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Carl Zeiss Jena Flektagon 35

 

Type: Manual/Automatic Screw Mount M42

Focal Length: 35mm

Aperture Range: f2.4 - f22

Filter Thread: 49mm

 

 

One of a trio of lenses produced exclusively for or by Pentacon for use with Praktica cameras. It is still not entirely understood if these were made by Carl Zeiss company or by Pentacon themselves in the old Dresden factory, which was the original pre war Carl Zeiss factory. Anyway, it is fairly obvious, by price alone, that these were not made to the highest CZ standard, more mass produced to meet a budget camera market. Having said, there is little to complain about in terms of performance, this is an excellent lens. However, I have found that the performance starts to falter when you enlarge the images. Initially the results are very impressive but when you drill into the picture away from the main focal point you can clearly see the quality starting to deteriorate. There has always been a debate as to who made the sharpest lenses, Carl Zeiss or Leica. The Zeiss was said to appear sharper because it has a very high contrast where the Leica has actually the sharper glass but lower contrast. The evidence of this is born out by the previous comment about zooming in to the image. The sign of a good lens, in terms of its glass, is when you zoom to 100% and the image still holds good. there are few lenses that can achieve this. All of this debate aside, looking at the pictures in the gallery here these are some very impressive results.

 

The difficulty using a wide angle lens mounted on a digital body is that it is no longer a wide angle. The effective angle of view here would be 35mm x 1.5 therefore 52mm. This, in turn, makes it equivalent to a "standard" lens in film terms. The downside is that it only has a maximum aperture of f2.4 where the standard lens would be f2 or greater. To counter that it does have a greater depth of focus as you can see here...

 

...And it does allow for very short close up pictures.

This image has pixelated somewhat, probably because of resizing to fit the site. Otherwise, the detailing in the petals is very good, especially considering that strong reds are the hardest tones to work with.

 

 

This was a sundial before vandals broke the arm off, now its just a block of concrete with a plate on the top, but the detail in the concrete is superb, from a lens point of view.

I'll let the rest of these images speak for themselves

 

 

 

 

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