Zeiss Lens Photos and Discussion
/forum/topic/1009161/0

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carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15975
Country: Germany

Note: for people interested only in reading about and posting photos from ZF/ZE/ZS lenses, there is another thread: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/860134

This thread tries to tie up the rest of the Zeiss/FM universe in one place, to avoid having all these little threads pop up and die, and the information getting lost. Additionally, people owning both ZF/ZE and Contax lenses may post all their photos in this one thread, if they prefer not to be spread over several threads.

This thread is meant for all Zeiss lenses, whether ZF, ZF.2, ZE, ZS, ZM, ZA or older Contax 135 or 645 format lenses, Hasselblad V, Contax G, or even Zeiss large format lenses, not to mention Zeiss Jena lenses. In short, if the word Zeiss appear on your lens, you are welcome to post photos made with it here.

Here is a partial list of Zeiss-related links, which I will update as I discover more (leaving out single-poster and minor threads):

- ZE/ZF/ZM Lenses
- Contax Lenses
- Contax N Lenses
- Contax N Camera
- Contax 645 Discussion
- Contax 645

- Contax vs. ZE 21/2.8
- ZF/ZE 25/2.8 vs. Leica 28/2.8 R II
- ZF/ZE 25/2.8 vs. Olympus 24/2.8
- Contax 35/1.4
- Contax 35/1.4 MM on Canon
- ZF/ZE 35/1.4
- ZF/ZE 35/1.4 vs. 35/2
- Contax 35/1.4 vs. ZF/ZE 35/1.4 vs. ZF/ZE 35/2
- Contax 50/1.7 on Canon
- ZF/ZE 50 MP vs. 50 P
- ZF/ZE 50 MP and 100 MP Nodal Point
- Contax 60/2.8 Macro
- ZF/ZE 85/1.4 vs. Rokinon
- ZF/ZE 85/1.4 White Spots
- Rollei 85/1.4
- ZF/ZE 100 MP vs. 85L

- Contax 35-70/3.4
- Contax 80-200/4
- Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6

- Which first Zeiss
- Zeiss Infinity Adjustment
- Zeiss MTF Charts
- 3D Pop
- Zeiss Ikon Contina lens on Canon

I will start off with a shot taken in the rain last Friday in Tiergarten, in Berlin, Germany. Nikon D3, 50 Planar ZF.2 (borrowed):







carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15975
Country: Germany

I have been asked some questions about the Contax 80-200/4 Vario-Sonnar, which I will try to answer.

I was looking for a longer Zeiss lens, not a lens which would compete in any way with my (fantastic) 200/2 VR, but the 180 doesn't have such an amazing reputation, the 200/2 is too close to the VR, and generally not as good. In the end, there was just two choices I was considering, the 80-200/4 and the 100-300, but the latter is too expensive for a lens I probably will not use so much. Besides, Samuli has posted some gorgeous shots made with the 80-200/4, so I decided to try it out.

I bought mine in nearly new condition from Japan, which with shipping, customs fees, the Leitax mount with pre-installed Dandelion chip ended up costing about 400 Euro all told. Now there are some sitting in Germany's eBay at around 270 Euro, Buy it now price. I thought briefly about buying an extra copy or two in case some kind of revival is kicked off, but decided not to. I am not doing photography to make a profit, and would rather spend my time shooting.

Anyway, great lens, not all that large. Longer but thinner than the 100 MP ZF.2:







My copy is very sharp, although not quite as sharp as a modern ZF lens stopped down. It takes sharpening in Photoshop well, however. It has very little CA, less than the 100 MP and other ZF lenses. The boke is very gentle in my shots so far, almost Leica-like, but it still has that Zeiss feel to it. The push-pull zoom mechanism works well, and it doesn't move when I point the lens down. It is a very easy-to-focus lens, coming crisply into focus. I would say that it is easier to focus than my ZF/ZF.2 21 Distagon, 50 MP and 100 MP, although the latter comes close. Something about the way it snaps into focus. I was very happy to discover this, since I was worried that the f/4 could have made it hard.

At the current prices, buying one is IMO a no-brainer, although I don't know how much copy-to-copy variation there is. I do know that Samuli got his from a friend who bought 4, kept the best one for himself, sold the second-best one to Samuli and resold the other two, so at least there might be a little variation.

I don't expect that this lens is as sharp or clear as the best lenses in this region, like the Leica 180/2.8 APO, but I sure don't find many faults with it, so for the price, it is a steal.

Here are some shots made with it. The bird shot is a little soft due to its fast movement.



















rsrsrs
Registered: May 14, 2008
Total Posts: 759
Country: Germany

hi,
more of it
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/927029/0

reinhard



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15975
Country: Germany

Ah, good link, I had completely forgotten about that thread!



