The official Zeiss 35/1.4 thread
/forum/topic/839374/116

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martindesu
Registered: Aug 16, 2013
Total Posts: 176
Country: United Kingdom

Still thinking about this lens... probably would sell my RX1 to cover its expense. Wish I could test one for a week...



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 12605
Country: United States

wide open:























martindesu
Registered: Aug 16, 2013
Total Posts: 176
Country: United Kingdom

I wonder if it's worth getting this lens over the new Sony FE mount distagon. I look forward to comparisons... 35mm is my favorite.



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 12605
Country: United States

martindesu wrote:
Still thinking about this lens... probably would sell my RX1 to cover its expense. Wish I could test one for a week...


i think the rx1 is a better lens optically in pretty much every regard including bokeh. the contax gives you a little more pop though, is a stop faster, and is much nicer to focus.

all wide open:


















Rich M
Registered: Jul 15, 2002
Total Posts: 322
Country: United States

Another on the Sony A7r

Joy to focus......







martindesu
Registered: Aug 16, 2013
Total Posts: 176
Country: United Kingdom

Interesting, thanks Sebboh.

You'd not recommend the lens, considering I have an RX1 also?



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 12605
Country: United States

martindesu wrote:
Interesting, thanks Sebboh.

You'd not recommend the lens, considering I have an RX1 also?


depends on how you use it and how you use the rx1.

i like the contax better for portraits because it gives a little extra pop, different focus transition, and is easier to focus precisely. the rx1 is better for pretty much everything else and will have less issue with troublesome backgrounds for portraits as well.







martindesu
Registered: Aug 16, 2013
Total Posts: 176
Country: United Kingdom

Well maybe you can see in my flickr/site and see how I like to shoot...

They're rare and hard to find, so I don't want to waste time/money too much



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 12605
Country: United States

martindesu wrote:
Well maybe you can see in my flickr/site and see how I like to shoot...

They're rare and hard to find, so I don't want to waste time/money too much


it might fit your style better than the rx1, i can't tell for sure. it doesn't seem like the smoothness of the rx1 lens necessarily fits your style. the main advantages of the rx1 are sharper edges and corners and smoother bokeh. honestly, the bigger question for me would be usability. the rx1 is much smaller and has AF versus the real focus ring of the contax.

in any event, some more shots:




























martindesu
Registered: Aug 16, 2013
Total Posts: 176
Country: United Kingdom

Nice mood in that first one. And thanks for your thoughts, Sebboh.

I love the RX1 and don't think I'd sell it (ever). The contax would be a different lens for different usage scenarios for the RX1. I don't need it, whatsoever, but I am curious to see what it's like.



R.Young
Registered: Jul 01, 2011
Total Posts: 1154
Country: United Kingdom

Untitled by Scanned Chemistry, on Flickr


martindesu
Registered: Aug 16, 2013
Total Posts: 176
Country: United Kingdom

MMJ or AEJ... which is the one to go for?



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 12605
Country: United States

martindesu wrote:
MMJ or AEJ... which is the one to go for?


the AE versions give ninja star bokeh from f/2~4 while the MM versions have typical octagons and the MM version will probably have more up to data T* coatings. otherwise there doesn't seem to be any optical difference.

a couple more:













sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 12605
Country: United States

i've been playing with different settings on the FLE of my beater copy of the c/y 35/1.4. i finally found the setting i think is best for midrange bokeh after some testing. there are two major drawbacks to this setting though the first drawback is that this setting lengthens the MFD to ~.7m and the second is that bokeh is improved by causing massive inward field curvature towards the edges making flat field or landscape work pretty much impossible. the MFD issue could be fixed with c/y to m adapter and helicoid adapter, but it's a very heavy lens to have on a helicoid adapter...

anyway, here's a comparison shot for anyone interested with the same focus distance (in the center) with the FLE optimized for flat field (first) and optimized for bokeh (second):










of course the light changed and the baby moved in the 5 minutes it took me to change the FLE setting, but the bokeh differences are still pretty clear. here are some 100% crops:






























here's a few regular shots with the modded lens(all wide open), bokeh is clearly more uniform across the frame though i don't think it's improved in any other way:




















here's a shot at the new MFD that also shows what happens with the new found corner weakness:








