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Thread: Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar 500mm f/5.6 for Pentax 645Z

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    Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar 500mm f/5.6 for Pentax 645Z

    Hello all,

    The most likeable of the images I shot in the Masai Mara came from Pentax 646Z and not the K1 or K3 ii, despite all the limitations of the 645Z.

    I own the 645 lenses 300mm f/4 and 400mm f/5.6. I have been thinking of buying a 645 A* 600mm f/5.6 lens. However, good copies are all upwards of USD 2000.

    Then I read about this interesting lens Carl Zeiss Tele Tessar 500mm f/5.6. It is at least 40 years old, but could be bought at less than half the price of the Pentax 600mm. It is however a Hasselblad lens adapted to Pentax 67, and would need to be further adapted to the 645Z, whereas the Pentax 600mm could be directly mounted without any associated paraphernalia. And the Pentax is an ED lens whereas the Zeiss is unlikely to have any ED elements due to its vintage. The Zeiss weighs 2 kg and seems to be unused.

    Does anyone have any first hand experience with this Zeiss lens? Any thoughts? Any conjectures or theoretical musings?

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    Re: Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar 500mm f/5.6 for Pentax 645Z

    If it's only 1/2 the price of the Pentax, buy the Pentax. I'm saying that as an inveterate adapted lens user. I shoot a Fuji GFX 50R and I don't own any Fuji GF lenses!

    I doubt you're going to save much (any) money by the time you've figured out how to mount it. If you need any custom machining done, it's going to cost you much more. Add to this that the lens won't talk to your 645Z, and that you'll now have to deal with different rendering.

    I have to ask though: given that you already have the 300 and 400, why would you not just use the Rear Converter-A 645 1.4X or Rear Converter-A 645 2X? They're both supposed to be very high quality, and you already have two great lenses to use them on. That's way cheaper (and lighter) than the 600mm lens.

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    Re: Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar 500mm f/5.6 for Pentax 645Z

    First of all a disclaimer: I have not used this particular lens.

    But, it has a rather bad reputation to be not very sharp, and to be among the weakest Hasselblad V lenses.

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    Senior Member JoelM's Avatar
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    Re: Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar 500mm f/5.6 for Pentax 645Z

    Buy the Pentax ED lens. It's a much better lens, longer FL, and newer. Pentax made, I don't think they do anymore, first rate ED telescopes that are coveted still. They know what they're doing and I believe you won't be disappointed. Also, resale will be tons easier that selling an adapted, 40 year old lens.

    MHO

    Joel

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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar 500mm f/5.6 for Pentax 645Z

    All I can say is that if you buy the Pentax 600mm lens, and work out a support system sufficient to keep it steady (needs at least 2 points-of-contact), you will not regret the quality you achieve. But it is not exactly a carry-around lens and using it in-the-field will require determination and planning.

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    Re: Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar 500mm f/5.6 for Pentax 645Z

    I would echo the comments of the previous posters. I have no experience with the Zeiss, but the Pentax is superb. If you are going to carry an additional long lens, it should be better than a crop from your 400. The Zeiss may be cheaper in purchase, but nothing is more expensive than something not used. The 600 will not disappoint except when you are carrying it

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    Re: Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar 500mm f/5.6 for Pentax 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by rdeloe View Post
    If it's only 1/2 the price of the Pentax, buy the Pentax. I'm saying that as an inveterate adapted lens user. I shoot a Fuji GFX 50R and I don't own any Fuji GF lenses!

    I doubt you're going to save much (any) money by the time you've figured out how to mount it. If you need any custom machining done, it's going to cost you much more. Add to this that the lens won't talk to your 645Z, and that you'll now have to deal with different rendering.

    I have to ask though: given that you already have the 300 and 400, why would you not just use the Rear Converter-A 645 1.4X or Rear Converter-A 645 2X? They're both supposed to be very high quality, and you already have two great lenses to use them on. That's way cheaper (and lighter) than the 600mm lens.
    The 1.4x rear converter is reportedly good. The 2x rear converter is awful. Combining the 1.4x with the 400mm is a practical option indeed.

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    Re: Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar 500mm f/5.6 for Pentax 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by JoelM View Post
    Buy the Pentax ED lens. It's a much better lens, longer FL, and newer. Pentax made, I don't think they do anymore, first rate ED telescopes that are coveted still. They know what they're doing and I believe you won't be disappointed. Also, resale will be tons easier that selling an adapted, 40 year old lens.

