Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Ernest Leitz Wetzlar f4.5, 200mm (Leica Telyt 1935)



Photo Above: Subject lens (foreground) mounted to the Samsung NX1 using a bellows for both infinity and MACRO focus assist. The lens is a M39 screw mount.  I used an M39-to-M42 step-up ring to attached to a M42 mount bellows.  The camera end is a Pentax mount which I adapted to the NX1 with a PK-to-NX mount adapter.

The 20cm f/4.5 Telyt of 1935 was a quality lens for its day. It had a 5-element, 4-group design and a 20-blade iris diaphragm behind the 3rd element (see photo below).

This lens was designed with an achromatic doublet
at the front which brings red and blue light to the same focus.  Known as an achromatic lens or achromat, it is a lens designed to limit the effects of chromatic and spherical aberration. Achromatic lenses are corrected to bring two wavelengths (typically red and blue) into focus on the same plane (see illustration below).


The 20cm f/4.5 - f36 Telyt was designed for mounting on the first Leitz Reflex housing for screw-mount Leicas and was subsequently used on the original Visoflex (see illustration below.

The lens was made with milled or scalloped focusing rings. It has aperture settings from f/4.5-36, a rather long minimum focus distance of 3 meters (9.8 feet), weighs in at a hefty 550g (1.2 pounds), and bears the inscription Ernst Leitz Wetzlar Telyt. Total assigned serial numbers over its entire production run indicate that only 17,100 were made, making it fairly uncommon. (Source #leicasociety Instagram)

Serial number of the subject lens is #272404 which historical documentation shows the lens was fabricated in the second year of production (1935) and only 1,000 were made (below table).

 SN Start  SN End      Product         Year     Total
 230001    230300  20 cm 1:4.5 20cm    1934      300
 272001    273000  20 cm 1:4.5 Telyt   1935     1000 


The photos below are shown 'as-photographed' (except as noted), with no in-camera picture effects or filters.  Due to the long focal length a tripod was used. 

7/14 Update: I performed a simple adjustment in a photo editor to align the black and white levels to match the histogram for most of the photographs below.  I posted them below their unedited counterparts.

                                F18 /  1/125sec  /  -0.3EV  /  ISO200

                            F12.5  /  1/250sec  /  0EV  /  ISO200

 I noticed that when even using the camera's histogram to better dial-in exposure, images with this lens for the most part came out slightly over exposed producing a hazy look. It is noticeable in both the photograph above and below.  

              F18  /  1/80sec  /  -0.3EV  /  ISO200

Below: Corrected image above for (black/white) levels,shadow

                                         F36 / 1/30sec / 0EV / ISO200

                  F12.5 / 1/250sec / 0EV / ISO200

                                  F6.5 / 1/60sec / 0EV / ISO200

                                              F4.5 / 1/60sec / 0EV / ISO800

Note that image below was corrected for (black/white) levels and shadow.
 F12.5 / 1/100sec / 0EV / ISO200

Below: Enlargement of photograph above to show level of detail sharpness.  Note that image below was corrected for (black/white) levels and shadow.

                F18  /  1/125sec  /  -0.3EV  / ISO200

The following three photographs were taken with a full open aperture (f4.5) and close range to express the background bokeh. The 20-aperture blades of the lens produced a beautiful uniform bokeh as shown below:

               F4.5 / 1/500sec / -0.3EV / ISO100

                                 F4.5 / 1/500sec / -0.3EV  / ISO100


              F4.5 / 1/500sec / -0.3EV /  ISO100

The photo below shows that with the lens fully 'stopped-down' dust particles or fungus are present in the lens.

                                 F36 / 1/30sec / 0EV / ISO200

Comments: The best aspect of this lens is the bokeh as shown. It's built solid and both the focus and aperture dials are smooth and firm.  The dust and fungus discovery is a bummer, but the lens elements can always be cleaned.   

Practical use is another issue.  As shown mounted to the camera you need a bellows for proper focusing and a tripod, so it's no run-and-gun street-photography lens.  

Exciting to find this lens was one of the first years of production (1935) with only 1,000 made that year.  The first year there were only 300 made, so 1934 the first production test-run year.  

As noted the lens produces a sense of slightly hazy or overexposed results compared to what the camera's histogram suggests. However, I provided a 'mastered' (we'll call it that for simplicity's sake) copy for most of the photographs, where black and while levels were balanced to match the histogram for the image.  The result were images that reallyt popped.  It changed my thinking on the potential for this lens on a modern digital camera.

Comments welcome.

