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Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???
  
 
mMontag
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p.1 #1 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


I'm looking for a small manual focus / aperture lens wider than 21mm to be used mostly for f5.6 to f11 landscape / nature - used on a Canon FF & Nex 6 with Smart Adapter. I'm fully aware of the FF mirror compatibility and potential lens modifications if needed.

The Contax 18mm is obviously not at the top of the Zeiss list - but has anyone used that lens for stopped down landscape - please post comments and images if available - thanks!

The Zeiss ZF could also be a consideration though the Nikon "backwards" spin drives me crazy and that FL ZF just can't be found.

Is the Oly 18/3.5 a better choice for landscape than the Contax 18?? My landscape kit is all Contax - I'm thinking the Oly would be too subdued in color and contrast.

Thanks,
mM



Jul 17, 2013 at 04:06 PM
kosmoskatten
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p.1 #2 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


I can honestly not recommend the Contax 18/4. It was "ok-ish" stopped down but nowhere near the 28 and the 21 as far as image quality and crispness and I was disappointed with it. It got beaten but my Tamron 17/3.5 ( I had a good copy).

This was back in the film days though.



Jul 17, 2013 at 04:19 PM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #3 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


The 18/4 has absolutely superb Zeiss look and high contrast and produces 3D even in landscapes and architecture. However I was not impressed with the resolving power. Even on the 17 mp sensor of my 1Ds2 I was feeling the lens already struggling. It also has a strong field curvature, like most wides of its day. I would recommend the 18/3.5 for a more modern look.


Jul 17, 2013 at 04:30 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #4 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


I can recommend the 18/3.5 ZE as being a very sharp lens that is excellent for landscapes, but it's not small, by any means.

I've attached a comparison of some well known 17mm and 18mm Alt lenses. I've owned all except the Oly 18/3.5. The Tamron (newer model 151B with no built in filters) and Tokina are both good, and the Tamron is quite a bit smaller. I've also owned the SMC Pentax 18/3.5, buit that's not as good as the Tamron and Tokina, by a long shot.

The 82mm diameter filter for the Tamron is kind of unusual, as it fits in the outer part of the OEM hood, not on the "filter mount" threads at the front of the lens (which I think is 67mm). The 82mm filter for the 18 ZE is because the front filter size is 82mm.







Jul 17, 2013 at 04:50 PM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #5 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


Ok, here's a sample on the 1Ds2, probably at f/8:


1Ds2 Contax 18 Distagon by edward karaa, on Flickr



Jul 17, 2013 at 05:06 PM
edwardkaraa
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p.1 #6 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


100% crops:


center by edward karaa, on Flickr


lower left corner by edward karaa, on Flickr


lower right corner by edward karaa, on Flickr



Jul 17, 2013 at 05:26 PM
mMontag
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p.1 #7 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


Hey guys - thanks for the comments!

Jim's chart clearly shows the 18/3.5 to be the "top shelf" pick - and reveals my lack of interest in the Oly - I'm looking at an 18/3.5 ZK - will need to do a permanent modification to make that work but it spins in the "right" direction. When working with manual aperture lenses - I like keeping the whole kit manual and not some manual - some electronic.

Edward - thanks for the images - love the colors on my monitor - that resolution will probably work on the 6d and Nex6 for medium prints - the 18/4 lens size will be great on the Nex.

Other comments and images would be greatly appreciated - thanks!!



Jul 17, 2013 at 06:29 PM
ZoneV
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p.1 #8 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


I have optimized the Zeiss Contax 18mm f/4 for my EOS 5D. But I do not have an image as good as edwardkaraa has.
I use this lens sometimes with a thin extension tube and the quality there is good enough.

On my website are few images with full EOS 5D quality.



Jul 17, 2013 at 09:48 PM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #9 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


Well, maybe it has CA and not perfect resolution, but..

.."it has rather nice draw".



Jul 18, 2013 at 02:15 AM
alfarmer
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p.1 #10 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


Zeiss 18mm f/3.5 was voted one of the sharpest lenses :-)

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1227056



Jul 18, 2013 at 02:56 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



justruss
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p.1 #11 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


The Tamron (b-version) 17mm f/3.5 performs admirably on my 5D2. It's tiny, nicely built. And sharp for something in this focal length.

