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.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | VK | Instagram | Twitter.

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

  • John

    I have such glass, only German, of a smaller diameter, so to make infinity on Canon just had to grind a dandelion by 0,5-0,7 mm and everything began to work indefinitely

  • Andrei

    There is a problem of sticking of the diaphragm. The lens was little used. Tell me the solution to this problem. Do I need to change the lubrication of the petals, or is the reason different?

  • Alexey

    Andrey, what kind of lubrication of the petals ?! There, no lubrication is needed at all, the diaphragm should work “dry”, but the presence of lubricant (thickening over time) can lead to sticking. In addition, the unsuccessful design of the diaphragm actuator with two springs working towards each other has already been mentioned here. It can also cause sticking. The lens needs maintenance and cleaning.

    • Andrei

      Thanks for the advice! I will give it for prevention!

      • Arthur

        And for reliability, I also located the spring on the lens unit, I stretched it a little for more protection against sticking =)

  • ant42

    applied to framing photo cropping?
    I can only focus on the Soviet lenses on my eyes, while the photo doesn’t come out of proportion at all, or can the camera be moved to compose the frame after focusing?

  • ant42

    camera SONY SLT A65,

  • Vasil Popov

    Hello,
    Forgive my language, I am from Bulgaria.
    This review was very helpful for me, thanks. My situation is like this - I bought a Nikon D3300, and in the past I had an EXA 1C camera with this (similar) TESSAR glass. (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/79/EXA_1c.jpg) I read that some adapters (Nikon F -> M42) can break the mirror. Well, here's the question: can you recommend some adapter from Amazon that won't have this problem? It's not important for me to focus on infinity - I want to do portraits of the guys.
    Thanks

  • Ivan

    So many years have passed, but the review is still useful)))
    I bought one of the versions - which is just Jena DDR, without mentioning the ideologically alien K. Zeiss - as a more technical alternative to the glamorous portrait of Helios. First impressions: The brutal focus wheel gear inspires respect; nice contrast and default color. It seems that it blurs on the open, but on the covered one it did not work, because the days are cloudy, darkish now. About the sharpness. It looked like this: I look at the picture and think - is there any sharpness? I zoom in. Either there is sharpness, or it is not. I increase it again. So is there sharpness or not? I zoomed in until the image began to crumble into large cubes, but I never decided if there was any sharpness. Because the picture seems to be soapy, but at the same time a lot of small details are discernible to obscenity. So far, the lens pretends to be a fairly comfortable staff with a correct, honest picture. If I can deal with this podblyurivaniem, I will be completely satisfied.

  • Georgy

    I have a Werra with three Carl Zeiss lenses, but how do I fit them on a modern Nikon 700? ..
    Are there any remodelers here?

    • Arthur

      I am also engaged in repairing the bulkhead optics, though I am in Omsk, if that’s my mail: gazikcorp@hotmail.com

  • Arthur

    Good afternoon, I will do my bit, I got this device with a stuck diaphragm in a rather excellent condition. After the bulkhead of the entire structure, I threw away the entire jump rope mechanism and adjusted the diaphragm ... Well, in the end everything seemed to be fine, but my tamron 17-50 2,8 turned out to be sharper, I have an idea to adjust, I have experience, so in the evening I will write what happened =)

  • Alexey

    Good afternoon. They brought an interesting, untouched copy of TESSAR 2.8 / 50 CARL ZEISS JENA DDR for prevention. This specimen has an interesting feature of going into back focus by almost 2 units. For comparison, I post an analogue of TESSAR - INDUSTAR-61 L / Z-MS (second photo). With the back focus on 2 units from the collection, there is one more export copy of Industar. The question is how to overcome back focus? With a stronger twisting of the front ring with the lens unit, due to the peculiarity of the lens design, the diaphragm begins to wedge, while the backing moves and, accordingly, sharpness is added. Tests are made from a tripod while confirming focus through an adapter chip. The camera is initially reference in back / front focus.

    • Alexey

      The correction is that sharpness does not go to the back, but to the front focus.

  • Alexey

    INDUSTRAR-61 L / Z-MS for comparison

  • for

    I accidentally logged in, but I’ll leave a review. The black GDR th tessar with a skipping rope is a very interesting lens, one of the most universal, it is not planar-shaped and there are not many softness and airiness. but it is, the image is sharp with an open and plastic, interesting to consider. If I-61 l / d and I-61 l / s are stupidly 2,8 soft, and starting from aperture 4 and up to 16 very sharp even the eye hurts, the tessar is moderate and interesting for that. It is a pleasure to take portraits on the street, street with this lens, softer Jupiters 8,3 are not very suitable IMHO.

  • Bunn

    He doesn't like the fact that in a certain situation the image at f2.8 turns out to be completely wadded. And turn a little to the side - already sharp and contrasting on the same hole.
    And this is not about counter light, it also removes the sun “head-on” perfectly.
    That is, it gets into focus, the exposure is 1 / 2000-4000, the outlines are clear and the details too, but the rest is straightforward.
    And for landscapes - ideal. On f4-11, you can cut 100% of the crops with good details, especially all sorts of forest fields.

