Zeiss Contax 28mm 2.8 Distagon
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mirkoc
Registered: Jan 26, 2008
Total Posts: 632
Country: Croatia

This is a well praised lens. Is it really spectacular as the say? Does it put a smile to your face every time you use it? Is it a lens you can't imagine to sell?

Having Yashica ML 28/2.8, Zuiko 28/3.5 and EF17-40 that I all find very nice (primes are better in extreme corners), is there a reason to get the distagon?

I am currently shooting 5Dc but will get 5D2 in a not too distant future I hope.

Leica elmarit v2 is not an option at the moment .

Samples are appreciated.



mco_970
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 5290
Country: United States

CY28 is better in corners for far landscapes than my OM28.

OM28 is just fine for closeup subjects where the corners don't matter so much, and it's sharp wide open. It's a good value for the tiny price it commands.

I probably have as much if not more fun with the OM, but I have been dropped on my head at least once.



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 5075
Country: United States

mirkoc wrote:
Having Yashica ML 28/2.8, Zuiko 28/3.5 and EF17-40 that I all find very nice (primes are better in extreme corners), is there a reason to get the distagon?


IMO the Distagon has 4 strengths:

- drawing style
- color rendering
- great central sharpness WO and at f/8 it's really sharp out to the extreme corners with a nice micro contrast (at least on my 5D)
- price

It's not the absolute sharpest lens out there, but for a lens with such a nice character and performance I don't think you can get anything better without paying several times more (think Elmarit v2). Whether you agree with this depends on how much you appreciate the first two points. If you don't care much about the "Zeiss look", there are cheaper lenses that are about as sharp.

This is a well praised lens. Is it really spectacular as the say? Does it put a smile to your face every time you use it? Is it a lens you can't imagine to sell?

Spectacular is a big word, but I'm almost always happy with the results I get from it. I wouldn't sell it unless I got something that is clearly better because I haven't had to invest much to buy it in the first place (~220 euros).
I don't know how the Yashica ML performs, but if I were in your situation I'd probably sell it and the Zuiko and enjoy the Zeiss (I have owned the Zuiko but sold it).


Two samples taken wide open:












mirkoc
Registered: Jan 26, 2008
Total Posts: 632
Country: Croatia

I find the OM maybe a small nuance sharper than Yashica. But it isn't field relevant. That should be checked on a higher pixel count sensor. Om flares a bit more and I like Yashica colours better. OM might be better for b&w but that's a speculation now. They are both lovely and weren't expensive. The idea with the distagon is to get a reference (good as it gets) lens primarily for landscapes and perhaps for churches or similar.



wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 2971
Country: Sweden

I just got it, using it on the 5D2 (and a Contax S2 as it happens)

I cant compare it to the other you mention but I know I like the CY and it's small (for a Contax). Optically there's little to be said, they're absolutely great. But then I am sold into Contax performance including color and rendition.

Here's a sample (there are more in my "Zeiss 28/2.8 Distagon" set on Flickr)
(dont bother about the vignetting, it's a user error)

IMG_0679 1280 by Wilhelm Frank - Stockholm, on Flickr



wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 2971
Country: Sweden

Two more


IMG_0704 1280 by Wilhelm Frank - Stockholm, on Flickr


IMG_0775 1024w II by Wilhelm Frank - Stockholm, on Flickr



FlyPenFly
Registered: Feb 14, 2011
Total Posts: 6455
Country: United States

That's a very special lens when mated to the right sensor.



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 5075
Country: United States

FlyPenFly wrote:
That's a very special lens when mated to the right sensor.


Can you elaborate on that? Didn't you like it on your A850? I think the lens will probably be equally special on any FF body, maybe a bit less on the D800 (no clue really).



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 7672
Country: Thailand

It was my first Zeiss lens ever. Bought it at the recommendation of my camera technician a quarter of a century ago and that was it. It was considered the best 28mm lens in its time, and it sure still is one of the best.



FlyPenFly
Registered: Feb 14, 2011
Total Posts: 6455
Country: United States

Sorry, my mistake not reading and just looking at the images. I thought this was the Biogon 28mm



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 7672
Country: Thailand

FlyPenFly wrote:
Sorry, my mistake not reading and just looking at the images. I thought this was the Biogon 28mm


Actually your statement is true nonetheless

The 28/2.8 has a problem in the corners on FF digital sensors, something that it doesn't have on film. It is caused by the same thick glass cover as with the Biogon and Nex cameras.



parsons
Registered: Mar 29, 2004
Total Posts: 5354
Country: United Kingdom

that was my first zeiss lens also, and yes its superb and is my go to lens for landscape work as its my fav focal lenght.

a recent shot, three image blend.






simon


freaklikeme
Registered: Apr 08, 2005
Total Posts: 5850
Country: United States

wfrank wrote:
Two more


These are fantastic, Wilhelm. I hope I'm still wandering around with my camera strapped to me when I'm her age.



ken.vs.ryu
Registered: Apr 24, 2005
Total Posts: 3543
Country: N/A

the only thing I don't like about the 28D is the short focus throw.



wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 2971
Country: Sweden

Thanks so much Brad. Yeah I do too, in fact her male counterpart was slower moving and erratically trying to keep up with her tempo as she for a brief moment stood still to take a look on the map. He is barely visible in green camera-less sweater above her head. I'd die to know what was caught in that AF-less Nikon camera on her chest :-)



mirkoc
Registered: Jan 26, 2008
Total Posts: 632
Country: Croatia

Very nice examples everybody!



mco_970
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 5290
Country: United States

parsons wrote:
that was my first zeiss lens also, and yes its superb and is my go to lens for landscape work as its my fav focal lenght.

a recent shot, three image blend.






simon

Yay! Fantastic photo, Simon!!


JohnJ
Registered: Jul 09, 2005
Total Posts: 2007
Country: Australia

28/2.8 MM

FF





100% centre





100% edge






All af F2.8. It obviously improves when stopped down.


philip_pj
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 3105
Country: Australia

It's a wonderful small lens for almost all subjects, even allowing for the fact that most everyone makes a great 28mm (Nikon, OM, Leica). It simply does not comform to the usual formula - but as you see in the excellent images above, it seems to bend the image content around the frame in a remarkable way, and the edge drop off just adds to the character, and seems a small price to pay for the 'walk into the scene' characteristic.

And indeed it is *very* strong in the centre, about as good as the 21mm for the very centre at f5.6. Great 'colour harmony' also, and low distortion. At the price, everyone should have one. I often have to leave it at home, but it pains me to do so every single time. Another point: it is very consistent in delivering the goods. That's a great shot of the old Volvo..



jcolwell
Registered: Feb 10, 2005
Total Posts: 21558
Country: Canada

philip_pj wrote:
... That's a great shot of the old Volvo..


+1



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