Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pentacon SIX lenses

Pentacon SIX lenses

Using Zeiss Medium Format Lenses on Modern Cameras

Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 50mm F1.8 “Zebra” | REVIEW

 Myths about the Pentacon Six

Mir-26 45 mm f/ 3.5 Lens - parádní kousek
Meyer-Optik Görlitz Trioplan 100/2,8 - parádní kousek
Meyer-Optik Görlitz Telemegor 300/4,5 V (P6/M42/Nikon)

The Pentacon 6 Lens Hit List

Carl Zeiss Jena 180mm f/2.8
Schneider Xenotar 80mm f/2.8 MF
Schneider Curtagon 60mm f/3.5

Arsat C 250mm f/5.6
Arsat 30mm f/3.5 Fisheye
Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 120mm f/2.8
Carl Zeiss Jena Flektagon 50mm f/4.0
Schneider Tele-Xenar 150mm f/4.0
Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 300mm f/4.0

The Pentacon 500mm lens is unique and excellent,
but requires a monster tripod to operate; it's like a bazooka

Favourite lens on the Pentacon Six?

Catalog of Pentacon Six lenses (41)

Archive 2009 · (HELP) BEST Pentacon 6 lenses?

zeiss 50mm f4 MC (red)
schneider 80mm 2,8
zeiss 180mm 2,8 MC (red)

Flektogon 50 F4
Biometar 80 F2.8
Biometar 120 F2.8
Sonnar 180 F2.8

80mm f2.8 Xenotar
150 f4.0 Tele-Xenar
60mm f3.5 Curtagon
250mm f5.6 Tele-Xenar
40mm f4.0 Curtagon the Variogon zooms are also very good

50mm f4.0 MC Flektogon
180mm f2.8 MC Sonnar
120mm f2.8 MC Biometar (very hard to find in the "MC" version)
300mm f4.0 MC Sonnar

A good full-functioned tilt-shift would be the Hartblei 45mm f3.5 Super Rotator

Pentacon SIX  -  The Lens Tests



flektogon 50mm
50mm F/4 Flektogon
Biometar 80
80mm F/2.8 Biometar

biometar 120
120mm F/2.8 Biometar
biometar 180
180mm F/2.8 Biometar

The Mother of All Lens Tests

(and part of best test like backup below)

The result? A few trends bubbled up, documented in the article that follows:
  • Expensive lenses are better than cheap lenses, particularly in the corner of the frame.
  • The high-end short telephotos in the test outperformed the vaunted CZJ Sonnars, particularly in the corners.
  • Hartblei lenses are not necessarily any better than the Arsenal lenses on which they are based (though the mechanics are certainly better, of course).
  • Flektogon 50mm lenses are superb in the center and not in the corners.
  • Flektogon 65mm lenses deserved to be discontinued.
  • The Arsenal 65mm lenses really aren’t much better than the Flektogons.
  • If you want a moderate wide, spring for the Curtagon.
  • Production year showed no relationship with performance in the test.
  • Multicoating does not affect contrast and resolution in the test.
  • The lowly Mir 26 is a better and more consistent performer than its reputation would suggest.
  • More money generally buys better corner performance.
  • High-end lenses generally performed better at MTF 10% compared with the second-world lenses. Stated another way, the soviet-sphere lenses were often the better performers in apparent sharpness--MTF 50% resolution--than the western lenses, at least in the center of the frame. It would appear that high-end lenses are optimized for absolute resolution, while older lenses were optimized for contrast and apparent sharpness.
  • More money generally buys more ultimate resolving power, but not necessarily better apparent sharpness, at least in the center of the frame.
  • How well a lens can produce details to a level of 50% of the original contrast tells more about the lens than ultimate resolving power. All the lenses in the test were, at least in the center, good performers at this level.
  • Expensive cameras have more accurate shutters than cheap cameras
  • Mishaps will occur

