The Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar T 50 mmf/ 1.5 is a standard fast lens with a single-layer coating for the rangefinder Contax I – Contax II cameras produced at the Carl Zeiss Jena works in Dresden.
It was designed by Ludwig Bertele in 1932.
The real focal length of the lens is 52.54 mm.
After the Great Patriotic War quite a lot of the trophy CZJ 50/1.5 lenses were delivered from Germany to the USSR as war reparations (including technological specifications, the Schott company equipment, various structural materials, and optic glass).
The lens based on this optic units came to be produced in the USSR, at first, under its original name, then as the Sonnar of Krasnogorsk (SK) lens, and finally it was renamed in the Jupiter-3.
It was equipped with an iris circular 13-blade aperture. The aperture control is continuously adjustable, not discrete, therefore any intermediate values are possible (you can set the aperture in between the numbers). This peculiarity is valued in video filming as well as for creating visual effects.
The Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 50 mm f/1.5 lens renders very beautiful, flexible image with good contrast and "characteristic" bokeh. The amazing combination of softness and sharpness, as well as beautiful bokeh, made it very popular among portrait photographers. The following shortcoming may be noted: low resolution at the edges of the frame.
The Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 50 mm f/1.5 is in popular demand with photographers and collectors.
Nowadays a modern update version of the Carl Zeiss T* Sonnar 50 mm 1.5 ZM for the bayonet Leica M is produced.
The Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 50 mm f/ 1.5 cannot be used without a considerable adaptation on modern digital SRL cameras due to a rather short flange focal distance. Nevertheless, it is easily and successfully used on mirrorless cameras such as the Sony NEX or the Micro 4/3 system cameras.
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Posted by: Sergei Borodin Date of publication: 28.10.2010