Home · Register · Software · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Alternative Gear & Lenses | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
  

Archive 2010 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*
  
 
Svenning
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


I am planning to buy a CONTAX 135mm F/2,8 SONNAR T* AE lens to use on my Canon EOS digital cameras (5DMII & 350D).

I intend to use the Contax 135mm Sonnar for macro photography - with the help of extension tubes.

However - I have some questions to you Contax photographers of the Fred Miranda Forum:

1) Is the 1.6 m. minimum focusing distance a problem?
2) What is the best performing aperture?
3) How does the lens perform fully open?
4) Has the lens any colour issues - e.g. with yellow colour?
5) Has the lens any balance problems when mounted on the camera - e.g. nose heavy?
6) Any other issues worth mentioning?

Your reply is highly appreciated.

All the best - Svenning, Denmark.



Feb 20, 2010 at 11:37 AM
Z250SA
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


One source of one opinion: http://www.slrlensreview.com/web/carl-zeiss-slr-lenses-51/telephoto-slr-lenses-95/381-carl-zeiss-sonnar-t-135mm-f28-cy-lens-review.html?start=3

I have struggled with the makro question myself the last few weeks. Except the price point, do you find other reasons not to get a 100mm f/2.8 Makro-Planar? Perhaps considered The Best of the best.

Last summer I found it very frustrating to use extension tubes on my 135L. I had always the wrong tubes, too long, too short. Bad or no planning, I know. But none the less, tubes can be frustrating if you do not have a specific target, but just want to hunt some nice bug or flower makros. And I used tubes extensively back in the 80's.



Feb 20, 2010 at 12:30 PM
philber
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


For normal use, there is no weight distribution problem on my 5D MkII. I have not noticed any problem with yellow colour either. But it does have some CA. Best aperture IMHO is around f:8.0. Wide aperture is surprisingly good compared to stopped down, which is not surprising considering that it is not a very fast lens.
OTOH, this lens, which I love for its drawing style, has never impressed me for its sharpness, certainly not compared to my previous 135L. So it does not strike me as an obvious choice for macro. But, not having tried, I could be wrong of course.
Hope this helps.



Feb 20, 2010 at 12:45 PM
Jman13
Online
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


If you're looking for macro , pick up a Tamron 90 adaptall (or the modern AF one)... Extension tubes work well, but are a pain. I also find a 50mm much better to work with tubes.


Feb 20, 2010 at 12:59 PM
cogitech
Offline
• • • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


Svenning wrote:
I am planning to buy a CONTAX 135mm F/2,8 SONNAR T* AE lens to use on my Canon EOS digital cameras (5DMII & 350D).

I intend to use the Contax 135mm Sonnar for macro photography - with the help of extension tubes.

However - I have some questions to you Contax photographers of the Fred Miranda Forum:

1) Is the 1.6 m. minimum focusing distance a problem?
2) What is the best performing aperture?
3) How does the lens perform fully open?
4) Has the lens any colour issues - e.g. with yellow colour?
5) Has the lens any balance problems when mounted on the camera -
...Show more

I never used mine on tubes, but:

1) No. For portrait work I never found the MFD to be a problem, because of the 135mm focal length. Easy to get excellent head-shots.

2) Mine was superb right from f2.8 to f11 on my 5D

3) See 2)

4) Mine had no colour issues, but I did find it slightly "warmer" overall than other Zeiss lenses I have owned/used.

5) It balances perfectly on a 5D, IMO.

6) No.



Feb 20, 2010 at 02:16 PM
Svenning
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


Thank you Gentlemen for your straight answers (!)
I will buy a 135mm Sonnar (!)

All the best - Svenning, Denmark.



Feb 20, 2010 at 09:53 PM
delic66
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


I have used the Sonnar alone and with extension tubes. Either way, it was not as sharp as, say, Planar 50/1.4 at corresponding apertures. Still, I had 45x30 cm double-page spreads published. MFD was not a problem. f/5.6-8 seemed to be the best subject to the overall sharpness caveat above. I don't recall any color issues, and it used to balance well on RTS III. You should check to make sure that the lens achieves infinity focus. Sonnar 135/2.8, and more so the Planar 100/2, tend to develop this problem over the years.


Feb 20, 2010 at 10:03 PM
debuggerus
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


Svenning,
If you could get a MM version, I think it would be a little better. The AE has 'ninja star' shaped aperture around f2-f2.8.



Feb 21, 2010 at 12:44 AM
sorpa
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


debuggerus wrote:
The AE has 'ninja star' shaped aperture around f2-f2.8.


.. and it's no longer serviced by Zeiss. You know, in case of something bad that might interfere with the lens.



Feb 21, 2010 at 01:40 AM
bluetsunami
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


I wonder, is the Rollei 135/2.8 Sonnar HFT optically the same to the Contax Sonnar? On KEH, the Rollei is going for $215. The only thing I would think that would keep someone away is the infinity issue? with Rollei adapters (its listed as EX+ condition).


