Thursday, January 31, 2013

Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Primagon 35mm f4.5

When I bought this lens (with an EXA II camera body attached), I didn't expect much, especially a lens with a maximum aperture of f4.5. I am a fan of Meyer-Optik lenses, but I don't have any wide angle lenses that bear the marque. The lens wasn't expensive, and I am weak when it comes to lenses, so I bought it.

Looking at it with naked eye, the lens seems to have no coating, but the reflection from the flash makes it appear to have bluish color. This lens has at least two variations. The one with the red V is probably a later model with better coating. Mine is without the red V.

From experience, lenses from this era are prone to flare, and the coating can crack or disintegrate, not to mention scratches easily. Having a lens hood is almost a must. Another issue with this age of lenses is dust inside the lens elements. Mine has a thin layer just under the front elements. Luckily, the front lens group can be unscrewed easily for cleaning. The pictures you see so far were taken with the layer of dust, and they still came out pretty good. Subsequent pictures should have slightly better contrast/sharpness.

Although this lens was designed to be inexpensive, the optic is actually very good, even wide open. Definitely not a lens to shoot at low lights or to achieve thin depth of field, it is quite nice for daylight shooting.  Unfortunately, I haven't taken many pictures that shows the colors this lens renders, because we are having either rain, or snow, and sometimes both in recent days; it's grey everywhere.

It's probably not a lens you will shoot all the time, as is limited by the maximum aperture, but if you like to experiment with different kinds of lenses to study their characters, this inexpensive lens deserves to be on your list.

Meyer-Optik Primagon 35mm f4.5 - Taken with NEX-6 & E50mm f1.8 OSS

Meyer-Optik Primagon 35mm f4.5 - Taken with NEX-6 & E50mm f1.8 OSS

Streetcars - NEX-6 & Meyer-Optik Primagon 35mm f4.5. Click for larger.


  1. How does the front lens group disassemble?

  2. Dear Yu-Lin, thank you for your very readable descriptions and your beautiful pic of the East German lenses. About the Primagon, I am relatively sure all the lenses had the same (single) coating. I own four of them (in M42, Exakta and Altix mount), with and without the red "V", and the front lens always shows the same colouring.
    At some point in the 1950s, the manufacturers Meyer Optik and Carl Zeiss Jena dropped their decades-long tradition to mark coated lenses with the famous red "V" or "T", because coating had become a standard feature in the market.
    Your lens, with the matted black filter ring, seems to be one of the last models, so it would very probably have coating.
    I am also a fan of the Primagon and have used it for outdoor photography.

    PS: Dear James Kellinger, I assume you already found out by yourself, but the front lens easily disassembles by just unscrewing the filter ring. This happens even sometimes involuntarily when you try to unscrew a lens hood.