CZ Pancolar lens

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by robert_chadwick, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. Hi, I have been looking to get myself a CZ Pancolar lens to use on my Spotmatics, on searching the Bay I find that that are going for ridiculous amounts of money, I can remember when I got my first Praktica Super TL in about 1975-76 it came from Dixons who were offering it with the standard Pentacon 1.8 (Oreston) for £70 or you could have the top Pancolar 1.8 for an extra £10. Now I find that you can pick up a Pentacon 1.8 sometimes with a Praktica attached for between £10-£20, but Pancolar's are going anywhere between £60-£100, does this make sense? It would seem that Pancolars have obtained a mystique and a price to match, from reports I have seen they are only slightly better than the common Pentacon 1.8, and that is only wide open, stopped down they are comparable. It seems strange that Pancolars are enjoying a premium that even Takumars or Olympus do not have and for me most lenses do not come much better than the ones from Pentax or Olympus, any comments would be interesting to hear.
  2. I'd agree with you about the inflated price of Pancolars, but there are many lenses that seem to acquired a mystique and a cult following that inflates their market value. In the same era, the 30mm f/3.5 "Lydith" and the 135mm f/2.8 "Bokeh Monster" both sell for exorbitant sums. The same applies to many other lenses, and camera brands; I guess it's all part of the fun of collecting old anythings. If you're on a limited budget and actually want to use old East German glass, the Oreston is just a lovely lens, one of my favourites, and I'd be hard-pressed to find much improvement in IQ with the Pancolar.
  3. I'm inclined to agree with you Rick, I took some lovely pictures of my kids in the middle seventies with the Pentacon standard I do not think they would have been bettered by a Pancolar, as to the Lydith, I have the same lens but it was renamed the Pentacon 3.5 30mm when VEB all joined together in the seventies and the Meyer Gurlitz name dissapeared.
  4. Cult status has caught up with the Pancolor, but it probably doesn't deserve it. I would try a 58mm Helios or spend my cash on the 50mm 1.4 Takumar, which deserves cult status.
  5. Too many people have discovered that many of the DDR lenses are really quite good, and I am just glad I got mine when nobody else wanted them. There are a couple more that I would love to get, but the prices have gone crazy.
  6. Just want to join the chorus! They probably have become improperly "msytified" While they are far from "mist" (German for manure) they just can't be that great. Or that much better than the Taks. Any real info on DDR release policies is always welcome, but if I am led to believe the hype, the Pancolar was newly designed/engineered and designated with that name right after the hammer fell on the East/West battle for the Zeiss name. Please also consider the speed. A 1.8 is pretty fast glasss. Mine is the normal 2,0. I will say, the lens has a great hue. It may be the coating, but I have some flash pics I took with the Exakta a few years back and I really sat up and took notice. Just great rich blues and whites. A similar vintage Tessar is quite different, though they're about even on landscape and infinity. I forget how Rick described it, but it has become a legend in it's own mind !
  7. I had a 50/2 Pancolar in Exakta mount which I used on a VX500. It was a very decent lens but I did not care for the camera so I traded both.
  8. There was a time in the days when this lens was made that Herbert Keppler of Popular Photography did a comparison test and the Pancolor beat the Nikon lens. This was at a time people were going bonkers for Nikon.
  9. In addition to comments above, the number of Pentacon/Oreston lenses made was far greater than the number of Pancolars made. So there is a sense of rarity about the Pancolar too that affects the price. The optical design of both lenses is almost the same; except that the Oreston is symmetric between the front and rear groups. The Pancolar is slightly asymmetric. The symmetric design enables the Oreston to focus close to 12 inches or even less. Some have reported focusing ability as close as 8 inches. sp
  10. I agree with the above comments that prices went way high, much higher than the alleged quality of these lenses.
    A similar phenomenon happened to other DDR lenses like Meyer Triplan and also with some soviet lenses too like the Jupiter 3, Jupiter 9, not to mention the Helios 40, the latter being ridiculously priced.
    Since this inflation, I sold most of my Soviet and DDR lenses and replaced them with Japanese ones very good optically and better built. No regret!
  11. SP, I'd never really tested the actual minimum focusing distance for an Oreston, so after reading your comment I dashed out with my oldest copy and took a few samples, and can confirm that 8 inches is possible. Here's a pic of the lens, and a sample frame at 8 inches, uncropped. While it's somewhat boring, it does demonstrate the Oreston's ability it set the subject apart from the background, and it's lovely OOF rendition. It really is a great old lens.
  12. Goodness Rick, now I imagine that you will start a stampede for the humble Oreston/Pentacon !!. Excellent picture.
  13. Goodness Rick, now I imagine that you will start a stampede for the humble Oreston/Pentacon !!. Excellent picture.
  14. Rick, that is fantastic, the picture as well as the demonstration at 8 inches. [Though their sales literature claimed only 13 inches]. Never is anything "boring" from you.
    I have several of these Oreston/Pentacon lenses. Some multi-coated, some only automatic and some electric too for the PLC series. All of them are excellent, optically. in some of them the front barrel shell is simply glued on to the face of the focusing barrel. And they fall apart too, when the glue has dried out. I have repaired a couple of them by gluing them again with Fevibond [rubber adhesive]. I thought it was quite strange for such a classy lens to be not fastened with screws but simply glued on, in some parts! Thanks for the lovely picture. sp.
  15. I guess 12-13 inches from the film plane would be about right...
  16. The pentacpn 1,8/50 rendering is good. I can say: coldest colors, medium contrast, good resolution power. Prefer it for B&W than for color images.
    The pancolar 1,8/50 focus near the pentacon do (CZJ, 35 cm; Meyer, 33 cm). Has more contrast and more resolution power. It's a better lens. No doubts.
    I had some of both in the past. The meyer is poor build, the CZJ is well done.The MC change a lot with the Pancolar Sometimes warm rendering, sometimes coldest one. With the pentacon the MC is more constant.
    Between both, the pancolar is my choice, by far.
  17. Just seen that a Pancolar advertised on the bay with fungus has gone for £49 ($75) I think sometimes people get carried away!

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