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Brian Posted - Jan 05 2013 : 09:10:04 AM
I've created a WIKI entry for doing a Clean-Lube-Adjust on the Jupiter-3. Also included- instructions for adjusting the Jupiter-3 for optimal use on a Leica. Some of the "gotcha's" are from doing a fair number of lenses. Found out the hard way it is best to put screws back into the same hole they came out of! "Ice cube tray" is an important part of my kitchen table repairs.
26   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
uwittehh Posted - Mar 24 2013 : 10:44:48 AM
So, I get my copy in some days. I have spoken to Mr. Thiele today on the phone, he said that he has only one book left and that'll be mine now :-)


Jacques M. Posted - Mar 23 2013 : 12:50:14 PM

Not all the production, Ulrich. For example, the Sonnar 1,5/5,8cm, made in Contax mount, s/n 1459655 and of which we speak in another thread, is not in Thiele's book: it would be a 4/13,5cm Sonnar... However, it is a genuine lens, with a picture in Kuc's book.

For me, Kuc's books are the second bible, with heaps of pictures...

While waiting for your Thiele's, if you need a date or a serial number, please mail

Amitiés. Jacques.

S.H. Posted - Mar 22 2013 : 5:06:35 PM
I recently found on ebay my copy of this book (not the latest edition unfortunately). Keep looking!
uwittehh Posted - Mar 22 2013 : 3:16:57 PM

thanks for the link. Unfortunately exactly this book is sold out. But I have asked them if they can search for it.

What I have read on the web Thiele has sampled all production dates. It seems to be a miracle that these papers were existing over the decades.


Jacques M. Posted - Mar 22 2013 : 07:56:58 AM
No, Ulrich, I was not joking!

Thiele's book (at least the second, which covers the fabrication of Jena lenses, 1927-1991) is absolutely necessary to speak seriously. But I can say that it is normally less precise for the end of the war.
Three parts in this book: the lenses are classified by date, by type (biogon, sonnar...), by type of mount.

You can find it at Lindemanns Fotobücher, Nadlerstrasse, 7013 Stuttgart. Internet: www.lindemanns.de.

A very good purchase!

uwittehh Posted - Mar 22 2013 : 04:54:56 AM

one question about the date, it it really sure that the lens was made that day? I thougth it was a joke by you, but after searching the web I think you mean the book "Fabrikationsbuch Photooptik II" by Hartmut Thiele. Are there all lenses described by production date? It seems that the book is not more available, I have found nothing where I can buy it.


uwittehh Posted - Mar 21 2013 : 5:50:54 PM

as a "real german lens" it should be delivered on 30.1.43, exactly ten years after Hitler was made to dictator ... Just kidding.

But it's an interesting question, I also wondered why this lens was sold so late, in 1951 with a Sonnar barrel and why there are earlier lenses without the number on rear barrel.

I don't know. Maybe it easy to explain. They have found a box full of half assembled lens barrels in the early 50ies, or maybe there were so much left over after the war (I wondered a bit about a batch of 3000! lenses in only one month during the war at a time were cities like Hamburg were bombed twice a week and in Dresden/Jena they produce 100 1,5/50mm Sonnar lenses a day ;-), so that they could use the lenses such a long time.

And in the same time they began to redesign the original Sonnar lens design to the Jupiter design and so we can find this variations


Jacques M. Posted - Mar 21 2013 : 5:23:39 PM

No doubt your lens was delivered the 29/01/1943, by Thiele. As a German lens...
The main problem, for me, is to know what the Russian made of these lenses, and in which order.
Generally speaking, one can find Sonnars converted to ZK, or to Jupiter, or remaining Sonnars, all that from the same batch. I try to find sense in all that mess and for the moment...

Another question about our two Jupiter 3-s: why such differences?

uwittehh Posted - Mar 21 2013 : 3:48:52 PM

yes it's a nice find. I have found a nice detail in the "zeilei" documents. There are 3 Sonnar 1,5/50 described, first one for the Contax with serial number 2724821, one in M39 mount with serial number 2725477 and a Kiev Sonnar with number 2725552.

These lenses are all from a batch of 3000 lenses that was made in January 1943.

And there is one very special thing: The Kiev Sonnar with inside barrel number (2)725552 hat a KMZ logo and the Jupiter 3 engravings. And it has serial number 5103194.

Now compare these numbers to mine: (2)726979 on inner barrel and 5102840 on front ring. Very close. So I think that mine is also from this batch from January 1943. A very well dated lens


Jacques M. Posted - Mar 21 2013 : 04:18:41 AM
A very fine lens! I had not seen it.
I have too a 1951 Jup 3. But mine is probably more a crossover: no ears. Lens barrel in brass too and external one in aluminium.

