Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm 2.8
The Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm 2.8 was introduced by the East German Carl Zeiss Jena company in 1953. It is a early version of a telephoto portraiture lens. At f2.8 it is not the fastest lens but it does offer a unique bookeh. These lenses have become very collectible in recent years and the prices tend to go up for a mint version.
Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm 2.8 Versions
The Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm f2.8 lens is one of the oldest M42 mount Carl Zeiss Jena lenses available and is available in the classic all metal finish (along with the Zeiss Biotar and Tessar lenses). These older versions still have specific air bubbles in the lens glass (these do not affect image quality – back in the day it was very difficult to produce pure high end glass).
The Biometar was produced both for 35mm as well as medium format cameras. 35mm lenses either have a Praktina, M42 or Exa / Exakta mount. M42 lenses are more expensive. 35mm lenses are available with a silver all metal finish.
Both coated and uncoated lenses exist. Coated lenses are marked either with a “T” or “V” or “MC”.
- Mounts available:
- Made in east Germany
- Minimum focusing distance: 80cm
- Aperture blades: 12
- Weight: 230gr
Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm 2.8 Review
The build quality of this lens is outstanding as you would expect from an all metal Zeiss lens.
The image quality of this lens is very good. While shot wide open the center of the image is very sharp, while the rest of the image creates a unique bookeh which is almost twirling and creamy. This makes this lens a great companion for portraiture and artistic photography. Even when mounted on a digital camera this vintage lens produces images with an almost analog like feel. Used on a classic 35mm camera this lens is a classic portrait lens that is highly renowned and sought after for its’ specific bookeh.
The Biometar lens has become somewhat of a collectors item for which you will have to pay a price premium. Although it is still a nice piece of glass with a distinct character and feel to it, you might also want to look into purchasing a 80mm lens with an aperture of 1.8 such as the 80mm Pancolar or the 85mm pentax.
- build quality is excellent
- unique bookeh
- produces image with a unique vintage look
- very rare to find in the M42 mount (you will maybe find one M42 Biometar lens on Ebay per year)
- highly collectible and quite expensive when in mint condition (300 Euros and more)
- widest aperture is only f2.8 – a lot of 80mm lenses have an aperture of f1.8
Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm 2.8 Video
Here is a short example video shot using a full frame Canon – shot wide open at f2.8