Carl zeiss tessar jena 210 mm. f 3.5 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Can anybody tell me something about a Zeiss jena tessar 210 f 3.5 and its market value. All i know is that is post wwII .

thnk you Domenico

-- domenico Foschi (, February 20, 2002


The Tessar is a four element lens of less than average performance by today's standards. It has a coverage angle of about 45 degrees, which means that your 210mm version will cover 5x4 with some room for movements at infinity focus. Don't expect sharp results from it wide open. The f/3.5 aperture is really only meant for focusing.

Its worth depends very much on condition, and whether a shutter is included. Personally, I wouldn't pay any more than 35 ($50 US) for the lens alone, without a shutter. Maybe others have a slightly higher opinion of these 4 element lenses such as Tessars and Xenars.
They mostly seem to turn up in poor condition, with scratched front and rear elements due to over-enthusiastic cleaning. Since the only thing they have going for them is good contrast, once they're scratched they're pretty much wrecked.

-- Pete Andrews (, February 20, 2002.

3.5 is unusual if it's the garden variety Tessar in barrel. Does it have a helical focus mount? Bayonet to atttach to camera body? If so I suspect it may be a longish normal for a medium format something or other. Like a tele-xenar. I agree with Pete on value. You can search "completed items" on ebay and see what other folks got for "like" items. Shutter or no shutter makes a BIG difference in value as well as customer pool that will want it. Tessars are VERY sharp in the middle. We use them on 35mm movie cameras as some of the sharpest around. But we're only using about 10+% right out of the middle.

-- Jim Galli (, February 20, 2002.

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