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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Jacques M. Posted - Jul 11 2012 : 11:01:00 AM

About TSVVS, once more! But I have the chance to own two TSVVS and I would share some remarks and have your own...

My cameras are from 1949 (serial # 264)and 1950 (# 503). They both have postwar 2/5cm Sonnar lenses, T coated and made at Jena. Some rare first 1949 TSVVS were supplied with prewar 1,5/5cm uncoated Sonnars (all in the 226xxxx range by the wiki). Curious.

The two lenscaps read "Carl Zeiss Jena". They are very probably original: all the other caps mounted on lenses of the same period (for example on Jena Contaxes) are not black, but silvered. Lenscaps which read TSVVS (always black) are mounted on later 1950 cameras, as it seems. Alain Berry's 1950 TSVVS had such a cap (serial # 781).

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1172012_TSVVS 005.jpg

Next post about the internal numbers.

Amitiés. Jacques.

36   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Jacques M. Posted - Jun 22 2016 : 4:18:17 PM

Yes, Juhani.
At that price, it's not so astonishing...

Hope another member has got it.

cedricfan Posted - Jun 22 2016 : 2:27:45 PM

One known TSVVS was sold very quickly

Best regards,
Vlad Posted - Aug 29 2014 : 10:30:10 AM
I spoke to seller. They guy who won that auction said "I don't have funds to pay for it." He had to relist it. Why would you even bid if you can't pay for it...

Jacques M. Posted - Aug 29 2014 : 10:28:02 AM

Yes. And that time, the description is much more clear.
cedricfan Posted - Aug 29 2014 : 06:15:59 AM
Interesting. Same camera, once just sold, for sale again, and by same seller:

Best regards,
Jacques M. Posted - Aug 26 2014 : 08:05:56 AM

Hi Juhani,

Yes, even for a well made fake...

All the rare cameras are expensive.
Now a fake TSVVS is much rarer than a geruine TSVVS,
Therefore a fake TSVVS is much more expensive than a genuine one.

We have a lot of chance: it's not the case!

Amitiés. Jacques.
cedricfan Posted - Aug 26 2014 : 07:40:17 AM
Originally posted by cedricfan

So it may be non-genuine TSVVS, and possibly staying at a price level which could be affordable

Best regards,

1.400 US-$ = 1.000 €uros, for a replica

Best regards,
Vlad Posted - Aug 22 2014 : 09:43:39 AM
This is from the brochure Dr. Milos Mladek had kindly sent me at some point. I hope he doesn't mind me posting it here, but it's very relevant. This seems to be exact same maker of the fake TSVVS:


Luiz Paracampo Posted - Aug 20 2014 : 8:36:27 PM
At least body cover or tube came from leica the curtain screws are not original and top cover have wider window
a "blended" fake!
Vlad Posted - Aug 20 2014 : 09:45:55 AM
hmm.. so I talked to the seller, it seems that the previous owner of the camera had switched the lens out and not the seller, because before it was tried to be auctioned off as a real TSVVS with Jupiter-8M. Looks like that lot was pulled from the auction because it wasn't a real one. And the collector whose camera the seller is selling must have bought it right after. The guys who are selling it just acquired a whole collection they are liquidating. Here's the previous auction: http://bid.igavelauctions.com/Bidding.taf?_function=detail&Auction_uid1=2967216

Vlad Posted - Aug 20 2014 : 07:26:59 AM
Oh! It seems that have switched the lens out on it. I was shown this model with Jupiter 8m before the auction. It's a large collection so they may have found a lens to go with it.
Jacques M. Posted - Aug 19 2014 : 11:07:23 AM

About the lens, I see a 2/5cm Sonnar, non T and collapsible...
The serial number corresponds to the year 1937.

That time, it's not my English!

Amitiés. Jacques.
Vlad Posted - Aug 19 2014 : 08:53:01 AM
I can pass on to seller to adjust description. The lens is Jupiter-8M on it. If my memory serves me right prototype for Jupiter-8 was developed by GOI in 1948 and the later Jupiter-8M modification in 1957. That makes the lens 10 years later than camera.

Jacques M. Posted - Aug 19 2014 : 03:27:35 AM
Really, I had not understand at first reading that the camera was declared as a copy.
Probably my English: sellers should beware of old foreign collectors and be more clear!

Anyway, it's a beautiful fake. The lensplate is particularly convincing.

Amitiés. Jacques.
PS: lens of 1937.
Vlad Posted - Aug 19 2014 : 01:05:08 AM
It's sold as a "copy", the seller consulted with me before listing it.
cedricfan Posted - Aug 19 2014 : 12:50:36 AM
Originally posted by Fred_L

The seller has noticed it is a TSVVS copy... Not an original...


