Leica Sonnars old and new

asiafish

All-Pro
Aug 9, 2013
123
Bakersfield, CA
Andrew
Just got my C Sonnar ZM and decided to see how it looks next to my 1963 Zomz Jupiter 3. All shots wide-open, with a yellow filter on the M Monochrom, out-of-camera JPG, no Lightroom.


First the C Sonnar, focus is on the rim of the lamp reflector (bowl?)

View attachment 5868
C Sonnar - 1 by Lawman1967, on Flickr

And now the Jupiter 3

View attachment 5869
Jupiter 3 - 1 by Lawman1967, on Flickr



And the C Sonnar again, focus is on tubes of the CFL bulb.

View attachment 5870
C Sonnar - 2 by Lawman1967, on Flickr

And the Jupiter 3

View attachment 5871
Jupiter 3 - 2 by Lawman1967, on Flickr



And again the C Sonnar, focus on the lettering of the pen holder. There is an alcove in the background (appears just above the coffee cup handle).

View attachment 5872
C Sonnar - 3 by Lawman1967, on Flickr

And again the Jupiter 3

View attachment 5873
Jupiter 3 - 3 by Lawman1967, on Flickr
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
The J-3 is set so that at closest focus at F1.5 that the DOF is about 1/3 in front, 2/3rds behind. That way infinity focus does better: the focal length is longer than the Leica standard and that is the compromise. The C-Sonnar looks like it is more like 2/3rds in front, 1/3rd behind. The contrast is lower with the J-3, which can be a benefit for Digital. At least that's what I see in the Pictures at this resolution.

Amazing how a J-3 holds up against the C-Sonnar.
 

asiafish

All-Pro
Aug 9, 2013
123
Bakersfield, CA
Andrew
The C Sonnar is shorter in actual focal length, correct? If I understand this stuff correctly (doubtful) it should be fine all the way to infinity wide-open, while the Jupiter 3 needs to be stopped down a bit as I focus farther away from the camera.

Both look outstanding to me, to the point where it will be difficult to choose between them when I leave the house.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
Yes- that is correct, the C-Sonnar is made to the 51.6mm (nominal) standard, the J-3 is made to the 52.4mm Zeiss standard. So- with the J-3, focus shift is towards infinity- and makes up the residual error in distance focus.
 

asiafish

All-Pro
Aug 9, 2013
123
Bakersfield, CA
Andrew
And another comparison set, this time with my purchased new 50mm f/2 Summicron-M thrown into the mix and of a more interesting subject than my desk at work. All shots taken with M Monochrom, no filter on the lens and the following extremely minimal post-processing. Distance to subject approximately one meter.

Import from DNG into Lightroom 5, increase exposure 1/2 stop (I always underexpose with the MM to preserve highlights), convert in Silver Efex with "High Structure Smooth" and "Ilford Pan F" presets. No other post processing applied.


50 Cron at f/2. Focused on the number "3".

View attachment 5877
50 Cron f/2 by Lawman1967, on Flickr

C Sonnar at f/2

View attachment 5878
C Sonnar f/2 by Lawman1967, on Flickr

Jupiter 3 at f/2

View attachment 5879
Jupiter 3 f/2 by Lawman1967, on Flickr


And here are the two Sonnars wide-open at f/1.5

C Sonnar

View attachment 5880
C Sonnar f/1.5 by Lawman1967, on Flickr

And the Jupiter 3

View attachment 5881
Jupiter 3 f/1.5 by Lawman1967, on Flickr
 

asiafish

All-Pro
Aug 9, 2013
123
Bakersfield, CA
Andrew
And another set from the same side-of-the-road stop. Same as last set, only distance to subject now three meters.


