Upload & Sell: On
The venerable CY 35-70 produces so much microcontrast that the results can be visually interpreted in the way Philippe alludes to. Nothing in any way wrong with differences of opinion, in fact it is a badge of honour as so many top lenses are 'controversial'.
Zeiss's MTF do not lie however and as all MTF data is microcontrast, at infinity this zoom produces astounding performance, it's not shabby up close either. As the images indicate it is a superb field lens with an uncanny creaminess in the palette and top drawer 3D. In key aspects it resembles the FE primes: flatness of field (necessary to deliver great frame edges/corners); terrific small aperture performance, f11 is just one stop from optimum of f8; and excellent object shaping giving a high photorealism to images.
These are all design goals of Sony Zeiss to cope with the a7r right now, but Zeiss made this one 20 years back without the assistance of ED elements or Asph surfaces, just painstaking design and development. It is therefore a thoroughly modern style of lens even down to the 475 grams weight, just 45 grams more than the FE 24-70/4.
I took back to back comparison a7r shots along with a Summicron R50/2 E55, of near infinity FDs, the zoom trounced the Leica in all respects, drawing foliage and tree bark with great subtlety, and the high res camera makes the most of the extended DOF the zoom delivers. Now this zoom is best around 50mm where it has no distortion to mention and very high performance even past the deep corners - the same is true of the FE zoom incidentally, but the CY is also excellent at 70mm, Somewhat unfair to the Leica prime perhaps, it is essentially a portrait lens best at close distance and optimized for the image center, but one view is that 50s should be all rounders, as is the FE55.
It's not perfect. Some copies suffer knocks poorly, the push-pull action puts off some users and may suck in dust, focus rings can develop play. The short end is less good on the a7r where a little CA arises for the first time, all is well at 40-45mm onwards however. I would very much like to see it up against the new FE 24-70 which from reports other than at FM is gaining accolades fast. Tim Ashley found it the equal of the FE55 with a little more sharpening..sacrilege I know -;