  • BB

    To fix
    "- quite an interesting fifty dollars." - extra letter))

  • anonym

    I got such a lens, on the whole I am satisfied with it. The picture is sharp, suitable for use with macro rings, and the sharpness remains decent. Among the disadvantages is the design of the focusing ring, which is fixed with a nut on top, which has a feature of unscrewing over time, and the diaphragm spring is worn out, the diaphragm closes slowly (you can cure it, the main thing is to find a suitable spring). Sometimes the helicoid goes beyond the thread, you have to disassemble it completely, clean it - and then it works. This is a well-worn specimen, the focusing ring is flattened on the sides, it is clamped somewhere, therefore it turns a little, but does not interfere with unhurried shooting. The mechanism of the jump rope has been removed so that the tail does not stick out in front of the mirror, the diaphragm closes until 22.

    • anonym

      I did solve the problem of sticking the petals - I tightened the spring of the diaphragm pusher one more revolution. Tortured, but everything works

  • Yevhenii

    I use this lens on SonyA37 through the M42-SonyA ring. The quality of the picture constantly cheers me up - I just trudge. I compared this lens with the Meyer-Optik Lydith 3.5 / 30 and realized that there are sharp lenses (this is Lidit), and there are clear ones (Tessar). My Tessar has clarity, I would say, velvet - the picture is very clear and detailed, but soft. The focusing ring of my copy is light, but does not dangle - it is pleasant to aim. The lens design protects the front lens from glare - no hood is needed. The colors are saturated, not yellow.
    I got it for ridiculous money - for 400 UAH along with the Praktica TL working carcass.
    Great lens, definitely recommend.

  • Konstantin

    Tell me which glasses you need to buy as a set of a beginner video operator) the shooting will be mainly in a room with good and not very light. distance up to 3-4 meters maximum, the main task is half height. the camera so far only nikon 1 J 1 I want to order a dandelion adapter with a chip, universal. m 42, 4 \ 3.

    • Nikolay Fedorovich

      Crop nikon 1 J 2.7. all in vain.

    • Giorgi

      Fujinon Nachinaia 1.8. 1975-1986 g. vipuska. Ne juze CarlZeissa vidaiet kartinku. A dla video prosto supar. Kanechno zavisit ot sastaiania linzi. Smatri vnutrinuiu paverjnast esli jaroh, Peredni verjnast ne tak vliaet na kachestva. Esli net tarapin, beri.

  • anonym

    And on the first nickle will not touch the mirror?

  • Giorgi

    Bole kachestvenuiu kartinku vidaiot, CarlZeiss ot zeiss ikon. 1955 g. Parametri analagichni. Naverno dela kachestve stekla.

  • Asteroid

    I bought this lens in the mid-80s, in a thrift store, along with a Practica L2 camera.
    Great lens! Pros:
    * Easy to disassemble (disassembled to remove dust from lenses).
    * Lightweight, compact.
    * The focusing ring is easy to touch, without taking your eyes off the eyepiece of the viewfinder. It rotates easily and smoothly. Nothing wedges.
    * The diaphragm ring has fixed positions, incl. at intermediate values ​​between 2,8 and 4; 4 and 5,6.
    * "M-A" switch. Well, Radozhiva has already written about this.
    * The sharpness is amazing! Of course, there are sharper lenses, but we, Soviet photographers, who were not spoiled by a variety of imported lenses, did not have much to choose from. Here they rightly write that the I-61L / Z 2,8 / 50 is good. I will add: it is not just good - it is beautiful (meaning its resolution, especially in the field and in the corners of the frame)! But "Industar-61L / Z" is beautiful optically. For convenience, it sucks. The diaphragm preset ring alone is worth a lot.
    * Gorgeous shoot macro! Radozhiva also wrote about this. And not only because of the small MDF, but also with PZF bellows, and with intermediate rings, it showed excellent results. And, having attached the PZF to the PD prefix, I reshomed the slides with Tessar “one to one”!
    * Well, one last thing: the color formula. http://fotomaker.3dn.ru/publ/2-1-0-11
    At Tessar it is 11-0-0, i.e. perfect. Of course, today all sorts of color deviations are corrected in the editors, but at the time of film photography they were not, and could not be.
    Cons:
    * Aperture 2,8. I wanted it when I was filming, at least 2,0.
    I did not find any more flaws. )

  • anonym

    I got one with a sticky diaphragm. There were problems with focusing, the ring was tight and rotated. I had to sort it out, in the mechanism of the diaphragm I twisted the spring one more turn, now there are no problems with it, I removed the mechanism of the diaphragm pusher, the diaphragm began to close until 1. It helped to rinse the helicoid and other threads, lubricate the helicoid. There was also a deformation of the focusing ring, it clung to the middle part that holds the front lens, the aluminum there is not very soft, but it turned out to remove the deformation with my hands, now it works softly. In terms of image quality - well, everything is clear here anyway, a good thing. And for macro with rings it is suitable, there is enough sharpness.

  • Vitaliy

    Can you please tell me, does anyone use such a lens on a Sony Nex? There is nex-5r, there is also an adapter. They offer such a lens at a very ridiculous price, but with shipment - it will not work to check on the spot. Advise, is it worth taking?

    • Agent

      On Sony you can twist anything, there are even native adapters.
      Try it, glass is not expensive.

  • Ilya

    Comrades! And what about infinity at the BJC Fuji?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Infinity will be.

  • Novel

    I shoot on Tessar 2.8 / 50 Q1, 6 slats I have not seen any info about this modification anywhere. Can someone tell me?

  • Mark_V

    I also have Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2,8 / 50 No. 94025
    with Zenit he was showing good results
    now use with Sony and Panasonic
    I recommend everyone to keep this on the farm.

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