50 Cron at f/2

View attachment 5882
50 Cron f/2 - 2 by Lawman1967, on Flickr

C Sonnar at f/2

View attachment 5883
C Sonnar f/2 -2 by Lawman1967, on Flickr

Jupiter 3 at f/2

View attachment 5884
Jupiter 3 f/2 - 2 by Lawman1967, on Flickr

C Sonnar wide-open at f/1.5

View attachment 5885
C Sonnar f/1.5 - 2 by Lawman1967, on Flickr

Jupiter 3 wide-open at f/1.5

View attachment 5884
Jupiter 3 f/2 - 2 by Lawman1967, on Flickr
 

asiafish

All-Pro
Aug 9, 2013
123
Bakersfield, CA
Andrew
It sure is. Bokeh looks just a bit cleaner to me on the C Sonnar at f/2, but they are extremely close wide-open.

Build quality of course is much better on the C Sonnar and I love the bayonet-mount hood, but with the J3 so close, I may just sell the C Sonnar at a profit (got it with the hood for $550) and keep the J3 as my only fast 50.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
I would say I found the perfect J-3.... But when I got it, the focal length was wrong, it was held together with sewing thread, and the focus was way off and could not be corrected in the contax mount that it came with.



1950 J-3, wide-open.

I changed the spacing between the glass to correct the focal length and set it a Leica mount.
 

asiafish

All-Pro
Aug 9, 2013
123
Bakersfield, CA
Andrew
The shame. This lens (the J3) does remind me of that line from "The Right Stuff", our Germans are better than their Germans", or something to that effect.
 

Paxnobiscum

Regular
Oct 10, 2013
8
Kopasker, Iceland
Petur Thorsteinsson
You didn't find it - you made it, didn't you? I have tried very hard to convince Tim Barker to sell me his J-3, collimated and adjusted by you, Brian. He still refuses - and tells me that you are the first in line, if he ever lets it go. That's an excellent copy, as far as I can see.
 

asiafish

All-Pro
Aug 9, 2013
123
Bakersfield, CA
Andrew
You didn't find it - you made it, didn't you? I have tried very hard to convince Tim Barker to sell me his J-3, collimated and adjusted by you, Brian. He still refuses - and tells me that you are the first in line, if he ever lets it go. That's an excellent copy, as far as I can see.
I can't imagine anyone with one of Brian's lenses letting it go anywhere except back to Brian (for an even better one).



Brian,

Let me know if you come across an early Sonnar even better than my 1963. I would be interested in trading up. One with a German brass barrel perhaps?
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
I will keep you in mind.

Tim has a mint-German glass, 1953 KMZ Jupiter-3. The KMZ's up until ~1955 have German glass, some have uncoated rear triplets. The glass is fully interchangeable with the pre-war Sonnars. Tim's is really good.

This is my Cherry-Picked 1936 uncoated 5cm F1.5 Sonnar,

Wide-Open on the M9:



and wide-open on the M Monochrom,



I've converted over 30 Contax mount 5cm F1.5 Sonnars to Leica mount, using a J-3 focus mount. If you come up with the Sonnar and LTM J-3, I'll do the conversion. This is a "Leicaplace" only offer.
 

asiafish

All-Pro
Aug 9, 2013
123
Bakersfield, CA
Andrew
And another pair. The first one is a re-shoot of an image with the C Sonnar that I took a few weeks ago with the Jupiter 3. Jupiter 3 shot was in the morning, while the C Sonnar shot is in the afternoon. Both with yellow filter, ISO 320 and automatic exposure.

Today with the C Sonnar wide-open 11/05/13 at 4:15 PM

View attachment 5890
L1000179-Edit.jpg by Lawman1967, on Flickr


And the older image with the Jupiter 3, 10/16/13 at 6:45 AM

View attachment 5891
L9999880-Edit.jpg by Lawman1967, on Flickr
 

Mr_Flibble

Veteran
Aug 16, 2013
69
The Lowlands
Rick
Still haven't got an LTM Sonnar....

I only have a pre-war Contax mount one, which I've recently cleaned internally but haven't tested yet.
And a J-3 in LTM, but it hasn't been adjusted for Leica. It works well on my Epson R-D1 though but loses some of its characteristics in my opinion.
 

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