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Archive 2005 · Contax 50mm f1.7
  
 
rusyus
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Contax 50mm f1.7


For those of you who actually have some experience with Contax 50mm f1.7
Could you please post what do you think of it? How is it compared to canon 50mm f1.4? Do the colors and image quality of Contax worth autofocus sacrifice (on canon lens)?
Leave you opinion as well as some pictures (if you have any) taken with contax (maybe 100% crops).
Thanks.
Yusup



May 11, 2005 at 07:00 AM
sapro
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Contax 50mm f1.7


I had Canon 50/1.4 for not too long (replaced by 35L), and just got a CZ 50/1.7 yesterday. My initial impression is 50/1.7 is at least as good as Canon 50/1.4. If you are not chasing your kids or pets around, 50/1.7 is worthy to get for its low price.

Here is a test shot taken yesterday with CZ 50/1.7 @f/1.7
http://www.pbase.com/sapro/image/43238628.jpg



May 11, 2005 at 07:18 AM
rusyus
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Contax 50mm f1.7


if you do more tests within couple of days, could you please post the results?
The price difference (including adapter) is not that great, therefore i'd like to know if it worth to trade quality for autofocus.



May 11, 2005 at 07:26 AM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Contax 50mm f1.7


The Zeiss Planar 50mm F1.7 simply is one of the sharpest lens. Also it has the least distortion compare to other normal lens including the Canon and Zeiss 50mm f1.4.


May 11, 2005 at 07:41 AM
Bijltje
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Contax 50mm f1.7


@ Sapro, don't you have problems focus with the smal 1,6 cropfactor??
And where can you buy the 50mm and 28mm zeiss and the zeiss to EF adapter
Is the 28mm or 35mm of the zeiss also cheap or do they have 21mm prices??



May 11, 2005 at 12:12 PM
rusyus
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Contax 50mm f1.7


Bijltje, from what i've heard PhotoCinematic (who posted right before you) sells the best contax-canon adapters.




May 11, 2005 at 04:21 PM
rusyus
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Contax 50mm f1.7


How difficult is it to focus manually without red square flashing? it was ok on film cameras, because of the viewfinder size, but with 1.6 crop?
does anyone have experience with focusing CZ 50mm 1.7 in low light (like church)?



May 11, 2005 at 04:24 PM
ent2b
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Contax 50mm f1.7


Son, how do the 2 CZs compare in sharpness?


May 11, 2005 at 04:30 PM
MarkSaperstein
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Contax 50mm f1.7


I have compared the CZ 50/1.7, CZ 50/1.4 Canon 50/1.4, and 50/2.5. My unscientific conclusion is as follows: Overall, the differences among these lenses are pretty slim. They all have great resolving power. The Zeiss lenses have a slightly cooler color than the Canon, which is typical of the CZ lenses. Each one has a characteristic that makes it better for certain situations. The CZ 1.4 is my favorite wide open. The 50/2.5 has almost no distortion. The 1.7 is good for landscapes. Overall, I'd stick with the Canon 50/1.4 because I like autofocus.
--Mark



May 11, 2005 at 05:46 PM
 

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sapro
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Contax 50mm f1.7


Bijltje wrote:
@ Sapro, don't you have problems focus with the smal 1,6 cropfactor??

No, especially with a split-prism focus screen. See this link http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/219691#1801640


And where can you buy the 50mm and 28mm zeiss and the zeiss to EF adapter
Is the 28mm or 35mm of the zeiss also cheap or do they have 21mm prices??

Zeiss 28/2.8 is around $300 to $400, and is one of the best 28mm you can get. PhotoCinematic is a good resource to get those things (see the post above). Those lenses also show up on eBay quite often. You can also check with www.keh.com.



May 11, 2005 at 06:28 PM
sapro
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Contax 50mm f1.7


Mark, I won't give up autofocus on a normal lense either. That's why 35L is still my major work horse on 20D I bought CZ 50/1.7 to just fill the gap, because it's so cheap and such a great lense.


