WWII, Germany ended split up between the East and the West, and a bunch of optical engineers that ended up in the West founded a western Zeiss, the one whose lenses we're used to seeing on Blads, Rolleis and Contaxes... The original factory, the one in Jena, also restarted after the war and they became known as Carl Zeiss Jena, or the Eastern Zeiss. They used the same designes - planars, tessars, sonnars, biogons, etc - but used different glass and factory. They supplied mostly Praktica (35mm) and Pentacon Six (6x6) cameras. Apparently, they also made a nicely engineered LF series which was never mass-produced.

That's all if I remember things correctly, but it's been a long time since I had contact with any of those. I'm sure those with better/more current data will correct me on this.


Jason Greenberg Motamedi
17-Jun-2007, 20:07
Some details here: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/docter-optik.html

17-Jun-2007, 21:17
thank you