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Archive 2012 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.
  
 
Bifurcator
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p.1 #1 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


So what's the history of Zeiss lenses and which lines were manufactured by whom and where?

For example some were made by Kyocera and some were made by Cosina and some were made by Carl Zeiss AG - but which ones? Where and by who were the Contax lenses made? Where and by who were the N, ZM, or Arri models made? etc. I know Carl Zeiss AG was started up in Jena Germany and Carl beat cheeks when WWII heated up. But who else made "Carl Zeiss" lenses and where - and "why" if that's known?




Aug 04, 2012 at 05:03 PM
AhamB
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p.1 #2 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


http://corporate.zeiss.com/history/en_de/home.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Zeiss_AG#Zeiss_corporate_history

I'm reading on the first site and I'm amazed esp. at what Abbe infused in the company (and that they were able to recreate that after WW2). Also very interesting to read all that happened in the nineties (lots of crises that they have been able to pull through).



Aug 04, 2012 at 05:20 PM
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p.1 #3 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


Really? Only Aham and I are interested in this?

No one knows who Contax lenses or Zeiss N lenses were made by and wants to say?

I can't believe it.




Aug 05, 2012 at 09:29 AM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #4 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


I think the interest in Contax lenses has diminished since Zeiss introduced its parallel line. Also the answer is very simple. The lenses were made by Zeiss in Germany and by Yashica then Kyocera in Japan. There are a few exceptions like a few lenses by Sigma (28-70, 70-200 and 70-300) and probably some lenses were subcontracted by Kyocera to Cosina or other lens manufacturers.


Aug 05, 2012 at 09:38 AM
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p.1 #5 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


edwardkaraa wrote:
The lenses were made by Zeiss in Germany

Would you happen to know until when?

and by Yashica
Which ones? Any idea?

then Kyocera in Japan.
When and which ones? Anyone know?

There are a few exceptions like a few lenses by Sigma (28-70, 70-200 and 70-300)
Sigma? Hmmm, wow! (oh... that's why the 28-70 sucks...)

and probably some lenses were subcontracted by Kyocera to Cosina
Any idea which models these were?

or other lens manufacturers.
Really? Who?



How about the new ones and the other various lines? Not same right?

Doesn't seem that simple to me.




Aug 05, 2012 at 10:41 AM
briantho
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p.1 #6 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


Bif there's lots of info on the net. The history of Zeiss and the vast number of lenses is too much of a subject to cover in a forum thread. Edward gave the executive summary, although I don't agree with him that interest in Contax lenses has diminished, on the contrary, have you checked out the prices lately? Demand is greater than ever.

To add some info, read up on the Contarex line of lenses, king of Contax. It was Zeiss Oberkochen's most costly project, to create the best 35mm cameras and lenses ever produced. The cameras were overengineered to the extreme, and no expenses were spared to create the best lenses the world had seen. Unfortunatly they were so expensive that only the wealthiest could afford the system, and cheap Canon and Nikon copies resulted in the discontinuation of the Contarex. An interesting story.



Aug 05, 2012 at 11:28 AM
kosmoskatten
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p.1 #7 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


Bif:
As a rule of thumb the Contax C/Y lenses were either AE and Made in Germany, or MM and Made in Japan. The latter had the smallest F-stop in green and were more recent. A few of those were recalculated slightly over time and T* coating silently improved. Some of the exotics were always made in Germany.

Some lenses were changed, like the chunky AE 200/3.5 Planar (or was it Sonnar, I think it was Planar) with either 67/72mm filter which turned into a MM 200/4 Sonnar with 55mm filter thread.

It has been a while but I used to have the complete Zeiss brochure with all the lenses (got it from work) and used to know most of the lenses but I haven't rummaged around in the depths of the memory pits for a while. The brochures and literature may well be gone or in a box somewhere.



Aug 05, 2012 at 12:06 PM
kosmoskatten
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p.1 #8 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


Kyocera made the 80-200/4 for Leica R according to Leica specs. I am not sure they made the 80-200/4 Vario Sonnar in the same facility, but it could have been so.

The 28-70 was probably outsourced to Sigma, the 28-85mm I think wasn't. But the zooms wasn't of much interest to me personally so I didn't keep tabs on them.



Aug 05, 2012 at 12:09 PM
kosmoskatten
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p.1 #9 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


I need to jog my memory a little so be prepared for corrections of the above statements.

http://www.cdegroot.com/photo-contax-lenses/

That takes care of the lens line, not revealing the Sigma heritage of the odd zoom though.



Aug 05, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #10 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


Thanks Kosmo!

Brian, I looked and couldn't find anything official. Just mumblings from a few users on a few forums. There's no official information out there (that I could find) which states for example, which companies manufactured the Contax MP 100 nor which company is manufacturing the current Zx 100 models. All zeiss says is that it's zeiss.

And yet I read in so many threads here at FM someone saying "Cosina did this" or "Kyocera did that". How do they know? Where's the info? And where are those guys now?

So far in this thread it hasn't even been stated who in Japan made the (Made in Japan) C/Y Contax line - probably the most popular/common Zeiss line.

