MC Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Pancolar auto 1.8 / 80. Review from the reader Radozhiva

Overview of the MC Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Pancolar auto 1.8 / 80 lens and sample photos from it specifically for Radozhiva, prepared Rodion Eshmakov.

Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Pancolar MC 80 / 1.8 (M42)

Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Pancolar MC 80 / 1.8 (M42)

CZJ MC Pancolar 80 / 1.8 is a rather rare portrait lens, in fact it is a replacement for the outdated Sonnar 85/2, Biotar 75 / 1.5, Biometar 80 / 2.8. This is one of the latest lenses designed and manufactured by Carl Zeiss Jena, one of the latest lenses in the German Democratic Republic (DDR in the lens name). Its history ended with the unification of Germany. There were two lens modifications: for the Praktica B mount and for the M42 thread. Modifications differ significantly in appearance, have different mechanics - and characteristics. The review presents the version for the M42 thread.

Features of the MC Pancolar 80 / 1.8:
Optical design: Planar (6 elements in 5 groups)

Planar (6 elements in 5 groups)

Planar (6 elements in 5 groups)

Enlightenment: multilayer (MS)
Filter thread: 58 mm
Minimum focusing distance: 0,83 m
Aperture device: automatic ("blinking", there is an M / A switch), 6 blades, aperture limits: F / 1.8-F / 16
Weight: ~ 300 g

Features of the construct Pancolar 80 / 1.8

The lens got me in a very scary look. However, the puzzle of its repair and assembly was successfully solved. Only one shank screw and two diaphragm rattle balls were lost.

During the repair, it turned out that the lens is quite easy to disassemble - you need to start with the shank and with a glass with a thread for the filters in front. The lens diaphragm assembly also does not look like a nightmare of a gloomy Teutonic genius, although the diaphragm drive contains two thin springs that do not seem durable.

Pancolar 80 / 1.8 is very light. Its body is made entirely of metal, with the exception of the diaphragm mode switch - it is made of plastic.

Pancolar 80 / 1.8

Pancolar 80 / 1.8

With its exterior design, the Pancolar 80 / 1.8 closely resembles the later Pentacon lenses: PENTACON auto 1.8 / 50 MULTI COATINGPENTACON auto 2.8 / 29 MCPentacon auto 2.8 135 MC. Apparently, he was also produced by this company under the brand name Carl Zeiss Jena (like Prakticar 135 / 3.5 - which is Sonnar 135 / 3.5 for Praktica B).

Focusing at Pankolar is carried out by moving the entire lens block, while it does not rotate, which is important when using filters. The lens unit extends a distance of about 15 mm. When focusing on infinity, the rear lens protrudes near the lens (about 2 mm beyond the plane of the EF mount), there is information that on full-frame SLR cameras (Canon 5D Mk2, for example), the lens catches a mirror. The minimum focusing distance is 0,83 m - this is quite a lot and will not allow you to shoot small objects without resorting to additional devices such as macro lenses or rings.

Pancolar 80 / 1.8

Pancolar 80 / 1.8

The Pancolar 80 / 1.8, like any old lens, has distance scales (in meters and feet) and DOF, with a mark for shooting in the IR range.

Pancolar 80 / 1.8

Pancolar 80 / 1.8

The biggest disappointment is the diaphragm. Not only is it six-petal - it gives nuts with ~ F / 2.5 and circular saws up to ~ F / 2.5. It is also not blackened, shiny - like some Helios-44M's. Of course, this does not at all benefit the picture of the lens.

Aperture view at ~ F / 2.2

Aperture view at ~ F / 2.2

Aperture view at F / 2.8

Aperture view at F / 2.8

View of the closed aperture Pancolar 80 / 1.8

View of the closed aperture Pancolar 80 / 1.8

The lenses on the lens have a multilayer coating (of course, no T *) purple hues. For such a lens, the presence of multilayer enlightenment is very important - because it has as many as 10 glass / air boundaries.

Shades of the antireflection coating

Shades of the antireflection coating

In general, the impressions were good: light weight, compactness, fairly modern design, ergonomics - this is about the Pancolar 80 / 1.8. However, there is a very significant drawback in the form of a shiny nut-shaped diaphragm, which often spoils the picture.