 #leicalens #SamsungNX1 #NX1 #lecia #Leitztylet #bartsantello

Monday, June 7, 2021

Zeiss JENA Flektogon 25mm f4


While looking for a 35mm f2.4 version of a Cold War era East German Zeiss JENA lens, I happened upon a bargain-priced vintage Zeiss Jena Flektogon 25mm f4 at the online lens retailer KEH.com. So I jumped on it.

Known for its sharp images, beautifully saturated colors and appropriate contrast, the Zeiss Jena Flektogon lens draw attention.  This 25mm is less talked-about then its sisters the 35mm f2.4 and 2.8 lens versions.

It was a M42-mount version, serial number 7135573 with no optical defects in very good cosmetic and working order.  Using a M42-to-NX mount adapter, the lens looked quite handsome on my Samsung NX1 digital camera (see photos below):


This lens has a front lens threaded filter size of 77mm.  Due to the lens's focal length of  25mm [37.5mm 'crop factor' equivalent on the NX1's APS-C sensor], I figured that since I would use this lens primarily for street photography, a circular-polarizing lens filter would help with bright sun and accentuate cloudy skies.

Some basic historical/technical information, the Zeiss Jena Flektogon 25mm f4 is provided below by allphotolenses.com/

 Source: http://allphotolenses.com/lenses/item/c_2177.html

The following photographs are presented 'as-taken' - handheld, without in-camera filters or effects and no post adjustments.  They are my first pictures with this lens.

The photo below includes a 9X magnification to illustrate the sharpness of the lens. 

F-11  /  ISO200  / EV 0  /  1/80sec
I find that the photograph photo below of the post office has a nice gradual transition between the light and more shadowed areas.  It's attractive.

F-11  /  ISO200  / EV 0  /  1/80sec

              F-8  /  ISO800  / EV 0  /  1/80sec

F-5.6 /  ISO800  / EV 0  /  1/80sec

 F-4  /  ISO200  / EV 0  /  1/250sec

 For the photo below I switched to the monochrome camera setting on the NX1 (aka "Classic")

F4-5.6  /  ISO3200  / EV +0.6  /  1/40sec

F-4  /  ISO400  / EV 0  /  1/125sec

The photographs above were the first pictures I had the opportunity to take with this lens and so far the results are quite good.  I would like to experiment more with a full open aperture to further explore the bokeh of this lens and under different lighting conditions.  I would like to get a few indoor shots. 

 Technical drawing of this lens found on the Internet.  Only difference is the 'Exacta" mount.

Learn more about this and other Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon lenses:

"Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon, Wide Angle Lens History and Review" by Cheyenne Morrison. An informative post on the Zeiss Jena lenses can be found here:


Further observations from  http://www.legacylens.eu/lens-database/german-lenses/carl-zeiss-jena/

"..The 25mm f4 Carl Zeiss Flektogon is a rare wide angle lens that's very hard to find today, especially in good condition. It is the first of a wide angle lens series that continued with the 20mm f4 and f2.8 MC Flektogons. In terms of design, the 25mm Flektogon represents the starting point from which the series would later develop. Its optics is good, but remember that this is an old single coated lens, so you shouldn't expect the same raw performance that you'd extract from a newer multi-coated version.  The 25mm f4 Carl Zeiss Flektogon has a minimum focusing distance of 0.2m and it weighs around 350g. Filter diameter: 77mm."

Please leave a comment with any questions or to further the discussion.  Thanks, Bart

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Konica Hexanon 52mm f1.8


This post is the second in a series for three vintage Konica lenses I picked-up for about $17/each.  It's turning out to be a real home run. Read on...  

The lens featured here is the Konica Hexanon 52mm f1.8 lens with and aperture range of f1.8 to f16 with a serial number of 7414893. It has a bayonet-style mount and was essentially a kit lens coupled with Konica camera bodies.  The lens construction is made up of
6 elements in 5 groups and the filter ring size is 55mm.  The lens was made in Japan and was made for consumer and prosumer 35 mm SLR camera systems. 

A detailed history of this lens is hard to find, research suggests that the lens was from the early 1970's.  However there is a website that has a page with details (specs) of this lens and the other versions in it's family can be found following this link: https://www.buhla.de/Foto/Konica/Objektive/e52_18.html

I attached a Konica-to-Samsung NX mount adapter and took the Samsung NX1 camera out on a walk in downtown Phoenix close to sunset. I like to photograph architecture and the changing landscape of a city that is growing and redeveloping.  I also look for artistic opportunities, especially if the subject has color or definition that will help me better understand how the lens performs.

A 52mm lens designed for a full frame camera is a 78mm equivalent with the Samsung NX1's APS-C size sensor.

The photographs below will demonstrate that this lens 50-years later produces a sharp image with good contrast while balances colors definitively. 

The bottom line: This is a beautiful vintage lens - A keeper!