Review Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 1: 2 f = 5,8cm T

For the opportunity Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 1: 2 f = 5,8cm T lens review Many thanks to Vadim Shkurat, who sent me a lens from another area.

Review Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58

Review Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58

My Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 is very old, one of the first modifications, the hallmark of which is 17 blade aperture. The aperture gives absolutely even circles in the blur zone for any value of the number F. My copy has a black color, I met exactly the same Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 but in a metallic white frame, everything except the color of the lenses is the same. There are also a couple of modifications of Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58, mainly white metallic Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 with 10 aperture blades. You can look at Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 T with 12 aperture blades

View of the 17 blade aperture of the Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 lens

View of the 17 blade aperture of the Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 lens

The lens has 6 elements in 4 groups, this optical scheme formed the basis of the Soviet lenses of the Helios-44x-X family, for example, the first of them Helios-44 58 mm F2.0 with 13 aperture blades. Surprisingly, Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 from this review showed a weaker contrast than Helios.

T enlightenment Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58

T enlightenment Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58

Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 has a good aperture in combination with a focal length of 58mm, which on modern cropped cameras is not bad for portraiture.

View Biotar 2 / 58mm

View Biotar 2 / 58mm

Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 itself turned out to be a very small lens. Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 has a M42 fitting thread.

How to use with modern cameras?

Lenses with mounting thread M42 (M42 X 1 / 45.5), such as the lens from this review, are very easy to use on almost any modern digital camera (both SLR and mirrorless), for this it is enough to choose the right adapter (adapter). You do not need to carry out any additional steps to modify the lens.

The cheapest adapters can be found aliexpress.com... There are adapters (adapters) with a chip that provide more convenience during shooting, usually chips are used to confirm focus and / or metering exposure, and form the correct EXIF. The chip does not affect the image quality in any way.

For some SLR cameras (for example, Nikon F) it is necessary to use adapters with a corrective lens, which allows correct focusing at all focusing distances. For any mirrorless camera, such a lens is not needed, and the adapter is a simple decorated hollow metal tube with an appropriate mount.

For SLR cameras

  1. CANON: For cameras Canon EOS with bayonet mount EF / EF-S need an M42-Canon EOS adapter, such an adapter with a chip can be found herewithout chip here.
  2. NIKON: For cameras Nikon DX / FXas well as for cameras Fujifilm и Kodak with a Nikon F mount, you need an M42-Nikon F adapter, you can buy such an adapter without a lens and a chip here, with a lens without a chip herewith chip without lens here, with lens and chip here. Why a lens? Why chip?
  3. PENTAX: For cameras Pentax with mount K you need an adapter M42-Pentax K, you can buy such an adapter here.
  4. SONY/MINOLTA: For cameras with a Sony / Minolta A mount, you need the M42-Sony A adapter, you can find such an adapter without a chip at this linkwith a chip at this link.
  5. OLYMPUS / PANASONIC / LEICA: For cameras with a 4/3 bayonet mount (not to be confused with Micro 4/3!) You need an M42-4 / 3 adapter, you can buy such an adapter here.

For mirrorless cameras

  1. SONY: For cameras with an 'E' series mount SonyNEX и Sony Alpha you need an adapter M42-Sony E (aka M42-Sony Nex), you can find it at this link. An autofocus adapter is also available for these cameras. Techart PRO Leica M - Sony E Autofocus Adapterwhich can be found at this link.
  2. OLYMPUS / PANASONIC / KODAK /  XIAOMI: For cameras with a Micro 4/3 bayonet mount (Micro 4: 3), you need the M42-Micro 4/3 adapter, you can find it at this link.
  3. CANON M: For cameras with a bayonet mount Canon EF-M need adapter M42-Canon M, it can be found at this link.
  4. CANON R: For cameras with a bayonet mount Canon r need adapter M42-Canon R, it can be found at this link.
  5. Nikon 1: For cameras Nikon 1 Series need adapter M42-Nikon 1, you can find it at this link.
  6. Nikon Z: For series cameras Nikon Z need adapter M42-Nikon Z, it can be found at this link.
  7. FUJIFILM X: For cameras with mount X need an M42-Fuji X adapter, you can find it at this link.
  8. FUJIFILM GFX: For medium format cameras G-mount need M42-Fuji GFX adapter, you can find it at this link.
  9. SAMSUNG: For cameras with NX mount need adapter M42-Samsung NX, you can find it at this link. For the camera Nx mini adapters do not exist yet.
  10. PENTAX: For cameras with Q mount need an adapter M42-Pentax Q, you can find it at this link.
  11. SIGMA / PANASONIC / LEICA: For cameras with L mount, you need the M42-Leica L adapter, you can find it at this link.
  12. LEICA: For cameras with a Leica M mount need adapter M42-L / M, you can find it at this link.

