Friday December 21, 2012

NEW YORK NEW YORK – I’ve spent some time digging around on the subject of Zeiss Jena lenses in the WW II and immediate post-war era. Jena was originally occupied by the Americans but was turned over to the Soviets and ultimately became part of East Germany. The Americans relocated some senior Zeiss managers and engineers and their families to the west; they went on to build what became the modern Carl Zeiss. When the Russians arrived in Jena they packed up the Zeiss equipment, drawings and records and most of the people and moved them to Kiev where they were set up to manufacture the same optics that had been made in Jena. The Contax factory and people were similarly moved to Kiev from Dresden. The Russians were acting within their legal rights – they had taken the Zeiss Jena and Contax business as part of the reparations from Germany. See this link for an interesting history: history of Kiev cameras. Ultimately after long Cold-War legal battles it was determined that the Kiev products couldn’t call themselves Zeiss in the United States so they became “Jenoptic” here. Here are some more images with my new old lens which is from this period.

Subway
Subway
Store Window
Store Window

Here’s the Seagrams building more or less wide open – the lens shows some aberration in the upper left corner.

Seagrams Building
Seagrams Building

Two frames stitched.

Citigroup
Citigroup
Holidays
Holidays

On this day one year ago: Bloomberg’s Christmas tree.

Bloomberg Building
Bloomberg Building