The Tessar was one of the most highly regarded lenses in 1932. When Reinhold Heidecke designed the first Rolleiflex, he insisted on using Tessar lenses. It would be unthinkable of Zeiss to build a camera of this caliber without making it an option.
It was first offered in black and nickel, the finish changing to chrome with the introduction of the Contax II and III. As with most of the lenses that lasted long enough, they were available immediately post war from the East German Jena plant in an aluminum barrel. Most of the pre-war lenses, as well as most of the Jena lenses were in a collapsable barrel. A few were built in what look like collapsing barrels, but they have been locked in the extended position. The postwar lenses from the West German Zeiss in Oberkochen are rigid, heavy chrome over brass designs similar to those found on the 50/1.5 and 50/2 Sonnar lenses of later western manufacture.