If you have any questions on compatibility and adapters - ask in the comments (comments do not require any registration at all).

Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 at different focusing distances

Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 at different focusing distances

The lens focuses smoothly, while focusing the front lens does not rotate, and the trunk of the lens lengthens slightly. The focus ring rotates about 270 degrees. The minimum focusing distance is only 90 centimeters. The lens has a focus distance scale and DOF for all aperture values.

Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 with dressed hood

Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 with a clad hood. The lens hood is screwed into the front filter.

The aperture control ring is located in front of the lens and can be accidentally hit when focusing. Any F-number from F / 2.0 to F / 22.0 is available, and aperture control is smooth, no clicks or fixed values. 17 blackened petals are a very nice thing.

Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 on a modern camera

Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 on a modern camera

Sample Photos

All photos taken on Nikon D700without processing.

Personal impressions

From my copy number 3425475, you can determine that the lens was released between 1949-1952. The lens gives a nice picture. If I had a choice for the practical use of such a lens, I would leave for myself something from Helios.

Dimensions of Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 compared to Industar-50-2

Dimensions of Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 compared to Industar-50-2

Catalog of modern Carl Zeiss lenses can look at this link.
Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. A wide variety of photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress, The Amazon и B&H Photo.
Conclusions:

Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 1: 2 f = 5,8cm T - a good old manual focus lens with legendary background swirl in the out-of-focus area. Interesting for its 17-blade diaphragm, aperture and small size.

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

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Comments: 55, on the topic: Overview of Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 1: 2 f = 5,8cm T

  • VALENTINE

    “The lens has 6 elements in 4 groups, this optical scheme formed the basis of the Soviet lenses of the Helios-44x-X family, for example, the first of them, the Helios-44 58mm F2.0 with 13 aperture blades. Surprisingly, Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 from this review showed weaker contrast than Helios. ” No wonder: simply - the Lytkarin glass palette used in this optical scheme is better than the Schott's one.

    • AlekK

      The Helios-44 you described is the second, purely Soviet development, in terms of housing. The first Helios-44 was an exact copy of the pre-war Biotar, in the early batch Zeiss lenses obtained by reparation were used, and had eight lobe diaphragms.

      • Sergei

        What version of Helios were you talking about?

        • Rodion

          Mb about BTK, but he was not an exact copy of the biotar.

  • Dmitriy

    Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar which in the review was produced from 1946-60. VEB Carl Zeiss Jena (GDR). The optical scheme is a slightly modified Planar. Further development of this lens -> Pancolar.
    Do not be mistaken 1. lens name 2. glass origin

    The lens is not related to Carl Zeiss (“The Gauss models designed at Carl Zeiss Oberkochen never used the Biotar name, but kept the older Planar brand name for historical and political reasons.” (C) Planar - The history and features of one of photography's most important high performance lenses, Carl Zeiss AG.
    Those. Zeiss never used the name Biotar after World War II.

    In this case, the name used was VEB Carl Zeiss Jena (GDR).

    Glass was used by VEB Jenaer Glaswerke (GDR).
    On the ruins of the post-war Schott. Schott AG itself was already in Mainz (West Germany) at that time. In 1953 VEB Jenaer Glaswerke (GDR) and Schott AG completely broke off relations at the initiative of the Soviet side.

