Review of Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 (zebra)

Many thanks for the opportunity Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 Lens Review (Zebra) Andrei Kopyl.

Review of Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 (zebra)

Review of Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 (zebra)

There are many modifications of the Tessar 2.8 / 50 lens. For example, here is one of the old options - Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 1: 2.8 f = 50mm T, and one of the newer options is Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 2.8 / 50 DDR. All Tessar lenses have the same Tessar optical design of 4 elements in 3 groups, but different body frames, different aperture mechanisms. The Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 variant from this review has a black and white color of the focusing ring and aperture control ring, this color resembles a zebra, therefore, this lens variant is often called the Tessar 2.8 / 50 Zebra.

Lens view Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 (zebra)

Lens view Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 (zebra)

Focusing

The focus ring of the lens is metallic. When focusing, the front lens does not rotate, and the trunk of the lens lengthens by almost a centimeter. The diameter of the front lens is 49mm. The lens boasts a very small minimum focusing distance, which is only 35cm. It would be interesting to use this Tessar with macro rings. When focusing, the ring rotates 180 degrees, the focus itself is smooth.

Lens view Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 (zebra)

Lens view Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 (zebra)

Diaphragm

The lens aperture device consists of only 5 blades. For example, one of the versions Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 1: 2.8 f = 50mm T had as many as 14 petals. Later version Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 2.8 / 50 DDR also has 5 aperture blades, which when the aperture is closed create 'nuts' in the bokeh. This Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 (zebra) has a diaphragm repeater located on the lens itself, which makes it easy to use on modern cameras. The repeater can be used in the same way as the aperture presetting on other similar lenses - focus on the focus at F / 2.8, press the repeater button and shoot at the set aperture. The aperture ring has a set of fixed values ​​from F / 2.8 to F / 22.

Size Comparison Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 (zebra)

Size Comparison Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 (zebra)

Use on modern cameras

I used Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar lens on camera Nikon D700 using the adapter KP-42 / N without a lens. However, I have no way to focus on infinity. The focusing limit with lensless adapter is reached at 1.5-2m. This does not allow the lens to be used for all the necessary tasks, but the focus distance is enough for a portrait. To focus on infinity, you need to use the KP-42 / N adapter with a lens (M42-Nikon with a correction lens). You can read in more detail about working with old manual optics on modern Nikon cameras in my article Soviet optics. On Canon cameras, things are a little different. It is enough to attach the M42-Canon EOS adapter and shoot for your own pleasure, in more detail in the section old lenses at canon. Other modern cameras have their own adapters.

View of the Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 (zebra) lens on a modern camera

View of the Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 (zebra) lens on a modern camera

Examples of photos on the lens

All sample photos in the gallery below were performed on a Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 (zebra) lens and a full-frame camera Nikon D700. Everything is shot in JPEG L, Fine, VI mode. All photos without processing, only the size is reduced to 3MP and the data from EXIF.

Image quality

My Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 (zebra) gives excellent image quality. The lens showed excellent contrast and color reproduction. Excellent sharpness is present even at f / 2.8. One of the disadvantages is that nuts appear in the blur zone on closed diaphragms, since the diaphragm has only 5 blades. Overall, the lens showed good quality.

Sample photos on Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 Review

Sample photos on Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 Review

Personal experience

Like the rest of the Tessar lenses, my lens is a very good lens, which is nice to shoot. If a aperture not important, the image quality on F / 2.8 can easily compete with modern lenses.

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.

Sample photos on Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 Review

Sample photos on Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 Review


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.


Conclusions:

Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 (zebra) - great lens. Gives a sharp and contrasty image. Does not own a large aperture. I recommend.

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

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Comments: 57, on the topic: Review of Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Tessar 2.8 / 50 (zebra)

  • Igor

    For some reason, I liked the zebra pattern most of all. I also want to purchase a 80mm biometar

  • anonym

    Great bear !!!

  • Maksim

    Sorry to repeat, but I'm reading from the phone. The question seemed to be but nonetheless.
    There is a Canon 5D FF, it is possible to purchase this lens as a replacement for Canon fifty-fifty 1.8 (the aperture is not so important, but the picture of the Canon is not like at all). I saw that the rear part of this (zebra) lens moves out strongly. Would she cling to a mirror? I'm afraid to just check))) Thanks in advance!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I have not yet heard that the Tessar fifty dollars hooked a mirror on Canon FF.

      • Maksim

        Well, in the Pankolar topic they wrote that on the 6D canon a mirror catches. I understand that it depends on the adapter, but who would suggest which one is needed, that would probably not cling. I have a regular thin M42-EOS, can I buy a dandelion for certainty? It will be thicker

        • Arkady Shapoval

          Adapters have the same length to compensate for the working length.

        • Jury

          maybe Pancolar, which clings to a mirror at 6D, was altered for Nikon - the focusing distance was increased, and the next owner of the lens put it on Canon, winding the M42-Canon transition. Those. not the fact that the lens was already standard

      • Maksim

        Although it is possible that the pin of the jumper catches, if it is not fixed. But still. I do not want to take risks

  • Bunn

    Is it fundamentally different from the black version in terms of optics? It's just that there is a possibility to sell black and take a zebra (Aus Jena which) + for the remainder of a shovel of some type of world. I just didn't like it for portraits, the helios are much sharper on the open. Portraits here are very interesting, "under the retro" if processed in RPP.

  • igor

    Guys, you can somehow compare this lens with Canon 50 f1.8. Not aperture, not autofocus, but the picture itself? I have fifty dollars, and here they sell such a “zebra”.
    Arkady, thank you for the reviews. After having read, after watching them, I bought Jupiter 37 a, very satisfied.

    • Rodion

      The picture will be fundamentally different.

      • igor

        What is a principle? At least a few words

        • Alexey

          Almost all "fifty kopecks" with aperture ratio of 1 / 1,8 have a "6 lenses / 5 groups" scheme.
          The Tessar scheme, as written in the review, is “4 lenses / 3 groups”.
          Is this a fundamental difference? Or not really?

  • Instagram: @ Oleh.Myrnyi.ph

    I am in search of the fastest and at the same time sharp lens for little money. I agree, the combination is so-so. Sorry, maybe I'm wrong, but how can I assess the sharpness of the lens when all the examples of the photographs taken by it are reloaded in 3 MP.? I think it’s worth laying out the crop of the central and corner parts of the frame in full resolution.

    • Onotole

      3 MP is more than enough resolution for 99% of cases, including large format printing.

    • anonym

      And this is written by a person who was going to resize everything and everything for the installation.

    • mAlex

      Then buy Industar-61, and if the working distance allows - 61L / D from FED to M39, they ask for ridiculous money for it. It is better if he is older - then his diaphragm will be richer, the more modern one has only 6 blades. But the optical quality is very high and so is the capabilities.

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