Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 20mm 2.8
The Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 20mm 2.8 is a super wide-angle east German lens from the Flektogon family of Carl Zeiss lenses. This 20mm lens combines a super wide angle of view, a very short focusing distance of 19cm and a minimal distortion. This makes it a favourite among photographers and videographers alike.
The 20mm Flektogon is an excellent super wide-angle lens
If you like wide angle lenses you will love the 20mm Flektogon.
The 20mm Flektogon has the same advantages as its’ little sister the Carl Zeiss Flektogon 35mm (close focusing, sharpness and a good bokeh). It offers a much wider angle of view with 93° compared to the 62° of a 35mm lens (on full frame cameras). What really sets the 20mm Flektogon apart from other super wide angle lenses is not only the close focusing distance but also that it is a relatively sharp lens at f2.8. This makes it suitable for available light photography in most cases. Obviously all this goodness comes at a price premium with the 20mm Flektogon being about twice as expensive as the Carl Zeiss Flektogon 35mm.
The Flektogon does not only offer outstanding image quality but this lens is also remarkable due to its’ extremely short focusing range of only 19cm, which is pretty amazing for such a wide angle lens. This enables you to get really close to your subjects creating almost fish-eye looking images and distorting effects. Obviously this rules out “natural looking” portraiture images if the subject is too close.
When you focus to infinity, the distortion is really minimal and you do get authentic looking pictures. The lens offers a massive field of view which is especially handy for landscape and architecture photography.
The colours and sharpness are really good, although in my opinion not as good as the Carl Zeiss Flektogon 35mm. Especially in the corners you do get some softness when shot wide open.
If you have the opportunity to acquire one of these jewels go for it – you won’t regret it! Nonetheless, if you are looking for a wide angle M42 lens and are a bit on a budget you might want to look into the Carl Zeiss Flektogon 35mm or the Takumar 28mm.
- build quality is excellent
- sharp wide angle lens
- focusing range of only 19cm
- at f2.8 it is pretty fast for such a wide angle lens
- price (for a mint 20mm Flektogon lens you will have to pay approximately 300 to 400 Euros)
- a bit soft in the corners when shot wide open
- as every extreme wide angle lens there tends to be some distortion
Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 20mm 2.8 Versions
The 20mm Flektogon was manufactured both in M42 and Praktica B mount (branded as Prakticar 2,8/20 MC Carl Zeiss Jena). All versions have a black finish. Most lenses use the branding “electric” meaning that they have three electric connectors at the back of the lens. All the lenses are multi coated (MC). The M42 mount lenses ten to be more expensive.
- Mounts available:
- M42 / Pentax Mount
- Praktica B mount (branded as Prakticar 2,8/20 MC Carl Zeiss Jena)
- Made in east Germany
- Lens elements: 9
- viewing angle: 93°
- minimum focusing distance: 19cm
- Filter mount: M67 x 0.75
- Multi Coating: Yes
Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 20mm 2.8 Video
Here is a short example video shot using a full frame Canon 6D starting at f2.4 and then going to f8.