    And finally - a lens with a single-layer coating, invented before the Second World War.

    Nevertheless, it is a beautiful old planar :)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Thanks for the useful information.

    • 10111

      Generally speaking, the real Karl Zeiss was just in Jena, and the Americans transported part of the specialists and the rest of the materiel (which they had) to Oberkochen. In addition, the oldest version of Biotar had no enlightenment and was produced before the war for Exact and Prakiflex cameras in brass frames (although later versions of the lens, like this one in chrome-plated brass, are also found).

      • Dmitriy

        The Americans naturally transported the most valuable things - the best specialists, manuals, drawings and the most "secret" machines. The real Zeiss was in Jena just before the removal of everything of value, and after that, mostly just workers remained, which time has shown.

  • Den po

    So all the same, examples on Nikon? And then with the lens Canon-350 misled me :-))
    Wonderful shots! Sooo liked how he draws, that's right "it is" !!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Well, how the lens looks is shown on an example on a 350d Kenon camera, and examples with a full-frame d700, so that it can be seen as much as the background twists, is interesting to many.

    • Novel

      In fact, the difference with the usual Helios 44th, which in a silver frame is very insignificant. Helios twists the background a little more and his bokeh is a little dirtier. But this "almost" is not worth the overpayment three or four times.

      And the pictures are noisy. With all due respect - not enough to get an idea of ​​the lens.

  • nukemall

    Very great nausea of ​​the text (excessive repetition of keywords), now search engines are punishing for this, not to mention that it is unpleasant to read.
    About “Biotar” I can add that apart from the inscription “Zeiss” it is no better than the early “Helios-44” (the late Valdai ones, made using a simplified technology and without blackening the lens ends, of course, are an example of boundless melancholy and despondency), and the presence of a huge number of much better "fifty-fifty" there is absolutely no practical sense in it, just a collectible… who would think of driving the 1938 Opel Olympia every day? That's about the same with Biotar.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Do you really think that I specifically repeat something 100 times?

      • Andrei

        Arkady! Most likely it was meant that the reviews have some kind of stereotyped, worked out not in one month)))
        Naturally, I think that writing a literary story of 10 pages about each lens is not logical.
        Your reader understands and appreciates you, and the rest is forest (you will not please everyone).
        Sincerely, Andrey Kopyl !!!

        • anonym

          Are you not Andrei from St. Petersburg? Have you served in rockets before in the mid-80s? If you don’t break it, write to me. I Nikolay was a year older in the 10th division.

        • anonym

          Yes here is mine E-mail-kolbasik65@mail.ru

      • nukemall

        I think, yes. Previously, key phrases (such as the name of the lens) were made in bold.
        For nausea, see for example here: http://www.webeffector.ru/wiki/%D0%A2%D0%BE%D1%88%D0%BD%D0%BE%D1%82%D0%B0

        • Arkady Shapoval

          It is absolutely normal to highlight the key aspects in the article in bold. You invent superfluous.

    • Sergei

      Dear nukemall, you have a choice, create your own website, where everything will be clear, concise and without unnecessary words, and we will look at your style, layout of the material and literacy in building the sentence according to the grammar of the Russian language !!!!!! Py.Sy. Thanks to Arkady for the work.

    • Pangolin

      “Nausea of ​​the text” .. It was very unpleasant to run into such an abomination here. Please do not write here anymore, cultural people communicate here. Leave the demonstration of intestinal shipment to the garbage blogs.

      • nukemall

        Google “text nausea”. This is not an intestinal matter, but optimizing jargon. :)

        • Arkady Shapoval

          As for the fact that I am “optimizing” the article, this is crazy. It is absolutely normal that the name of the lens is repeated in the article, because the article is about it.

          • Andrei

            Arkady! Yes you hammer.
            We are all very happy)))

    • AlekK

      In some ways you are right, Biotar is a glass for creativity, not for everyday photography, besides, it is very critical to the choice of the plot. And it is true that the post-war biotars are practically twins in design with early helios 44. The early biotars differ greatly from the heliks and from the post-war biotars.

