Discussion in 'Accessories' started by ramon_castro, Apr 12, 2005.
If I put your subject plus review into google, I get the following:
> In some cases, definitely, but the 135mm f3.5 Sonnar design is a wonderful > lens, and the later 35mm f2.4 Flektogon is reputed to be as good as the SMC > Takumar 35mm f2, even better wide open at the edges. But yes, the 29mm f2.8 > was a dog; the 50mm f2.8 Tessar is OK but not particularly sharp. The > Pancolar 50mm f1.8 is sharp but flares badly.
Generally all CZ lenses are great, with the western germans a bit above the eastern ones. CZJ is usually on the same level as the major japanese producers - many good, some bad samples.
I have one of these lenses, sadly I haven't got around to using it yet. One interesting feature is that it focusses very close, giving around 1:2 reproduction ratio at it's closest distance. Not true macro but not far off.
In the UK, it seems to be suddenly very sought-after - it's going for very high auction prices. It really is a good lens, though.
The CZJ lenses are very variable in quality due to the less than stringent quality controls. You MAY get a good one, you MAY get a bad one. Other peoples reviews are meaningless. I have not found them to be very good. You will do far better to get a Pentax Takumar lens. You can find the 35F3.5 very cheaply, its a superb performer, much better than the CZJ lens.
"The CZJ lenses are very variable in quality due to the less than stringent quality controls." I'm afraid I can't agree with that at all. I've owned and used at least a dozen of these lenses and not found a bad one yet. The only CZJ that has aquired a reputation for unreliablity is the 'Zebra striped' 50/2.8 Tessar. That's to do with the stop down mechanism which some commentators have suggested is prone to stickiness. The one example I used seemed fine, though. The Meyer range are also very good. Indeed, I'd say that the East German lenses are often under-rated which is a good thing for those buying them.
I have used and ownn pretty much almost every variation of the CZJ lens and also most Takumars. IMHO image quality of the CZJ is pictorally bertter than the Takumars but the Takumars are indeed better build. And as the 35mm goes, the CZJ 35/2.4 is far better than any of the Takumars All of the late MC versions of the 35/2.4 and 80/1.8 CZJ lens are prone to the aperture sticking at wide open. Otherwise the others are just fine. I think most experience regarding the bad build quality had to do with the fact that most of these old lens that are available had already gone through quite a lot of abuse by previous generation of owners.
I have compared my 35/2.4 Flectogon with my 35/2.8 Zuiko and it seems to be a little more contrasty, is all. As expected, it has better corner sharpness from wide open to f5.6 than any of my Canon Eos zooms, about equal to my Canon 50mm f1.8 prime.
In response to those who think the CZJ lenses are superior. I have accumulated over the years three 35F2.4 CZJ lenses, two 135F3.5 CZJ lenses, a 29F2.8 CZJ, four 50F1.8 CZJ Pancolars and three CZJ 50F2.8 Tessars. None of these lenses are outstanding in any way. Two of the Pancolars and two of the Tessars will not stop down at all (broken mechanism). Three of the Pancolars and both Tessars have rough focussing. The Pancolar has noticeable barrel distortion. The equivalent Super Takumars are vastly superior in sharpness and build quality (smoothness of focus and stopping-down). I'm not talking minor differences, its major. I have the 35F3.5, several 50F1.4 and 55F1.8, the 135F3.5, the 85F1.9 and 200F4. There is absolutely no comparison between the quality of the top Japanese lenses and the inferior East German lenses.
"There is absolutely no comparison between the quality of the top Japanese lenses and the inferior East German lenses." I can't agree with that. I too have both East German and Takumar lenses and while the Takumars do have a nicer finish, the East German lenses, especially considering the original price difference, offer performance not vastly difference to that of the Asahi products in everyday use in my experience. I remember a comparison lens test in a UK magazine in the 'sixties which covered the Pancolor f1.8, Takumar f1.8, Nikkor f2 and a few other 50mms. The tester found that the Nikkor had marginally greater sharpness and contrast but that Pancolor was very close indeed and ahead of the Takumar. I seem to recall that the Canon f1.8 was rated very highly as well.
I recently got one of these cheap off ebay and after a thorough testing it seems to be a very good lens. I also compared it to my Sirius 28mm f2.8 macro, and the CZJ is better. This is why I cant understand the comments at the top of this thread: "But yes, the 29mm f2.8 was a dog;" ...Not my conclusion at all! But I am also confused as to is manufacture...Someone told me thats is actually a Pentacon lens, re-badged as CZJ strictly for sale to the UK market...Is this true? I know Pentacon also did a 29mm f2.8 lens but it does not automatically follow that they are one and the same lens. For instance many say that the Pentacon 50mm f1.8 is the same lens as the Meyer-Oreston 50mm f1.8 but my testing has shown them to be as different optically as they are mechanically...Different lenses in fact. The Pentacon has lower contrast than the Meyer and the contrast is reduced further as you stop down, but its virually constant across the range with the Meyer. The Pentacon also has a pronounced magenta colour cast which gets worse when stopped down to f5.6 or more but the Meyer has a neutral colour cast, across the range. WO-5.6 the Meyer has some edge distortion which is absent in the Pentacon. The Meyer is also better built than the Pentacon. Sharpness wise, theres virtually nothing in it, except that the Meyers extra contrast makes it appear sharper. I have also just recieved a CZJ Tessar 50mm f2.8 and I have compared it to the Meyer...The Meyer is a much better lens but I'm still hoping that the Tessar may prove usefull for macro work. Regards Alf.
Separate names with a comma.