Lens Database

The lens database in shown in Table 1.
LensSerial No.CommentYear Made
Hartblei PCS 45/3.50055with Pentax shade
Hartblei PCS 45/3.500148with Pentax shade
Arsenal Mir-26 45/3.5832517
Arsenal Mir-26 45/3.5921284
CZJ Flektogon 50/49860692Enameled black (Type IV), multicoated, not marked MC
CZJ MC Flektogon 50/46325Type IV MC
CZJ Flektogon 50/49859253Type IV, not multicoated, not marked MC
CZJ Flektogon 50/49065540Zebra (Type III)
CZJ Flektogon 50/49853279Zebra (Type III)
CZJ Flektogon 50/49125623Zebra (Type III)
CZJ Flektogon 50/48969236Zebra (Type III)
Zeiss T* Distagon 50/47433589FLE for Hasselblad
Zeiss T* Distagon 50/2.86759222FLE for Hasselblad
CZJ Flektogon 65/2.87316191Zebra (Type III)
CZJ Flektogon 65/2.87316382Type II
CZJ Flektogon 65/2.85550115Type I
CZJ Flektogon 65/2.87315600Zebra (Type III)
CZJ Flektogon 65/2.86372727Type 1 MC'd by Hartblei
Hartblei  65/3.50020
Arsenal Mir-38 65/3.5860780
Hartblei PCS 65/3.50046for Hasseblad mount
Arsenal Mir-3 65/3.5See CommentDan's sticker covers serial number
Zeiss T* Distagon 60/3.57393716CF for Hasselblad
Arsenal Arsat PCS 55/4.500915
Schneider Curtagon 60/3.514180083for Exakta 66
Schneider Xenotar 80/2.814203884for Exakta 66
Exakta Biometar III 80/2.848394Exakta 66 trim
CZJ MC Biometar 80/2.815876
CZJ Biometar     80/2.88569883Zebra (Type III)
Arsenal Arsat 80/2.89501809
Arsenal Volna 80/2.89300129
Zeiss T* Planar 80/2.87137270CF for Hasselblad
Arsenal Vega 90/2.8807976
Hartblei  150/2.80005
Arsenal Kaleinar 150/2.8910883
Schneider Tele-Xenar150/414146224for Exakta 66
Zeiss T* Sonnar 150/47551542CF for Hasselblad
Zeiss T* Sonnar 150/46918740CF for Hasselblad
Zeiss T* Sonnar 150/2.85882471F for Hasselblad 2000
Zeiss T* Sonnar 180/47949528CF for Hasselblad
CZJ Sonnar 180/2.89146514Zebra (Type III)
CZJ MC Sonnar 180/2.810161869with Hasseblad compendium shade
CZJ MC Sonnar 180/2.83147With custom shade
CZJ Sonnar 180/2.86256251Type 1, MC'd by Hartblei
CZJ MC Sonnar 180/2.813430Type IV
CZJ Sonnar 180/2.88597220Zebra (Type III), with custom 'blad mount
CZJ Sonnar Preset 180/2.84830400custom 'blad mount
CZJ Sonnar Preset 180/2.83273206custom 'blad mount
Meyer  180/4xxx381
Table 1. Lenses Tested.
Most of the Arsenal and Hartblei lenses were based on optics formulated in the 1960’s or 1970’s, and are thus newer than the formulations used by Carl Zeiss Jena. But the construction quality of the Arsenal lenses is generally thought to be poor.
The design and formulation of the Carl Zeiss Jena lenses took place following World War II, as follows:
  • 1956 for the Biometar, with is a five-element double-gauss lens of the Planar type. The Biometar III in the test was reformulated in 1979. but all Biometar 80mm lenses produced until 1989, and up to serial number 40,000, used the 1956 formulation. The Biometar III serial number does not appear in the Jena records up to 1991, but it may be that the optical elements were provided to Joseph Schneider who probably produced all the lenses in Exakta 66 trim. Thus, there is no assembly card in the Zeiss Jena records.
  • 1950 for the Flektogon 65mm f/2.8 retrofocus wide angle lens. The Flektogon design was one of the first retrofocus wide angle designs, coming out at about the same time as the Angenieux Retrofocus which is widely accredited with being the first. The retrofocus design allows the lens elements to be placed in front of the optical center of the lens, so that lenses with short focal lengths can clear the reflex viewing mirror in single-lens reflex cameras. The Practisix (later the Pentacon Six and ultimately the Exakta 66) was one of the first mass-produced medium-format SLR’s, and thus CZJ, as the main supplier of lenses for the Praktisix, was motivated to formulate retrofocus wide angle designs.
  • 1958 for the Flektogon 50mm f/4 lens, with that formulation being revised in 1966. All the lenses in the test were of the later reformulated design.
  • 1949 for the Sonnar 180mm f/2.8, with reformulations in 1959 and again in 1966.  In the test, all but one of the lenses was from the 1966 formulation. There were two 180mm f/2.8 Sonnars originally produced for the Exakta 35mm camera that were adapted for use on the Pentacon Six mount. One dates from the original year of the Sonnar 180/2.8 design in 1949, and the other dates from 1956. Both were of the 1949 design, though the barrels differed significantly. The Sonnar design is much older, and it is really a design for a normal lens. By using very thick elements, the Sonnar could minimize air surfaces and still provide a high-quality very fast lens, and the first fast normals (f/1.5) for 35mm Contax cameras were Sonnars. When lens coatings made more air surfaces possible, the Planar design won out for normal lenses because it provided enough clearance for a reflex mirror, which the Sonnar design did not. But the Sonnar lives on as a short telephoto lens, known for high speed and beautiful rendering of out-of-focus areas.
Carl Zeiss built lenses at the Jena factory since the late 1800’s, but after World War II, Jena found itself in the Soviet sphere. A number of Zeiss technicians and scientists escaped (with American help) into the west, forming a company that would eventually become known as Carl Zeiss, with production facilities in Oberkochen, (West) Germany. Carl Zeiss Jena continued to produce lenses, and the two companies warred over who would be able to use the Carl Zeiss label. In the end, they both did, at least in some places. After the unification of Germany following the end of the Cold War, the two Zeisses merged once again, but lens production in Jena stopped in 1991.
The Zeiss Oberkochen lenses in the test were not dated, but are of relatively recent design and most are still current models. All had the T* coating and several had floating elements.
Production and formulation years for the Carl Zeiss Jena lenses were taken from the production cards issued to the technicians who did the lens assembly, as documented by Hartmut Thiele in Fabrikationsbuch Photooptik II—Carl Zeiss Jena.
Production years for Arsenal lenses were taken from the serial numbers. Production years for Hartblei lenses were estimated from when the lenses were made available to their owners, most of whom bought them new or from their original owners.

