Review Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 2.8 / 50

CARL ZEISS JENA DDR TESSAR 2.8 / 50 is quite an interesting fifty dollars. The lens does not have a large aperture, but the image quality that the TESSAR 2.8 / 50 gives is simply amazing.

Overview of Tessar 50 2.8

Overview of Tessar 50 2.8

TTX CARL ZEISS JENA DDR TESSAR 2.8 / 50
Constructive: 4 elements in 3 groups
Field of View: 45 °
Minimum Focus Distance: 0.35м
Minimum Aperture: - F / 16 in automatic and F / 22 in manual
Filter Diameter: 49 mm
The weight - 175g

The lenses of this brand have gone through a number of frame modifications. There were white frames, then Zeiss frames of the “zebra” type, then classic black frames with red and green paint on the focusing distance scale. You can see the reviews of the modifications: Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 (zebra) and Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 1: 2.8 f = 50mm T (white).

Sample photo on CARL ZEISS JENA DDR TESSAR 2.8 / 50

Sample photo on CARL ZEISS JENA DDR TESSAR 2.8 / 50

Tessar itself (namely optical circuit) was created back in 1902 by Carl Zeiss Jena. The scheme gives a sharp and contrasting image. Often the lens of the optical circuit Tessar and Industar are called "Eagle eye". The name "Tessar" comes from the Greek "tesser" - four. By the way, lenses from the USSR of the “Industar” brand were made precisely according to this optical scheme. You can see, for example, a review Industar-61 LZ

legendary CARL ZEISS JENA DDR TESSAR F2.8 50mm

legendary CARL ZEISS JENA DDR TESSAR F2.8 50mm

Legendary Features CZJ DDR TESSAR 2.8 / 50:

1. Compactness. Indeed, Tessar is very comfortable and lightweight.
2. Sharpness. A distinctive feature of this lens. Tessar is very sharp.
3. It's all the same Carl Zeiss, the inscription is small but pleasant.

Photo by CZJ DDR TESSAR 2.8 50

Photo by CZJ DDR TESSAR 2.8 50

4. Can work with full-frame matrices... Of course, for film cameras these are trifles, because then there were no cropped and full-frame cameras, and, accordingly, there were different kinds of differences in lenses to cover different frame sizes. But nowadays, when marketing is trying to squeeze the maximum out of the consumer, by creating different matrices and different lenses, the ability to mount the lens on Full Frame is pretty good news.
5. When focusing, the entire lens block moves in the middle of the lens barrel. A common occurrence for such an optical design.
6. Maximum Aperture F2.8 - Of course, this is not a super fast lens, but compact and very sharp, and the size of the lenses is small.

Photo by CZJ DDR TESSAR 2.8 50

Photo by CZJ DDR TESSAR 2.8 50

7. M \ A switch for aperture setting method. The lens has two methods for setting the aperture - automatic (A) and manual (M), in an automatic camera through the diaphragm pusher closes the aperture at the time of shooting to the desired value. In manual mode, you can set the desired aperture without blocking the diaphragm pusher. A very convenient option that is lacking in many Soviet lenses. When used on a digit, the diaphragm pusher has to be blocked in different ways. In this lens, everything is concise and simple. For this, developers are highly respected.

Bokeh on CZJ DDR TESSAR 2.8 50

Bokeh on CZJ DDR TESSAR 2.8 50

8. Minimum focusing distance is 35cm, which allowed you to shoot small objects, of course, this is not macro, but to shoot flowers is quite interesting, you can see examples below.
9. The number of diaphragm blades - 5 pieces. This is not a lot, and you get pentahedral "nuts" if you close the diaphragm.

Bokeh view of CARL ZEISS JENA DDR TESSAR F2.8 50mm
TESSAR F2.8 50mm gives excellent bokeh with brightly defined circles in the blur zone. If you shoot scenes where there is a uniform surface in the background, then the lens gives a very even, smooth blur of the background. I understand that the taste and color of all the markers are different, but personally I really like the picture from Tessar. Perhaps this is just the psychological pressure of the inscription “CARL ZEISS JENA”, but it is likely that this is an objective reality.

Tessar 2.8 50mm, macro

Tessar 2.8 50mm, macro

A little more about the lens:
The lens is recessed in the focus ring, which creates the likeness of a small lens hood, recessed has a pyramidal structure for better work with backlight and side light. The sharpness increases with the closing of the aperture, at F8.0 the image subjectively seemed to be as sharp as possible. At F2.8, the image is also sharp, which allows you to take pictures without problems on a fully open aperture. It reproduces colors perfectly, there are bunnies on the fully open aperture in the backlight, and everything is just perfect.

