Flektogon 35mm 2.4

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Neil Grant

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I'm thinking of one of these in m42 - there seem to be a few variations over the years, though the basic scheme seems much the same. Is there much/anything to choose between them? They all seem to be MC in the 2.4 version.
 

Ian Grant

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I had an Exacta fit 35mm f2.8 Flektagon, coated (not) MC) and it was a superb lens, I'd expect the later version to be similar. I had mine from a friend along with a VArex 100 and 135mm Sonnar and 50mm Pancolar in lieu of processing and printing costs. The quality from all the CZJ lenses was impressive.

Ian
 

R.Gould

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I use a Flektagon 35 lens with the Werramatic I have, ity's coated, (not MC, that wasn't around in the late fifties,) it is a superb lens, one of the best 35 lenses I have and that includes a Leica lens,I would get one if you can, you will not be disapointed
Richard
 

anfenglin

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There is a Flektogon 2.8/35 in mounts M42, Exa / Exakta, Praktina, Werra and I think some rarities, a Flektogon 4/50 and 2,8/65 for Pentacon Six / Praktisix and the newer (late 1970s) MC 2.4/35 Flektogon.
All are superb lenses and the sole invention for the VEB Carl Zeiss Jena with the use of the first computer in East Germany. It was an East German development and it was called OPREMA.
That stood for OPtik-REchen-MAschine (optical calculation machine). This machine made it possible to calculate lenses with a complicated structure and it made it possible to correct the lenses for different wavelengths of light.
Very impressive! Maybe that is the reason that Zeiss Jena lenses are so exceptionally good.

The only problems with these lenses it that the latest MC ones almost always have a sticky or slow aperture, the earliest Alu lenses tend to get very stiff in the focusing because they used stearin.
That wax grease effectively only knows to phases: fluid or solid. Lenses with a stiff of stuck focus really smell like candlewax.

Anyway: There is no bad Zeiss Jena lens in my opinion. The variations only are in the housing, meaning different versions of mechanics and looks.
The 2,4/35 lens always has the black barrel with red marking, there are two versions of fonts.

This list is in no way complete, I only know what I know by having had and still have lots and lots of CZJ lenses in my hands, I work in an online store, we buy and sell the things among other photo stuff.
I also repair CZJ and Meyer lenses and others on a regular basis so i've seen a lot of the insides of lenses.

The only problems I can see in shopping for a Flektogon 2,4/35 are twofold: the aperture can get stuck and / or the focusing can be dry, stiff and or scratchy.
The focusing assembly quite often collects dust and sand and the later lubricants tend to dry out or move to the aperture.

There never seems to be a problem with haze, maybe that is down to all lenses being single element, the lens has six elements in six groups:
Flektogon%202,4b.jpg


A lot of them seem to be ok though, so have fun shopping!!
 

Ian Grant

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The only problems with these lenses it that the latest MC ones almost always have a sticky or slow aperture, the earliest Alu lenses tend to get very stiff in the focusing because they used stearin.
That wax grease effectively only knows to phases: fluid or solid. Lenses with a stiff of stuck focus really smell like candlewax.

Actually this is an issue with almost all CZJ GDR lenses, I had a Prakticmat with an excellent Pancolar lens but it never stopped down accutaely during exposures. Focussing can go lumpy. The company had no access to modern greases used in the West after the Berlin wall was built, actually some early Aluminium barrel lenses are OK, there was some co-operation between Zeiss in the West and CZJ until about 1953/4 as both hoped to re-unify the company.

You get this with other Soviet Block lenses as well, I guess the greases were not exported to the Eastern Block for military reasons.

Ian
 

AgX

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All are superb lenses and the sole invention for the VEB Carl Zeiss Jena with the use of the first computer in East Germany. It was an East German development and it was called OPREMA.

That was years before Zeiss West had such.
 

Larry Cloetta

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There is a Flektogon 2.8/35 in mounts M42, Exa / Exakta, Praktina, Werra and I think some rarities, a Flektogon 4/50 and 2,8/65 for Pentacon Six / Praktisix and the newer (late 1970s) MC 2.4/35 Flektogon.
All are superb lenses

The only problems with these lenses it that the latest MC ones almost always have a sticky or slow aperture,

I have a MC 2.4/35 and it is a great lens, but I can now only mostly use it wide open because the aperture has become soooooo sloooow. I have heard they are difficult to get into, and have been looking for a while for a good repair tech who has experience doing just that and is good at it, as opposed to someone who has never done one but "is willing to try."
I would love suggestions for techs who are experienced with doing CLA's on this lens, because the lens itself is worth it. Preferably in the U.S. but will ship abroad if I have to. Thanks in advance for any suggestions, because I have been casting about for help for a year now with no luck.
 

anfenglin

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It is very easy to get into a 2.4/35. The front part with name ring and filter thread can be screwed out by hand.
Then take a lens spanner an remove the front lens block.
Then turn the lens around and remove the back lens block. Voila, the aperture blades are free or at least the assembly.
I remove the blades only in very rare cases, I use lighter fluid and cotton tipped swabs to get rid of the oil.
I set the lens to M and start to wet the blades or the rim that sticks out, then the blades start to move.
The important thing is to open the aperture with wet blades to get the lighter fluid in there, then close it again and open and close, wipe again, move, wipe, move, wipe until they are clean.
Then screw the lens blocks back in, put on the front barrel and you are done.
Very easy.
There is a rarer version where the front barrel cannot be removed, there just remove the name ring using a rubber sink plug or such to get to the lens block.
See, not difficult.
 