Yes and no... The short confusing text can be understood both ways. It says "copy camera" and not "camera copy" or "TSVVS copy" or "replica" which would be best? Any way, I will be watching.

Best regards,
Vlad Posted - Aug 18 2014 : 11:07:28 PM
Yes it's just a very good copy. Wrong lens from 1957, Fed viewfinder, gap between mount and top, wrong covering.
Fred_L Posted - Aug 18 2014 : 4:06:15 PM
The seller has noticed it is a TSVVS copy... Not an original...

cedricfan Posted - Aug 18 2014 : 2:23:23 PM
So it may be non-genuine TSVVS, and possibly staying at a price level which could be affordable

Best regards,
Jacques M. Posted - Aug 18 2014 : 12:10:09 PM
Hi Juhani!

Yes... But the camera is not completely convincing: the viewfinder is a Fed's one and the body and the shutter box are made of alloy, not brass.

But the general quality of all that is amazing...

Amitiés. Jacques.
cedricfan Posted - Aug 18 2014 : 08:51:27 AM
One in ebay right now:

Best regards,
Jacques M. Posted - May 16 2014 : 08:04:53 AM

I dig out this thread...
About the stop lever of the lens, I have pointed the original one (very thin and weak) which could heve been replaced by the Contax one as repairs.

But it seems that (all? many?) 1950 TSVVS have this Contax stop. So, this stop could be original too...

A reason more to think that there is a close relationship between TSVVS and Contax.

Jacques M. Posted - Jul 17 2012 : 08:19:37 AM

Well, if I try to sum up...

There are some variable original features:
- the corner of the cover: sharp or rounded,
- the lens cap (always black)reads "Carl Zeiss Jena" or "TSVVS",
- the rangefinder: yellow/transparent or pale yellow/yellow,
- the lens can be a prewar Sonnar 1,5/5cm non coated (serial # 226xxxx) or a postwar coated 2/5cm (serial # 30xxxxx). These last Sonnars can have a "long" or "short" body.

As repair, the original lens stop can be replaced by a Contax part.

About the internal number(s), I have opened a column more in the TSVVS entry of the wiki. It would be useful that everybody puts his number(s): it is probably the only way to know more about this inscription.


Amitiés. Jacques.
Jacques M. Posted - Jul 13 2012 : 08:55:27 AM

Yes and thanks, Alexander. It's on this site that I have known about the internal number on the back, under the filmplate. I never dismounted any TSVVS, contrarily to Ulrich!

On this site, there are too beautiful pictures of TSVVS covered with mother-of pearl. Perhaps Aidas would accept to post a picture of his own?
And there is too an exceptional TSVVS with a LTM 39mm mount... Perhaps the only one ever made?

Amitiés. Jacques.

AlexanderK Posted - Jul 12 2012 : 4:43:42 PM
Very interesting article about TSVVS on the site of Yuri Davidenko:


Regards, Alexander
AlexanderK Posted - Jul 12 2012 : 3:31:29 PM

my both lenses are in black/silver (short body): Nr.292 - aluminium und Nr.714 - chrom.
"Stop-lever" of the lens are the same as yours.

Regards, Alexander
uwittehh Posted - Jul 12 2012 : 1:50:19 PM

the lenses are interesting. My TSVVS also has the complete silver Sonnar, my Jena Contax has the black/silver one.


Jacques M. Posted - Jul 12 2012 : 08:23:55 AM

A last post about my own remarks. It concerns the mount of the lens.
A detail of the "stop-lever" of the lens:

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1272012_TSVVS 006.jpg

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1272012_TSVVS 007.jpg

The first (upper) one seems to be original. But it is not very strong and can have been replaced by the second one, which is visibly a Contax part.

It is probably a detail, but I saw several TSVVS with that Contax part as a repair.

A general comment: when handling my Jena Contaxes and TSVVS, I am surprised to feel the same sensations. But it is another discussion!

Certainly, you have many comments to add. I hope them!

Amitiés. Jacques.
Jacques M. Posted - Jul 12 2012 : 08:04:52 AM

Some remarks about the 2/5cm Sonnars.

After the war, as soon as possible, the Jena factory was put in order to make Sonars again. Two main reasons for that: three cameras needed lenses (Jena Contaxes, Contax IIa and TSVVS): Oberkochen /Stuttgart had problems to produce their own lenses.

The Sonnars on my TSVVS:

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1272012_TSVVS 016.jpg

On the left, the # 3089522 (on TSVVS # 264), on the right, the # 3090471 (on TSVVS # 503).

