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Thread: FS: 1936 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar custom converted to Leica Thread Mount

  1. #1
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    FS: 1936 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar custom converted to Leica Thread Mount

    For sale is a Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 5cm F1.5 converted to Leica Thread Mount using a Jupiter-3 focus mount. Glass is near perfect, nice bloom on the front and rear surfaces, some bubbles, normal for this vintage. Optimized for wide-open and close-up use, tested on the M9. It focuses properly to infinity stopped down to F2, out to ~100ft wide-open at F1.5. I built this one using an Uncoated pre-war optic from a Contax mount lens and a 1970 ZOMZ (eyeball emblem) chrome focus mount. Focus is well-damped and very smooth. It’s not easy to find a J-3 LTM focus mount this smooth, I bought a couple and used the best one for this conversion. I disassembled, cleaned, and relubed the focus mount and the optics module. Took out all the glass, cleaned the surfaces, flood cleaned the aperture blades, removed the old grease under the aperture ring and used a dab of vacuum pump grease to dampen the movement.

    Cosmetically the aluminum mount is in EX condition, some marks in the aluminum as shown. Multi-coated Schneider filter and plastic front and rear caps included. You will need a LTM to M-Mount adapter for use on an m-Mount camera.

    Price: $590 shipped within the United States Priority Mail, $620 anywhere else via International Priority Mail. Paypal, Personal Check, Money Order. I reserve the right to hold shipment until check/MO clears. Return policy: returns must be made within 10 days, refund for the price of the item will be given after receipt. Postage cost are not refundable.

    “Dead-On with Flash”










    Close-up, wide-open



    100% crop



    At F4:



    100% crop



    Back at f1.5, some color:



    F1.5 Bokeh shot, late day.



    F1.5, “fence Slat test”



    F1.5, lens at Infinity.



    100% crop



    For “pixel-Peeped Infinity”, best to stop down to F2 or more. Sonnar focus shift works in your favor.

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    Re: FS: 1936 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar custom converted to Leica Thread Mount

    Testimonial: I have one of Brian's lenses converted in this manner – mine is a '38 uncoated Sonnar – and I'm blown away by its color rendition and center sharpness at wide apertures on M9. But what's most attractive is the smooth transition in bokeh: never a jump from one OOF lump to another, always a gradual shading. For example,
    Two masks | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    At f8 it is as sharp as I've ever wanted (I don't sharpen but maybe Flickr does).
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/thompso...in/photostream

    I also have a 'new' 1.5 Sonnar C, but prefer the oldie for its gentler contrast.
    Last edited by thompsonkirk; 5th July 2012 at 20:28. Reason: More to say!
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    Re: FS: 1936 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar custom converted to Leica Thread Mount

    What is the close focus of this lens?

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    Re: FS: 1936 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar custom converted to Leica Thread Mount

    1 meter, most probably.

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    Re: FS: 1936 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar custom converted to Leica Thread Mount

    The minimum focus is just under 1m, same as a standard Jupiter-3 mount and almost all Leica Thread Mount lenses.

    The lens is optimized for close-up and wide-open and is perfect at 1m, and focus at distance at F1.5 is really good. That means the actual focal length of this particular lens is somewhat closer to the Leica standard. I've had some Sonnars and Jupiters that must be stopped down to F4 to cover infinity. Modifying the mount for 0.7m and optimizing for close-up means that distance focus at F1.5 would only be out to about 20ft or so. I decided against it. I did the close-focus mod for one F1.5 Sonnar, became a dedicated portrait lens.

    closest focus, F1.5



    100% crop



    Point of focus is where the fence slat meets the post.

    I do two or three of these conversions per year, a lot of patience is required to get the Contax Mount Sonnar and a decently priced Jupiter-3 with a good focus mount. Sometimes you get one that just cannot be used in a conversion, or has hidden problems and cannot be used at all. About 10 hours of time go into cleaning, converting, adjusting, and testing. Of 25 conversions of F1.5 Sonnars, only one person resold the lens. None have ever come back to me. This particular lens also has a replacement aperture ring from a different 1938 Sonnar on it because the original had a scratch in the chrome. The lens was too nice, got it all together, and could not stand the scratch on the aperture ring. Took it apart and changed it out.

    and- Thankyou Kirk.
    Last edited by Brian S; 6th July 2012 at 06:26.

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    Re: FS: 1936 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar custom converted to Leica Thread Mount

    Super impressive Brian, you are a guru!

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    Re: FS: 1936 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar custom converted to Leica Thread Mount

    Unique and Sonnar = awesome (the C Sonnar ZM is one of my faves).

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    Re: FS: 1936 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar custom converted to Leica Thread Mount

    These Sonnars Brian does are truly amazing.
    I had one on an M9 and the results were stunning.
    Whoever is going to own this lens will have a true unique gem of a lens, basically the performance of the current C-Sonnar 50mm f1.5 in a more unique and cost effective lens.
    GLWS Brian, I miss mine.

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    Re: FS: 1936 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar custom converted to Leica Thread Mount

    Wide-open on the M9.





    Retracted from sale, I've decided to keep this one- at least until I try it out on the M9 Monochrome. The "Bloom" on this lens is unusually good. "Bloom" on an uncoated lens is essentially "tarnish", and changes the index of refraction of the surface of the glass. It acts like a weak lens coating.

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    Re: FS: 1936 Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5 Sonnar custom converted to Leica Thread Mount

    I have some of Brian's adapted lenses. They are superb.
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