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Archive 2009 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?
  
 
globalkiwi
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


What in your experience are the best (old & new) - & this includes value for money criteria as well as IQ - Contax Zeiss lenses?


Jul 20, 2009 at 02:18 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


Contax Carl Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8 with C/Y mount has incredible IQ and a modest price. Many other CZ lenses are also excellent, but I think the 28/2.8 is the greatest hit (for prime lenses below about $700 US).


Jul 20, 2009 at 02:24 AM
Tariq Gibran
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


C/Y 28 2.8 and the C/Y 35-70 3.4 zoom.


Jul 20, 2009 at 02:32 AM
globalkiwi
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


Surely, although it's not cheap, the C/Y 21 2.8 must be a contender?


Edited on Jul 20, 2009 at 03:15 AM · View previous versions



Jul 20, 2009 at 03:14 AM
mpmendenhall
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


The 28/2.8 and 35-70/3.4 are indeed excellent. The 50/1.4 is no slouch either, and the 50/1.7 an outstanding low-budget choice.


Jul 20, 2009 at 03:15 AM
CVickery
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


I've had the 28/2.8, 50/1.7, 85/2.8 and the 35-70/3.4, and sometimes I miss them, but I still have the Planar 100/2 and I don't plan on letting it go


Jul 20, 2009 at 03:47 AM
jamesdak
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


I'll offer up 3 of them from my experience. First I'll agree on the 28/2.8 when used on a cropped dslr.

http://www.pbase.com/jhuddle/image/81036996.jpg

Next up is the 85/2.8. Very good sharpness and color in a lens no bigger than your typical 50mm.

http://www.pbase.com/jhuddle/image/90804322.jpg

Finally the 100/2.0 if you can land one at a good price like I did.

http://www.pbase.com/jhuddle/image/113529971.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/jhuddle/image/90804315.jpg

To be honest, out of my 6 Contax Zeiss the only one I don't consider to be an exceptional lens is the 135/2.8. The other five are just plain wonderful.



Jul 20, 2009 at 04:04 AM
kosmoskatten
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


Favourites are:
Distagon 28/2.8
Distagon 25/2.8 (weak wide open but brilliant stopped down)
Makro Planar 60/2.8 AE 1:1 (60 C / MM is very compact and goes to 1:2)
Planar 50/1.4 (closer focusing than the 50/1.7)
Planar 85/1.4
Distagon 21/2.8 (though I didn't use it much at the time)
Planar 135/2 (a little soft wide open but great feel to it)

Distagon 35/2.8 deserves a mention as a brilliant and cheap performer in a small package. I have never liked the 35mm lenses but at least it is a good one.

Sonnar 85/2.8 great lens, compact too.
Planar (or is it Sonnar) 100/3.5 razorsharp and very compact. Too bad it's 3.5.

Good but not reaching the top spot:
Vario Sonnar 80-200/4
Sonnar 135/2.8 (compact and looks good on MTF but doesn't "pop" like the Planars)
Planar 200/3.5 AE (decent but heavy)
Planar 100/2 (I think the bokeh is ugly)

Disappointing:
Sonnar 200/4 (weak wide open, pretty good stopped down)
Sonnar 180/2.8 (lacklustre, much like the old Leica 180/2.8)
Sonnar 300/4 (even more lacklustre, across the aperture range)
Distagon 18/4
Vario Sonnar 28-70.

Of the above my most used lenses were:
Distagon 25/2.8
Planar 50/1.4
Makro Planar 60/2.8
Planar 135/2

Cameras used were Contax RXII, RTS II and RTS III - all brilliant cameras. The RTSII with a fenomenal viewfinder and quite small, but reassuringly heavy. The RTSIII is a tank, most confident inspiring camera of all times. RXII was the "best" for me, wish I had started out with it. Right size and weight, great viewfinder.

I had the ST briefly but it didn't feel right compared to the above three, the shutter had a whining sound and batteries were AAA with the configuration I had.

Contax S2 was good, light and felt flimsy but never failed. Expensive though.

159MM was pretty ok, but wasn't as endurable as the above cameras.
I also had the cameras to be avoided during the film days: 167MT (fell apart, all three I had, both mechanically and electronically) 137/139 (Q) with or without built in motor. In the early days I was on a session with one 159 and a 137/139 and they ALL failed. I managed to resuscitate one of them to save grace but imagine during the film days what a hassle it was to switch films between cameras.

After that I got the RXII and an RTSII and my problems were over for as long as I shot film. The RTS III entered in the last eight months of my shooting small format professionally, as did the D21mm. I am somewhat sorry I didn't get to shoot more with the latter two, but at the time I also had the Contax G2 w 21/28/45/90 lenses.

Contax Aria wasn't too shabby really but the viewfinder was grainy and much darker than the older cameras and it didn't feel inspiring, very plasticky.

Ahhh... ...remembering the film days...

I have failed to mention a few more Contax lenses I have had, I am sure but my memory draws a blank at the moment.