Backup great article

or how and why pictures from medium format – and larger – camera will always look better.

Answer: it’s the lens MTF, stupid.

... ... ...

Great 3D / life-like feel © Leszek Kowalski @ photodom.com
Other cool fashion like pictures from Leszek Kowalski
Forget Film vs digital, forget CCD vs CMOS, forget anti-aliasing filter or not, forget megapixel race: what matters most – for image quality – is the sensor size… not because of the sensor performance but because of the lens!
  • For an identical image, if the format is larger, the same detail will also be larger (on the image plane) so that the lens will need less resolving power to resolve it. It’s a shift to lower spatial frequencies: The lens is used in a “better zone” of its MTF, meaning used in a better zone of its optical quality, giving a better micro contrast etc…
e.g. a 10um detail on a 24×36 mm sensor = a 18.3um detail on a 56×56 mm sensor. The lens will have to resolve a smaller detail on the 24×36 than on the 56×56 = the lense will have to be used at higher spatial frequencies – at lower contrast. 10um would correspond to 50 lp/mm versus 18.3um to 27 lp/mm. A lens transmitted contrast a 27lp/mm is better than at 50lp/mm (especially at wide apertures, see page 8 graph of Carl Zeiss’ paper on reading MTFs)!
Summary: The larger the format, the better the image – produced by the lens – quality.
And seeing (at Paris Photo 2011) a Richard Learoyd 8h exposure, giant direct-positive image, taken with his room sized camera obscurais an amazing experience c.f. Uncomfortably Close: Richard Learoyd?s, Presences, that wont contradict this observation!
An other way to look at it: a large format will “capture” more analogical optical detail at a certain transmitted micro-contrast (High spatial frequencies with >= 50% of transmission [MTF50 curves] are important for the apparent “pep” of an image, maybe even 90% which is very low-resolution).
It’s cost (and weight), not quality that keeps sensors small!

n.b. Obviously to have... continue

Understanding lens vendor MTF charts in one graph


#p-six psix p-six P6

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