People often think "100+ elements" produce better shoots and they are reject triplets, pretty wrong... this lens is sharp, lightweight and bokeh is nice, nice. To get maximum performance you certainly need great daylight, in proper light lens is wonderful.
Triotars are the ultimate portrait lens. In shade where is contrast pretty weak this lens is easily create hi-key feeling beautiful shoots. The lens is available in Exakta and M42 mount , with RED T marked and without that. You also may you find in export version AUS JENA or just T , due legal battle in past between eastern and western company of Zeiss.
The Triotar 135mm 4 was manufactured in numbers in the 1950s by Carl Zeiss Jena but you can find pre-war versions too. It is the predecessor of the Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135mm. The early version is slimmer and weighs 275 grams. Later “fat” versions are much more common. The lens barrel is much wider in the fat version. Overall it is larger than the previous version and feels a bit bulky. The increase in size results into a more solidly built lens. The fat version has preset aperture settings.
- good bokeh
- value for money
- sharp when stopped down
- good color rendition
The Triotar is one of the most affordable M42 telephoto lenses that you can find. Although it is a bit soft when shot wide open at f4, it is a good performer when stopped down a bit. When you set everything correctly you do get very good results. I was especially impressed by the colours that you will not obtain with any other lens in that price range.
They say that “there are no bad 135mm lenses” and the Triotar is no exception!
The first thing that will strike you when using the second version of the Carl Zeiss Triotar is its’ size. It is nearly twice as long as the Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135mm. This makes it very cumbersome to use. Focusing is extremely slow which is not ideal for fast shooting. You will have to twist the focusing ring a very long way from close focus to infinity. That can get a bit tiresome at times.Summary
I am surprised at how cheap these lenses are on eBay. The quality is excellent and to have a piece of history in your camera bag for the price of a round of drinks is just unbelievable. in short like all CZ lenses it’s a world-class lens
For images using this lens click HERE
For general information on lens design and lens elements go to the homepage HERE