This Vintage Lens Has Way More Aperture Blades Than Modern Lenses

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 58mm f2 Biotar images (4 of 4)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 8.0

While lots of us tend to geek out about how amazing many modern day lenses are, videographers love the look of vintage glass–especially for the bokeh. There’s a great reason for it besides how they tend to work with the sensor. But many years ago, I purchased a Zeiss Jena Biotar 58mm f2 with an adapter to Micro Four Thirds. On the old Panasonic GH2, it rendered results that looked beautiful. But that’s a Four Thirds sensor, and just yesterday I purchased an adapter for the lens to mount onto a Sony E Mount Full Frame camera.

This lens is an Exacta mount lens and still works very well. But one of the best things about the lens is the 17 or so aperture blades that it has.


This image was digitally enhances so that you can see the aperture design.

This image was digitally enhances so that you can see the aperture design.

Lenses like this are very tough to get your hands on now and they’re often hoarded by those who have them. This lens has many, many aperture blades and gave off some really creamy bokeh. If you can get the focus correct, it can also be very sharp. But what you’ll really want this lens for is the bokeh. The color rendition is only mediocre, and that’s where the beauty of digital sensors come in.

Shot at F2

Shot at F2

Shot at F2. Really, really tough to focus on the Sony A7.

Shot at F2. Really, really tough to focus on the Sony A7.

An image shot on the GH2 using this lens a while back.

An image shot on the GH2 using this lens a while back.