Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 135 mm f/ 3.5 is a telephoto prime lens for 35-мм SLR cameras with the M42 Screw mount. The lens has a built-in retractable hood. It is made of metal with a rubber-coated focusing ring.
Contributed by Rabkor:
The third version of a very popular lens was the so-called "zebra" (the previous two belong to the Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 135 mm f4). The build had been completely redesigned. The lens had a metal built-in retractable hood. Lens speed had increased up to f3.5. The lens had become shorter. It was equipped with an instant-return aperture. A new composition of coating was used, though it was still applied to the front lens only. The lens came to be delivered in a brown leather case. The markings had remained.
The next variant of the lens was a "black pearl". The design had been changed again. Though optical scheme had not considerably changed, the lens had got a multilayer coating, which was positive for its optical characteristics and color rendering. The aperture had changed a little and resembled a ninjas' throwing star - shuriken (literally translated from Japanese as "sword hidden in the hand"). This design of the aperture is characteristic for the Contax / Yashica lenses produced in Germany. The lens decreased by size again. The aperture of many Sonnar lenses sticks because of thickening of blades lubricant.
There was also a Sonnar with the S letter but without the Sonnar inscription on the lens barrrel. It may have been produced at some other factory (but it's just a long shot).
Besides, such "laconic" lenses appeared in the "electric" version (with three contacts and electronically controlled aperture).
And finally, the last, the fifth version of the lens. Its full name is the Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Sonnar MC f3.5 135 electric.
This variant has a better optical characteristics, excellent form factor, and electronically controlled aperture for cameras produced under the Pentacon's brand Praktica. The lens has a good contrast and, if you like, microcontrast. The colors, characteristic and very eye-pleasing, are distinguishable from the colors rendered by other lenses. The sharpness is very good. The lens preserves the maximum of picture details . Besides, such sharpness is almost the same at all aperture values. The bokeh is very nice, smooth and soft. The lens speed f3,5 is quite sufficient for portrait photography. That value must be optimal, as it enables to get a sufficient depth of field, on the one hand, and leaves a nice and correct blurring, on the other.
One very important note - the Sonnar electric of the fifth version with a 4-digit number got a testing composition of the Т* coating. In what follows, this composition was applied to the whole Carl Zeiss line of optics. More than 5, 000 of such testing Sonnars were produced. But they are considered to be the best among the Sonnars for the m42 screw mount.
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Posted by: Dionisius Date of publication: 16.01.2012