Feb 21, 2010 at 01:56 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



brainiac
Offline
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


Works OK with extension tube:
http://cyberphotographer.com/5d2/contax135f2.8/179_lowrez.jpg

5D2 100% crop:
http://cyberphotographer.com/5d2/contax135f2.8/179crop.jpg



Feb 21, 2010 at 02:06 AM
philber
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


Richard, was your shot handheld (or could it have been at no loss in sharpness) ? 'cause if it is, I have much progress to make in that department, and I'd better get on with it before I get terminal old folks' shake.


Feb 21, 2010 at 07:00 AM
Samuli Vahonen
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


1) Is the 1.6 m. minimum focusing distance a problem? It has not been for me (my usage: landscapes, large nature details)
2) What is the best performing aperture? / f/4-f/11, f/2.8 is slightly soft but at f/4 it's OK, f/11 is usable and due to good micro contrast prints still appear very good. As you can see MTF for f/2.8 is pretty OK and f/5.6 performance is very good, I have not seen f/4 MTF but based on actual photos taken by lens and evaluating on screen & large prints I would estimate f/4 won't differ that much from f/5.6 (pictures from Zeiss PDF):

3) How does the lens perform fully open? It's slightly softer (see MTF above) but contrast is very good already wide open as well as micro contrast, for a 100EUR I was positively surpriced
4) Has the lens any colour issues - e.g. with yellow colour?no
5) Has the lens any balance problems when mounted on the camera - e.g. nose heavy?I used with 5DmkII: no, it's very small and light lens
6) Any other issues worth mentioning? Bokeh CA is horrible, against bright background dark objects (like branches against white show) get green borders back of subject and magenta in front of, example f/5.6:


What I specially like in C/Y 135 is the transition from DOF to bokeh, to me it looks very natural and I can separate subjects from their surroundings at f/4-f/8 just the way I like. I also like to use the natural transtion to bokeh my doing 5x4/4x3 image panoramas to use the same effect on wider view.

I did buy recently M42 Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 3.5/135 and have not yet done comparison between these two but it appears that f/3.5 has even better bokeh, but haven't studied the transition from DOF to bokeh yet. f/3.5 version focuses also closer (1m), and my initial test photos indoors appear to be very good.



Feb 21, 2010 at 08:27 AM
Samuli Vahonen
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


debuggerus wrote:
Svenning,
If you could get a MM version, I think it would be a little better. The AE has 'ninja star' shaped aperture around f2-f2.8.

Some people also prefer ninja-star aperture. I find the bokeh very pleasing at f/4 where aperture is shaped like this:




Feb 21, 2010 at 08:45 AM
Toothwalker
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


delic66 wrote:
You should check to make sure that the lens achieves infinity focus. Sonnar 135/2.8, and more so the Planar 100/2, tend to develop this problem over the years.


Correct. I had one 2.8/135 and three 2/100 samples that failed to reach infinity, either at purchase or after a period of use. Fortunately, this can be easily fixed without taking the lens apart.




Feb 21, 2010 at 01:54 PM
Toothwalker
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


Z250SA wrote:
Except the price point, do you find other reasons not to get a 100mm f/2.8 Makro-Planar? Perhaps considered The Best of the best.


There is a new kid on the block. The unscaled and unsharpened crops below, both at 1:2 and f/5.6, are representative of numerous comparisons. I can't tell much difference in resolution, but the MP 2/100 consistently delivers higher (global) contrast, and, consequently, color saturation. Left MP 2.8/100 Y/C, right MP 2/100 ZE.

http://toothwalker.org/temp/fm/onetwoshootout.jpg




Feb 21, 2010 at 02:28 PM
Z250SA
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


Toothwalker wrote:
There is a new kid on the block.


Yes, I try my best to live in denial, to the extent that I ordered a Sonnar 100/3.5 yesterday.

To my eyes, the clearest difference is the vivid green of the f/2 MP. Greens, Oh, will they ever return? We got an other foot of snow today. With this development it will be late May and the only greens IŽll see is until that the f/22 markings on my MM lenses.

Samuli. To my eyes, the change from in focus to OOF of that picture is powerful but rather strange. That OOF birch that close to the ones in front is somehow unreal. As a 3D kind of distortion. Every time I look at that picture I want a 135 to try that myself. Intriguing.



Feb 21, 2010 at 03:57 PM
Jim Schemel
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


philber wrote:
Richard, was your shot handheld (or could it have been at no loss in sharpness) ? 'cause if it is, I have much progress to make in that department, and I'd better get on with it before I get terminal old folks' shake.


Pretty sure i can see a tripod in His eye!
-Jim



Feb 21, 2010 at 08:16 PM
jcolwell
Online
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


Jim Schemel wrote:
Pretty sure i can see a tripod in His eye!


+1



Feb 21, 2010 at 08:47 PM
philber
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Contax 135mm Sonnar T*


Jim Schemel wrote:
Pretty sure i can see a tripod in His eye!
-Jim


Is THAT where you need to put the tripod No wonder I am no good with the d**n tripod! Wait a minute! People have only TWO eyes, and a tripod has THREE legs, so that is never going to work. You are sh***ing me, right?



Feb 21, 2010 at 10:20 PM
1
       2       end






FM Forums | Alternative Gear & Lenses | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username     Reset password