Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 1: 2,8 f = 8cm. Review from the reader Radozhiva

A review of the Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 1 medium format lens: 2.8 f = 8cm (1930s) specifically for Radozhiva, prepared Rodion Eshmakov.

View of the adapted Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 1: 2,8 f = 8cm lens

View of the adapted Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 1: 2,8 f = 8cm lens

Tessar 80 / 2.8 is a classic full-time lens for medium format cameras of various types. There are a large number of modifications of this lens, significantly different in characteristics and appearance. The review presents one of the first modifications in the form factor of the technical (projection) lens of the 1930s.

Specifications:
Optical design: Tessar, 4 lenses in 3 groups;
Focal length: 80 mm;
Relative bore: 1: 2.8;
Native format: 6 × 6 cm;
Enlightenment: None;
Features: projection lens version - does not have a focusing mechanism and aperture.

Adaptation features

The lens is formally difficult enough to adapt due to the lack of a diaphragm and a helicoid: it is a simple lens block in an aluminum case.

View of the lens lens projection Tessar 80 / 2.8.

View of the lens lens projection Tessar 80 / 2.8.

The projection Tessar 80 \ 2.8 can be easily disassembled into two optical blocks, each of which has its own serial number. The lens optics have no anti-reflection coating, and there are air bubbles in the lenses - all this reminds of a venerable age.

Adaptation of the lens with the installation of the diaphragm in the “right” place (between gluing and the negative lens) is very difficult and can lead to a violation of the distance between the lenses. Therefore, a path was chosen that was similar to that used in the redesign of overhead projection Triplets: installation of a whole lens unit in a donor with a focusing mechanism and a zaliznoy aperture. A significant drawback of this adaptation method is the loss of the ability to use the lens on medium format SLR cameras.

Rear view of the lens lens of the projection Tessar 80 / 2.8.

Rear view of the lens lens of the projection Tessar 80 / 2.8.

It seemed boring to me to take such a rare and valuable lens into the body of some broken helios. Therefore, the beautiful and useless Soviet Industar-29 ("famous" for its poor optical quality) was specially purchased, moreover, with poor lenses - to calm conscience. Interestingly, the aperture of this lens is black, and not coated with golden titanium nitride, as usual. A shank with M42 thread and a nut for fixing the Tessar lens block were ordered.

Lensoblock Tessar 80 \ 2.8, nut of fastening and case of Industar-29 with a shank on M42.

Lensoblock Tessar 80 \ 2.8, nut of fastening and case of Industar-29 with a shank on M42.

The Industar-29 body was disassembled from the tail side to extract the spring of the jumping diaphragm - now the lens works in the usual two-ring diaphragm control mode: one sets the desired value, and the other closes the diaphragm before it.

Further, the lens was very simply assembled: the shank was installed in place of the Industar bayonet mount, the Tessar 80 \ 2.8 lens unit needed only to be secured with a nut, moreover, choosing the right alignment ring to obtain focus at infinity.

The lens assembly.

The lens assembly.

In this way, a truly vintage-looking vintage lens was assembled, endowed with a suitable focuser and a fairly round aperture.

View of the lens to the lumen with a covered aperture.

View of the lens to the lumen with a covered aperture.

Although the 29-blade diaphragm of Industar-XNUMX has a slightly strange shape, in the end it also has a lens, which is not entirely correct - it is still close to the optical center of the lens and works no worse than the “correct” aperture.

View of the lens diaphragm from the shank.

Optical properties

Being an old high-speed tessar, the lens forms a soft image with a pronounced effect of glowing contours and circles in bokeh with a bright edging. This is a sign of under-corrected spherical aberration. Because of this, by the way, the lens is difficult to use with cameras like my Canon600D with inferior JVI - the focus point into it can be seen very badly, confirmation of focusing on the chip works extremely unsatisfactorily.

Having experience using several more of these lenses, I can note the proximity of this Tessar to the projection Triplet 78 \ 2.8 in sharpness. Also, this old German tessar of the 1930s is much better than the Soviet parody represented by Industar-29 - the specific profile of the spherical aberration of the latter does not leave any chance to consider the details in the picture. The CZJ Tessar 80 \ 2.8 is characterized by low contour sharpness (and the associated poor performance in bright light) with a fairly good elaboration of details. For example, in a portrait in the shade you can see the details of the face and the texture of the skin, but in bright light the features will be blurry, fuzzy - as if misted. The same Industar-29, on the contrary, is prone to greatly erode details, which is very bad. This difference, which we observe at a qualitative level, is quantified by the graph of the frequency response of the lens (MTF).

