Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

28/8 Zeiss Tessar for Contax

The 28/8 Tessar in black and nickel, shown with it's original box.

The 28/8 Tessar was introduced in 1933, and was of a fairly simple design. As it had a small maximum aperture, depth of field made critical focusing unnecessary, and it was not rangefinder coupled. In fact, using the camera focusing wheel could damage the camera. First introduced in black and nickel finish, it became available in chrome with the introduction of the Contax II and III. The first version of this lens is black and nickel, and lacks a filter thread. It also has two little chrome bumps on the aperture ring to facilitate adjusting it.

The second version is two lenses from 1933 finished in chrome, probably as a test.

Version three is like the first version, except it lacks the bumps on the aperture ring, and dates to 1934- 35.

The fourth version supposedly consists of a single example, finished in black and chrome for photographer Cornell Capa in 1936.

In 1936 the Contax II was introduced, and the fifth version of the 28mm Tessar was finished in chrome.

The sixth version has the aperture scale in the reverse direction of earlier examples.

The final version (which may have only been a single example for test purposes built in 1940) was made from aluminun rather than brass.

The rear of the lens, with it's deep rear cap.

The black and nickel version with it's rare lens shade, which has a built in level.

The lens with the shade removed.