Imaging with the Zeiss Luminar 100mm f6.3

A while ago I got a 25mm Zeiss Luminar lens which turned out to be a really useful lens for UV imaging (you can read about that here). As the 100mm is a triplet (even simpler than the 25mm), I had high hopes for its potential as a UV lens. Turns out that hope was misplaced, but the lens is still an interesting one….

I bought my copy as a microscope unit, consisting of the lens and a few other parts. This is what it looked like as the complete unit.

Zeiss Luminar 100mm f6.3 microscope setup

The lens itself has a 35mm screw thread, and removing the extraneous parts of the setup above leaves this.

Zeiss Luminar 100mm f6.3 lens

The lens elements protrude on this lens and mine had been put down on one of them, leaving a tiny mark (<0.5mm) in the middle of one of them. Even so I still wanted to give it a go for photography. The thread size is 35mm, so I bought a 35mm x 0.75 to M42 adapter from eBay. I then mounted this on a range of extension tubes (up to 11cm in total) and on to my Eos 5DSR. I use part of the original unit as a makeshift hood.

Zeiss Luminar 100mm f6.3 on extension tubes

Here’s some shots from the garden, all hand held. First with about 6cm extension, wide open, and full frame image (but reduced in resolution for sharing).

Zeiss Luminar 100mm wide open on about 6cm extension

The short extension gave a focus distance of about 3m, and a really nice swirling bokeh in the background of the image. Then with 11cm extension, and slightly stopped down, again resized for sharing.

Zeiss Luminar 100mm on 11cm extension stopped down slightly
Zeiss Luminar 100mm on 11cm extension stopped down slightly

And finally, this was taken as a crop from the image above before resizing, and is shown as actual pixel resolution.

Actual pixel resolution from the Zeiss Luminar 100mm

Even with a tiny mark on the lens there looks to be plenty of sharpness there. Could make for a really interesting portrait (with a short extension) or macro lens (with longer extension tubes).

Reusing older lenses can give your imaging a unique look, impossible to replicate digitally. If you want to know more about my work, you can reach me through my Contact page.