And it's not that much info. What are there like 3 to 5 Zeiss lines? And maybe between just 3 companies (with a few exceptions). That's like 15 sentences tops. Or maybe 30 sentences if the poster also knows and adds the dates.




Aug 05, 2012 at 12:48 PM
 

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wfrank
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p.1 #11 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


The Contax G line should all have been made by Kyocera with one exception, the very special 16mm Hologon. The Hologon was made in Germany. Why this mix with Contax G manufacturing made sense, or for any other line, I have no clue..


Aug 05, 2012 at 01:19 PM
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p.1 #12 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


Awesome, Thanks guys! Now we're getting somewhere!

Contax G: Kyocera, Japan, (1 exception: 16mm Hologon - Germany), ___ models, G Production: 1994 ~ 2005
Contax C/Y (AE): Zeiss AG, Germany, (8 exceptions), 38 models, C/Y (AE) Production: ______ ~ ______
Contax C/Y (MM): ________, Japan, (4 exceptions), 32 models, C/Y (MM) Production: ______ ~ ______
Zeiss ZM (Leica M): Cosina, Japan, (?? exceptions), ___ models, ZM Production: ______ ~ ______


Anyone know to say about Contax N, ZM, Contax C/Y MM, or the New Z__ line?



Edited on Aug 05, 2012 at 03:12 PM · View previous versions



Aug 05, 2012 at 02:08 PM
AhamB
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p.1 #13 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


kosmoskatten wrote:
Some lenses were changed, like the chunky AE 200/3.5 Planar (or was it Sonnar, I think it was Planar)


Tele-Tessar. There are no Planars longer than the 135/2 in small format, I think. The longest Sonnars are the 180/2.8 and 200/2.



Aug 05, 2012 at 02:33 PM
briantho
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p.1 #14 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


Contax N and 645 are made by Kyocera.


Aug 05, 2012 at 03:11 PM
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p.1 #15 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


Cool Thanks!

Contax G: Kyocera, Japan, (1 exception: 16mm Hologon - Germany), ___ models, G Production: 1994 ~ 2005
Contax (C/Y AE): Zeiss AG, Germany, (8 exceptions), 38 models, C/Y (AE) Production: ______ ~ ______
Contax (C/Y MM): ________, Japan, (4 exceptions), 32 models, C/Y (MM) Production: ______ ~ ______
Zeiss ZM (Leica M): Cosina, Japan, (?? exceptions), ___ models, ZM Production: ______ ~ ______
Contax N: Kyocera, Japan, (?? exceptions), ___models, Contax N Production: ______ ~ ______
Contax 645: Kyocera, Japan, (?? exceptions), ___models, Contax 645 Production: ______ ~ ______
Contarex _____________

Edited on Aug 05, 2012 at 03:52 PM · View previous versions



Aug 05, 2012 at 03:14 PM
briantho
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p.1 #16 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


contax N and Contax 645 are separate lines of lenses. Don't forget Hasselblad and Rollei. Many lines of Zeiss lenses there. Also Sony. There are lots of Zeiss out there...

Edit: Contarex are all made in West Germany.

Edited on Aug 05, 2012 at 03:37 PM · View previous versions



Aug 05, 2012 at 03:31 PM
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p.1 #17 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


Aren't there only a few Hassy and Roli models? I didn't think they were "lines" per say...




Aug 05, 2012 at 03:36 PM
helimat
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p.1 #18 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


To further complicate things, some of the MM lenses were initially made in Germany... Such as my 25/2.8 & 85/1.4


Aug 05, 2012 at 03:43 PM
wfrank
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p.1 #19 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


For CY lenses they started production -75 (AE), the aperture modification (MM) was made -85. I dont know when they seized production. Kyocera stopped all operations in 2005 - must have been w the G line. But regarding MM lenses I can find no one at pebbleplace that was launched later than 1998. And it happens to be what apparently is a Sigma lens really, the 28-70. There could be others though as that list is not complete.

EDIT: changed "AEG" to "AE" to ease the confusion :-)

Edited on Aug 05, 2012 at 03:53 PM · View previous versions



Aug 05, 2012 at 03:50 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #20 · Carl Zeiss - Lens By State & Company.


Bifurcator wrote:
Aren't there only a few Hassy and Roli models? I didn't think they were "lines" per say...



Loads: Hasselblad C lenses, at least 50, 80, 120, 150. CF: 30, 40, 50, 60, 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, 250, and a 500. I don't recall if there is a CF 350. Then there are shutterless F and FE lenses: 50, 80, 110, 150, 250, 350. And many of these came in more than one variant.

The Rolleiflex 6000 system had many of the same lenses as the CF line, but with different settings, focus rings, aperture ring and construction, and mount, of course. Then there are all the Schneider-Kreuznach lenses on top, which includes some of the more interesting lenses, like the 80/2 and the 180/2.8.

All this is just off the top of my head. I certainly missed some, and the variants are extra, among which are the 250/5.6 and 350/5.6 Super Achromats, some of the sharpest lenses ever made with nearly no optical flaws, and the SWC with its 38 mm Biogon, one of the best wide angle lenses made.



Aug 05, 2012 at 03:51 PM
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