C.Z. Jena f2 58mm Otar

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by chad_hahn, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. I have this lens and instead of Biotar it says Otar with a capital o. Also Carl Zeiss is abbreviated C.Z.

    Does any of this mean anything or is it just normal production variances. The lens is a screw mount
    so I guess that it is Exacta mount since it doesn't fit my Leica.

    Thanks for any help you can give me.

  2. Exakta was a bayonet mount. Thread mounts were made for the Praktica, M42. Leica is M39 as is the Fed-Zorki. It can be fitted with an M42 to M39 adaptor. There was one version of Exa I think 1c that was made with an M42 mount.
  3. Practica, that's what I meant. Thanks for correcting me.

  4. i think most probably this is another version of name changes to avoid copyright and
    trademark problems between east and west carl zeiss on the west german market ...

    best wishes - thomas
  5. Hi,

    While this is most likely the M42 mount... and Thomas's proposal
    seems reasonable enough... are there any other "Otar" lenses? Did
    CZ/Oberkochen West every use the Biotar name? I thought that Biotar
    was the East version of the Planar? Why would they need yet another
    name? Anybody know for sure?
  6. An Exa with the M42 mount was the Exa 1b.

    Kadlubeks Objectiv-katalog (KOK) does not list an Otar, but I think Thomas has got it, especially given the C.Z. marking which was used on export lenses along with other labels such as "aus Jena".

    Biotar is a 6-element lens, and I believe was only made in Jena. A Soviet copy was the Helios. The original Planar was a six-element lens too, but I cannot discover if the Biotar is a Planar design. The Oberkochen Planars varied in number of elements and groupings according to KOK. I did discover that the classic 105mm f2.5 Nikkor was apparently a Planar (at least after 1971).
  7. The lens retention ring says: C.Z. Jena 75467 Otar 1 : 2 f = 58mm
    <> the diamond is in red but I can't seem to apply a red color with out upsetting the

    This is all interesting information I am learning about a lens I've had for years. The
    internet is great!

  8. Hi, Chad I think Thomas and the other guys who mentioned the most
    likely cause of the unsubtle name change being the end-result of the litigatory
    battle between Zeiss east and west, are probably correct. There are other
    strange ones out there, such as Tessars on early 60s Exaktas identified just
    as "Jena T f2.8".

    The origins of the Biotar are interesting, being a much older lens design than most
    folks realise, going back to c. 1930. The oldest one I have is an all-black one
    fitted to a c. 1950 Exakta V. It's interesting from two aspects - one, that it has
    no aperture-selection assistance whatsoever, not even a preset ring, so using it on
    an SLR at small openings must have been a P in the A. Secondly, it's
    surprisingly slim and compact compared to later Biotars, although it still has that
    characteristic long 5.8 cm FL.

    Around 1961 CZ Jena finally retired the venerable Biotar, replacing it with the more
    compact Pancolar. However, as one of the other guys has mentioned, the KMZ
    Helios 44 that the Russians still make today is a close copy of a Biotar.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery .... (Pete In Perth)
  9. A test in the May 2007 issue of Popular Photography (Keppler, RIP), pointed out that the old Biotars test out at levels competitive with the best modern lenses. I have them in a number of variants in Exakta and M42 (Praktica-Contax S) mounts. With adapters, they produce lovely pictures on my EOS cameras. The earlier lens coatings were not up to today's standards, but this is actually sometimes an advantage for things like portraiture.
  10. There are, by the way, numerous posts on this site on this very fine lens.

    Just one: http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00NEja

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