Optical properties of Pancolar 80 / 1.8

As noted, my lens is by no means new. Of the damage to the optics, it has one point (r <0,5 mm) chip of the front lens and several microscratches on it. However, this kind of damage does not have any significant effect on sharpness or contrast, i.e. do not degrade the performance of the lens.

In more detail and in comparison with other lenses (RO500-1, Jupiter-9), you can evaluate the optical characteristics of Pancolar 80 / 1.8 by reading the article: http://lens-club.ru/reviews/item/c_55.html.

As expected by Zeiss, the lens forms a high-quality image with an open aperture - sharpness is more than enough with F / 1.8. Of the aberrations, one can note a small residual software, a high level of chromatism (fringing — bright purple and green halos in the defocus zone) —and Pancolar 80 / 1.8 fringing is rather poorly cleaned in the editors — because the red part of the spectrum is affected. Let's say for RO500-1 all the prefocal chromatism was in the blue-violet region and there were no problems with its destruction. Closer to the edges of the frame you can see a coma. The lens has vignetting, which will appear in full frame.

Contrast is excellent under normal conditions, but in the backlight, the lens catches a variety of rabbits, rainbows, "sunny rain" and, if the aperture is closed, then also a gray filling veil that kills the contrast. Sometimes a large, lentil-shaped rainbow gets in the way.

Rainbow caused by side light of the sun

Rainbow caused by side light of the sun

Open diaphragm example

Open diaphragm example

Example on F / 2.8 - gray-white veil is visible

Example on F / 2.8 - gray-white veil is visible

In terms of art, the lens is very good. It has a typical Planar bokeh: circles of blur at the edges turn into limonchiki. The distribution of brightness in the circle of the out-of-focus is quite uniform, but there is a bright edging, because of which the bokeh sometimes turns out to be rather colorful. With F / 2.8, nuts are observed in the bokeh. The color rendering of the Pancolar 80 / 1.8 is correct, the colors are juicy and bright.

From the point of view of optics, Pankolar turned out to be a rather peculiar lens. The advantages include excellent work under normal conditions and a beautiful picture, and the disadvantages are strong and “uncomfortable” chromatism, a sharp drop in contrast in the backlight with the appearance of numerous artifacts.

UPDATED

Sony A7s full-frame camera examples:

conclusions

Pancolar 80 / 1.8 is one of the best Carl Zeiss Jena lenses. Very rare, which is why prices in the secondary market are high. Lightweight and compact, has high optical and mechanical quality, has a typical planar pattern. However, the lens has a number of very significant drawbacks, which, given the price, make it far from the most attractive manual 85/2 class lens.

You will find more reviews from readers of Radozhiva here.

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Comments: 24, on the topic: MC Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Pancolar auto 1.8 / 80. Review from the reader Radozhiva

  • Noa

    interesting lens, but the price is not worth it

    • Andrei

      and what price is it not worth?

  • Andrei

    the noble cat turned out

  • zengarden

    Very interesting lens. But it seems to me that the scheme is not a classic planar, and the blur pattern is more like a biometar (although, it all depends on the background structure). For portraits, good focal length and aperture; but he needs a long hood, as I understand it.

    • Rodion

      One-year-old Planars have a non-classical planar (6/4);)
      The drawing does not look like Biometar at all, IMHO (see Vega-12, Vega-22, Biometar 80 / 2.8).
      I liked it very much for portraits. But yeah - you need a hood.
      Anyway, it's better than PO500-1 :)

  • Ilyas

    Either the lens is not bad, or Rodya did a good job in the editor
    The cat is definitely like

    • Rodion

      Here, the editor was only the lightroom "packet". The only thing I cleaned up as best I could was chromatism. Well, more shadows and lights. Those. in general - as usual, as for any review.
      PS And girls and boys how? :)

  • Ivan

    Comments from the owner, who has been waiting for this review for three years:

    There is also a version of electric, which is not said anything. Near the mount, she has a contact group, and a rheostat is located inside the lens. Allows you to make adjustments to the exposure meter on Praktica LLC cameras by transmitting a preset aperture value in Auto mode.