The coating is green (really!): never seen till now, except on a 42mm Jup 3 from 1951 too (on eBay). I wonder where this coating comes from...

Something else interesting: the serial number with 4 digits (510383) compared to yours: 5 digits.

Bravo! Amitiés. Jacques.
uwittehh Posted - Mar 20 2013 : 2:35:32 PM
Having received this J-3 from 1951 today. On the small ebay picture I could see that it has ears, so I must have it :-)

And it's a Sonnar! The lens barrel is made of brass and very heavy and has a number stamped in: 726979 so the real number is 2726979. According to the "zeilei" documents it should be made in 1943.

There is also the fourth bigger screw on the outer barrel which is made of aluminium. And it is light yellow coated on the front lens and light purple on the rear lens.

And it has 13 aperture blades.

I have made some test pictures with it (the screwdrivers) wide open (still soft) and at aperture 4.0 (sharp!) with my Pentax Q.

The fourth screw:

The rear number:

The J-3 engraving and 51 serial number:

Wide open:

Aperture 4.0:

I have added a crop 100% of the picture taken with 4.0. Not sharpened. It's really nice :-)


Jacques M. Posted - Feb 25 2013 : 05:47:08 AM
Another member of the Sonnar family: a LTM 1,4/5cm Nikkor, made in 1950.
A cousin of the Jup 3...
What a weight!

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/2522013_Nikkor LTM 1,4-5cm 003.jpg

Amitiés. Jacques.

stephanvdz Posted - Feb 23 2013 : 5:00:24 PM
there is a picture of HCB using a leica with a biogon 3,5cm and a finder... in 1947 but to my eyes it looks like a contax biogon on a Orion conversion ring (with or without rf coupling)...

Brian Posted - Feb 05 2013 : 6:24:20 PM
Thiele lists a 5cm F1.5 Sonnar batch of 300 in Contax mount starting at 2786801 to 2787100, finished in 1943. I am going to guess that is started out in Contax mount and was custom converted to the Leica mount. The Sonnar did not have an equal in the Leica world, and some paid to have them custom converted to the smaller and less expensive Leica. I read that CB used a custom converted Sonnar 5cm F1.5 in Leica mount.

The focus mount looks like a modified German Leica mount. By moving the close-focus stop screw, it is possible to use at 0.8m. I did that with my 1950 Jupiter-3. I know how to do it with the wartime German mount, but have never done the mod. It is not hard.
Jacques M. Posted - Feb 04 2013 : 05:24:16 AM

These Sonnars are surprising...

Another odd one here: I has owned this one (1,5/5cm LTM, serial # 2786907) for years. It has a 3/4 turn of the distance ring instead of the regular half one. And the meter scale reads 0,8 - 1 - 1,15 - 1,3 - 1,5 - 2 - 2,5 - 3 - 4 - 6 - 10 - 20 and infinite with small "m" but commas. Not a regular scale...

A picture of this lens:

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/422013_Sonnar 2786907 002.jpg

If you have an explanation...

Amitiés. Jacques.

Brian Posted - Feb 02 2013 : 7:32:21 PM
My personal opinion: these are "transition" lensesmade just after World War II. I have seen several like this in some off serial number ranges, several around 280xxxx. Machining was not uniform between them, some unfinished- look like "one-offs" in a manual machine shop. MAybe done when the factory was recovering from the War?
Jacques M. Posted - Jan 30 2013 : 10:09:48 AM
Another LTM Sonnar here.
But quite mysterious: by the serial number, it should be a Biotar 2/4cm for Robot...
The rear module was changed: no Zeiss number. A Jupiter 3 one...
The front one is a Sonnar's by the coating. And m marked on the distance ring, always with the two srews.

It's the heaviest of all my Sonnars (wartime ones): exactly 180g.

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/3012013_Sonnar 2811301.jpg

Amitiés. Jacques.

Brian Posted - Jan 14 2013 : 1:12:05 PM
I have had optics modules not unscrew for the following reasons:

1) cemented into place, usually because someone used cement instead of a proper shim.
2) Grease in the threads that gets incredibly hard, like cement. I've removed glass from the mount, let the whole fixture soak in 99% Isopropyl alchohol to loosen. This is the most common cause, and I have had good luck. I have let things soak as long as 1 week to loosen up.
3) thin shim (0.01mm or 0.02mm) made of copper, thinner than paper, get caught up in the threads. Sometimes have luck with this.
Jacques M. Posted - Jan 14 2013 : 11:01:47 AM

The namerinng is the front ring: that sounds logical...
But I have not seen any screw which could prevent from unscrewing the lens module...

