CZ, C arl Zeiss Jena and Zeiss Opton? Differences?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by joanne_lax, Nov 22, 2007.

  1. Is there any difference between the three different Zeiss lenses I see offered?
    Later ones appear marked as Carl Zeiss Tessar and others have nomenclature of
    Zeiss-Opton Tessar or Zeiss Jena Tessar.
    Other than coatings after the war is there any difference in quality over the
    years and are some better than others?
    A recent ebay auction referred to the Opton Tessar as poor quality.
    Perhaps I need a lesson on Zeiss history before and after WW2...?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. A similar topic has been discussed recently:

    Just a shortform answer:

    1. All pre-war Zeiss lenses were marked "Carl Zeiss Jena". Virtually all pre-war lenses (except very few items, and probably none of them was sold to the public) are uncoated.

    2. Post-war lenses from the former east german Zeiss plant are marked "Carl Zeiss Jena". Most, if not all, are coated.

    3. Post-war lenses from west-german Zeiss plants have a "Zeiss Opton" (I think until the early 50s) or "Carl Zeiss Oberkochen" designator.

    4. After the war, Carl Zeiss Jena could use the CZJ designator until the lawsuit from Zeiss-Oberkochen. After that lawsuit, usage of the CZJ designator was prohibited for certain countries.

    5. Some lenses with same names had a different re-design history in West-Germany and East-Germany. The Tessar, for example, was redesigned 1948 in Jena and some years later in Oberkochen. Everybody who owns a Jena made post-war Tessar was very satisfied with it (including myself). I have heard different opinions about the redesigned west-german Tessars. There must have been some problems with manufacturing the west-german Tessars since even some batches of Rolleiflexes were equipped with east-german Tessar lenses.
  3. Wasn't it the CZJ lenses on the Rolleiflex 2.8A type 1 that had quality problems? Rollei had a recall of the CZJ lenses and switched them to CZO ones for the type 1 and for the type 2, they straight out made them with CZO lenses. There was some mix up at the factory during storage in the elements being used apparently. This of course doesn't make one better than the other although the 80/2.8 Tessar is reagarded as a bit of a stretch for the Tessar formula. I'm sure both CZs produced decent lenses.

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