Thursday, April 25, 2013

Carl Zeiss Jena Visionar 92mm f1.6 Projection Lens

This lens, and the Visionar 109mm f1.6, are special. They came all the way from Cuba and was a gift from friend Ramon. These two lenses are very large and heavy, especially the 109mm f1.6, mostly due to the very large maximum aperture of f1.6. After so many years, they are still in pristine condition. I was able to quickly mount the lens to my Yeenon focus helicoid and they fit well together.

Visionar 92mm f1.6 on NEX-6. Note the large size, and how clean it is. Click for larger.

On Monday I shot some pictures in the afternoon, but it was sunny and very bright, and the lens has a fixed aperture of f1.6, thus most of the pictures were over exposed. No, I didn't have any ND filters. Yesterday, it rained, and was dark, perfect condition to use this lens. So I spent an hour in the rain, under the umbrella, and enjoyed myself with this beautiful lens.

Like most projection lenses, this one is very sharp at the working aperture of f1.6. Unfortunately, quite strong color fringing/CA is visible with contrasty/back lit scenes, as most projection lens exhibit this trait. Not as bad as others, though. So far, I haven't found any projection lens that produces very pleasing  bokeh. It was simply not a design criteria for a projection lens. This one, I would say is average. Not ugly or unpleasant, but not as nice as many dedicated picture taking lenses.

The hardest part of using this lens is finding critical focus. The extremely thin depth of field makes focusing really difficult. Nonetheless, I had a great time taking pictures with this wonderful optic.

Daffodil  - NEX-6 & Carl Zeiss Jena Visionar 92mm f1.6. Click for larger.

Bokeh - NEX-6 & Carl Zeiss Jena Visionar 92mm f1.6. Click for larger.

Braving the rain - NEX-6 & Carl Zeiss Jena Visionar 92mm f1.6. Click for larger.

Walking in the rain - NEX-6 & Carl Zeiss Jena Visionar 92mm f1.6. 


6 comments:

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  2. "I was able to quickly mount the lens to my Yeenon focus helicoid and they fit well together."
    How you did it? Can I see it in more details? Thinking about Visionar but have no idea how to fit it with my NEX.

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    1. As you can see in the first picture. The lens is attached to a 60-55mm step-down ring, and another 55-52mm step-down ring, and then to the focus helicoid, which has a 52mm opening. The helicoid is then attached to a M42-NEX adapter and mounted to the camera.

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    2. You can see this post for more details how the helicoid is used: http://oldlenses.blogspot.ca/2012/10/using-enlarging-lenses-with-focus.html

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  3. Excellent results, I have used many Visionar lenses mayself, results may be seen here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kds315/albums

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