Bokeh Tessar 80 / 2.8 on F / 2.8.

Bokeh Tessar 80 / 2.8 on F / 2.8.

The sharpness of the lens in the center grows rapidly with aperture: already F / 4 can be called a working aperture, while the open should be reserved for some "art". Aperture greatly affects the image of the lens: excessive software is already leaving for F / 4, circles of blur lose a bright edge. The following are illustrations of this fact:

Bokeh Tessar 80 / 2.8 on F / 2.8.

Bokeh Tessar 80 / 2.8 on F / 2.8.

Bokeh Tessar 80 / 2.8 on F / 4

Bokeh Tessar 80 / 2.8 on F / 4

Bokeh Tessar 80 / 2.8 on F / 2.8.

Bokeh Tessar 80 / 2.8 on F / 2.8.

Bokeh Tessar 80 / 2.8 on F / 2.8.

Bokeh Tessar 80 / 2.8 on F / 4

Bokeh Tessar 80 / 2.8 on F / 2.8.

Bokeh Tessar 80 / 2.8 on F / 2.8.

Bokeh Tessar 80 / 2.8 on F / 4

Bokeh Tessar 80 / 2.8 on F / 4

The examples also show an increase in contrast when aperture, as well as the effect of the rainbow when working in backlight.

This Tessar also has field aberrations: this is both coma and astigmatism. They influence even mine Canon 600D with a small APS-C sensor, especially on an open aperture.

Chromatic distortions, on the contrary, are almost invisible - they are masked by spherical aberration.

Despite the lack of an antireflection coating on the lenses, the lens has a good contrast, however, attempts to take something in the backlight will get bogged down in the white veil of interlens reflections. But in many respects due to the lack of enlightenment, the lens does not distort color.

The CZJ Tessar 80 / 2.8 pleased me with its picture: when developing from RAW to Canon DPP, I practically didn't have to make any changes. Most photos were taken with camera autoBB, developer settings, Contrast +1, Saturation +1. Actually, the death of a working laptop and, as a result, work on an old laptop with Intel Centrino 1.2GHz and 2 GB of RAM helped me a lot to limit photo processing :).

Conclusion

The very old - 30s - Zeiss Tessar 80 / 2.8 turned out to be a very interesting lens: a special combination of optical distortions makes it quite a valuable tool in portrait photography. I strongly liked this lens, although the initial expectation was overshadowed by the poor result once obtained from the Soviet Industar-29. It's a shame that the Tessar 80 / 2.8's stills are quite expensive.

You will find more reviews from readers of Radozhiva here.

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Comments: 43, on the topic: Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 1: 2,8 f = 8cm. Review from the reader Radozhiva

  • Alexey de Paris

    Thanks for the review! Very nice drawing and nice color reproduction without flaws, a really interesting lens. The photos themselves also really liked!

  • zengarden

    In general, if you cross a large-caliber Tessar with his grandson Industar, then we will again get an Industar, only a little better :)
    An interesting piece of work turned out.

  • Alexey

    Thanks for your review! 80 mm is interesting. The blur zone is specific.

  • Eugene o

    Rodion, great job. It is amazing how pictures from such an old man can turn out quite well.

  • Aries

    the form factor of the technical (projection) lens of the 1930s. = ????? why the bath fell! ??? JENA WRITTEN .. THIS MEANS AFTER WAR, WHEN CARL Zeiss DECLARED IN 2 CASES BECAME ONE in the Weimar of Germany, the other in the Yen of the German Democratic Republic further the PENTACON national enterprise.

    • zengarden

      So it is written that in the "form factor"; it's just a separate lens unit that was once screwed in somewhere. And that the lens itself is post-war (GDR), and so it is obvious.

      • Rodion

        Jena was also indicated in the name of pre-war optics - just look at the photo of CZJ Olympia Sonnar 1936. Actually, the lens from the review is just pre-war: this is indicated by the absence of lens enlightenment and the external similarity of the lens unit with the photographic Tessar 80 \ 2.8 Zeiss Super Icons. CZ are not idiots to release a lens without anti-reflective coating in the 50s.
        aries, comrade, you have already been explained about geography. I will only add that after the war Zeiss of the GDR was in Jena, and in the FRG he was in Oberkochen. VEB Pentacon had nothing to do with GDR Zeiss - it was a former meer then (which the Pentacon line of optics transparently hints at). At the end of the existence of the GDR, the Pentacon may have produced such optics as Zeiss Prakticar, but I will not argue that.

