Carl Zeiss Jena
1936 CARL ZEISS Black Lacquer & Nickel 135mm Sonnar lens for Contax I
Fits Contax I, II, III, IIa & IIIa
This is a very early version of the 135mm Carl Zeiss Sonnar developed for the Contax I rangefinder cameras. The lens was exceptionally well respected. Built of high quality brass and finished in a black lacquer and nickel plate brass, it was suitable for portraits & landscapes and was a very popular Zeiss lens in its era. Nearly all the great WWII war correspondents carried this lens as part of their regular kit when using a Contax.
This serial number (1719533) indicates that this lens was produced in Jena, Germany in 1936. These early black lenses are difficult to find and were intended to match the black finish of the black Contax I. Later versions of this lens which are easier to find had an all chrome finish which of course matched the later chrome plated Contax II & III.
What photographers loved about this the lens was the lovely rendition in the fore and back ground. It’s something the Japanese refer to as bokeh. Simple said this lens had a very lovely bokeh. Narrow the depth of field by moving closer and the focus rolls on and off smoothly.
It comes complete with a vintage brown leather case.
The glass is exceptionally clean and clear. There is no dirt, no fungus, no separated elements or other problems. Rare for a lens this old, there are no scratches and no cleaning marks and it’s capable of producing lovely photos with modern color and B&W films.
All in all a wonderful, hard to find lens for your classic Contax I camera. Perfect for photographers with a historical interest or WWII reenactors. If you’ve been looking for a clean, useable example, then you’ve just found it…
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