Carl Zeiss Hologon M 8/15mm wide-angle lens, 1976

Carl Zeiss Hologon M 8/15mm wide-angle lens, 1976
Carl Zeiss Hologon M 8/15mm wide-angle lens, 1976 — Photo credit: © WestLicht Photographica

Oskar Barnack himself moved from Carl Zeiss to Leitz Wetzlar in 1911, where he began the Leica Story. 20 years later, Zeiss announced their own 35 mm camera and became a direct competitor in the photo market with the introduction of the CONTAX in 1932. Nevertheless, the relation of both companies was always respectful. As a particular example for that, the few cases of a direct cooperation can be considered. Zeiss first announced the 15 mm Hologon f/8 as a lens fixed to the body with a modified Contarex camera. From 1972, Zeiss also manufactured it for Leitz in a Leica M mount. In the Leitz catalogue it was offered as “Carl Zeiss Holog for Leica M” until 1975. The Hologon was a lens with 110° angle of coverage, designed as a three element system only with two thick negative meniscus elements in the front and back, as well as a converging element in the center. As a lens almost without distortion, it did show slight vignetting, compensated with a special centrally graduated density filter. A large bright-line finder with waist-level controls was part of the Hologon outfit as well. The lens was produced in very small numbers only; it is a rarity to find a complete set in good condition today.