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Thread: In praise of Sonnars

  1. #1

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    In praise of Sonnars

    I couldn't find any threads specifically about Sonnar lenses...

    I own three:

    - A venerable Nikkor-P 105mm f2.5 that I use on a Nikon FE
    - The 180mm f4 for Hasselblad-V
    - The 90mm f2.8 for the Contax-G (actually an Ernostar I believe but close enough)

    To my eye there is something very special about the Sonnar look - plenty sharp enough (but not clinically so) and with lovely, creamy out of focus areas.

    So - show us your shots taken with Sonnars! Please mention the lens and the film size used (if it isn't obvious ).

    To start us off -


    Leaves on the tarn by Peter Brooks

    (Spot the pond skater :-) Nikkor-P 105mm f2.5, Fuji Acros 100, Rodinal stand

  2. #2

    Re: In praise of Sonnars

    Photograph made with my Sonnar 150mm on the Hasselblad. HP5 in Xtol. No exposure details recorded.Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3

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    Re: In praise of Sonnars

    Are there LF Sonnars?

  4. #4

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    Re: In praise of Sonnars

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Are there LF Sonnars?
    There was the 250 mm f/5.6 Sonnar intended for use on the Linhof Technika 4 x 5.

    David

  5. #5

    Re: In praise of Sonnars

    Makiflex 180 F2.8 Zebra Sonnar FOMA by Nokton48, on Flickr

    The zebra 180mm F2.8 CZJ Sonnar (uber hacked rear mount completely removed, refitted into Plaubel Peco Jr recessed board). Makiflex Standard FOMA 200 Mic-X. Lens will just cover, 18"x18" area is as far out as it will focus. Amazing Sonnar bokeh. This lens is a fave for Pentacon Six fans, this is pushing the envelope with larger format

    I was attracted to the delicate lighting here

    2016-01-01 14.22.12 by Nokton48, on Flickr

    Metal working completed, now time for a cold beer or two
    Last edited by Daniel Unkefer; 8-May-2021 at 14:51.
    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

  6. #6

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    Re: In praise of Sonnars

    Ludwig Bertele's "Sonnar" lens formulation was not a widely accepted view camera lens design for a long list of reasons.

    Zeiss did produce two versions for Linhof, 180mm f4.8 (6x9) and 250mm f5.6 (4x5). Neither had any greatly significant advantages over other view camera lens design from that same era. Prof. Arne Croell wrote about Zeiss view camera lenses here: https://www.arnecroell.com/zeissoberkochen.pdf

    The Zeiss Sonnar that made this lens design notable was the 180mm f2.8 initially used at the Olympics. Having owned and used a Zeiss Jena multi-coated version that was converted to Hasselblad, it is good, but not exceptional (IMO, there are better for view camera lenses than the Sonnar). Similar held true for other Sonnar variants from the native Hasselblad-Zeiss versions to Contax-Zeiss versions and Linhof.

    If the discussion of images made with Ludwig Bertele's "Sonnar" within the context of view camera, it would be limited to the two Linhof-Zeiss versions of 180mm and 250mm.. and both these Zeiss lenses are not common with most being in collector ownership. This would greatly pinch the number of images that fit the title of this post.


    Bernice

  7. #7

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    Re: In praise of Sonnars

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Unkefer View Post
    The zebra 180mm F2.8 CZJ Sonnar
    Your post in the other section made me think to start this thread.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    This would greatly pinch the number of images that fit the title of this post.
    That is why it is in 'Everything Else', rather than the LF section.

    Let's see some more pictures!

  8. #8

    Re: In praise of Sonnars

    [QUOTE=peter brooks;1598886]Your post in the other section made me think to start this thread.

    The 180mm F2.8 Eastern Bloc CZJ Sonnar is a wonderful lens that introduced multitudes of wanabee MF film photographers many to quality telephoto imagery for nothing but dirt cheap prices. Mine was missing part of the rear so I paid $50 for this classic Zebra one. The metal cutting was fun for me to do and I ended up with something strangely esoteric and totally unique. Many bought Kievs 6x6 SLR's and P6's just to get to use the 180mm CZJ. Well, that and the 30mm Fisheye Arsat.

    It works great on the 9x9cm full gate on 9x12cm or 4x5 film on the Makiflex Standard, shooting close-up ONLY. This it was not designed to do. For handheld facial shots it is without substitution

    Add a Contax 86mm Softar II and it is a sublime soft lens that can be handheld
    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

  9. #9

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    Re: In praise of Sonnars

    No other Sonnar fans out there? I'm surprised.

    Couple more, both with the 90mm Sonnar (which the internet tells me is actually an Ernostar) on a Contax G1.


    Grandson by Peter Brooks (on XP2)


    Grandson by Peter Brooks (Velvia, converted to B&W)

  10. #10

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    Re: In praise of Sonnars

    I never realy tested this coated pre war Sonnar that came with a really well used but excellent working (i changed the ribbons) Contax with some history.

    A quick shot on m43 at f2
    Click image for larger version. 

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    and the original pair
    Click image for larger version. 

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