Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

35/4.5 Zeiss Orthometar for Contax

The 35/4.5 Orthometar, with pre-war rear cap.

Zeiss offered the Orthometar as a lower cost alternative to the 35/2.8 Biogon. The barrel was the same as used on the pre-war Biogon, in fact the first 100 lenses had depth of field scales that went up to 2.8. The rear of the lens was much shorter than the Biogon, and would mount on postwar cameras without any problem.

First offered for sale in 1937, as few as 1700 of these lenses were built, making them fairly rare today. It was discontinued after the war as it was replaced by the West German 35/3.5 Planar. The first batch of lenses (1503401-1503500) was engraved C.Zeiss Jean, the rest Carl Zeiss Jena. It least one was marked as having a minimum aperture of f/45. This batch of lenses used a batch of serial numbers that should have been used in 1934, even though they were made in 1937.