Photo by CZJ DDR TESSAR 2.8 / 50

Photo by CZJ DDR TESSAR 2.8 / 50

The experience of using modern digital SLR cameras:
The lens has an M42 thread, in order to install it on modern digital-SLR cameras you will have to use an adapter. For the Canon system, it is possible to conveniently use the lens while maintaining infinity - for more details, see the article about old lenses at canon. For Nikon, when using the usual M-42 \ N adapter, focusing is not infinite, you can use an adapter with a lens, but this will contribute to the picture quality. More details in the article. Soviet optics.

Photo by CZJ DDR TESSAR 2.8 / 50

Photo by CZJ DDR TESSAR 2.8 / 50

Sample photos:

I use this lens on the camera without any problems Nikon D90, Nikon D40, however, with the loss of infinity, because in the examples of photographs I confine myself to portraits and the likeness of macro. The working distance with such an adapter is 1.5-2 meters. All photos passed only correction at the auto level, without much additional processing.

What is really impressive - sharpness, the ability to shoot small objects (of course, this is not a real macro), lightness. The lens is not afraid of backlight and side light. Indeed, this is a high-quality and interesting lens for all occasions.

If you are interested in this lens, or any other old Soviet or GDR optics, you can purchase it by contacting the contacts in the manual optics section.

Photo by CZJ DDR TESSAR 2.8 / 50

Photo by CZJ DDR TESSAR 2.8 / 50

Radozhiv has the following reviews of 'Tessar' lenses:

  1. CZJena Tessar 2,8 / 50 [M42, 8 petals, silver, GERMANY, Nr.4793092]
  2. Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 2,8 / 50 [M42, 12 petals, silver, 5124425]
  3. Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2,8 / 50 [M42, 5 petals, zebra, MDF 35 cm, 9182179]
  4. Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 [M42, 5 petals, black, MDF 35 cm]
  5. Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 1: 2.8 f = 50mm T [M42, 14 petals, silver, Nr.3376939]
  6. Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 1: 4,5 f = 4cm T [M42, 10 petals, silver, Nr. 3315266]
  7. Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar FE 4 / 24-70 ZA OSS T* (Sony SEL2470Z FE 4 / 24-70 Optical Steady Shot) [modern zoom]

Catalog of modern Carl Zeiss lenses can look at this link.


In the comments, you can ask a question on the topic and they will answer you, as well as you can express your opinion or describe your experience. For the selection of photographic equipment, I recommend large catalogs, for example E-Catalog. Many little things for the photo can be found on AliExpress.

Conclusion:

CZJ DDR TESSAR 2.8 / 50 - excellent fifty dollars with maximum aperture 2.8. Great for creative shooting. I recommend.

The material was prepared by Arkady Shapoval. My Youtube channeland Radozhiva's group on Facebook и VK.

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Comments: 105, on the topic: Review of Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 2.8 / 50

  • anonym

    zlipannya dyafragmi viruyutsya with the mechanism itself and the winding of the spring (+ 1 turn), having broken through the self-drive with the transition without the line, є without time, Mine.DF has changed to 25cm \ + -

  • Ross

    Good day! Do you think it makes sense to buy this Carl Zeiss if there is a Nikon 50mm 1.8d and Helios 44-2?

    • Vasily

      The point is to buy only for a change, like 44-2.

    • Novel

      Well, my relatives sent me my zebra, I'm satisfied. His drawing is different. But I am glad only that I already have it and took it at a reasonable price in due time. In cosmetic at 3. I would not take it now.

      Buy good optics. New. Not the best, but the one with which it will be convenient to work, and not just "for fun". Believe the experience, this "for fun" then lies on the shelves and is taken out once a year.

      • anonym

        I agree.

