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Lens fugus and what kind of mount

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by dave37, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. dave37

    dave37 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 3, 2012
    Alabama, USA
    I have a Zeiss Opton Sonnar 2/ 50mm T lens that came on a Zeiss Ikon Stuttgart Contax IIA rangefinder. It has a bit of fungus, so it needs to be cleaned. I envision using this sweet, tiny lens on my Panny mft, and hope it will be worth the effort to pursue. Any thoughts on this?

    Where can I send it to get it serviced, and which mount adapter will I need? I live in the southern US, so I likely will have to ship it somewhere.

    The lens and camera are both in great condition, and the aperture ring works smoothly. A great find...... I think I gave about 15 dollars for it at a yard sale, and have taken quite a few photos with it.
  2. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I have never had to have a lens cleaned/repaired so I have nothing there. The lens mount is generally called the "contax rangerfinder mount". I have seen adaptors for this mount.
  3. foto2021

    foto2021 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 5, 2011
    SE England

    At 15 dollars it was a steal. Well done!

    The Opton Sonnar was a post-WW2 lens made by Zeiss in Oberkochen, West Germany for sale in the East German/Soviet bloc market. It was sold elsewhere as a Carl Zeiss Sonnar. Lenses made at the same time by Zeiss in Jena, in East Germany, were sold in the West under the "Zeiss Jena" brand.

    The US Army gave assistance to relocate most of the Carl Zeiss staff who were trapped in the Soviet sector of occupied Germany to Oberkochen. Many Zeiss Ikon staff were relocated elsewhere in West Germany.

    The relationship between the remnants of the Carl Zeiss company on both sides of the border were complex and the subject of several legal disputes. The situation was not helped by the Russians relocating most of the machine tools and some of the Zeiss staff from Jena to the Ukraine where they made Contax cameras (not very well) under the Kiev brand.

    The "Opton" brand was purely a result of these legal disputes. So you have a post-war lens made in the West but branded for the East on a post-war (1950-1961) camera body. The outfit should be worth many times what you paid for it. They often come up on eBay.

    The lens adapter for using the lens on m4/3 will need to include a focusing mechanism as this is done from the Contax camera body. The adapters are fairly expensive. You may consider the cost worthwhile because the 50mm f/2 Sonnar will make a fine portrait lens on m4/3.

    However, there are other, possibly cheaper options available. The Soviet KMZ-made Jupiter 8 is virtually identical to the Sonnar and has a cult following. It is easier to adapt to m4/3 because it was also available in L39 Leica screw mount in order to fit the Russian Zorki and Fed rangefinder cameras.

    The L39 mount versions have the focusing ring on the lens and can therefore use a simple, inexpensive adapter. You should be able to buy a good copy of the Jupiter 8 and an L39 to m4/3 adapter for less than the cost of an adapter for the Opton Sonnar. So that would be my recommendation.

    If you shoot film it would be worth keeping the lens with the Contax IIa body and using it, as the results should be excellent. Alternatively you should be able to sell it at a reasonable profit.

    As for having it serviced, here is a good place to start:
    The Zeiss Ikon Contax Camera Repair Website - template
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Does the fungus impact the optics of the lens? Optics are pecullar things to predict. I have a Nikkor 1.4/50 with a dense circular fungus, the diameter of a pencil, dead center of the lens. It is not visible in the viewer or on any photos I shoot.

    I just mailled a Kodak Cine Ektar 1.4/25 for a clean and lub to:
    Brooke Chamberlain repair@advancecamera.com
    Advance Camera Repair
    8124 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy.
    Portland, OR 97225

    They had great reviews. I'll let the sig know the results.
  5. dave37

    dave37 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 3, 2012
    Alabama, USA
    Thoughts on fungus.

    The fungus does not seem to be much of a problem. The main thought was consider all before I invested in an adapter. Let me know how your experience with servicing of the lens. I also have a Nikkor 50 1.4, as well as 105 2.5, So not sure how much effort I will put into using the Zeiss.
  6. dave37

    dave37 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 3, 2012
    Alabama, USA
    Info on the Zeiss lens

    Thanks for the great info and the background. Is there a way or site to go to find out more info on this particular lens by using the serial number? Am I to assume by getting a focus enabled adapter, it would add a bit more bulk than a normal adapter? Based on what you have told me, odds are, I will likely sell the camera and lens.... the camera and lens are going for a hefty price on eBay, but no hurry. I am not noted for ever getting rid of unused gear.
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