World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Zeiss Sonnar

Article Id: WHEBN0006004021
Reproduction Date:

Title: Zeiss Sonnar  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Camera lens, Contax, FED (camera), Large format lens, Rollei 35, Zeiss Vario-Sonnar, Pentacon Six mount, Photographic lens design
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Zeiss Sonnar

Zeiss Sonnar
Introduced in: 1932
Author: Carl Zeiss
Construction: 7 elements in 3 groups
Aperture: f/1.5 (1932)

The Zeiss Sonnar is a photographic lens originally designed by Dr. Ludwig Bertele in 1929[1] and patented by Zeiss Ikon.[2] It was notable for its relatively light weight, simple design and fast aperture.

The name "Sonnar" is derived from the German word "Sonne", meaning sun. It was originally a tradename owned by Nettel Camerawerke (de) in Sontheim am Neckar (de) for a 4.5 Tessar-like lens. Sontheim's coat of arms includes a symbol of the sun. Nettel merged with August Nagel (de)'s Contessa Camerawerke (de) in 1919. The resulting Contessa-Nettel (de) AG in Stuttgart was one of the companies that merged to form the Zeiss Ikon AG in 1926.

When the modern Zeiss lens had been designed by Bertele, Zeiss re-used the old Nettel tradename in order to build on the sun association to emphasize on the lens' large aperture (f/2.0), which was much greater than many other lenses available at the time.

The first Zeiss production Sonnar was a 1:2.0 50 mm lens with six elements in three groups created for the Zeiss Contax I rangefinder camera in 1932. In 1931, it was reformulated with seven elements in three groups allowing a maximum aperture of f/1.5.

Compared to Planar designs the Sonnars had more aberrations, but with fewer glass-to-air surfaces it had better contrast and less flare. Though compared to the earlier Tessar design, its faster aperture and lower chromatic aberration was a significant improvement.

The Sonnar has proved to be incompatible in shorter focal lengths with 35mm single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras due to the space taken up by an SLR's mirror. For this reason it has been used most commonly with rangefinder cameras, though Sonnar lenses with longer focal lengths still appear on SLR cameras, most notably the 150 mm and 250 mm lenses for the medium format (MF) Hasselblad V-system. Some portrait Sonnars were also made for large format (LF) cameras, presumably the press cameras - like Sonnar 1:5.6 250 mm for 9×12 cm (4×5") format. Though these lenses were quite heavy (> 2 kg) and large, they were optimised for working on a full aperture with the same sharpness and contrast as on smaller apertures. The coverage of these lenses was also not as good as many similar focal length lenses which limited the use of camera movements. although these are not generally too important for portrait work.

The Sonnar design has been extensively copied by other lens manufacturers, due to its excellent sharpness, low production cost and fast speed. The Soviet factory KMZ produced several lenses that used the Sonnar formula: The KMZ Jupiter-3, Jupiter-8, and Jupiter-9 are direct copies of the Zeiss Sonnar 1:1.5 50 mm, 1:2.0 50 mm and 1:2.0 85 mm respectively.

A zoom lens derivative of the Sonnar, the Vario-Sonnar also exists, in which a number of lens groups are replaced with floating pairs of lens groups.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ [Deutsche Patent 530843, Aug 14, 1929] Sonnar Lens Types for Leica mount

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.