Topic: Zeiss Tele-Tessar T* f/4 200mm

I don’t have particular reason for this post, apart from that maybe natural exhibitionism smile

25 years ago I bought this Zeiss Tele Tessar for my RTS3. To this time, my longest lens had just 85mm, maybe I thought some more focal length would be helpful. So far the idea. But to be honest, I don’t think that I made more than 100 photos on film. And the most of them are either out of focus or blurred. So, in this context, the purchase was somehow waste of money.

https://farm1.staticflickr.com/130/396159132_19cfb15043_o.jpg
This is my old RTS with the Tele-Tessar.

The Tele Tessar belongs by far not to most famous Zeiss lenses for the Yashica/Contax system.
In comparison, the Sonnar T* f2.8/180mm is much more famous; this lens is also called the descendant of the world famous Olympia-Sonnar which deputed for the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936. But this lens had its weight with 815 gr. and a very Zeiss specific price tag. While the Sonnar has a front diameter of 72mm, the Tessar has 55mm; its weight is only 550 gr. including the build in lens hood. The f stop range goes from 4 to 32.

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1602/25640726031_95bcac8901_h.jpg

But nevertheless, the Tessar is still a typical Zeiss lens. The build quality is superb, the mechanical performance is outstanding. Everything is tide but works smoothly.

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1582/25735771735_cf0a989c11_h.jpg
This is the only Made in Germany Zeiss lens I have. I do not say that this is somehow special, apart from some romantic emotions I feel.

Those days I tried a comeback, using the lens with an adapter on my Canon or Fuji cameras. With the help of this quick feedback you have as digital photographer, I realized pretty soon that the main issue is not the lens itself; instead, it is rather the guy behind the camera.

I don’t have any camera with build in sensor shift, so I have to realize to use the tripod in order to get sharp images while that sulky weather.
As result, I have collected some images taken on short, medium and far distance. I used the Canon and Fuji cameras.

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1643/24993249644_fccacadca1_h.jpg
Mounted on Canon EOS 600D

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1569/25597664156_1a02efff5b_h.jpg
Some more lens porn

Short focal distance images
EOS 600D. I must admit, I was surprised about the images I shot in short focal distance. The images are much better than I expected. Tripod was necessary.

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1459/25892856545_151775e5eb_h.jpg
EOS 600D. This image is out of the box, I didn't change anything. The cut is not optimal. F4, no flash.

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1480/25867000936_b084976929_h.jpg
EOS 600D. Another short focal distance. Setup as the image above. I realized some CAs.

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1582/25260160244_3629c4887a_b.jpg
EOS 600D. 100% view.

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1541/25623117525_19b1a09236_h.jpg
EOS 600D. I know this is somehow ugly, but I like the green color rendering.

Medium focal distance images
These images are taken during  the last days, while we had some special wheater situation early in the morning.

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1703/25797903181_94855796d5_h.jpg
EOS 6D: Yesterday morning. About 7:00 am

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1590/25797914071_7987f2056f_h.jpg
EOS 6D: I didn't cut this image due its diagonal, what I like.

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1702/25772084052_5e967eba5e_h.jpg
EOS 6D: Same day, same setup

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1579/25264148893_c030ad221f_h.jpg
EOS 6D: Not far away from my home, we have these windmills. Perfect for my tele lens.

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1640/25866973516_915f38b5dd_b.jpg
EOS 6D, f8, 100% view

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1468/25797921931_c03c90b21d_h.jpg
EOS 600D, f32, 100% view

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1501/25797937011_1e6deb50d1_h.jpg
EOS 600D

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1591/25892857295_e28a5f06c6_o.jpg
Fuji 50~230mm. This is a 100% view of the only other tele-lens I have, the Fuji 50~230mm vario zoom.
This very cheap lens outperfoms the Zeiss lens easily. The image is hand held, using the lens build in stabilisation.

Far focal distance images
Not easily to find during this time. You need some luck to find a clear atmosphere.

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1643/25772106702_c2ff7f16da_h.jpg
Maybe 10 days back, hand held. Early in the morning.