Jul 20, 2009 at 07:19 AM
trumpet_guy
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


CVickery wrote:
I've had the 28/2.8, 50/1.7, 85/2.8 and the 35-70/3.4, and sometimes I miss them, but I still have the Planar 100/2 and I don't plan on letting it go


I can confirm that Cal's 85/2.8 is superb. Glad he sold it to me.

I would say that list of four lenses is very fine, and represents very good
value. I've never tried the 100/2 Planar. The images I see from it on this
board are very good. A special lens, but I already have numberous fine
primes in that short tele range, so I won't be picking one up anytime soon.

The 85/2.8 makes a fantastic portrait prime for me, since I don't shoot
many low DOF portraits. The sharpness and tonal range are superb.



Jul 20, 2009 at 08:18 AM
Toothwalker
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


globalkiwi wrote:
What in your experience are the best (old & new) - & this includes value for money criteria as well as IQ - Contax Zeiss lenses?


I used to walk around with an RTS3 and the holy trinity of image quality, viz., D2.8/21, P1.4/50, P2/100. The camera has changed now, but not the lenses.



Jul 20, 2009 at 09:40 AM
 

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rico
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


The short list: D28/2.8, S100/3.5. In their native habitat, I prefer the Contax Aria.


Jul 20, 2009 at 09:45 AM
StevenPA
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


28/2.8
35-70/3.4

And of course the 21/2.8



Jul 20, 2009 at 10:35 AM
shiwan
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


Contax Planar 1.2/55 100 Jahre MMG
Contax Planar 1.2/85 50 Jahre MMG
Contax Apo Sonnar 2/200 (MMJ?)
Contax Distagon 2.8/21 MMJ
Contax Distagon 2/28 MMG ("Hollywood")

Zeiss Makro-Planar 2/100 ZF
Zeiss Makro-Planar 2/50 ZF
Zeiss Distagon 2/35 ZF



Jul 20, 2009 at 11:15 AM
zoomo
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


For me it are the three lenses I kept from a collection of 6, namely

28mm f2 (AE)
60mm macro (AE) the one that goes to 1:1
100mm f2 (AE)

although I must say the 85mm 1.4 was wonderful too.



Jul 20, 2009 at 12:42 PM
Qwerty64
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


My favorites in order:
1) Zeiss 16mm f2.8 Distagon
2) Zeiss 100mm f3.5 Sonnar
3) Zeiss 25mm f2.8 Distagon
4) Zeiss 50mm f1.4 Planar



Jul 20, 2009 at 01:45 PM
rachp
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


The 35-70 and the 50/1.7 are great bargains. I love my 16mm fisheye. I have been very happy with the 18/4 - but I got it at a decent price - and it performs great on the 5D2.

I would love the 100/2 and the 50/2 makro.



Jul 20, 2009 at 02:39 PM
Lotusm50
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


Let's not overlook the Contax G Zeiss lenses.

All are outstanding, except perhaps the 35/2.0 which is merely very good. Thje following were among my favorite lenses:

Zeiss 45/2.0 G Planar
Zeiss 21/2.8 G Biogon
Zeiss 28/2.8 G Biogon
Zeiss 90/2.8 G Sonnar

Never had the 16mm Hologon, which was too expensive and limited. I had the 35-70 G Vario-Sonnar, which was let down by a slow, f5.6, Max aperture at the long end.




Jul 20, 2009 at 03:01 PM
slungu
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


Ok, I did not have all the Zeiss lenses in the world, but from what I have/had :

Zeiss 28mm/2.0 Distagon
Zeiss 50mm/1.4 Planar
Zeiss 100mm/2.0 Planar
Zeiss 28-85mm Vario-Sonnar for it's versatility and IQ stopped down.

Others that I had but are not my favourites : D28/2.8,P50/1.7,P85/1.4,S135/2.8 - by no means bad lenses, but the first two lost in favour of the faster brothers and in the short tele range I still like the P100/2.0 most.



Jul 20, 2009 at 03:14 PM
Silentlight
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


CVickery wrote:
I've had the 28/2.8, 50/1.7, 85/2.8 and the 35-70/3.4, and sometimes I miss them....


That's funny, I have the same combo, but I don't miss them (I still have them)

But most probably they will all be replaced with the N 24-85 that is sitting at Conurus at the moment.



Jul 20, 2009 at 05:41 PM
brainiac
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Contax Zeiss fans... greatest hits?


The 200 f2 isn't a great lens when compared to the Canon 200 f1.8 or f2 IS. The Canon's are sharper. The Leica 180 f2 is also sharper, and more apochromatic.

Of the ones I have tried, it's quicker to mention the weak ones:
180 f2.8
28-70
200 f2
Contax 25

I still use
Contax 21
28 f2.8
35 f2.8
35 f1.4
50 f1.7
85 f2.8
100 f2.8 Makro
135 f2.8
200 f3.5
500 f8
24-85 N

and I know I can rely on them year in year out to produce beautiful results. They are all good value for money.



Jul 20, 2009 at 06:34 PM
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