courtesy of some nice folks from DigifanCN®.
The group also operates
their own active, popular EBAY STORE,
trading for many major
camera brands and collectibles. Image Copyright © 2008.
As I mentioned in the page two, the HOLOGON camera with a fixed lens attached as
well as full accessories were being supplied in the set was designed to be system
independent; and generally, although as a whole, the ultra-wideangle equipped Hologon
camera was considered to be a new innovative camera/lens breed as well as experimenting
a new market concept, but it was not entirely a very successful commercial project.
No one knows if ever Zeiss Ikon had changed their plan/decision to sell the lens
as individual would be achieving a greater level of success or not. Even after the
assembling was moved to Oberkochen, they were only being made in smaller scales.
According to various reading references, they are some which were sold under the
wings of a newco, Carl Zeiss Contarex-Vertrieb. And in the course , they were a batch
being designed by Zeiss in uncoupled Leica bayonet mount and let Leitz re-modified
& marketed them on behalf. Zeiss Compendium had reported approx. 1,000 units
of these were being produced but only the range of 350~500 units of these modified
Hologon 15mm 1:8 individual lenses had been sold by Leitz.
Individual means the lens was made available as an interchangeable
lens for the LEICA and doesn't have to cough out a larger budget just to own this
specific lens type by acquiring the Hologon camera as a set. In bare basic term,
Zeiss Ikon was trying to broaden the sales appeal via the established Leica pool
of users with a "Well, I am now offering you (leica users) something you
don't or wouldn't be able to find within the Leitz RF lens group ..." kind
of approach. Anyway, neither Leitz had never rejected the idea and had accepted to
modified the offer to fit Leica cameras. In general, one major difference was, the
redesigned, individual HOLOGON 8/15mm lens in Leica bayonet mount has capability
to perform focus adjustment whereas the original lens used on the HOLOGON ultrawide
camera was a fixed focus type. From the number sold presented earlier, the shift
of marketing was not entirely striking too well too. Personally, I guess it has a
lot to do with finding practical photographic applications for the lens. An ultrawide
is not considered to be a general purpose photographic lens. In pratical term, it
truly requires creative usage as well combining good skill in handling its extraordinary
picture coverage by the phtographer. Although in theory, it may serve certain specific
requirements in scientific, architectural, aerial, fashion and/or special effect
photography. But overall, the scope of usage/market can be quite restrictive/small.
Further, back in the early '70 - not a too many* rangefinder Leica has built-in
meter yet and in comparison, an alternate TTL meter capable-SLRs with equivalent
option(s)** of super-wideangle lens(es) had made this slightly less appealing;
especially it works via an added on optical finder for estimate photo compostion.
Anyway, this particular made-for-Leica batch has " Carl Zeiss Hologon 1:8/15 for Leica-M " encoded on the lens
data circularly at the front rim .
* Leica M5, generally being regarded as the first
rangefinder LEICA RF camera that offered TTL metering, it was only being unveiled
in 1971 which was approx. around this period; the more successful Leica M6 with similar
capability in TTL metering was only first being marketed in 1984. ** Please also take note Carl Zeiss also has a Distogon T* 15mm f/3.5 Super-wideangle lens on their own, it was a lens
supposedly designed for the CONTAREX series but was never actually being marketed
during its era. The design was eventually materialized only via Kyocera's Contax
SLRs series, and even had one for the 35mm format Rollei 3003/6008 series as well
as a version made in LEICA R-mount. Relative: Leica-M Series cameras
In comparion, the Leica M-bayonet version
has some cosmetic differences in its appearance from the original fixed Hologon 8/15
version as used on the HOLOGON ultrawide camera. One of the most noticeable feature
is the red-colored coded distance scales (feet). The metric distance scales are provided
at the opposite end. However, the aperture is still fixed and rather slow 1:8. Besides,
an individual Optical Viewfinder with Bubble level was also supplied as standard
accessory. Due to both rarity and heritage element
it, the Zeiss made, Leica modified 8/15mm Hologon set can be regarded as one of the
most desirable Leica collectible optic today.
Please take note this version
is DIFFERENT from the Contax G-spec T* Hologon
8/16mm model as featured briefly a few paragraphs below. A few simple points for
quick and easy visual identifications: i.e. NO "T*" marked on lens data description;
1:8/15 for original version (read as 8/16 for G-spec model); Viewfinder old style and finishes in black.
Rear section at lens mount: Original version has NO
data linkage. G-spec model has a handle for focusing. There are other minor points
as indicated below in an illustration.
Showcaed here is how
a LEICA-M Carl Zeiss Hologon 8/15 ultra-wideangle
lens w/bubble Finder looks like when mounted on a typical modern Leica RF camera.
The Graduated Center Filter was made
by Leitz though. The internal filter thread has also been eliminated. This alternate
option has extended the reach of Leica/Leitz which traditionally limits its ultrawideangle
range for their rangefinder bodies at 2.1cm.
