Former Post photographer used Zeiss lens to snap famous Kennedy photo

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Emily Ford
Salisbury Post
KANNAPOLISóBen Martin used a Zeiss camera lens to capture one of his most famous photographs.
Jackie Kennedy and her children were coming out of the U.S. Capitol after John F. Kennedy’s funeral when Martin took their picture. Jackie Kennedy was holding her children’s hands.
The photo appeared in Time magazine, where Martin worked as a senior photographer for 31 years.
Martin’s career started at the Salisbury Post in the 1940s, when he worked for free as a photo assistant and then a staff photographer.
He told the story about his old Zeiss lens Tuesday while taking pictures of a press conference at the N.C. Research Campus. The campus just purchased several dozen high-tech Zeiss microscopes.
Martin bought his lens, a Carl Zeiss Sonnar 180 mm f/2.8, in East Germany after crossing through Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin. At the time, the German-made lenses were not being imported into the United States.
“I liberated it,” Martin joked.
He still has the lens and would like to use it, but it doesn’t fit on his digital camera. He plans on talking to Nikon about that.