Conclusion
It is somehow hard to understand that a 200€ expensive Fuji-lens produces better images than the very expensive Zeiss brother. But I admit the Zeiss lens was calculated in the seventies for film material, while the more modern lenses are designed to work with digital cameras, with the help of powerful computers.
I am by far not a pixel peeper. Although the Zeiss lens has many CAs, especially when used with the 600D  in critical light situation, and less when used with the 6D, I like this lens, with all its weaknesses. CAs can be removed in Photoshop, what keeps is the Zeiss feeling, the manual touch.

Hanoi

Re: Zeiss Tele-Tessar T* f/4 200mm

Hanoi wrote:

maybe natural exhibitionism smile

I hope you restrict that to photographic hardware!

I suspect that the lens will perform best at f8 or f11.

A potential tube lens for macro, where high performance is not necessary for the tube lens.

I have given up taking photographs on dull overcast days. I don't think one was ever a good one.

Harold

Re: Zeiss Tele-Tessar T* f/4 200mm

Nice post about this Zeiss lens which is not at the expected top quality for the make . Your analyze is in accordance with different lens reviews on the net .
My only 200mm lens is a Jupiter -21M in 42 mount . One of my son took stunningly sharp pics of his two sons with this lens on his Sony 5  , hand held .
I like your three morning pics : nice subtle light

I am a Pentacon and kiev( MF and35 mm) user,and also :contaxII,III,IIa  ,contaflex , contarex bullseye ,voigtlander ....

Re: Zeiss Tele-Tessar T* f/4 200mm

Thank you guys for your kind replies;

e6filmuser wrote:

I hope you restrict that to photographic hardware!

Yes, see it as promise.


e6filmuser wrote:

A potential tube lens for macro, where high performance is not necessary for the tube lens.

Please excuse my ignorance Harold, any hint what you mean exactly?


ikonpeter wrote:

Your analyze is in accordance with different lens reviews on the net

Its funny, I never tried to find any information if the issues of this lens are more general or particular related to my copy. Well, it woudn't change anything, I had to learn to live with things which are not perfect, this includes also photographic hardware. In the meantime I am relaxed enough to acceppt those things. I belive, live is too short for wasting time with anger about such details.

On the other hand, I had a lot of enjoyment to prepare that post.

ikonpeter wrote:

I like your three morning pics : nice subtle light;

Thank you, Peter. Yes, this was a somehow special atmosphere we had for a couple of days, every morning on the way to the office.

Hanoi

Last edited by Hanoi (2016-03-20 10:03:53)

Re: Zeiss Tele-Tessar T* f/4 200mm

Hanoi wrote:

Thank you guys for your kind replies;

e6filmuser wrote:

A potential tube lens for macro, where high performance is not necessary for the tube lens.

Please excuse my ignorance Harold, any hint what you mean exactly?

This is for high magnification macro, where you put a very high quality lens, possibly a microscope lens, on the front of a conventional lens, the latter set at infinity. The latter lens is called a "tube" lens, as it not more forms an image than does a TC. The optimum FL is around 200mm.

Harold

Last edited by e6filmuser (2016-03-20 10:24:09)

Re: Zeiss Tele-Tessar T* f/4 200mm

e6filmuser wrote:

This is for high magnification macro, where you put a very high quality lens, possibly a microscope lens, on the front of a conventional lens, the latter set at infinity. The latter lens is called a "tube" lens, as it not more forms an image than does a TC. The optimum FL is around 200mm.

Harold

Thank you, Harold. So far I can follow you.

I assume both lenses are coupled by a retro adapter?

What about the aperture from the tube lens? Always wide open?

Thanks in ahead.

Hanoi

Re: Zeiss Tele-Tessar T* f/4 200mm

Hanoi,

This website will tell you all you need to know:

http://extreme-macro.co.uk/extreme-macro-tube-lenses/

Harold

Re: Zeiss Tele-Tessar T* f/4 200mm

e6filmuser wrote:

Hanoi,

This website will tell you all you need to know:

http://extreme-macro.co.uk/extreme-macro-tube-lenses/

Harold

Thank you for the link. Plenty to read and to learn ...

Hanoi