Larry Cloetta

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Anfenglen,
Thank you very much for your reply, you done know how much I appreciate this. What I had seen elsewhere about the difficulty of opening the back for access must have been referring to an earlier version.
This seems within my skill set, will be so happy to get this done. Thank you again!
 

Larry Cloetta

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Fixed it this morning, blades opening and closing smoothly and quickly now. Thanks, again. Took a bit longer with repeated applications of lighter fluid, opening, closing, changing to fresh cotton tipped applicators, drying, and repeating than I might have originally imagined, but it eventually worked, and blades look clean and move crisply now.
Am happy to have this lens back to life again; well worth what turned out to be simple effort. Very grateful for the advice.
 

markjwyatt

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I just got 2 Flektogons- the 35mm f2.4 for M$2 and a 35mm f2.8 for Exakta (Zebra). The Exakta lens due to design differences is much bigger in the front element. The Exakta is more like the Angenieux's; though both are considered retro-focus I believe. Both appear to be in excellent condition with snappy apertues, and clear glass. The f2.4 has the characteristic purple reflections due to the coatings. Interestingly, the f2.4 has a 4-digit serial number. I thnnk this may mean it is a later version, when CZJ may have changed their serial number system*?


https://content.invisioncic.com/l32...ieux.jpg.243ef412d7170e6fadc031a72a086453.jpg

* "In every case I searched for late multicoated versions, with 4- or 5-digit serial numbers, which, apparently, means that they were produced between 1980 and more or less the Fall of the Wall."
 
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ic-racer

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Very nice. Let us know how it works.

I just got a Zebra lens for my Edixa. I had considered a Flektagon, but got a Lithagon as the Lithagon lenses were marketed with the Edixa back in the day. My lens is stop down M42. I found the results very compatible with modern lenses.

 

markjwyatt

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Very nice. Let us know how it works.

I just got a Zebra lens for my Edixa. I had considered a Flektagon, but got a Lithagon as the Lithagon lenses were marketed with the Edixa back in the day. My lens is stop down M42. I found the results very compatible with modern lenses.


I think I want to do some side-by-side shooting to see how the two lenses perform in similar situation. I am sure either is good, but the f2.4 is significantly different in design. Some people say the bokeh is better on the f2.4, as well as flare resistance. The f2.4 is multi-coated, while I think the zebras are single coated, or at least a lower quality coating.
 
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markjwyatt

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Another source about the 4- and 5-digit serial numbers

"By mid 1980, Carl Zeiss had reached the serial number 10,982,372 (nearly 11 million). It then decided to start the serial numbers anew, apparently beginning at 1,0001 (although there are very small numbers of lenses produced in the 1980’s with lower numbers than this). So most lenses made between about mid 1980 and 1991 had four or five-digit serial numbers and are therefore the newest lenses. (You can see from the example given above that some of the lenses with serial numbers in the ten millions were in fact not completed until early in 1981.)"


Per serial numbers, it appears that my f2.8 Flektogon was produced between 1970 and 1975 (in the 9 millions). So both lenses are "newer" versions.
 
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halfaman

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I had a Flektogon 35mm f/2.4 MC used in a Canon 5D MkII with an adapter. It was a very nice lens with beatiful chatacter, the only caveats is that the minimum focusing distance is really just a marketing characteristic. It is not designed for such close distance, at 19cm the corner sharpness was very bad no matter the aperture I worked with.
 

benjiboy

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Optically many of the East German Zeiss lenses were very good, but mechanically they weren't, because the bearing surfaces on the focusing helicoids were made out of aluminium instead of brass that more expensive lenses, use, so that after some wear tended to bind, and eventually completely ceased up.
 
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Ian Grant

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Optically many of the East German Zeiss lenses were very good, but mechanically they weren't, because the bearing surfaces on the focusing helicoids were made out of aluminium instead of brass that more expensive lenses, use, so that after some wear tended to bind, and eventually completely ceased up.

The issue is actually the type of grease used to lubricate the helicoids, the more advanced lubricants used in West German and Japanese lenses weren't available in the Soviet block. It's not just the helicoids, there are often issues with the aperture mechanisms as well, I had a Prakticamat in the mid 1970s its Pancolar lens was an excellent optically, but exposures were slightly inconsistent, it turned out the auto diaphragm did not always stop to the correct aperture.

Ian
 
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