  • Novel

    Well, the fact that Arkady's articles are written according to a certain standard is a fact. It is clear that thanks to this, standard questions such as “will it become Nikon”, “will it become Canon” are immediately cut off. But I have already caught myself several times in the fact that I skip most of the text, pick out some interesting pieces and go to the photographs.

    Maybe it makes sense to revise the template? Leave the image of the lens, block TTX, subjective sensations, scope and conclusions. And publish links with answers to questions after photos.

    What I personally would like. I understand that it is not easy, but still. How the lens behaves on a crop. How the lens behaves at wide angle. How it behaves in comparison with modern lenses, even if with conventional zooms. Here is Biotar, for example, a soapy portrait, but this is not visible on sticks-twigs. I also did not see the “twist” in the photo, but it is there, albeit in a smaller size than that of Helios. By the way, comparison with Helios would also be useful in the same photos. So far this is exactly what the reviews are. Extremely review reviews :)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      If my reviews were paid, I would have thought to pay more attention to the nuances, as recently they only distract me from my work. Regarding the full frame and crop - everything is very simple, the lens itself behaves in the same way, just the central area remains from the image from the full frame. You can close the edges of the image with your hands and get yourself a crop behavior. Comparing the fix with the zooms is extremely incorrect. The portrait test takes a lot of time to catch people. About swirling the background - look carefully again, for example here https://radojuva.com.ua/wp-content/uploads/sg/biotar-58mm-black/czj-biotar-58mm-f-2-0-17-blades-sample-8.jpg, she is not as fervent as the Helios. Reviews just give a general feeling, especially since most of the equipment is provided for several days, sometimes for a couple of hours. Even with a lot of experience, it is difficult to get into every corner of the lens' soul. Moreover, you want tests to be carried out both on the crop and on the full frame, then they will ask for video from the lens. I am leading to the fact that lately I have added the words “share” your impressions of the lens. Unfortunately, in our countries people are very unresponsive, I write mostly absolutely worthless comments like “soap, garbage, old stuff”, no one can devote a couple of minutes for two or three proposals on the case.

    • Pangolin

      Roman, if you were a photographer, you would know how the lens behaves on the crop. The rest of the nonsense does not want to comment. Just have respect for the person and his work, which he does for his money and to the detriment of his personal time.

      • Novel

        Lizard, if YOU were a photographer, you would know that 58mm is a portrait focal length, and 2.0 is a good aperture.

        For Helios and Biotar, for example, the twist effect on the crop is less pronounced than on the full frame. But the drop in resolution at the corners is not so noticeable. Vega-12 has more uniform sharpness across the field, so despite the fact that this is an SF lens, it is good both there and there. Perhaps even at full frame the picture is better revealed. If you don’t give a damn about it or two or three frames are enough to fully understand the nature of the lens, then I don’t.

        I made several specific proposals, Arkady replied. Do you want to be smart? Do it elsewhere. You can be indignant on the grounds of the "nausea of ​​the text", in my opinion it turned out not convincingly enough.

        • Pangolin

          Roman, a shot in FF is enough to understand what the picture will be on the crop. For example, in the same Helios, the twist effect is enhanced towards the outer side of the image, therefore it is less noticeable on the crop. I saw this - “Correcting: wide angle = full frame”, sorry for the “nonsense”, but agree - the phrase sounded strange.

        • Dmitriy

          Roman, where did YOU get the idea. That 58mm is a "portraitist"? As far as we know, "portrait" FR starts somewhere from 75mm (ideally-85mm = 2 (approximately) full-frame diagonals (24x36). So Biotar is all a "staff", not a "portrait"

        • AlekK

          Roman, as a photographer, you should know that half-streaks and near-half-streaks are standard lenses, but not as portrait ones, focal portraits from 75mm to 180mm.

