• Ultraviolet Photography

Carl Zeiss 105mm f/4.3 UV Sonnar

UV Lens
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#1 JMC


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Posted 15 January 2021 - 11:11

Finalized: Work in progress.
Last Update:
Note: Additional information or links about this lens are welcomed and will be incorporated into the first post as time permits.

Carl Zeiss 105mm f/4.3 UV Sonnar

Manufacturer: Carl Zeiss / Hasselblad
Designation/Label: Carl Zeiss UV-Sonnar 4.3/105 (Serial number)
Currently Manufactured: No (?)

Lens Type: prime/telephoto
Design: 7 elements in 7 groups, sonnar, elements are silica (quartz) and calcium fluoride, probably uncoated
Focal Length: 105mm nominal (107.5mm according to product literature)
Aperture Range: f/4.3 - f/32, 5 blades

Magnification: ?
Macro: Not a macro lens, but can be used with extension tubes
Working Distance: 1.8m -
Format Coverage: designed for medium format (6x6cm). Negative size 56.5 x 56.5mm according to product literature

Mount: Hasselblad V mount
Helicoid: Not required
Flange Focal Distance (FFD): 74.9 mm
Front Filter: B50 or B60 depending on model (C or CF version). Can be adapted to take 52mm filters or others.

Introduction Year: ?
Serial Number: ?

Photos of Lens


Transmittance Summary

Product data sheet quotes the spectral range for the lens as being 215-700nm, but does not give a transmission curve. Transmission beyond 700nm will take place, however this is likely beyond the range it is designed for in terms of minimizing and refocusing.

Spectral Transmission Graph

Measured transmission between 280nm and 420nm.

Attached Image: UV Sonnar transmission.jpg

As expected based on the design with quartz and calcium fluoride lens elements, transmission between 280nm and 420nm is relatively flat.

Photos Made with Lens

Original post - https://www.ultravio...dpost__p__23494

Equipment [Canon EOS 7D ACS UV conversion + Zeiss 105mm UV Sonnar + EOS/Hasselblad adapter + EOS 35mm Extension tube, full size and cropped]

Ultraviolet Light [f/8 for 1.6s @ISO 400 in Sunlight using ACS in-camera filter]

Attached Image: IMG_8394 2768k 1pt767 tint a small.jpg

Attached Image: IMG_8394 2768k 1pt767 tint a cropped small.jpg

Other example images given here - https://www.ultravio...dpost__p__27482

Additional information

The lens has a built in leaf shutter for use on the Hasselblad V mount cameras.

Link to the product information brochure: https://www.zeiss.co...ar-43105-en.pdf

When advertised for sale, the adverts often say "Super rare, 1 of 73 made". This is not correct. Having spoken with Zeiss, they think around 400 are out there. However their records are not complete. When I contacted them about mine, they discovered it was from a batch that they previously did not have in their digitised records (presumably not all the records have been transfered over from hard copies).

Can be adapted for 35mm usage using the relevant Hasselblad V mount adapter.

Lens designed for NASA - mentioned in the Apollo 16 equipment inventory (https://history.nasa...photoequip.html). The Apollo 16 image atlas lists 83 UV images here, presumably taken with the 105mm UV Sonnar (https://www.lpi.usra...0mm/mission/?16). Also used at Los Alamos for UV imaging of hydrogen flames (https://permalink.la...t/LA-UR-88-1121).

There is adequate space behind the lens for rear mounting a filter if required, especially if being mounted on a 35mm camera or equivalent.

Anecdotally, based on my experience, it is not as sharp as the Rayfact 105mm UV lens, but is by no means a soft lens.
Jonathan M. Crowther


#2 Andrea B.

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 18:10

Thank you, Jonathan. :smile:

Question: the shortest working distance is 1.8 m which is about 6 feet? That seems long for a 105 mm focal length??
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.

#3 JMC


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Posted 16 January 2021 - 09:42

View PostAndrea B., on 15 January 2021 - 18:10, said:

Thank you, Jonathan. :smile:

Question: the shortest working distance is 1.8 m which is about 6 feet? That seems long for a 105 mm focal length??
Yes, it certainly isn't close focusing lens by design. Given the close associating with NASA during the design phase, I guess they were more interested in infinity behaviour than macro with it. But I as found, it works fine with extension tubes, although that does make the whole setup very front heavy.
Jonathan M. Crowther