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Carl Zeiss Jena 70-210mm f4.5/5.6 Macro zoom

Donald Macmillan , Dec 07, 2010; 10:18 p.m.

Hi folks

After reading quite a bit about various telephoto zooms in several posts on this great site, i jumped at the opportunity to buy a Carl Zeiss Jena 70-210mm f4.5/5.6 Macro Zoom lens on ebay for use on my OM-1n. It was admittedly a wee bit of an impulse buy, at less than 90 GBPs and a never-before-used-lens complete with all accessories and original packaging ..... I'm really looking forward to receiving my lens but realise that, for me, this is a bit of a 'leap of faith' ..... Perhaps one that i might actually regret? ..... Can anyone give me some idea as to perhaps the lens quality and the image quality i can expect with this lens please?

I am very excited though! Looking forward to taking some great images .... Any reason why not? How might this lens compare to other 3rd party OM-fit telephoto zooms? Have i made a good choice?

Kind regards,

Ps - I have in the past few minutes also just bought a Zuiko 35-70mm f3.6 lens! So together with my 24mm f2.8, my 50mm f1.8 and my 135mm f3.5 Zuiko primes .... I am a happy chappy! MERRY CHRISTMAS FOLKS!


Mukul Dube , Dec 07, 2010; 10:36 p.m.

Merry Christmas. The CZ Jena lens should be good optically, but it may need to be handled gently.

Stefan T. , Dec 08, 2010; 06:13 a.m.

I doubt that the lens you bought is a real Carl Zeiss Jena lens. CZJ only produced very few zoom lenses and they are not really famous! Most zoom lenses distributed under this label are relabeled Sigma zooms. If it says "Made in Japan" or any other south east asian country it definitely is not Made in Jena. So you can't expect the quality a Zeiss lens usualy offers, but it can nevertheless be a good performer. But IMO you payed to much. I just bought a Tokina 4/80-200. A pretty good zoom from around 1980. Payed 8 Euro plus shipping for it. Seems a reasonable price for such an old zoom lens.

Rob H , Dec 11, 2010; 01:35 p.m.

Denis do you know if your Carl Zeiss Jena 70-210mm f4.5/5.6 Macro Zoom lens is a Series I or II? I have shot with the Olympus OM Carl Zeiss Jenazoom 75-300mm f4.5/f5.6 Series I macro and it is a great lens, sharp and excellent color saturation. It was a Series I and I read once on a brochure that there were "improvements" with the Series II Zeiss Jenazooms. I can't find the brochure so I don't remember exactly what the improvements were but I think it was better lens multi-coating to reduce lens flare or maybe APO glass? I also shot with a very rare Carl Zeiss Jenazoom 75-300mm 4.5/5.6 AF EF Jenazoom for Canon EOS (see photos in this thread http://photo.net/olympus-camera-forum/00Vdw3) on the digital Canon 5D camera and that lens was indeed APO glass. The quality from the photos was amazing. In any case, the quality of the Jenazoom Series II should be better than the Series I zooms. Also check out your lens "macro feature" this was a very cool feature with my Carl Zeiss 75-300mm it was 1:3 life size macro. How it works is that you "zoom in" to your subject on the telephoto range and focus. None of these Jenazoom lenses are "true macro lenses" like a flat field macro lens which is the real deal, but it is decent low-cost macro. For certain the Jenazoom Series II have a new "blue ring" on the barrel so check that out. As mentioned, these lenses were manufactured by Sigma of Japan but supervised and licensed by Carl Zeiss Jena. Sigma made great lenses and many IMO were "above average" zoom lenses, so you should expect similar quality in these Jenazooms.

Donald Macmillan , Dec 11, 2010; 10:23 p.m.