      • Andrei

        It is enough to open any site with Zeiss numbers in the chronology (of which there are in number on the Web) to make sure that this is 1939.

        • Rodion

          I even guessed the same with the year, although I did not write an assumption here)))

    • Dmitriy

      Herr aries, how much geography did you have? In my opinion, at best, 3-. Weimar, for your information, from 1949 to 1990 was in the GDR, since from its very foundation it was located in the eastern part of Germany. You seem to have confused Weimar with Hamburg or Frankfurt am Main - these cities are really located in the western part of Germany, in 1949-1990 - Germany

  • Midas

    Some kind of horror. This lens unit (the hand does not rise to call it a lens) is in the trash heap.

    • Andrei

      - Do you, in Denmark, throw such jackets on the street? ©
      Here they have in ibee this costs in the range of 200-400 euros.

      • Boris

        Midas apparently thought he had opened his eyes to everyone here. In fact, he found himself in the position of a man who took an expensive Swiss watch a hundred years ago and began to resent their inaccuracies compared to plastic cassios.

    • Andrei

      I already wrote here somewhere that the shots with vintage lenses set on a crop (and in this case, not the best Canon crop) are not very representative. From what can be seen with the 600D, it can be played on FF with a good result. Not for 200 euros. And not even a hundred.

      • Rodion

        Well, for the sake of you exclaiming “what a representative review” I will not buy ff anyway))) The conversation about “why not ff” has already set my teeth on edge.

        • Andrei

          It's not about show-off ... But about the fact that the crop gives out a lot from the strength of 50 percent of the possible. For example, almost all Takumaras. For example, most of the Meyers. For example, many GDR Zeiss. A vivid example of extreme inadequacy is on this site - Oreston's characteristic, about which many have written in the comments without me.

          • Boris

            Well, Rodion answered correctly - shouldn't I buy a full frame now? And then there will be commentators who write that this is a medium format lens and it opens only in medium format. Should I buy a middle frame? And then there will be more commentators who will write that it is not revealed in digital, but that it must be put on film. Should I buy a middle frame for slides, with developing materials for those. processes and a drum scanner? Dear commenting friend, review the technique that you think is correct. And let Rodion do as he sees fit. He's doing great. Thanks.

            • Andrei

              Dear criticizing friend! I hope you know that there are lenses for medium format? So there is no need to engage in demagoguery. With a similar approach to business, here you can read the following: “The lens is very similar to many other fifty dollars…. The image quality is not bad, it does not shine with anything special except bokeh ”. This is about the aforementioned Oreston with 350D tests. Anyone who has shot with this lens in FF is definitely under the table here.

              • Boris

                You criticize, not me. This lens is medium format, and, therefore, following your logic, a full frame will not reveal it. Finally, what prevents you from doing reviews of such lenses yourself in full frame?

          • Rodion

            In this case, it is almost unimportant - at least ff, at least crop: the Tessars have nothing particularly interesting around the edges.

            • Andrei

              Those. Do you think that, say, on the Canon fives or FF units, the color rendering and volume on the images with this lens will be the same as on the 600D?

              • Rodion

                I don’t care about color rendering, it depends more on the monitor than on the camera.
                And the definition of "volume" I expect from you, perhaps. What kind of concept is this, I wonder. Well, if you are talking about this topic, I traditionally suggest giving me a ff camera, which you certainly have, so that I can supplement the review with “volumetric” and “true-color” pictures from it. I propose to all such clever commentators to let me drive ff - but so far they only go into silence, no one has responded - they are engaged in idle talk and nothing more.

  • Andrei

    2 Rodion
    Strongly wrapped. Especially - about the monitor and the camera in connection with the color rendition. I think the readers of your reviews will be interested to know that “you don’t care about color rendering”. As for orphanhood on the topic "Let FF drive" - ​​writing reviews of optics assumes the presence of FF a priori. That is, first FF - then reviews. In terms of volume - with all the difference in the views of the photo community on this topic, no one doubts the role of the quality of transmission of highlights and shadows and the separation of image plans.

    • Rodion

      In this koment everything is fine.

      • Andrei

        Anyone can shoot anything - it's a photographer's own business. But optics should be evaluated on high-quality cameras. Your little sprigs from this Tessara are completely flat and therefore boring. Looking at these pictures, one can only guess - this is the fruit of the efforts of the 600D, or the lens is shooting like that from the word in general. The same can be said about color, but it turned out to be irrelevant.

