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[Rollei] Zeiss Lens Designations

At 03:50 PM 10/6/1999 +0200, Roland Schregle wrote:
>How can you tell a Jena Tessar from an Oberkochen? I also have a
>mid 50's MX/EVS.

This is relatively simple.  If the lens is marked "Carl Zeiss Jena" it is a
product of the original Zeiss lensworks at Jena.  Until 1947, this was
owned by the Zeiss Foundation;  from '47 until '90, it was a property of
the East German government under one appellation or another.  (Other marks
used by Jena include "CZ", "aus Jena", and, of course, "Pentacon".)  Since
1991, optical gear produced at Jena is simply marked "Carl Zeiss", as the
West German company recovered control of the Jena plant under a rather
convoluted legal structure -- the Jena plant is actually owned by Zeiss and
the Thuringian government through the efforts of a joint agency called

The West German Zeiss works at Oberkochen marked their products with
"Zeiss-Opton" from 1947 until 1st October 1954, when they began using the
simple "Carl Zeiss" which is still used today.  The "Opton" brand was
retained in use until 1989 for gear sold in the Third World and Warsaw
Pact, where the "Zeiss" name was held to be the property of Jena and not
Oberkochen.  (There are a number of Rollei 35's, for instance, which bear
"Opton T" and "Opton S" lenses, and Hasselblad "Opton P" lenses are not

The division of the two Zeiss entities did not become complete until the
middle 1950's;  as late as 1954, Franke & Heidecke was having orders it
placed with Oberkochen filled with Jena lenses -- the early 2.8A Jena
Tessar is a good example of this.


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