MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR review

Many thanks to Alexander for the opportunity to review the MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR lens. As an advertisement - this lens can be found on the contacts from the manual optics section.

MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR review

MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR review

TTX MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR
Focal length: 135mm
Diaphragm: F / 3.5-f / 22
Number of aperture blades: 6 pieces
The weight: 430g
Front Filter Diameter: 49mm
MDF:
Thread: M42

There are many lens modifications.

  1. CZ Sonnar T * 2,8 / 135 Contax / Yashica - the optical scheme is slightly different, the so-called Ernostar
  2. Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR - older version, does not have MC, frame is made in zebra style.
  3. Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 4/135 - white case frame
  4. MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR - version with MC, with built-in hood. This particular lens is presented in this review.
MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Lens Front View

View of the MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR lens, front view with the hood down.

The lens uses the pre-war optical design Sonnar ('Sonnar' means 'Sunny' in German). The optical design is famous for its simplicity of execution, in this case, only 4 lenses in 3 groups, and excellent quality of the formed image. There are many modifications based on the Sonnar circuit that are used not only in Carl Zeiss lenses. Soviet lenses Jupiter brands also have a Carl Zeiss Sonnar scheme. For example, an almost complete copy of this MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR is MS Jupiter-37A 135mm F3.5

Jupiter-37A CZJ Sonnar

Jupiter-37A (not MS version) with a hood, a KP-A \ N shank and a light filter and MS CZJ DDR Sonnar 135 / 3,5

The MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR lens has a very nice focus. The focusing ring is metal, rotates almost 360 degrees, the minimum focusing distance is quite pleasant, and is only 1 meter. Focusing on the lens is very pleasant; when focusing, the trunk of the lens lengthens by approximately 3 cm, while the front lens does not rotate.

MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR rear view

MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR rear view. Visible M42 thread and diaphragm pusher

The lens has a red-white coloration of the depth of field indicators, aperture, and focus distance. GRIP indicated for F / 8, 16, 22. The aperture ring has only fixed values, on the lens you can find the 'M / A' aperture control switch. Aperture 'M' mode makes it easy to use the MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR on modern digital cameras.

MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR view on a modern camera

MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR view on a modern camera

The assembly at the lens is excellent. This MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR was manufactured a long time ago, but still works fine, and this is not only the merit of the Carl Zeiss Jena DDR inscription on the body, but the implementation of the simple and reliable mechanical part of the lens. This MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR has integrated telescopic hood, which helps to avoid hares and a drop in contrast with strong sources of backlight.

Sample photo on MC Sonnar 135 3.5

Sample photo on MC Sonnar 135 3.5

Image quality

The lens is sharp at all aperture values, especially in the center. Aberrations are well corrected, good contrast and color reproduction. The lens normally tolerates backlight. The bokeh of the lens is quite good, the lack of distortion and the large focal length make this MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR an excellent portrait lens. In general, image quality is on top.

Sample photo on MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR

Sample photo on MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR

Sample photos on MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR

All sample photos in this review were made on Nikon D80 with adapter M42-Nikon without lens. Photos without processing, only reduced to 3MP and imprinted data from EXIF. On a cropped Nikon DX camera EGF lens becomes 202,5mm (135*1.5).

How to use on modern cameras

The Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR has a very popular M42 lens mount thread. Almost all mounts have their own adapters. For example, for Nikon I used the M42-Nikon adapter, for more details on how to use old manual lenses with M42 thread on Nikon cameras, see Soviet lenses. For Canon owners there will be a useful article about old lenses at canon.

Sample photo on MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR

Sample photo on MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR

Personal experience

I really love Sonnaras, their bokeh, sharpness and contrast make for great shots. However, instead of this MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR I use its analogue - the Olympic Jupiter-37A is not the MC version. If you choose a lens like this, then both Jupiter and Sonnar will be very good lenses. MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR gives slightly better contrast than my Jupiter-37A due to the presence of Multi-Enlightenment.

Sample photo on MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR

Sample photo on MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR

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

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Lenses and promotions on them look at Moyo.ua.


Conclusions

The MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR is an excellent short tele prime lens with the legendary Sonnar optical design. The lens provides excellent image quality, in particular, a pleasant background blur, which makes it a good portrait lens.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram. View discounts on cameras here.

Add a comment: Alexander

 

 

Comments: 75, on the topic: MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 review Carl Zeiss Jena DDR

  • Oleg

    post a photo of how aperture CARL ZEISS 135 f3.5 is arranged
    nor how I can not understand where my mistake is when assembling the petals back.
    In this video, I gathered the petals back, but here's where to install the plastic dog, which will move the petals, I did not succeed.

    https://youtu.be/U8uSwAhKp4M

  • Oleg

    Good afternoon!
    Recently bought Nikkor 35-70 \ 2.8 for 200 American
    Sharpness, alas, no. Here I look at Jupiter and a tear flowed :)

  • anonym

    Thanks for the review. And what is the difference between the electric version ?!

    • anonym

      Disgusting constructive. They are optically the same. The electric version is cheaper due to the design and a greater variation in quality

  • Alexey

    Hello everyone. How to find out the production period of this lens?

    • Andrey T.

      Began to release in September 75th

      • Alexey

        Thanks. And by the number on the glass, how can you find out?

        • Andrey T.

          You are welcome. In the 75th year, they reset the counter, and on the Web I did not see the layout by numbers after 1975. Apparently, we can talk about the period 1975-80, because in the 81st year, the counter, it seems, was reset again and the numbers after that started with a two.

