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Thread: CZJ Biotessar 165 2.8 image samples and shutter question

  1. #1

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    Jun 2018
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    CZJ Biotessar 165 2.8 image samples and shutter question

    Long-time lurker, first-time poster...

    I recently lucked into a copy of the subject-line lens in N70 barrel. I was able to get it mounted to a board for my old Ansco 5x7 view (with 4x5 reducer) and made the included images, shot wide open, on paper negatives (Ilford Multigrade Pearl). I used an oven mitt as a shutter. I'm pretty excited about the results. I've long pined after a fast lens like this, and this was also my first foray into paper negatives.

    Now I'm wondering about a proper shutter for the Biotessar. I've seen some posts on this forum and others with the same lens in Compound shutter.

    A couple members assert in this thread that the biotessar will "go straight in" to the #4 shutter, and I'm wondering if others can confirm, because I have some questions.

    I know the inside diameter of the barrel, where the cells screw in in front and back, closely matches the Compound #4. But I've also read that the #4 has a length of ~45mm, which is a few mm shorter than the barrel. My uneducated assumption is that the distance between the front and rear cells should be precise--is that right? And wouldn't that mean that mounting the lens would require extra hardware?

    I also know that the Compounds were in production for a long time--are the threads in these consistent?

    Finally, if anyone has any leads on a working Compound 4 that would work with this lens, please PM me. Thanks!

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  2. #2

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    Re: CZJ Biotessar 165 2.8 image samples and shutter question

    Yes, cell spacing has to be correct. SKGrimes can measure the thing, advise you on which shutter(s) will accept the cells, whether spacer(s) (threaded tube(s)) will be needed and give a price for the spacers.

  3. #3

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    Dec 2019
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    Re: CZJ Biotessar 165 2.8 image samples and shutter question

    From what I know, the biotessar was not made in shutter mounts.
    There are some compound IV mounted biotessars but these were retrofitted later after productions.
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    I don’t have the book of Carl Zeiss Jena Fabrikationsbuch Photooptik I,II-Hartmut Thiele,
    so I can’t say 100% for sure that Zeiss didn’t make biotessars in any shutter mounts.

    The available mounts were A, B, and N for biotessar as shown in the catalogues.
    The biotessar was mostly made for Miroflex cameras.
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    So I’m not quite sure if you can fit any of the mounts above to the compound IV shutter without any modification.

    I have an A mount biotessar 165mm f2.8.
    My solution was to make a custom mount ring for the lens and put it on the modern Sinar copal shutter.
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  4. #4

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    Re: CZJ Biotessar 165 2.8 image samples and shutter question

    More pics of the biotessar on the Sinar copal shutter.
    No physical vignettes. I think Sinar copal shutter solution is much cheaper than remounting the biotessar on the compound IV shutter.

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  5. #5
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: CZJ Biotessar 165 2.8 image samples and shutter question

    To further confuse matters - there's a few different versions of this lens. One version is an f/2.7 variant, which I had for a few years and was in a #4 Compound IIRC. I don't know if the f/2.8 would fit as well.

    Some are marked "Tessar" and others are marked "Biotessar," and from what I've seen the actual construction of the lens does vary.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  6. #6

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    Re: CZJ Biotessar 165 2.8 image samples and shutter question

    Thanks, all, for the replies. I've reached out to SK Grimes for guidance.

    The Sinar copal shutter looks great, but some preliminary web searches for these suggest they're more expensive than some Compound 4's I've seen in 'recently sold' listings. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places? Happy to field suggested vendors. I wonder also whether it would fit my Ansco?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    To further confuse matters - there's a few different versions of this lens. One version is an f/2.7 variant, which I had for a few years and was in a #4 Compound IIRC. I don't know if the f/2.8 would fit as well.

    Some are marked "Tessar" and others are marked "Biotessar," and from what I've seen the actual construction of the lens does vary.
    Yes, the discourse I've seen does occasionally conflate these models, as you say. The contemporaneous "Zeiss Objectives" catalog (https://www.cameraeccentric.com/stat...fs/zeiss_3.pdf does indeed show that the Tessar is a 4-in-3 design whereas the Biotessar is 6-in-3. Not that I really know what I'm really talking about!

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  7. #7

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    Re: CZJ Biotessar 165 2.8 image samples and shutter question

    I think Corran is talking about some of the prototypes which were certainly not shown in the past catalogues. To learn more about biotessars, check the links below. They are well explained.
    Use Google chrome and Google translator installed to translate the Japanese pages in English.

    https://spiral-m42.blogspot.com/2014...m-f29.html?m=1
    https://spiral-m42.blogspot.com/2014...part2.html?m=1

    S.K. Grimes is a solution.

    You will need a Sinar copal shutter adapter for your camera.
    In that sense you are probably right about the cost of mount ring, sinar lensboard, sinar shutter adapter and sinar shutter but if you’re looking into more brass barrel lenses, it’s time to consider other solutions like packard shutter and sinar shutter....
    The cost of mounting a barrel lens on the sinar shutter from next time is less, since you need only a sinar lensboard and a custom made mount ring.

  8. #8

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    Re: CZJ Biotessar 165 2.8 image samples and shutter question

    Thank you, mhayashi, for sharing these links.

    I understand what you mean about thinking long term and having flexibility to use other barrel lenses. I appreciate your insight.

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