Zeiss Jena/Pentacon lens question

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by tofu___, Oct 8, 1998.

  1. Does anyone know the history of these lenses? I keep seeing the name
    as Zeiss/Pentacon, but who exactly built them? Did the designs switch
    owners in the confusion after the war? Are some lenses (Zeiss) better
    than others (Pentacon)? Or is it all one company?
    Any Zeiss Jena websites? Or even Pentacon? I think I've hit all the
    kiev ones........
  2. Well, yes, a lot of people know a lot about these lenses and their
    history! For starters, you might wish to consult that learned
    treatise, Barringer and <ah-HEM> Small, THE ZEISS COMPENDIUM. Or
    attend the Zeiss Historica AGM in New York on 24 October! The short
    answer is that the original Zeiss plant fell into the Soviet zone of
    occupation and was "nationalized", while the corporate management and
    lens design folks moved west to Oberkochen. Hence, there were two
    Zeiss entities for years, and it all got very confusing. The guys
    from Oberkochen recovered control of Jena in '91 when the Germanies
    merged, and it is now the site for Zeiss optical research and for the
    production of professional astronomical equipment.


  3. www.contaxcameras.com used to have a section about the history of
    Zeiss lenses. It was very interesting and told of the two plants, the
    lens coatings which were considered war secrets during WW-II, how the
    USA made sure to get one of the plants for their lens technology, etc.


    The last time I read it on their site was 1.5 years ago, but it should
    still be there.
  4. Late contribution but relevant for the record. A fairly good history of Zeiss is on the web at


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