        • Dmitriy

          58 millimeters on the crop behaves closer to the portrait. But this is only in terms of the width of the field of view of the lens, which is trimmed. The lens saves everything else. DOF only takes up more frame area on crop than on FF.

          And in general, this is an old lens, made for film, and it would be fairer to consider it as “normal” in terms of focal length. The fact that now he is considered a "portraitist" is because, apart from the crop, these people have not tried it. Even film, although it has become much more accessible.

  • Novel

    Correct: wide angle = full frame.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I’ll also add that, for example, in reviews of lenses, which I have had for a long time, where all the details are sucked up, people do not pay attention to the details, which is personally unpleasant for me, since I have to write in vain. Even worse, reviews that have 10,000 views and hundreds of comments have some miserable 10 likes. Therefore, looking at my situation, I see just a bunch of ungrateful users.

  • Dmitriy

    Good afternoon!
    I really need information on how to disassemble the lens unit on the CZ Biotar 58mm F / 2 T * (silver)

  • anfirt

    “17 blackened petals” - Arkady, please correct. No need to "-t", just 17.
    You make excellent reviews, and from them I learned a lot from some lenses at the time, but there are often errors in the articles.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Fixed

  • anonym

    Great site, great reviews! Respect to the author!

  • Alexey

    The softness of the boke is similar to the Nikon AF-S 58 / 1,4G.

  • anonym

    What is the working distance of the lens?

  • Andriy

    Interestingly, Biotar and Biotessars somehow overlap? Perhaps Biotars are the next evolutionary stage of Biotessar?

    • Andrei

      In Biotessar - 6 lenses in four groups, in Biotar - 5 in four. The schemes differ significantly. Judging by the photo from Biotessar and my experience with the Biotar 17-blade - the lenses are very different ...

  • Alexey

    I apologize, does anyone know the working length of this lens? Focusing on infinity is preserved if you use it on the same zenith / practice or EOS / Pentax with a normal adapter?

    • Andrey T.

      On EOS, I have a small overrun for infinity in the extreme position of the focuser; those. there is infinity. Conventional M42-EOS adapter with focus confirmation.

    • Novel

      All M42 lenses have a 45,5 mm flange distance. The M39 had three options - for SLR and rangefinder with 36x24 film and for “Chaeks” with half film.

      • Dmitriy

        Not all of them ... There were early m39 on "Starts", which had a flange distance of 45,2 mm.
        Our "Helios", "Jupiters" and "Industars" for "Zeniths" moved to M42 in the second half of the 70s, or even on the border with the 80s. And before that, they cut the same thread m39x1 mm. on DSLRs and rangefinders.

  • Andrei

    Good evening Arkady wanted to ask two things, is there any difference between black and silver? And the second question for a full frame is that there would be adapters or should the shank be machined? thank you in advance

    • Rodion

      Does not depend on the adapter - see specifically the reviews. The difference between the lenses should not be large, the preservation effect is much stronger.

    • Andrey T.

      Everyone who needs infinity is sharpened. Although why there is infinity on it - I don't know. I didn't sharpen mine.

    • Andrey T.

      PS Unscrew the helicoid slightly and hold down the diaphragm - you can shoot “to infinity”. By the way, the picture is good even in this version, so it is suitable not only for f2 and bokeh ...

  • Andrei

    there is a difference silver m 39 and the shank touches at full frame, black m 42 even the photos are different from them, the mirror does not hurt

  • Tatyana

    Good day, I have such a lens, but it has a different thread, it was for Practina FX. Please tell me, where would I find adapters from it for the Canon 6 D and for the M42? Thank you in advance!!!

    • Rodion

      These adapters are not available - the lens section with M40 thread is 44 mm. It is necessary to redo it.

  • Ilya

    Guys
    Write to the soap who fumbles in the helios. I got an interesting copy of helios (may the owner forgive me for offtopic), I wonder who knows what

    lialikillia @@ icloud.com

    • Arkady Shapoval

      why, attach a photo of the appearance here, everyone is interested

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