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Carl Zeiss

rebel06

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I have today been given a M42 Carl Zeiss 135mm f3.5 Jenna DDR electric MC S lens, but the aperture blades are stuck wide open .... any idea if this is easily fixed?
 

BriPriUK

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With the M42 auto lenses the aperture was only closed by the camera when the shot was taken. There should be a small pin on the mount which will close the blades if you move it, but be careful with it.

Brian P
 

rebel06

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Yes I press the pin and the blades still dont move, there is a slide switch A and M and nothing happens in either position.
 

Petrochemist

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Oil on the aperture blades would normally just make them move slowly, so I fear it may be corrosion on the blades or a broken linkage instead which is a pain. You'll be reassured to hear sticking aperture blades from broken down oil is a common issue on SZJ Sonnars (& my CZJ Tessar as well).

Removing the glass should be relatively easy & flushing oil of the blades is then simple, (dealing with corrosion or a broken linkage will be much more involved).
It's quite a nice lens but not overly expensive - I think I've collected several CZJ 135/3.5 (not necessarily your precise version) & not paid over £20 for any, most came with cameras.
When shooting digital variable ISO makes it much more practical to use a lens without adjusting the aperture. If you have a lens spanner it's worth having a go - a useful training exercise even if you can't fix the problem.
Flushing the aperture blades with petrol or lighter fluid should remove any oil & may restore operation (try not to get the solvent on the focusing mechanism). I would avoid touching the aperture blades as they are somewhat fragile & very fiddly to remount
As long as you've dismantled systematically you should be able to get all the elements put back OK & if not you can always buy another example with working aperture

The on-line lens database at allphotolenses.com lists the average price for this lens at $145 (way over what I've paid, perhaps I've just been lucky) and has this to say about your specific version:
'And finally, the last, the fifth version of the lens. Its full name is the Carl Zeiss Jena DDR Sonnar MC f3.5 135 electric.
This variant has a better optical characteristics, excellent form factor, and electronically controlled aperture for cameras produced under the Pentacon's brand Praktica. The lens has a good contrast and, if you like, microcontrast. The colors, characteristic and very eye-pleasing, are distinguishable from the colors rendered by other lenses. The sharpness is very good. The lens preserves the maximum of picture details . Besides, such sharpness is almost the same at all aperture values. The bokeh is very nice, smooth and soft. The lens speed f3,5 is quite sufficient for portrait photography. That value must be optimal, as it enables to get a sufficient depth of field, on the one hand, and leaves a nice and correct blurring, on the other.
One very important note - the Sonnar electric of the fifth version with a 4-digit number got a testing composition of the Т* coating. In what follows, this composition was applied to the whole Carl Zeiss line of optics. More than 5, 000 of such testing Sonnars were produced. But they are considered to be the best among the Sonnars for the m42 screw mount.'
 
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rebel06

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@Petrochemist ..... Thanks for your reply, I have taken a couple of shots with it wide open (that's where the blades are stuck) and first impressions are very good, as wide open is probably where I would use this lens the most I think I will leave it as is at the moment and take some images as I promised the person who gave it to me to send them some images ... later on I may open it up ans see if I can cure the problem.

Paul
 

Petrochemist

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@Petrochemist ..... Thanks for your reply, I have taken a couple of shots with it wide open (that's where the blades are stuck) and first impressions are very good, as wide open is probably where I would use this lens the most I think I will leave it as is at the moment and take some images as I promised the person who gave it to me to send them some images ... later on I may open it up and see if I can cure the problem.

Paul
That makes sense
If you can just use it as it is, you can at least be totally confident you won't mess up putting it back together :)
 
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