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I recently bought a Contax G 45 and am shocked how well it competes with my FE 55. Initially, it was actually beating the 55 (to my consternation) till I tighten up my testing procedure. Even then, the 55 is only slightly sharper. Maybe I got a good 45.
I'm actually shocked by this. I just sold my ZM 50 Planar, which is a close relative of the G45 (I've never had the G45). The ZM 50/2 was very sharp to the edges on a crop sensor, but had progressively weak midfield and poor corners at f/4 and wider on my a7. The center was always sharp and contrasty, but the overall frame sharpness didn't come close to the FE 55 until f/5.6 or f/8, and even then wasn't as sharp and contrasty as the FE 55. The FE 55 OTOH, is shockingly sharp across most of the frame at f/1.8, has very good corners at f/1.8, and only gets better from there. From f/2.8 on it's just amazing. I've never seen such performance at all apertures from any largish aperture lens, and throw in a very smooth bokeh with great Zeiss rendering and it's in pretty rarified territory.
I'd love to see an aperture comparison of the G45 and FE 55. I wish I had some ZM 50 side by sides to post, but it's gone now