Credit: Image(s) courtesy of some
nice folks from DigifanCN®. The group
also operates their own active, popular EBAY STORE, trading for many major camera brands and collectibles. Image Copyright ©
2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing
Here is a REAL TREAT:-
profiles on Carl Zeiss
Hologon for Leica M cameras
|The Carl Zeiss Hologon remade for CONTAX
G-series cameras was part of a star attraction of the Carl Zess lens group tailored
made for the Contax G-series bodies first introduced in 1994 with the G1 by Kyocera
(the next upgrade, CONTAX G2 was offered in 1996). The focal length had been marginally
increased to 16mm from 15mm original. Aperture remains the same @ f/8.0. Supplied
in silverish and black finishes; the bubble optical viewfinder has a modern feel
in sleek contour, rounded edges and the center graduated filter supplied as standard
accessory has rectangular-shape. One of the major difference of the G-Spec 16mm Hologon
for the G was; the optical design of the HOLOGON for Contax G has been modified/revised
as 5 elements in 3 groups* internally - which
is different from the original tripet - 3 elements composition. As most of the G-spec
Carl Zeiss lenses for the G-series actually were produced in Japan, but this particular
Hologon 8/16 was indicated still being retained and produced in Germany. * Carl Zeiss
stated "...It is constructed quasi-symmetrically. The Carl Zeiss unique (revised
5E/3G) lens design aims to reduce the distance from the rear of the lens to the film
plane enhanced the improvement of the contrast of this lens..".
Here is a series of product photos featuring
the G-spec Carl Zeiss T* Hologon 16mm f/8.0 provided by the popular
Austrian based online auctioneer, Leicashop®. Despite it
has distance/focusing adjustment in this G-spec ultrawide, but please take note the
Hologon for Contax G cameras still offered a fixed aperture 1:8. Further, there were
some limitations when used on the G1/G2 bodies, such as autofocus mechanism of the
CONTAX G-models DOES NOT WORK with this lens, neither the TTL flash nor the metering
Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Peter Coeln from LEICA Shop®, Austria who also operates a popular Westlicht Auction House. Image Copyright © 2008. All rights
reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Contax G-user site explained this:- " ...Hologon does not work with the G's
autofocus system; it is focused by scale (hardly a handicap considering the depth
of field available with a 16mm f/8 lens!) Also, the lens' deep protrusion into the
camera body causes it to block the TTL meter sensor's "view" of the film
plane, making TTL metering impossible. To handle this, the G cameras have a separate
external meter cell (covering an angle of about 70 degrees) which is automatically
engaged when the Hologon is mounted. The Hologon's depth also prevents TTL flash
metering from operating; in the unlikely event you want to use flash with it (where
would you get a flash unit that covers 106 degrees?) you'll have to set your exposure
manually...". Ref: Contax G-User Forum
Here is a series of photos of the
Carl Zeiss for Leica Hologon 15mm f/8.0 provided by the popular Austrian based online
For more information on the Contax 1994s G1, G2 (1996) and the Carl Zeiss
T* range of optic for the autofocus G-spec rangefinder
refer to the Contax G-users website. It has some related information on the G-spec
16mm f/8.0 HOLOGON lens as well.
Brief specification for Carl Zeiss Hologon T*
16mm f8 for Contax G-series camera models
Optical Construction:- 5 elements in 3 groups; Focal length:- 16.5
Image Size:- 24 x 36mm; Angular Field:- 106°
Lens Mount:- CONTAX G Mount; Aperture:- f/8 (Fixed); aperture scales:-
Minimum Focus:- 0.3M; Filter connection:- n/a
Dimension:- 57 x 11mm (2-1/4x1-7/16in.); Weight:- 125g (4.4 oz)
Accessories:- Viewfinder GF-16mm, Gradation Filter 4x, Lens cap 57mm GK 54
(Snap-On type), Lens rear cap GK-R2, Hologon case, Cloth case.
NOTE: When hologon lens is
mounted, the Autofocusing (AF) & TTL do work with the CONTAX G camera models.
Built-in metering doesn't work as well but Contax offers an alternate solution (read)
previous | NEXT | 5/6 A rare threat by Leica Shop auctioneer,
a Zeiss designed prototype 110mm 1:8 HOLOGON lens for Linhof large format camera
Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Peter Coeln
from LEICA Shop®, Austria who also operates a popular Westlicht Auction House as well as some of the primary Images courtesy
of camera$@EBAY® who also operates an EBAY STORE. Both online trade centres can find many
used RARE pieces of Nikon, Leica and other old classic photo equipment, ALL images
appeared herein belongs to the respective contributors and are copyright © 2008.
All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
The last image at bottom of the page Credit: Image courtesy of Photo_Arsenal-Worldwide® Germany. The Company also maintains
an active EBAY Store, trading many used and new photo equipment
of various labels. Photo Aersenal can be contacted at Photo Arsenal Boris Jamchtchik,
Altenfurter Str.16a 90475 Nuernberg Germany Tel.: +49 (0) 911/ 4008081 E-Mail: email@example.com.
Arsenal has a office in Hong Kong, headed by Evan Wong. Address is: Ting Shan East
Selling-Office Unit 210, 2/f., Mirror Tower, 61 Mody Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong Phone:
+ 852/23126690 , fax. +852/23126691.Image(s) copyright © 2008. All rights reserved.
Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.