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Carl Zeiss Jena Fixed/Prime Vintage Camera Lens

Frequently Asked Questions About the Carl Zeiss Jena Fixed Prime Vintage Camera Lens

The Jena prime lens is manufactured by Carl Zeiss, a company specializing in optical ware and technology. The company, headquartered in Jena and Oberkochen, Germany, has been producing prime lens products for various photography brands since the 19th century, making it one of the oldest optical manufacturers around the world.

What is a Carl Zeiss Jena glass?

Carl Zeiss Jena glass is produced for the companys range of camera optics and in particular for its prime lens products. The heat-resistant glass was first manufactured in 1884. The first product was made out of a combination of sodium, magnesium, aluminum, and zinc borosilicate materials.

What are examples of Carl Zeiss vintage prime lens?

Below are some examples of the prime lens under the brand. See the manufacturer’s site for details.

  • Carl Zeiss Tessar: The company released this prime lens in the early 20th century. The first model issued was the Series IIb f/6.3. The lenses have a low refractive capability.
  • Zeiss Protar: The company acquired the Aktiengesellschaft Camerawerk Palmos in the early 20th century. After the acquisition, the Carl Zeiss company continued producing the Palmos camera series, including the Stereokamera and the Universal Palmos, which has a Zeiss protar prime lens.
  • Carl Zeiss Rollei Planar: While production of the Planar prime lens started in the 1970s, these 50mm full-frame lenses utilize a symmetrical design that was discovered in 1896. It weighs 8.1 ounces and has an f/2 aperture and a close-focus capability of 2.3 feet.
  • Zeiss Biogon: The 35mmf/2.8 Biogon comes in silver and black barrels. While it has a wide-angle lens with a f/2.8 aperture, the product has a short back focal length. The original design of the Biogon was released in the 1930s.
  • Zeiss Sonnar: At 8.5 ounces, the Sonnar is known for its lightweight design and fast aperture speeds. The original design for the Sonnar was released in the 1930s. The 50mm f/1.5 fixed lens is used in rangefinder cameras with a close focus of up to approximately 3 feet. The vintage Sonnar has a focal length from 48mm to 53mm.
What are the different varieties of Carl Zeiss lens?

The M42 mount is an early feature of the Zeiss lenses. The M42 was first developed by the company in its Jena factory in the 1930s. The German company manufactured vintage camera Zeiss lenses for the following formats:

  • Medium format: Zeiss lenses work with the camera sensor to capture images in a 24-by-36-sized frame on 35mm film. The Ikon brand is an example of a medium-format lens.
  • Large format: A Zeiss large format camera lens utilizes a fuller image circle compared to the medium format. The Biogon is an example of a large-format lens from the company.
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