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Carl Zeiss Jena CZJ M42 Flektogon 35mm f2.4 Lens

ramon castro , Apr 13, 2005; 03:17 a.m.

any reviews?

Responses


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Kai Blanke , Apr 13, 2005; 08:32 a.m.

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.

John Seaman , Apr 13, 2005; 11:24 a.m.

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.

Nick Roberts , Apr 13, 2005; 06:00 p.m.

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.

David M , Apr 13, 2005; 10:39 p.m.

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.

H. P. , Apr 14, 2005; 06:47 a.m.

"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.

Franka T. Lieu , Apr 14, 2005; 08:23 a.m.

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.

Graham Serretta , Apr 14, 2005; 09:21 a.m.

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.

David M , Apr 14, 2005; 09:52 p.m.

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.

H. P. , Apr 15, 2005; 05:43 a.m.

"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.


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