      • Ross

        I use alternately Nikon 50mm 1.8d and Helios 44-2, subjectively I like the picture on Helios more, it infuriates a little the complexity of working with the lens due to manual focusing. Therefore, I’m thinking about Zeiss, the price tag is small, and much praise. Is it possible to make infinity on a zeiss for Nikon? I did it with Helios just by removing the adjustment ring. (if anyone does not believe, I can attach a photo)))

  • Pluto

    In the mid-70s, I bought Praktik-L2 with this Tessar in a thrift store. And for many years it was a stock lens. Everything is as in the review: sharp with open, Helios-44M (it was on the previous Zenit-E camera) and stood next to it! At aperture 8 - razor sharpness. Very good for reshooting slides, either with adapter rings or with the PD macro extension. I did not notice “nuts” on a closed diaphragm (I had a version with a black frame). Easily disassembled for cleaning the lens unit. In the 90s there was no time for photography + lack of money - he sold “Praktika” together with “Tessar” to a collector. Now I don’t regret “Practice”, having “Sony a7m2”, but about “Tessara” - yes.

  • Alexey

    Tell me, will it fit the Canon 550d, and will it focus on sharpness?

    • Victor

      With an adapter, it will do.

      Will be guided if you hover it.

  • Hamlet

    Hello. I bought a couple of lenses today. The first one looks like a subject, but there is no Carl Zeiss inscription. The second is Beroflex 135 mm f / 2.8 mc. I can not check, since there is no adapter yet. I disassembled both lenses, cleaned the guts, cleaned the diaphragm, smeared everything that was smeared (but dried out), assembled it. Both had a stuck aperture, and the focusing ring was tight, now everything is super. Old imported lenses were disassembled for the first time, and in comparison with ours, everything is of high quality, easily disassembled / assembled, did not rip off a single screw during disassembly / assembly, and ours with screws just have trouble. I am posting pictures of these lenses, what can you say about them, who can use them. Yes, BeroflexA has a built-in retractable hood.

    • Rodion

      Well this is Tessar 50 / 2.8, yes. Tessar as Tessar)
      And Beroflex ... well, to be honest. Better Jupiter-37.

      • Andrei

        Shouldn't the one with the letter T have an overdof of aperture blades?

        • Rodion

          Confused with Tessar T, who has T - T (transparent) - indicates enlightenment. And they have it red. These are old Tessars from the 40s - 50s.

      • Hamlet

        It is clear that Tessar meant the same as in the subject, or better / worse. "T" is like enlightenment in the Tessars. And I have two Jupiters, simple but completely new with a hood, and MC but used. I don't see any differences between them, of course I'll keep the new one. And I want to check Beroflex, all the same with enlightenment, all the same Japan, and still F2.8. And also ... how is Tessar compared to HeliosamI 44 and Industar 61L / Z?

        • Rodion

          T is not enlightenment, but the abbreviated name of the lens due to litigation - T (essar).
          Tessars were not released from the MC. More precisely, there was one - Praktikar 50 / 2.8 - but it is extremely rare.

  • Hamlet

    ...

  • Hamlet

    Beroflex

  • Hamlet

    / / /

  • Andrei

    Thanks for your review! There is the same five-digit number with red numbers. Compared with Canon EF 50mm 1.8 in conjunction with 6d and 5d3, 7d - my impressions are ambiguous. Undoubtedly, the lens is good both in assembly and in the picture, but it loses to the native cheap fifty dollars both in sharpness and in color reproduction. To be honest, I was surprised by this fact. It wins in contrast. The native fifty dollars is less contrasting, this is a fact. But Zeiss turns yellow, not much, but yellows.
    I don’t know what it’s connected with, but on Nikon d7000 it goes to infinity on an ordinary Chinese thin adapter for 60 RUBLES. True, the distance scale turned out to be below, but these are trifles.
    It also behaves perfectly on the extension rings.
    Compared with Helios 44/2 - here Zeiss, of course, is ahead in all respects. Helios wraps the background space and yellowness is not an example anymore. Moreover, which after shooting even in RAW cannot be completely removed - other colors are lost, even with separate toning. On Zeiss, it is easier to correct, although in some flowers it also behaves in a similar way, but the editing is better, it is practically possible to display in native colors.
    In general, the lens is normal, but as everywhere there are nuances, on Avito the prices for them are from 4000-5000 rubles. But for 5000 you can already buy on Canon a native cheap 1.8 or on Nikkor the same 1.8d And taking it as the main half is a dubious occupation, so, for special tasks, that's why it lies, and I use Canon 50 / 1.4, and Nikkor af-s 50 /1.8G

    • Rodion

      In the presence of Industar-61 LZ MS for 2 tr. there is no point in buying a Tessar 50 / 2.8 black or a zebra on the secondary. Okay, still old, with a multi-lobed diaphragm ...

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