Hi Rob

Thanks for your response to my question. I can't recall from the lens description if it is a series I or II lens ..... From what i can see on the ebay page of my item there is no 'blue ring' on the barrel .... My gut feeling is that this is a Series I lens .... There is no distinguishing 'text' inside the lens rim other than: CARL ZEISS JENA/F 70-210mm/1:4.5-5.6/MC/MACRO/JENAZOOM/#52 .... I don't think it is AF lens but it appears to have a couple of 'sticky-out' prongs on the mount that i didn't really notice until after i bought it! It was listed as a manual focus lens for OM cameras, and i did message the seller to obtain reassurances that it would fit on my OM-1n, i was simply informed that it 'should' fit my OM-1n .... I am not overly anxious but just slightly that this camera will;

a) fit my OM-1n; &

b) be of worthwhile and appropriate quality both in terms of optics and also build.

It was actually your original post about 3rd party fit lenses for OM cameras that got me interested in obtaining a quality zoom for my OM-1n! :-))

When i received my OM-1n it came with a Hoya 28mm f2.8 and a Hoya 80-205mm f3.8 macro zoom. I haven't used these lenses, i'm not sure that the aperture ring/diaphram is working .... I have been happy thus far with my Zuiko primes. But having read your original and detailed post about 3rd party OM tele-zooms i became very intersted in finding one.

Whichever series lens i am receiving (probably series I?), I hope that i have found a good one!

Best wishes,

Rob H , Dec 13, 2010; 02:29 a.m.

Donaldo, (sorry I typed Denis before) : P from what you described it does indeed sound like your Carl Zeiss Jenazoom 70-210mm f4.5/5.6 Macro Zoom lens is a Series I. If it doesn't have the blue ring on the barrel it is Series I. The two prongs are on the OM Jenazooms . If it was one "shiny aluminum" prong then it would be Nikon mount. Your zoom is manual and definitely not AF. Carl Zeiss Jena did make some very rare AF Jenazooms for Canon EF, Sony, Minolta and Olympus but the rarest was for Olympus. I have only see a Olympus OM AF Zeiss Jenazoom once , I think it was 70-210mm and if I remember it had a gold ring on the barrel! So the answer is:

a) Yes it will fit Olympus OM
b) Yes the Jenazooms are of excellent quality. If you like Sigma zooms you will like Jenazooms because they were made in the same factory (or nearby factory) in Japan.

Let us know how your Olympus OM Jenazoom works out. Happy Holidays!!

Donald Macmillan , Dec 13, 2010; 06:33 a.m.

Hi Rob

No worries re the Denis slip, i have been called a 'menace' on many occasions! Thank you for reassuring me re my, hopefully, soon to arrive Carl Zeiss Jenazoom .... I bought it nearly a week ago and i'm hoping it'll arrive today ... Slightly disappointed that it probably isn't a series II but i'm sure i'll be more than happy with it ... I'll certainly be letting you know, as i said, it was your original post that 'inspired' me! I'm not experienced with Sigma zooms though, i must confess, but again, i'm sure i'll get on fine with this lens. Just to double-check with you, it will fit straight on to my OM-1n? I'm not going to need an adaptor of any sort with this lens?

Just to let you know .... I have been rather busy on ebay recently. I've since bought a Zuiko 35-70mm f3.6 and a Vivitar 28-105mm f2.8/3.? (can't remember!) Series I lenses .... What the hell, it's Christmas! What are your experiences, if any, with these OM-fit telephotos? Of the three, would you consider any of them to be 'the best'?

Interested in you more expert opinion ....

Best wishes

Rob H , Dec 13, 2010; 06:35 p.m.

Donald - in short all three zooms you have purchased are "excellent" Japanese zoom lenses. And yes the Carl Zeiss Jenazoom Olympus OM mount will fit perfectly on your OM-1n camera, no adapter is required. : ) The two prongs you mentioned before are for DOF/lens release, you will notice these same prongs on Olympus OM Zuiko lenses. The Olympus OM Zuiko 35-70mm f3.6 is a highly regarded OM Zuiko zoom as it has a constant aperture and is sharp. As for Vivitar Series I zooms they are also excellent zooms and you want the early versions, versions 1-3, those built by Kiron and Tokina are reported to be the best. IMO the best 3rd party zoom I have ever used was the Carl Zeiss Jenazoom Super 75-300mm Canon AF EF f/4.5-5.6 MC Macro ED zoom lens, a really razor sharp zoom lens and I shot this on the full frame digital Canon 5D EOS camera.

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