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 7681
Country: Thailand

Nice shots Carsten and excellent thread idea.

I agree about the 80-200. I've used it for a long time, it is full of Zeissness and was the perfect companion for my 35-70.



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15975
Country: Germany

Have you found any weaknesses to it, other than the possible slight performance drop near MFD and also at 200mm? For example, have you ever seen busy boke from it?

Do you use it with an A900? I would love to see some base ISO shots, if you have some.



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 5082
Country: United States

I remember that thread linked to above very well, especially the shots by TeamSK Jay.



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15975
Country: Germany

Here is another 50 Planar shot:







edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 7681
Country: Thailand

Unfortunately, I sold all my Contax lenses when I bought the A900. I regret it now because I wasn't aware of the existence of leitax.

I used the 80-200 mainly on the 1Ds2 as well as Contax film bodies. Being an f/4 lens, I didn't pay much attention to the bokeh, but I haven't noticed anything ugly either. It was a pleasure to use, small, light, with a very useful range, and excellent IQ. I'll try to find some shots in my archives soon.



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 5082
Country: United States

Do I see correctly that the VS 80-200 has 9 aperture blades? See here.



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15975
Country: Germany

Yes, looking through mine I can confirm that.



abhijeeth
Registered: Aug 09, 2009
Total Posts: 370
Country: United States

Carsten, appreciate the write-up. The 50 planar shots are lovely. Beautiful rendering of that lens. All the 50 P shots are making me weep now !! :-)
( I had thought long and hard about this very specific point - rendering at mid-distance to infinity and it is special indeed. However everything else considered, I found the MP better suited me, so went with that instead)

Back to the 80-200 f/4. It looks good! Looking forward to more shots from it. How do you find the contrast levels out of the box? (Shooting with the modern Zeiss designs has me spoiled a little bit).



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15975
Country: Germany

Thanks! The 50 Planar is a lens which I will probably always wonder if I would enjoy more than the 50 MP. However, there is room for both. I will certainly end up buying the Planar.

The 80-200 is maybe slightly less contrasty, and slightly less sharp out of the box than the better ZF lenses. It is not slouch, however. The almost complete lack of CA puts it in another ballpark, IMO. I would easily pay more for my ZF.2 lenses to have less CA. Ultimately, the IQ of my 80-200 is high enough that another tick on the Contrast and Vibrance sliders pulls it even, with a touch extra sharpening in Photoshop.



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 5082
Country: United States

carstenw wrote:
Yes, looking through mine I can confirm that.


Interesting. I didn't know any of the C/Y lenses had more than 8 aperture blades. I wonder if the 100-300 has 9 blades too.

About the rendering of Contax vs Z*: when I compared the ZF 25/2.8 to my Contax 28/2.8, I preferred the slightly more rounded/gentle look of the Contax (even though it's very contrasty on it's own). The contrast of the ZF 25 has more "bite" to it and felt almost a bit too aggressive for me in some way.



Dergiman
Registered: Mar 12, 2005
Total Posts: 821
Country: Austria

Contax Apo-Makro-Planar 120/4 on Fuji Astia



Rollei Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar 120/4 PQS




carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15975
Country: Germany

Great stuff, Philipp! I am very happy to see some Contax 645 glass in here, as well as Rolleiflex 6008, both systems I love (although I don't own a 6008, yet). Are the Rollei shots with a digital back?

I will have to dig around in my archives to see what I can find to post here. In fact, I have one or two landscape shots with the Sinar e54 which could be posted...



abhijeeth
Registered: Aug 09, 2009
Total Posts: 370
Country: United States

I know what you mean. There is definitely room for both from a performance point of view.

On a lighter note,I wonder if Zeiss are getting more and more crafty! In the modern designs, we have at least two choices on the 35s and two on the 50s. Not an easy choice on either focal length...



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15975
Country: Germany

In the meantime, here is a Contax 80-200/4 shot. Not a great shot, but it shows that this lens really is quite sharp when you nail focus and it keeps boke and CA under control even in tough conditions.







Dergiman
Registered: Mar 12, 2005
Total Posts: 821
Country: Austria

carstenw wrote:
Great stuff, Philipp! I am very happy to see some Contax 645 glass in here, as well as Rolleiflex 6008, both systems I love (although I don't own a 6008, yet). Are the Rollei shots with a digital back?

I will have to dig around in my archives to see what I can find to post here. In fact, I have one or two landscape shots with the Sinar e54 which could be posted...


Yup, i use a Hy6 with e54LV. But i no longer have the C645.



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15975
Country: Germany

Lucky man, nice system.



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