The main issue is that it flares quite easily. It also feels like it lacks micro-contrast bite in certain shooting situations (perhaps flare/ghosting related)-- though this is easily fixed in post.



Jul 18, 2013 at 06:30 AM
justruss
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p.1 #12 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


Here's an example image with no cropping. From RAW, processed in Aperture with no vignetting added or removed (you can see the light falloff is significant), and no additional sharpening. Less than 1 stop increase in exposure, .09 bump in contrast, and a very shallow curves adjustment that serves to bump contrast on the lightened image:







And 100% crops:

Center:


Center

Lower Left:


Lower Left

Lower Right:


Lower right



Jul 18, 2013 at 06:42 AM
wayne seltzer
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p.1 #13 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


Mark, I thought you used to have the Contax N 17-35?
Did you sell it?
Good to see a post from you, been awhile. I was just at RMNP for an afternoon last Fri at the end of a business trip to FT Collins. What a great park although I only saw s small part of it. Need to get back there sometime.

As far as 18mm focal length I like my TS-E 17 and Nikon 14-24G. Good luck with your search!



Jul 18, 2013 at 07:15 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #14 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


wayne seltzer wrote:
... I was just at RMNP for an afternoon last Fri at the end of a business trip to FT Collins. What a great park although I only saw s small part of it. Need to get back there sometime.


My wife and I were there last month. Beautiful park! I posted an example photo from my new XF 55-200/3.5-4.8 OIS on the X-Pro 1 & X-E1 image thread,

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1097477/103#11643458



Jul 18, 2013 at 12:50 PM
wayne seltzer
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p.1 #15 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


jcolwell wrote:
My wife and I were there last month. Beautiful park! I posted an example photo from my new XF 55-200/3.5-4.8 OIS on the X-Pro 1 & X-E1 image thread,

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1097477/103#11643458


Jim, great shot of the elk with the fuji tele!
Glad you enjoyed your trip there and hope you post more images from there.



Jul 18, 2013 at 03:26 PM
jph1
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p.1 #16 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


One thing regarding the Oly 18: When I had one, I would occasionally move the focus ring slightly when stopping down the aperture, as the aperture ring sits right in front of the focus ring. Another issue was using filters. If you don't have the Olympus lens hood (with filter threads) you had to get a series of step up rings as the front element protrudes in front of the filter thread.
The Oly was sharp enough and had nice contrast and color... but, for me, too much of a hassle.
I would look for a used Zeiss 18mm f/3.5.



Jul 18, 2013 at 03:31 PM
trifox
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p.1 #17 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


Contax 4/18 is simply fantastic lens - well, I think it's very good

it's very compact and the focusing is absolutely smooth

you can get rod of the CA in LIGHTROOM just by going 9 px to the left on the CA removal tool

1


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7



Jul 18, 2013 at 10:18 PM
mMontag
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p.1 #18 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


Thanks again for the great responses - sorry about the lame response on my second post - I glanced at Jim's chart and thought the (mm) info was somehow referencing lp/mm - Duuhhh!!

Also - I found a 18/3.5 on Ebay in a K-mount - the associated photo was showing it to have a "Canon" focus spin - only to find they were using a stock photo of a ZE 18/3.5. - I'm seeing that the Zeiss ZK's do indeed have a "Nikon" aperture/ focus twist.



Jul 19, 2013 at 02:35 PM
mMontag
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p.1 #19 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


Markus - thanks for the link - always appreciate your ingenuity and willingness to be creative in the true fashion of "Alt" lenses. I was envisioning that's what I would need to do to the 18/4 depending on which version I can find.

Justruss - thanks for the sample images - that lens is wide and fairly sharp - especially for the price - I would like a little more sparkle for landscape however - thinking that would be the same issue with the Oly 18/3.5.



Jul 19, 2013 at 02:46 PM
mMontag
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p.1 #20 · Contax 18mm f4 - OR ???


Hey Wayne - I did reluctantly sell the 17-35 and now looking for a wide prime - using all Contax primes at this time. The 17TS-E & 14-24 are much too large for backpacking.

If you're back in the neighborhood sometime let me know - be happy to meet up and get out to a few photo favorite Colo hot spots - there are a few!



Jul 19, 2013 at 03:21 PM
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