Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/09/30

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Tessars, Yashica, Kyocera, and <sigh> Anthony
From: "A.H.SCHMIDT" <>
Date: Fri, 01 Oct 1999 10:43:55 +1000

Marc James Small wrote:

> At 11:46 PM 9/30/1999 +0200, Anthony Atkielski wrote:
> >I still don't understand how Yashica can put a Zeiss lens in the camera and
> >still keep the same price point as the competition.  Do they and Kyocera have
> >some special deals with Zeiss, or what?
> First, Yashica went bankrupt a quarter-century or so back;  there is only
> Kyocera now, who bought Yashica.  Second, there is only ONE Tessar design.
> One.  A single digit.  Not an "expensive" and a "cheap" Tessar.  Just one
> design.  There are crappy Tessars and well-built Tessars, but they are all
> made to the same design.  Zeiss has yet to make a "crappy" Tessar.
> Marc
>  FAX:  +540/343-7315
> Cha robh bas fir gun ghras fir!

  Further to Marc's comments: The Tessar design was so perfect, that most copies
are just about as good as the original. See Voigtlanders Scopar and Colour Scopar.

Leitz's Elmar, (even so, they wont admit its a copy, because the grinding angles
of some elements are slightly different. Big deal), and hundreds of other
manufacturers who copied the Tessar design managed to make a high class optic
thanks to the Tessar Design.
 I really dot think, that Zeiss ever made a second rate lens.

The other day, I picked up from a second hand book shop. Some bound volumes of an
American Photographic magazine. They where from 1937 and 1938.
In each one, there was a feature, where the editor commented on prints, send in by
readers. About 20 prints in each edition.

Each print, specified the camera and the lens used. In addition the exposure was

It had great variety of lenses: Kodak, Wray, Taylor Hobson, Steinheil, Zeiss,
Voigtlander, Leica etc.

Of all the prints, the most outstanding ones, Competing against large format
was the Zeiss Sonnar taken with the Contax. The clarity, sharpness and overall
quality was far above anything
else, including Summars. After glancing through the rest of the issues, I had no
identifying prints taken with this lens. They stood out above all others. No

Regards, Horst Schmidt