The Biotar 75/1.5 was first introduced in 1938, sales began to pick up with a presentation at the Leipzig Spring Fair in 1940. But due to Second World War and to its high price at the time it remained a very special lens for the selected few. After the war production picked up again but only until 1960 when production was discontinued not the least because of continued legal issues between East and West. The name of the lens had always been subject to major battles legal battles between Carl Zeiss, Jena in East Germany and the West German Carl Zeiss that was founded after the war.
The Biotar was the first available light portrait lens but due to its high price remained an unfulfilled dream for many. The price was the equivalent of a two month salary of an engineer. The lens was promoted for sports, theater and reporter photography. At first portrait photography was not in the focus of the marketing activities. But soon the users realized its value for portraiture due to the extrem sharpness in the center and the swirling bokeh of the background with a small depth of field at f 1.5.
The lens was the star in combination with the most advanced cameras of its time from Ihagee(Exakta) to Zeiss (Contax) and Leica to name a few.