Carl Zeiss Jena – 5cm f/2 Sonnar – SN: 2686630


Out of stock


Unique version of this lens, custom made collapsible body that can focus down to 0.75m MFD while retaining full RF coupling!

This Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm Sonnar was fully restored by us.
The services include:
– Full CLA
– Ultrasonic cleaning of all mechanical parts
– Polishing of the metal parts/ oxidation removal
– New font work
– New synthetic (low-outgassing) greases in the helicoid and aperture control
– LTM to M Bayonet, 6-bit Coded
– A complimentary front 40.5mm chrome filter is included
– Front push on metal Zeiss cap
– Rear plastic M cap

Optics: Very good condition for age, a few minor coating/ cleaning marks. The usual micro air bubbles inside the glass (due to it being the war-era schott glass formula). The lens is rather sharp also compared to other Sonnars we’ve worked on, it represents a good optical specimen of this formula, with the famous multi-coated T lens coatings.

Optical coatings: The lens has had fungus previously, but this was completely removed during the service. However, there are some minor coating marks on the rear element from where the fungus was (often called ghost of fungus). They are not very pronounced and hard to photograph, but none the less when examined up close, some faint discolouration to the coatings in this area can be seen. This does not appear to affect the image quality in any negative way, and the images the lens makes are full of colour and contrast.

Regards lens calibration:
The lens was optimised for closer focus/ wider aperture usage. Due to the lenses Sonnar focus shift and close focus optimisation, its best to stop the lens down to f/5.6 when shooting at infinity. This will cause the focal plane to move outward ensuring the focus shift well covers the infinity distance. Wide open at f/2, the lens will focus just shy of infinity due to the closer focus optimisation.

Mechanics: Excellent, retain much of their luster and polish.

History: Carl Zeiss Jena had designed a collapsible LTM version of their famous 5cm Sonnar for Leica RF usage towards the end of WW2. The design was a short run, and not many copies exist in the wild, let alone in excellent condition.
The body of this lens does not seem to match the known collapsible version from the 1944-46 era (as can be seen in our other listing for SN: 2710329). Its quite possible this is a post-war ‘Coburg era” lens that was fabricated bespokely (one-off) by Zeiss workers operating out of Coburg, Germany. It has metric distance measurements on the body, and can focus from Infinity all the way down to 0.75m MFD with full RF coupling. Its a unique period piece, reflecting the turbulent era after WW2 where many Carl Zeiss Jena lenses take on a more custom made/ unique appearance before they fully regroup later on under the Zeiss-Opton branding.
The optics in the lens were dated to around 1941 according to records, but due to the T coating and unique collapsible body, the lens in its current form is probably more from the 1946-1947 era.

Sample Images: All sample images in the gallery were shot wide open at f/2 on a Leica M11 camera

%d bloggers like this: