Exakta Mount CZJ 18 CM F6.3

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by michael_dougherty|2, May 19, 2009.

  1. Just bought a nice looking, pre-WWII, CZJ 18CM 6.3 Tele Tessar K off Ebay for a good price. The problem is that there was minimal description from the seller so I erroneously assumed it was for a Contax RF body which I own. The mount appears to be for an Exakta body. I did a quick read on Exakta and it has a fascinating but sad history. I am looking for suggestions on the best body to buy for this lens.
  2. hi! I think that 180mm was later named the Olympic Sonnar. It is reputed to be one of the best lenses produced by CZJ in the Tele variety. An Exakta VX IIa body would be a very nice fit. The RTL1000 is also a very good make with a metal bladed shutter and very sturdily built. I have both models as well as the VXIIB and the VX 1000. All of them are very good; real classy designs. regards, sp.
  3. The lens you're thinking of, Subbarayan, was f2.8 and a mighty impressive lump of glass! The 6.3 is a rather more humble optic, but probably capable of quite decent pictures.

    Assuming the lens is Exakta 'Kine' bayonet, Michael, and if you can live with the limited shutter speeds (maximum 1/150 sec), I'd suggest one of the original type Exas, versions 1 to 5, made from 1952. They are not too expensive, have a reliable shutter (so there is actually a sporting chance you might be able to buy one in working condition), and the Tele-Tessar would look good on the camera!
  4. Thanks steve; I stand corrected. Sorry for misleading you Mike. Regards, sp.
  5. Doesn't the Exa have quite a short mirror? I seem to recall that we had cut-off on a 135mm with the school's Exa 1a but that was a very long time ago.
    I'd imagine that the the VX-II and beyond might be better for a 180mm lens.
  6. H.P.you're right. Lenses longer than 100mm are not recommended for the EXA cameras. I have had better luck with the older Exakta VX series in terms of shutter condition and reliability.
  7. While I don'r know about this f/6.3 lens, I'd bet all the same that it has the large lens mount that the Sonnar and my Telemeagor 400mm have. This is an external mount that is present on all the later 35mm Exaktas. Some of the Exas lack this mount (such as my System Exa from Rheinmetall), and the lens will appear to mount, but nothing is actually holding it on to the camera! The Exa II does have the mount for the large lenses. And yes, some of the Exas will not mount larger lenses for various reasons other than the flanges.
    The good news is that very long lenses in the Exakta mount are usually inexpensive. The bad news is that no Exakta>EOS adapter I have ever been able to find will mount these on a Canon EOS body. So this is not a route to getting great old lenses for your digital camera.
  8. Interesting, I wasn't aware of the 2 varieties of mounts for Exakta.
    I have an Exakta to Minolta SR/MC/MD mount adapter which I use to mount Exakta lenses on my SRT and XE-7. It works really great, with stop-down metering of course. If you can't find an Exakta body in good shape, it's another option to consider. A few years ago these adapters were going for quite a lot on eBay, but I've noticed recently there have been a few available for <$30.
    Nothing against Exakta bodies. I have nothing but the utmost respect for them, and where would photography be today were it nor for them? This adapter was a lucky find in the contents of a mixed lot of lenses I bought once, and it's enabled me to collect some terrific old lenses. Working with a modern body is certainly easier for me.
  9. Apologies! I was forgetting about the vignetting, H.P. and Russ. Long lenses can do this on the Exa, on the film, not just the viewfinder. I've read that it isn't normally an issue with true telephoto lenses, but with 'long focus' lenses, as this Tele Tessar undoubtedly is, where the rear element is a long way from the film, it could well be a problem. It will be an ordinary Kine bayonet, though, not the outer bayonet, which was reserved for big heavy lenses, and wasn't introduced until 1953.
  10. Although they can be a little hard to find, as well, the Exakta>EOS adapters do work well for all the regular mount lenses.
  11. Two different mounts, this is getting more complicated than I thought. I have included a picture of the actual lens below.
  12. From the photo of the lens displayed, it looks like it will fit the VX series snugly or even the RTL 1000. It may be good to try the lens on a sample body from a shop or from a friend. In general, the newer bodies [VX series and later] can accommodate all the old lenses. But the older [pre-war] bodies may not accommodate the newer lenses. Best regards, sp.
  13. Long may the Exakta->EOS adapters remain hard to find, JDM! Have you seen what the digital SLR brigade have done to M42 lens prices over the last few months?
  14. Mike, I am suggesting that you try it out on a body before buying it because I found that some of the bodies were not really assembled in the factory on scheduled production. Apparently, they were put to together by people who bought the spares and sub-assemblies and then sold to the dealers. I have two such Exaktas in my possession. One of them was/is okay, well put together. In the other one, the chassis was jammed/rammed into the shell and sold. The camera looked new when I bought it. But the inside was hay wire. I had to re-build the whole thing by sanding off corners and rebuilding the shutter with new curtains, etc. This is not to scare you but the risk is there when we buy old equipment. All the best; sp.
  15. Actually you don't even need to limit your choice to Exakta as the Tower 32A, Sears 32B and Firstflex 35 all used the Exakta mount too. They also fit certain Topcons too but that's a different story again.
  16. Just a note, the picture shows that the lens in question probably has the standard Exakta mount, not the large mount that I illustrated. This would make sense if it is "pre-war" in manufacture.
  17. Thanks for everyone's help. It was advertized as a pre war lens and looks very similar to my CZJ Sonnar 135 F4 that I use on my Contax 3A. Now I have to decide whether to buy an Exakta VX body or get an adapter and use it on a Canon body.

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