        • Rodion

          In this koment everything is fine.

  • vaxgelli

    Thank you for attention.v

  • anonym

    I think that when using this lens, the whole point is not in sharpness or in bokeh as such, but in the fact that the picture from it (as well as from many old Zeiss or Lake lenses) turns out to be somehow atmospheric, and just the technical shortcomings of Zeiss manufacturers specially used to get just such vivid and atmospheric pictures. I read somewhere that the creators of Zeiss optics specially spent time in art galleries and examined the masterpieces of painting so that later they would somehow achieve a subtle atmosphere and liveliness in photographs using optics. And it looks like they succeeded, and this is especially evident when using old lenses, and new ones too ... But what about Zeiss, after using the old Nikon 28-105, I generally sold my Canon 5DM3 and so-called. professional optics from Canon, especially with nausea I remember the corrected in everything from 24-105 / 4, which, like modern one-day blockbusters, at first glance hurts the eye in all respects with “correct” photographs (for fashion and macro, this can be wonderful!), but then, after a while, those photos make you sick and you realize that it was he who ruined everything! Do not judge me harshly and you do not need to express yourself on the forums and insult each other, as some do, the way even if someone makes a mistake due to ignorance of something, but just correct mistakes with arguments and considerations in order to share experience and improve your practical results, and respect the opinions of others!

    • Andrei

      The atmosphere of vintage optics is good and wonderful. However, the optics reviews are somewhat from a different opera. Reading a review made by a good photographer on a Canon 5DsR, I understand that the maximum possible is squeezed out of the lens and they show me its upper bar. Better than in such a review, he is unlikely to shoot, and worse - easily. But the reviews made on the 600D or 350D by non-professional photographers demonstrate, rather, the lower bar of quality given out by optics. What, in this case, their meaning remains unclear. With this approach, everyone is black, everyone is jumping, and Oreston is an ordinary fifty dollars. Who would doubt that…

      • Passed by .......

        Listen, smart guy here it's not about your country 5ke ... The fact is that Comrade Rodion, whoever he was there, got the device revived and primed on what was. And he showed us the fools at the same time. And we took everything and looked. If you don't like it, back off.

      • Passed by .......

        And even those on faith - not every photo will take off on FF as the master will take it off with a hole in a tin sheet. And treat everything easier. And Rodion is a fine fellow - someone has a tongue without bones, but his hands are clearly not out of shape and his head is in place. We all sit there and rejoice.

        • anonym

          The master does not take pictures of a hole in a sheet of tin ... Like a huckster, some kind of “screwed up, phot, hole” Pass by. I'm sick of you ....

          • anonym

            I would add to this a relatively “head in place”. Anyone with a head in place does not take tests for almost the most problematic Canon crop (600D). If there is a toad, for less money you can take a much more adequate forty, and for the same money - a moderately well-worn classic 5D FF. And the output will be much more credible.

            • 2Anonymous

              600D is a very popular boot model.
              Why is it problematic? Well, yes, 70D or 80D will be more interesting.
              There were almost no living first 5Ds, as well as the old 1-ks. We must live today.

              • anonym

                On the problematic picture 600D (the number of MP per crop) there is a lot to read on the Web. I will not retell.

              • Vitaly N

                C'mon, Nikon has even more on the crop, and few complain.

  • Dmitriy

    Lord, what a terrible picture from this 600d. I once had 550 on the same matrix and with the same picture, exchanged it for a used 40d and was extremely happy.

    • anonym

      40D is the best Canon crop, IMHO.

  • Alexey

    On portraits and flowers, the picture is so-so, the bokeh for my taste is unpleasant, but on the landscape it pleased me unexpectedly (where was the aperture?). Well, for straight arms and an active life position, traditionally respect Rodion.

    • zengarden

      So this is the classic Tessar, on the covered it is sharp and for landscapes just (only the angle is not wide). And his “boke" is ... strongly for an amateur; any colorful background spoils the picture.

    • Rodion

      Landscapes are either 8 or 11 - I don't remember.

  • Peter

    I have a wooden camera with a Carl Zeiss lens with No. 10045. A lens without a flap diaphragm simply inserts a metal plate with a screw, you won’t tell me what year the lens under No. 10045 and the camera are, maybe the camera, but it’s big and has an accordion. Thank you

  • Rodion

    Once again I got my hands on such a lens unit, even at its best. I can adapt it to your camera: write to inst or mail rudzil@yandex.ru

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