    “Its body is made entirely of metal, except for the aperture mode switch - it is made of plastic” - inaccurate. The guides for the movement of the helicoid are also made of plastic. Therefore, I do not recommend using the lens in winter, otherwise you will grind these guides out of metal.

    “.. in the backlight, the lens catches a variety of rabbits, rainbows” - basically, rainbows appear only when the aperture is fully open, when the aperture ring is turned to the extreme position. Moreover, the aperture in this case is not even 1.8, but a little more. Moving the aperture ring just a couple of millimeters of rainbow and insane flares are instantly removed.

    Still similar glasses (and met precisely on this one) are characterized by sticking of the diaphragm.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      You can prepare a short review of your version, I will post it as I posted a review of Rodion.

      • Ivan

        I would be glad! But, unfortunately, I do not have enough hardness to study a thing purely from a technical point of view. In my review, feelings will prevail. And they are too individual :-)

      • Ivan

        Apparently, you need to write a review on the version of Electric. Take into account all of the above and below.

    • Rodion

      About the guides - this is a sensible remark. I didn't get to them just simply - I didn't have to.
      As for the hares - yes, if you squeeze, then they are gone. The Zenitar 50 / 1.2 behaves the same way.
      The diaphragm can “stick” for one reason in the form of two thin springs that the actuator contains. Apparently, they wear out over time and need to be replaced.

      • Ivan

        No, it sticks only because of the oil on the petals. Apparently the old grease does not always dub) German, apparently, can flow to all places ... I rubbed the petals three times with a cotton swab (gasoline) - I didn't want to disassemble and wash. Now everything is stuck again - I shoot very little on it. Probably, this time I will completely disassemble and wash.

        The springs in me did not cause any thoughts about their unreliability. Maybe your copy is with non-native ones? Or already battered, crushed by accident with a foot on the floor or something else) Mine are in perfect order. But they also hold on to plastic pins - which is very dangerous.

        • Rodion

          Strange, there is generally no oil in the mechanics of the diaphragm.
          The springs are like new. They are just very thin and small - they will obviously die quickly.

          • Ivan

            Let it not be oil, but at least there should be graphite. The minimum number, but it is obligatory, all the mechanics - there are no miracles, if something rubs or moves - it must be lubricated.

  • Alexey

    Thank you for the review. In the photo with cars Izhevsk?

    • Rodion

      He is.

  • Carl Zeiss

    I just can’t understand: was it really so difficult to pick up and put on a good lens hood so that he would not catch hares, rainbows and spots with loss of contrast ?! The lens is pretty good! And he is worthy of respect for himself (in the form of a selection of a good lens hood at least).

    • zengarden

      Perhaps, because when shooting the lens was deliberately placed in obviously difficult conditions to show its shortcomings, because the advantages are already quite obvious.

      • Rodion

        That's right. He deliberately tried to shoot them in conditions that were harder in order to identify shortcomings.
        And I just don't like hoods and still won't use them - it's easier for me to pick up the glass without any problems in the back.

  • Rodion

    I forgot to write an important thing in the review. The lens must be stored with a closed aperture of 16, so that the spring does not sit. And sits down, apparently, she pretty quickly.

  • alexey_laa

    How do you assemble lenses? It is often written that lenses must be installed to the nearest tenth (or hundredth) of a millimeter. Here ( https://yukosteel.wordpress.com/2018/06/30/bad-lens-or-optical-alignment-issue/ ) recently read about the "home" method. The purchased lens gave a bad image due to inaccurate lens alignment. The author simply removed the three rear elements, then put them back in place and checked the image on the camera. Obviously, after a dozen attempts, the correct lens position was obtained. By the way, a very interesting blog.

  • Andrey T.

    The main advantage of this lens (I have a black version) is its versatility. Not all fifty dollars (I shot about fifteen hundred) are equally good on the far, and on the middle, and in the close-up. This does not mean that he is ideal in all these manifestations - he is just good, which makes him in demand in situations of a wide and not predetermined choice of subjects for shooting.

  • Rodion

    Added a few photos in full frame.

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