Carl Zeiss Jena
1937 CARL ZEISS SONNAR LENS for Contax II or III
Will also fit the later Contax IIa & IIIa cameras
This is the Carl Zeiss 13,5cm (135mm) Sonnar lens which was developed for the Contax rangefinder camera. Built of high quality chrome plated brass, it is suitable for portraits & landscapes and it was a very popular Zeiss lens in its era. Nearly all the great WWII war correspondents carried this lens as part of their kit when they went out into the field.
This lens has an exceptional reputation for its fine fit and finish, and for the lovely photos it produces. It has a lovely rendition and produces a nicely rounded back ground. It’s something the Japanese refer to as bokeh. Simple said, this lens has a smooth attractive bokeh.
The lens’s serial number indicates that it was produced in late 1937, at a time when the world looked incredible different than it does today. This lens was originall designed to will fit the Contax I, II, III, but it also fits the later Contax IIa & IIIa. (It also fits other cameras with this Contax lens mount.)
This glass is in excellent condition. Not usual for a lens this old, there’s bit of barely noticeable haze. But keep the sun behind you (as you should with all prewar lenses) and it’s capable of producing beautiful photos modern color and B&W films. There is no crystallization, separated elements. There are no scratches.
All in all an excellent lens for your classic Contax. Perfect for collectors and photographers with a historical interest. If you’ve been looking for a good, useable lens for your prewar Contax, then you’ve just found it…
Search terms: Carl Zeiss Jena, rangefinder camera, authentic, original, vintage, WWII, WW2, reenactor, re-enactor, signal corps, USAAF, war correspondent, war photographer, Germany