January 2, 2011 - Comments Off on Zeiss Jena Biotar 58/2.0 – Exakta lens drawing

Zeiss Jena Biotar 58/2.0 – Exakta lens drawing

A pencil study (with digital rectification) for a poster of old Zeiss lenses one can use with Olympus PEN Sony Nex cameras.

I've had this lens for a long time, and exposed a lot of film with it. It feels really natural to use it on a digital camera, and it made me realize that the lens makes the image. A camera is just a light-tight box.

Old manual prime lenses are great choices for newer large sensor LED digital cameras like micro four-thirds (m4/3) and the Sony Nex. Adapters are available for many lens mount standards, and most cost about $30 on eBay.

Legacy lenses act like longer lenses on digital cameras, because the sensors are smaller than a 35mm negative and cut a smaller rectangle out of the lens image. A micro 4/3 sensor is 1/4 the area of a 35mm negative, half as tall and half as wide, and effectively doubling the length of the lens. The Nex is about 1/2 the area of a 35mm frame, so its apparent magnification is 1.5, and a lens is equivalent to one half again as long, instead of double the length.

Because of that effect, 58mm Zeiss Biotar acts like a 116mm lens on the PEN, and like an 87mm lens on the Nex, which is a nice portrait length. The 75mm Biotar is a legendary lens, and goes for ~$800 on eBay. This little guy can usually be had for ~$50. The only lens I like better than this one on the Sony is the Angenieux 135.

Published by: Philip Williamson in Illustration

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