  • Timur

    I do not have a front lens. Tell me, is it suitable from Jupiter 37A?

    • B. R. P.

      It is doubtful that it will do. The sizes are different.

  • Igor Bodrov

    Tell me, will this sonnara have infinity for Nikon?

    • Michael

      No, it’s written, M42

  • Alex

    What does MC mean?
    Pokritiya?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Multilayer or multi-coated optics can increase contrast, improve color, get rid of some glare, and increase light transmission.

    • Alexey

      MC-Multi Coated

  • Vladimir

    Arkady, do I understand correctly that a lens with an MC, but without electric or t *, will be the best in image quality?

    • Michael

      T * this is multi-enlightenment

      • Vladimir

        Thank you Michael!
        Can you tell me how essential for the quality of optics, if the version is electric?

        • Michael

          I don’t know) I have not encountered such. Along the way, it has an electric diaphragm or a jump, and therefore the designation electric

        • nashua

          Elektrik has an electric sensor of the set aperture value, which allows metering on an open aperture, but only on the apparatus of Praktica LLC. Due to the complexity of the design, the reliability of the lens decreased.
          But there are also rumors that other glass of the worst quality began to be used in later GDR lenses, as pre-war stocks ran out

  • Kolya

    2. Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR - an older version, does not have an MS, the frame of the case is made in the style of 'zebra'.

    There is also almost the same 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR ELECTRIC - she is with MC.

  • Vladimir

    Tell me what is the difference between the same lens, but without the word SONNAR

    • Rodion

      Apparently, the year of issue - this, most likely, was produced after the unification of the GDR and the FRG. There also began the complex merger of the Eastern and Western Zeiss - they had a difficult separation, that the connection was not painless.

    • Vladislav

      AFAIK, this is an export variant for sale in West Germany (before reunification), because instead of "Sonnar" there is only "S". According to a post-war agreement between Carl Zeiss Jena (GDR) and Carl Zeiss Oberkochen (FRG), only Westerners had the right to call lenses “Sonnar”, since the rights to the trademark belonged to them. The Easterners could call Sonnars Sonnars only on their own territory (read, on the territory of the Eastern Bloc).
      For export to Germany, I had to change the name like this.

      Perhaps this lens has a slightly better quality (production control / selection is tougher).

      Sonnar'ov MC is still full on eBay at sane prices - apparently, a lot has been riveted.

      A common “sore” of the GDR Sonnar, Biometar, etc. - stuck (non-adjustable) diaphragm. As a rule, due to grease that has dried / got on the petals.

      Be sure to check when buying if you are not ready to bargain and / or sort out the lens yourself.

      Sorry for the necropolis, :-).

      • Vladislav

        Necropost of course, oh, this autocorrect :-).

  • Alexander

    Good hour! Found a new Sonnar 3,5/135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR without MS. Due to prolonged non-use, the aperture blades do not fold well - maintenance is required. That is, they were never used at all. Bargained for 98,99 S. Need advice, how much worse is it than MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR, and how difficult will it be to carry out maintenance?

    • B. R. P.

      The repair is not easy, you yourself can not master it, give the extra money to the specialist. Do not take with a non-working aperture, and even for such a price.

      • Alexander

        Arranged with a specialist today. He will repair it for free. For mailing about 1000 rubles. you have to pay both ways. I'm wondering how big is the difference between MS and the one I found without MS?

        • B. R. P.

          Only the subtlest aesthetes will notice the difference)

    • Rodion

      Shooting will still be about the same as Jupiter-37A, which can be taken from the MS and ideally for $ 30-40.

      • Alexander

        Rodion, I read about an approximate picture and saw a comparison of Jupiter 37A with Carl Zeiss Jena DDR. In fact, approximately, but not better than Carlos, there is not enough contrast, and indeed everything. In addition, the new Jupiter 37A, especially with MS, is unlikely to be on sale. And here is a brand new Carl Zeiss Jena DDR. It was brought from the GDR and presented to the doctor by a grateful patient, but the doctor was never fond of photography, and therefore sells it.

        • B. R. P.

          Jupiters also come across unused. And, then, your Carlos with a problem diaphragm, which should affect the price downward. Contrast is easily added during processing, and you shouldn't rely too much on ms from the GDR/USSR.

          • Alexander

            I agree with you. Contrast and so on in FS can be brought to the desired results, especially since I always shoot in roo format. I process accordingly in the Roo camera and in the Nic collection plugins. I have a good lens - Yashica Auto Yashinon-DX 1:1,7 f=50mm in excellent condition. I got a new carlusha, I want to buy a new one, so I sit and think, what am I going to shoot with them ?! Shooting animals is only possible if they are not in dynamics, but what if they run?! To shoot a portrait on a crop, the focal length will not be 135mm, but 216mm. As a result, I will need to move away from the model by about 12-14 meters. The seller thought that I would rush to him after the call on the same day. But I'm not in a hurry, I'll wait until he gets tired of selling, in about a month I'll collect and offer 5000 rubles. I think he will agree. With 12 years of experience in real estate sales, I know that all sellers begin to cheerfully sell their property, believing that it is the best. What is funny is that the sellers at the initial stage think that everything depends on the timing of the sale of their “golden property”. And the time frame is irrelevant. Pts often there were cases when the sellers went ... .. for a couple of years with the sale of their “golden real estate” they turned to me for help. And when I called them the price without seeing the apartment and sold it for a maximum of a week, they were very surprised.

            • Specialist

              With your talents, you have a direct path to commercial photography. By the way, the focal length this lens is the same as the lens, say 18-140 at the long end.

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