    MHO

    Joel
    Valid points Joel. Thanks.

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    Re: Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar 500mm f/5.6 for Pentax 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Hurst View Post
    All I can say is that if you buy the Pentax 600mm lens, and work out a support system sufficient to keep it steady (needs at least 2 points-of-contact), you will not regret the quality you achieve. But it is not exactly a carry-around lens and using it in-the-field will require determination and planning.
    I have seen a few setups for the 600mm lens with two point contacts. I guess I can work it out.

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    Re: Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar 500mm f/5.6 for Pentax 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    I would echo the comments of the previous posters. I have no experience with the Zeiss, but the Pentax is superb. If you are going to carry an additional long lens, it should be better than a crop from your 400. The Zeiss may be cheaper in purchase, but nothing is more expensive than something not used. The 600 will not disappoint except when you are carrying it
    I agree. The 600mm is not for taking on a trek.

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    Re: Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar 500mm f/5.6 for Pentax 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxitin View Post
    I agree. The 600mm is not for taking on a trek.
    I too will echo what everyone has said about the Pentax A* 600mm 645 ED lens. Optically and build wise it's superb and as mentioned, it's critical to provide excellent support to achieve its potential. Either a 2 point support or a Wimberley at the very least, the latter for moving subjects.

    I've used the 400 with the 1.4x, and it was OK to good but without a direct comparison, I'd say the native 600 was clearly superior. The 1.4x in my opinion does better with the Pentax 300mm f4 645 lens. Lastly Ed might elaborate how the Pentax ED 400mm 67 lens along with the 67 1.4x does in comparison to the 645 ED 600mm as I'm assuming he has used this combination.

    There are some superb example shots taken with this the Pentax 600mm by others on this website and I also just recently posted a young Cheetah image in the "How about some portraits" thread in the medium format forum (on Getup) with the A* 600mm 645 lens.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 1 Week Ago at 21:30.

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    Re: Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar 500mm f/5.6 for Pentax 645Z

    I owned this lens and used it with the Hassy 2000 way back. By the standards of the time it was superb. It was quite light for its reach. I took many wildlife pics with it - one of which was bought by GM Canada for their office. How it would do on modern sensors I don't know, but I'd be optimistic!

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    Re: Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar 500mm f/5.6 for Pentax 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    I too will echo what everyone has said about the Pentax A* 600mm 645 ED lens. Optically and build wise it's superb and as mentioned, it's critical to provide excellent support to achieve its potential. Either a 2 point support or a Wimberley at the very least, the latter for moving subjects.

    I've used the 400 with the 1.4x, and it was OK to good but without a direct comparison, I'd say the native 600 was clearly superior. The 1.4x in my opinion does better with the Pentax 300mm f4 645 lens. Lastly Ed might elaborate how the Pentax ED 400mm 67 lens along with the 67 1.4x does in comparison to the 645 ED 600mm as I'm assuming he has used this combination.

    There are some superb example shots taken with this the Pentax 600mm by others on this website and I also just recently posted a young Cheetah image in the "How about some portraits" thread in the medium format forum (on Getup) with the A* 600mm 645 lens.

    Dave (D&A)
    Thanks Dave. Saw your image of the Cheetah. It is absolutely adorable. Something about the innocence and curiosity of childhood is caught so beautifully in that image.
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    Re: Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar 500mm f/5.6 for Pentax 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    I owned this lens and used it with the Hassy 2000 way back. By the standards of the time it was superb. It was quite light for its reach. I took many wildlife pics with it - one of which was bought by GM Canada for their office. How it would do on modern sensors I don't know, but I'd be optimistic!
    Thank you Bill. The Zeiss and also the Leitz Telyt 560mm f/6.8 look like engineering art pieces. They must have been a joy to just hold. But the more and more I read and research about it, the Pentax A* 600 mm seems to be in a league of its own.
    Thanks 1 Member(s) thanked for this post

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    Re: Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar 500mm f/5.6 for Pentax 645Z

    Hello everyone.

    I bought the Pentax 600mm from ebay Germany. I should have it in my hand by middle of February.

    Thank you for your valued inputs.

    Regards.

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