Of course, they are not the same: shorter aluminium body for the left one, complete chrome body for the other.
An hypothesis: CZJ could have had some problems with chrome at the beginning. Wartime Sonnar bodies were too made of aluminium. Idem for the first ZK coming from these wartime Sonnars...

A comparison with my two Jena Contaxes:
- Sonnar 2/5cm (short aluminium body)# 3009106 on the Jena Contax # 11826,
- Sonnar 1,5/5cm (long chrome body) # 3089445 on the Jena Contax # 30536.

These "chrome" Sonnars are probably the first real postwar Sonnars.

Jacques M. Posted - Jul 12 2012 : 07:12:28 AM
Thanks, Ulrich, Alexander and David!
So, the rangefinder could be yellow/transparent or yellow pale/yellow.

And it seems that the internal number is not always the same for a same camera, and that it can have three ciphers. The mystey is growing darker! Certainly, it could be useful to put in the wiki this (or these) number(s), so that we try and understand something.

I do that immediately for my two cameras:


Amitiés. Jacques.
PS: the baseplate (internal) and shutterbox are black on my cameras too, for sure.
RCCCUK Posted - Jul 12 2012 : 03:58:14 AM
Hi Jacques,

I have just checked my 1950 TSVVS #650. The shutter box has number 36 on it and the base-plate number 2. The rangefinder is transparent with a central yellow spot. Mine also has the rounded corner like your #503. Incidentally, the shutter box and the inside of the base-plate are both black in my camera.

AlexanderK Posted - Jul 11 2012 : 4:31:38 PM
Well, Jacques,
I have just checked my cameras:

1) TSVVS 1949 Nr.292:
- 11 on the base plate and 90 (or 06 ?) on the shutter box
- stright corner
- rangefinder is transparent with yellow spot

2) TSVVS 1950 Nr.714:
- 100 on the base plate and on the shutter box. The two numbers are the same!
- rounded corner
- rangefinder is yellow with yellow spot, which is a little lighter

Both lenses are Sonnar 2/50 T Jena with similar numbers: 3059649 (Nr.292) and 3059762 (Nr.714)

Regards, Alexander
uwittehh Posted - Jul 11 2012 : 3:27:33 PM

by the way, here is mine: http://fotos.cconin.de/kameras/tsvvs.htm


uwittehh Posted - Jul 11 2012 : 12:44:50 PM

thanks for the thread and the pictures.

My 699 has the "Carl Zeiss Jena" lens cap as yours and the rounded corner as your 503. When I look through the rangefinder the spot in the middle is yellow with a bit light green in it, the rest is transparent.

On the shutter house there is a 85 stamped in and on the base plate there is only an 8 stamped in. Maybe the 5 was forgotten? I remember that there was a number behind the filmplate but I do not remember it...


Jacques M. Posted - Jul 11 2012 : 12:04:05 PM
The viewfinder/rangefinder of my TSVVS is very neat. Much more than the one of contempory Fed, for example. Probably the quality of the construction.

But just a question. When I look through the rangefinder, the central spot only is yellow on my # 503, the rest is transparent. On my # 264, the central spot is pale yellow, the rest is dark yellow (if yellow can be dark!).
Difference in the mounting? Repair? What about yours?

About metallurgy, a faint difference between my two cameras:

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1172012_TSVVS 008.jpg

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1172012_TSVVS 009.jpg

Sharp corner on the # 264, rounded one on the # 503. What about yours?

Some remarks about lenses tomorrow.

Amitiés. Jacques.
Jacques M. Posted - Jul 11 2012 : 11:40:07 AM
The internal numbers are a mystery.
This number (the same for one camera, most of the time) is struck
- on the baseplate (inside),
- on the corner of the shutterbox,
- on the back, behind the filmplate, by DVD Technik. But I did not checked...
I thought first that the number was a "short" for the official serial number: my # 264 has "64" inside!

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1172012_TSVVS 012.jpg

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1172012_TSVVS 011.jpg

But my TSVVS # 503 has "89" as internal number:

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1172012_TSVVS 014.jpg

Concerning the "64" inscription, the reengraving on the shutterbox is interesting. One hypothesis: this number could be the factory mark of the perfect adaptation for the three parts of the camera: back, bottom and shutterbox. On my # 264, the original shutterbox had to be replaced, a new one adapted which needed a reengraving.

Of course, other hypothesis are possible. Anyway, there were some 1000 samples of TSVVS, and this internal number only has two ciphers...

Next post about the rangefinder.


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