Yoshizen's Blog

Zeiss — Who ?

Zeiss-000You may noticed that I have some Carl Zeiss lenses.   Some for the late Contax SLR, others for Sony A7, there is even a Nikon mount type as well.  (Old collection of the Hasselblad lenses are all German Zeiss, of course.)  While thinking to get new toys, I’ve checked E’bay listing.   Then, I become aware of the almost chaotic situation.   On the E’bay, many of the quite similar Zeiss lenses were listed-up.  (You can see it by yourself) = Since the Carl Zeiss is a lens manufacturer, no longer a camera maker themselves, they’ve been supplying the lenses for each cameras, such as for the  Contax or Hasselblad.  When there was the production of Contax SLR, the camera was made by the Japanese Yashica and the lenses were originally made in Germany.  (then lens production was moved to Japan — said to be to the Tomioka Optics. —– I’m proud to have my Contax lenses were all made in Germany !) 

Now a days, Zeiss is supplying the lenses to Sony and the Leiz Wetzlar is making the lenses for Panasonic Lumix camera (Leiz is making their own Leica camera while making only hand full number of them by literally hand-carving the aluminium shell and put the Panasonic inside.) (and both Zeiss and Leiz are doing well though they themselves are not making the lens at all = just giving the license. (I’m not sure even the design may not to be by Zeiss, just an agreed common computer program —– So, I wonder how the Zeiss has been survived when there wasn’t much of the Japanese business — such as after Contax business closed, but Sony business yet to be started. ) 

Considering the harsh reality that the virtually all the camera  in the world were made by the Japanese, it’s mean, if there wasn’t a Japanese business, there wasn’t any sale of even just a license. —– So, this was the back ground of Zeiss lenses’ chaos.  The Zeiss was making the lenses for the Nikon, Canon etc mount and selling them as an independent lens manufacturer (like Sigma).  As a results, there are so many almost the same but different types of Zeiss lenses in the market. (If you Google = “Zeiss lens, Ebay” you can see mountain of them.  (Though, even the same Sony E-mount, some may work, others may not and only for manual use.   And many of them were for cropped (APS-c) image size — and is not necessary high quality (made in China or Thailand) — have look the top photo left, even an iris is not symmetric round — still, this lens was sold over £600.)  —– What a hell.  Is Zeiss myth still live and exists ? —– or just a ghost ?    😦

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