May 11, 2005 at 06:37 PM
Daniel Buck
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Contax 50mm f1.7


I honestly don't notice much difference (optics) from the Canon 50mm 1.4 to CZ 50mm 1.7 But then again, I'm using a 1D with only 4 megapixels. The 1.7 definitely feels more solid though. The 1.7 is a bit soft wide open just like my Canon 1.4 was, stopped down a bit it's very sharp... just my canon 1.4

I don't mind the manual focus most of the time, but there are a few times (low light situations) where I find it a bit hard to focus manually and wish I had autofocus again. I don't use the 50mm focal length much though, I usually go wider, or longer than 50mm. If I were to use the 50mm focal length more often, I would probably pick up the Canon f1.4 again so I could have autofocus. These great cameras of ours have such good auto-focusing abilities, why not put them to use



May 11, 2005 at 06:42 PM
ent2b
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Contax 50mm f1.7


good thing you guys think the CZ 1.4 is good wide open b/c i just bought one!

Thank you for the links to the Katz optics stuff!



May 11, 2005 at 07:32 PM
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Contax 50mm f1.7


Asim and all FMers who posted ahead here:
The quality control of these normal lens sometimes yield different reports but based on the theory and history of Zeiss and Canon Zeiss was the first one to create a Planar 50mm and alot of other brand have copies the formula and thus we see that not only Canon but almost all 50mm from almost any companies are great sharp lens.

From my experience and others that I have come to share information with this issue is harder to define a clear cut because of quality control of this normal lens which is cheap in Canon or Zeiss lens lineup and thus got the least attention when it comes to quality control. Thus, there are folks that will tell you have sharp the Canon 50mm F1.4 is and there are folks that will tell you how soft the Canon 50mm F1.4 is. From my own experience the Zeiss 50mm F1.4 is a very interesting lens where there are folks and dealer and myself have seen it that it is a very sharp lens wide open. There are folks that will also tell you the Zeiss 50mm F1.4 is soft at wide open just like the Canon 50mm F1.4. I have also seen this happen as well. In fact I even compared it with the Zeiss 50mm F1.7 and the Zeiss 50mm F1.7 just blow away the bad copy of the Zeiss F1.4. This Zeiss 50mm F1.7 that I have tested is so sharp and in fact it was the lens that I sold it to Mark Saperstein but I believe Mark also sold this lens to some one else in the FM forum for something like $90. Who ever got that copy is a great copy. Now I am not done with the Zeiss 50mm F1.4 yet. The Zeiss 50mm F1.4 AE version has two type of aperature blades. One has the Ninja star aperature blades at wide open f stops and the other does not. The one that has the wide open aperature f stops that looks like the Ninja star will yield the best bokeh there is and the other Zeiss 50mm F1.4 does not have it. If you want great bokeh the best 50mm that will yield this is the Zeiss 50mm F1.4 (only some copies not all of them). While the Zeiss 50mm F1.7 has the best MTF reports and it is the 4th sharpest lens that Zeiss made in term of MTF only behind the Zeiss 21mm F2.8 and the 55mm f1.2 and 85mm F1.2 Anniversary. This Zeiss is also has the least distortion beside the Canon Macro lens but the Canon Macro is not intended for infinity focus thus the Zeiss 50mm F1.7 for the combination of high resolving power and minimum distortion made it a great lens for Lanscape. Also the mirco resolving power of the Zeiss lens is superior to the Canon Lens. I will report this information, based on my study of Zeiss and Canon lens and the mechanism of 3D effects, sometime later as to why I believe the Zeiss yield a 3D looks to the image as compare to Canon lens. In conclusions, each of these lens has its purpose and they are never overlap:

1) Canon 50mm F1.4 is great for Autofocus and fast action setting and good for low light for focusing.

2) Zeiss 50mm F1.4 (but it has to have the Ninja star at wide open f stops) is great for portrait and dramatic effect of low depth of field.

3) Zeiss 50mm F1.7 is great for lanscape and stitching via nodal point technique due to the highest resolving power based on my study comparisons and based on the MTF charts that was reported by Zeiss, and the least distortion with the exception of the Canon macro.

4) Canon 50mm F2.5 Macro has the least distortion and the sharpest in close up focusing distance. However you can also use the Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 35-70mm F3.4 Macro as well.

***** All of the normal 50mm lens from any brand will give you nice sharp images but you must find a good copy since these lens are the cheapest lens in the lineup and they are used to be part of the kit lens in the film day.