R.Young
Registered: Jul 01, 2011
Total Posts: 1154
Country: United Kingdom

Really interesting Sebboh! I spent a few hours yesterday retweaking the FLE of my Contax but to get it back to how it was before I last regreased it. I took the lens away to Scotland a couple of weeks ago and found all my stopped down infinity landscape shots a little lacking around the midzone but not terrible in the corners. So I played around with the infinity stop and also the FLE, as I found that my copy does not reach infinity in the corners at 1.4, due to field curvature, so I adjusted so that the infinity hard stop now is optimised for the corners wide open, which I hope means stopped down I can get a better balance of cross frame sharpness, I'll need to test if the field curvature changes at different apertures but don't have much landscape in London to test with.

I find the lens is sharp in the centre at any FLE setting, so I'm not really surprised that you have been able to modify yours to provide better bokeh. The effects are impressive, but is it now only sharp near the centre or can you get a sharp subject at the edge of the frame? I've concluded that no matter the FLE position I can never get a great performing mid zone towards infinity, but everywhere else the lens is performing great. Looking back through old photos before I first adjusted anything my stopped down landscape have always been pretty unsharp except for the centre, even at f8, so I have basically not achieved anything but learnt a little. My copy is now back to stock except maybe for the infinity position.

Have you noticed a mid zone drop in your copy? My corners seem better than my edges both wide open and stopped down, and the FLE doesn't help, just shifts field curvature around in the corners.



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 12605
Country: United States

R.Young wrote:
Really interesting Sebboh! I spent a few hours yesterday retweaking the FLE of my Contax but to get it back to how it was before I last regreased it. I took the lens away to Scotland a couple of weeks ago and found all my stopped down infinity landscape shots a little lacking around the midzone but not terrible in the corners. So I played around with the infinity stop and also the FLE, as I found that my copy does not reach infinity in the corners at 1.4, due to field curvature, so I adjusted so that the infinity hard stop now is optimised for the corners wide open, which I hope means stopped down I can get a better balance of cross frame sharpness, I'll need to test if the field curvature changes at different apertures but don't have much landscape in London to test with.

I find the lens is sharp in the centre at any FLE setting, so I'm not really surprised that you have been able to modify yours to provide better bokeh. The effects are impressive, but is it now only sharp near the centre or can you get a sharp subject at the edge of the frame? I've concluded that no matter the FLE position I can never get a great performing mid zone towards infinity, but everywhere else the lens is performing great. Looking back through old photos before I first adjusted anything my stopped down landscape have always been pretty unsharp except for the centre, even at f8, so I have basically not achieved anything but learnt a little. My copy is now back to stock except maybe for the infinity position.

Have you noticed a mid zone drop in your copy? My corners seem better than my edges both wide open and stopped down, and the FLE doesn't help, just shifts field curvature around in the corners.


this mod allows a sharp image through midzone nearly to the long edge of the frame, but of course focus in the center moves slightly back from the subject in these cases.

i have also observed the midzone drop at infinity on my copy when the FLE is in the stock position. when i optimized my FLE for corners at infinity it actually increased the midzone dip. i've found that if i optimize for near the corner/outer midzone i get the smallest midzone dip and the corners are pretty good. this setting also corresponds to a nice flat field with sharp corners and midzone focused at 2m.

stopping down doesn't seem to impact field curvature much at least at the more extreme FLE settings. usually it's lenses with much stronger SA that have the big changes in field curvature with stopping down.



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 12605
Country: United States

a few more shots with the modified FLE setting:





























sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 12605
Country: United States

some more, the last is a 4 image stitch:





























wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 3215
Country: Sweden

Is there a short version what this FLE thing is - some kind of complicated physical alteration to soften the bokeh further? Thanks.

From today, patinated daily driver from -61 (sry x-post from A7 thread, Contax MMJ)



wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 3215
Country: Sweden

Contax MMJ:



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