Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 2.8 80 for Pentacon Six
The Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 2.8 80 was the standard prime lens manufactured for Praktisix and Pentacon Six medium format cameras. It represents for medium format cameras the same as the Carl Zeiss Tessar 2.8 50mm represents for 35mm cameras: it was the standard kit lens. Introduced in 1956 with the Praktisix prototypes the Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 2.8 80 was produced in P6 mount until 1990 when the Pentacon Six line of medium format cameras was discontinued. Renowned for its contrast and bokeh it offers great value for money and is highly sought after for portraiture photography.
Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 2.8 80 for Pentacon Six Versions
The Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 2.8 80 lens is available in Pentacon Six mount (also known as P6 mount and Kiev 60 mount). Please note that there is also a lens labelled Biometar 80 2.8 which was manufactured for 35mm cameras, this lens is treated here. Using an adapter on a full frame 35mm camera the Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 2.8 80 will roughly behave like a 50mm prime lens.
- Pentacon Six / P6 / Kiev 60
- Weight: 260 gr
- Minimum Focusing Distance: 100cm
- Filter Mount: 58mm
- Made in East Germany
- Aperture: 2.8 – 22
- 8 blades
Different versions of the Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 2.8 80 exist. The first version has an all silver finish with a leathered focusing, ring later models have the typical Zebra stripes while the latest models have an all black finish and are Multi Coated when marked as MC.
Early “leather focusing ring” version
This version has a leather focusing ring. The lens is single coated.
The Zebra version is the most common Biometar type. It is called Zebra due to the typical black and white stripes. The lens is single coated.
Late black version
The late all bacl version is the most modern Biometar around and was produced until the lens was discontinued. The black versio is normally multi coated (MC).
Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 2.8 80 Recommendation
The Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 2.8 80 is probably one of the most affordable Carl Zeiss Jena vintage prime lenses you can go for. A nice lens will only set you back around $100 (multi coated lenses tend to be a bit more expensive) – which is a bargain for this lens.
The lens offers many things most vintage glass users are after. Images have a distinctive look and feel. The contrast is very good, as is the bokeh – making it an ideal portraiture lens. When shot wide open the lens is remarkably sharp. The minimum focusing distance of 1 meter is also decent. Unlike most other medium format lenses the Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 2.8 80 is also remarkably compact and light, which is a blessing as most adapters tend be quiet large.
- flare prone
Keeping the modest price tag in mind the Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 2.8 80 is really offering a nice overall package. The only major drawback is that it strugles with flares at times. This is obviously especially true for non multi coated lenses.
Another slight drawback is the useability of the lens. The diameter of the lens is large, the focusing right is situated at the end of the lens barrel. The lens was simply designed to be used on a medium format waist-level camera and you do kind of sense this when shooting on a “normal” camera.