I don't understand: I already did that with two LTM 1,5/5cm Sonnars. These Jup 3 and ZK resist. Perhaps both are "cemented"?

I have dismounted them by the back and cleaned them. But I have not seen the Zeiss number, hidden by the intermediate barrel (rangefinder's).

Anyway, they work better now!

Brian Posted - Jan 12 2013 : 9:02:53 PM
Namering- the front ring with the zeiss name, Serial Number, that holds the front element in place. When disassembling Wartime lenses: be sure to take off the aperture ring and look for a hidden set screw. It holds the front namering in place.

The same is true for the rear triplet, you must unscrew the optics module from the focus mount and check if there is a set screw holding the triplet in place. Learned the hard way.

There are so many minor and major variations, improvements were made quickly. My favorite right now is an uncoated 1936 Sonnar with a beautiful bloom to the glass that is as good as a lens coating. Converted to Leica mount, wide-open with an Orange filter.

stephanvdz Posted - Jan 12 2013 : 4:30:51 PM
earliest T lens... 2202696 sonnar f2/5cm
early coated but non T 2269346 sonnar 1,5

in my enumeration of variants and clones, i forgot the helios103

Jacques M. Posted - Jan 12 2013 : 11:55:30 AM

Some details about the weights of my LTM 1,5/5cm. Interesting!

- Sonnar 2786xxx: 146g.
- ZK 1948: 135g. The lightest!
- Sonnar/Jupiter: 170g.(Sonnar 28608xx inside, 1974 KMZ number on the front)
- Jupiter 3 1951: 169g.

To compare with my 1,5/5cm Sonnars with Contax mount:

- s.n. 2789632: 130g. (on a Jena II O series).
- s.n. 3089445: 150g. (on a Jena Contax II).

I think that the Jup 1951 is a Sonnar too. But I cannot unscrew to check the number, idem for the ZK.
About that, what do you mean exactly by "namering", Brian?

Amitiés. Jacques.
Brian Posted - Jan 11 2013 : 8:10:01 PM
I have a 1936 5cm F1.5 with fully coated optics, SN in the 190xxxx range. Bought off Ebay, noticed the coating after receiving. From taking apart many of these lenses: this one had never been opened. Optics were all hazed over, cleaned up nicely. I also have a 175xxxx lens with a coated front element, thought it was done after manufacture. But- I did a conversion on a second 175xxxx lens that had the identical coating on the front lens only.

My earliest "T" marked lens is a 255xxxx, marked F11 but stops down farther. Heavy barrel, no set screw holding the namering and rear triplet. The 267xxxx "T" lens had F22 marked, and was the lighter allow. It also had a hidden set screw holding the namering in place, and the rear triplet in place. The 272xxxx and 285xxxx wartime lenses had the hidden set screws, but the ZK did not. The 1950 J-3 has the rear triplet stamped with a 86xxxx number: shows at May 1945 in Thiele.

The most strange: a 2767816 5cm f1.5 "T" in Contax mount with an odd rear group. This SN block is missing in Thiele's book, there is a break in the numbers that are accounted for. Working lens, the rear group is smaller than standard F1.5, bigger than an F2. It is a doublet, not a triplet! Lens was in poor condition, but was $70 off Ebay.
stephanvdz Posted - Jan 11 2013 : 08:07:01 AM
to my knowledge
1934 nickel plus black (up to f11)
1936 normal but f11
1938 normal but f16
1940 ltm versions various metals and mount
1943 lightermetal mount
1945-46 jena over 3000000 version
1947 Carl zeiss (west version at least 3 variation)
1947 ZK version
1950 jup3... various version
and moderns also

clones and copies : nikkor, canon... ?


to brian ... I think that including ltms, i have 16 lenses on my shelf...

Brian Posted - Jan 06 2013 : 08:05:00 AM
When I get some time- will put together a series of Photographs that illustrate the evolution of the pre-war Zeiss Sonnar from the 1934 Nickel 5cm F1.5 lens through to the 1956 KMZ J-3. I have 12 or so lenses that show a nice, steady progression.

I am a wild and crazy guy... NOT!
Jacques M. Posted - Jan 05 2013 : 1:56:10 PM

Most interesting and useful, for all of us who try to know more about ZK and Jupiter lenses...

Thanks, Brian!


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