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Thread: Carl Zeiss 250mm f/5.6 Sonnar in Prontor shutter for Linhof

  1. #11

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    Re: Carl Zeiss 250mm f/5.6 Sonnar in Prontor shutter for Linhof

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellis Vener View Post
    A very generous friend just passed on to me a mint condition Carl Zeiss 250mm f/5.6 Sonnar. Looks like a fine lens with no element separation but does anyone here have recent experience with one? .......


    Ellis
    Ellis,

    I have never used that piece of glass, but the good friend of my father, who gave me his 135 Planar when he retired from the business, had the Sonnar too and loved it.

    I can only think of one color image I ever saw him take (or display anyway) 99.9 percent of his work was B+W and printed in house. I am sure you will enjoy the lens.

  2. #12
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    Re: Carl Zeiss 250mm f/5.6 Sonnar in Prontor shutter for Linhof

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellis Vener View Post
    I haven't shot with it yet but I am pretty sure this is not a telephoto design. it might be as it is a big heavy combination of steel and glass. It certainly got the attention of the TSA when I was flying home yesterday.
    If it is a Sonnar design (and it should be), then you are correct that it is not a telephoto design. The original Sonnar was a normal lens, but was unusable as such in modern SLR's because it wouldn't fit in front of a mirror box. So, Zeiss used the design for longer lenses.

    A characteristic of the classic Sonnars that I've observed is a slight bit of undercorrected spherical aberration at wide aperture, which improves as you stop down at about the same pace as the depth of field improves. Thus, it provides a predictable rendering of out-of-focus details. And it's famous for the smoothness of that rendering.

    Even the cheap (by comparison) East German Sonnars made in Jena after the war display that characteristic.

    So, don't miss the opportunity to make some images at wider apertures.

    Edit: Reading Henry's recounting of the advertisement for this lens, maybe it is a modern telephoto Sonnar rather than a classic Sonnar. Maybe not. The original Sonnar was a 5 cm f/1.5 normal lens for the Contax rangefinder, but even as a normal lens, the glass was somewhat behind the rear nodal point, which is, I suppose the definition of a telephoto. But it wasn't really intended to be a telephoto. It was intended to be fast, with very thick elements cemented together to provide good correction without too many glass/air surfaces. It was better corrected at large apertures than a Tessar by leaps and bounds, and before coatings made planars and plasmats practical, it was a real speed king. The longer focal design was used as a long lens, and indeed it was the first fast long lens for 35mm--the Olympia Sonnar.

    Rick "betting this could be a classic sharp portrait lens" Denney

  3. #13

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    Re: Carl Zeiss 250mm f/5.6 Sonnar in Prontor shutter for Linhof

    If it is a 250 mm Sonnar for Linhof, then it is most likely the 4X5 telephoto design described in my previous post.

    A simple way to answer the question is to focus the lens at infinity and measure the distance between the lens board and the ground glass (flange focal distance). If it is significantly less than 250 mm, you are dealing with a telephoto design.

    For example, the current production Schneider 250 mm apo-tele-xenar has a focal length of 250 mm with a flange focal distance of 195 mm at infinity.

  4. #14

    Re: Carl Zeiss 250mm f/5.6 Sonnar in Prontor shutter for Linhof

    People get all drooly over Sonnar bokeh--no bright rings, double lines, etc. Astonishingly expensive on ebay.

  5. #15
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    Re: Carl Zeiss 250mm f/5.6 Sonnar in Prontor shutter for Linhof

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Krueger View Post
    People get all drooly over Sonnar bokeh--no bright rings, double lines, etc. Astonishingly expensive on ebay.
    It depends on which Zeiss. The Carl Zeiss Jena sonnars have the same bokeh that people get all drooly over, and they are relatively cheap. But they don't come in configurations that work on large-format cameras.

    Example 1: 180/2.8 CZJ Sonnar in Pentacon Six mount (easily adapted to Mamiya, Contax, and Pentax 645 cameras, and to most 35mm cameras, plus fits directly on Pentacon Six, Exakta 66, Kiev 60, and Kiev 88CM). The multicoated later model seems to usually be priced in the $200-300 range. They are not as common as they used to be, but they still come up pretty frequently on ebay.

    Example 2: 135/3.5 CZJ Sonnar in M42 mount (easily adapted to Canon and Pentax K, plus fitting on all screw-mount bodies, such as the Praktica and early Pentax, plus many others). I paid $80 for mine in the multicoated version, but they get a bit more now. There were approximately 5,674,293 different 135mm lenses made for 35mm cameras over the years, and this is one of the best that doesn't cost a fortune.

    Both these provide that drooly bokeh.

    Rick "unwilling to pay the western Zeiss prices" Denney

  6. #16

    Re: Carl Zeiss 250mm f/5.6 Sonnar in Prontor shutter for Linhof

    hi,

    the 250 sonnar for the Tech is not identical with the hasselblad 250 sonnar -- different number of elements,

    best,

    joerg

  7. #17

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    Re: Carl Zeiss 250mm f/5.6 Sonnar in Prontor shutter for Linhof

    Quote Originally Posted by Joerg Krusche View Post
    hi,

    the 250 sonnar for the Tech is not identical with the hasselblad 250 sonnar -- different number of elements,

    best,

    joerg
    Quite right , it is a very different lens. Now all I have to do is find a good camera to mount it on that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

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