***** These lens are never overlap they are great for different settings.

***** Yes the Zeiss 28mm F2.8 and the 35mm F2.8 are great sharp lens and very affordable to start out the Zeiss system.

***** Of course it is more challenging to manual focus with the crop factor digital SLR. However, there are bright screen that you can change to facilitate your focusing aids. Also if you give yourself a chance to challenge and learn how to manually focus you will be fine. In fact when you are very good at doing manual focusing your image is tact sharp since autofocusing has a tolerance and I found often less in focus as my manual focusing even with the 20D. Challenge yourself and teach yourself manual focus is my recommendation to those that love Zeiss and Leica lens. Good luck, -Son






May 12, 2005 at 05:15 AM
rico
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Contax 50mm f1.7


In my reading of the MTF from CZ, the P50/1.4 beats the P50/1.7 at f/5.6. The performance of the P50/1.4 at f/1.7 is not given, so comparison by spec isn't possible. I see the P50/1.7 as a cost-reduced standard lens with a touch less linear distortion in the corner.

The standard Canon 50mm is said to be a CZ knock-off. Protection was removed for German patents after the war, and this allowed Japanese companies like Canon and Nippon Kogaku to use those German camera and optical designs. Note the emergence of equipment that was compatible with Leica screwmount (M mount debut was 1954), and Contax RF.

In my experience, the EF 50/1.4 is identical in performance to the CZ P50/1.4 (of which I have two). I'm lending a P50/1.4 to "flatdraft" for a full-frame comparison.



May 12, 2005 at 06:13 AM
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Contax 50mm f1.7


Here is the performance between the Zeiss 50mm F1.7 vs the Zeiss 50mm F1.4
At F5.6 the F1.7 is 8.8 while the F1.4 is 8.7
Again we are talking about great planar formula that is widely copied thus Canon and Nikkor all have similar formulas.

1) Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm F1.7

MTF from www.zeiss.de
--------------------------------------------------------------
CONTAX 50/1.7 Zeiss Planar T* MM
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lens/groups: 7/6
Minimum focus: 0.6 m
Angular field: 45
Filter: 55 mm
Size: 61 x 36.5 mm
Weight: 190 g
Focal lenght: 52.6
Year: 1980

Aperture Real ------- MTF -------
setting aperture Center(*) Border(*) Average(*)
--------------------------------------------------------------
1.7 -.2 8.0 6.0 6.9
2.8 0 9.0 7.4 8.3
4 0 9.1 8.0 8.7
5.6 0 9.0 8.4 8.8
8 +.1 8.7 8.4 8.6
11 0 8.3 8.1 8.3
16 +.2 7.7 7.7 7.7

(*) = (3=poor, 5=sufficient, 7=good, 9=excellent)

--------------------------------------------------------------

Distortion: - 2.0 % (barrel)
Vignetting: 0.85

--------------------------------------------------------------


2) Contax Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm F1.4
--------------------------------------------------------------
CONTAX 50/1.4 Zeiss Planar T* MM
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lens/groups: 7/6
Minimum focus: 0.45 m
Angular field: 45
Filter: 55 mm
Size: 62.5 x 41 mm
Weight: 275 g
Focal lenght: 52.3
Year: 1975

Aperture Real ------- MTF -------
setting aperture Center(*) Border(*) Average(*)
--------------------------------------------------------------
1.4 -.2 6.6 4.8 5.7
2 -.1 8.1 5.3 7.1
2.8 -.1 8.8 7.2 8.3
4 -.1 9.0 7.9 8.7
5.6 -.1 8.9 8.4 8.7
8 -.2 8.7 8.5 8.6
11 -.1 8.3 8.3 8.3
16 +.2 7.9 7.8 7.9
(*) = (3=poor, 5=sufficient, 7=good, 9=excellent)
Average= region between center and border, not maths average
--------------------------------------------------------------

Distortion: - 2.5 % (barrel)
Vignetting: 0.8

--------------------------------------------------------------



May 12, 2005 at 06:22 AM
hahr
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Contax 50mm f1.7


rico wrote:
In my experience, the EF 50/1.4 is identical in performance to the CZ P50/1.4 (of which I have two). I'm lending a P50/1.4 to "flatdraft" for a full-frame comparison.


rico, i really appreciate this.   the weather should be decent enough this weekend for testing.

-erik



May 12, 2005 at 06:40 AM





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