The Contax 100-300 Vario-Sonnar
/forum/topic/926319/0

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Z250SA
Registered: Jul 10, 2009
Total Posts: 638
Country: Finland

Got mine today, and have just looked through the few test images for the 14th time. Iīm still impressed. This lens is just as sharp and mikrocontrasty as the few stories to be found on the net can tell. And it is sharp wide open, not much improvement when stopping down. There is not much to improve. I am very impressed. LoCA? Almost as good as my superachromat: canīt find any in these images. No colour fringing either. But the light was not that sharp today, and the images not necessarily of the LoCA exposing type.

I could not resist to get a Mutar I converter with the order, just to test. And to my great surprise and utter satisfaction, this lens does very well even with the 2x Mutar as a 200-600mm f/9-11. Slight lateral colour can be found. There is significantly more details in the 600mm images, wide open, than can be found of the same subject without the Mutar. Yes, Iīm impressed.

No, itīs not just the first joy of a new toy. This is my 10th Contax lens, and my relationship with zooms is not at the excited end of the spectrum. Iīm in fact slightly annoyed by the thought of a zoom this sharp. The lens is said to be top notch at shorter lenghts, but loosing some at the longest. I will of course match it against my 300L4 and 400L5.6. But Iīm afraid the Līs just might not make it to the last round. Iīm allready shure that they are defeated in the colour fringing and LoCA matches. And this is all on a 7D with the pixel density of a 46Mp FF. Yes, Canon, bring me the 5Dmark5. Now. Iīve got the lenses to match!

I have aimed at three 100-300 VSīs in the last year but never got around to pull the trigger. Zooms, you know... What a waste of time!



buggz2k
Registered: Mar 10, 2010
Total Posts: 1641
Country: United States

Images! Images!
Please post some!
Thanks!



sirimiri
Registered: Dec 10, 2007
Total Posts: 3343
Country: United States

I propose a new forum "decorum" ;-)
No more detailed talking about having shot with a new (to user) lens, for any length, say over 1 paragraph, without posting images such that we can drool/spite along with the new owner.

Is the lens converted to EF autofocus are you handling that task manually?



rico
Registered: Jul 13, 2003
Total Posts: 3823
Country: United States

Thanks for the report, Z250SA, and silly me for not decoding your name earlier. I feel the same way about zooms (even those by CZ) and have just the VS28-85 in C/Y mount. Color correction of the VS100-300 is well-regarded, but the lack of tripod foot is criticized. As for Mutars, you might consider the II and III which, while expensive, are better matched for apo lenses. These can even be used on ordinary C/Y primes if the elements clear - and that problem can often be solved with a tube in closeup situations.



Z250SA
Registered: Jul 10, 2009
Total Posts: 638
Country: Finland

Images? Well, I was hoping to inspire some talents to get the lens and show us what this lens might be capable of in competent hands. My few years on FM has tought me how ridiculously bad my artistic skills are. But Iīll try to snap some images showing the technical aspects of the lens.

sirimiri, I use it with Haoda focus confirm adapters. The focus hit rate left some to be desired, except perhaps at 300mm, but itīs a new lens. Itīs a zoom... Very awkward, this instable focal length...
Sorry for the spartan description of my first experiences. I was dizzy after turning all the somersaults in the garden.

rico, yes, Zaghaft 250 Super Angulon.
The Mutars, yes, I have the Mutar II too. It wont work with most of the lenses. This was among the first things I checked with this lens (as I got the MII at hand). So despite The Great Truth to be Found on the Internet, this VS wont take the Mutar II either.



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 4946
Country: Germany

Hmm, your description sounds good. If the design is anything like the VS80-200, then you'll probably find LoCA at wide apertures. I've seen some sample images in this forum where it was pretty obvious anyway (cyan/green CA in the background).

I may get a VS80-200 sometime, but went with a Mamiya 645 200 APO for now to get away from the LoCA...



Ulff
Registered: Jun 13, 2003
Total Posts: 840
Country: Germany

I had the 100-300 for a few years and used it on a 5D. Its a very capable zoom lens (the last development in C/Y-mount) with nice microcontrast. It was superb at 100mm (almost indistinguishable from the C/Y 100 2.0 at similar apertures) with slightly degraded sharpness at the long end. Although it is relatively heavy, I liked its compact size and used it for landscapes. I sold it mainly because I often missed focus due to the relatively dark viewfinder image. Now in the age of live-view I would like to try it again (I liked the combination of IQ, compactness and range of the Zeiss-trio 21 or 28 2.8, 35-70 3.4 and 100-300 a lot).



Z250SA
Registered: Jul 10, 2009
Total Posts: 638
Country: Finland

AhamB, itīs supposedly better than the 80-200. The MTFīs show this clearly. The lens layout is very different.
The Mamiya 200 APO, yes, I have my eyes on that one too. But Iīm reluctant to buy into more M-format glass as Im affraid that my digital future will be FF at the most.

Ulff, nice to hear your experience of this lens. Yes, itīs supprisingly heavy for itīs size. But I can live with heavy if the performance is there. Large size can be more cumbersome. Yes, the 21, 28/2.8, 35-70 and 100-300 should be quite a high performing setup.

I just need that FF body too. But these days the rumors about Canonīs next body punches are mounting, so getting a 5D2 now could invite the "3D" to the battle within a few months.



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 4946
Country: Germany

Z250SA wrote:
AhamB, itīs supposedly better than the 80-200. The MTFīs show this clearly. The lens layout is very different.


I see it's mainly the central sharpness that's higher; the corners are pretty much the same.



Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6468
Country: Sweden

Well I had to get one. I have been pondering what lens to get to compliment my other landscape lenses. This seems to fit the bill. Now I have to wait for delivery.



Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6468
Country: Sweden

So while I am waiting for the shippment from germany, please share some photos!

A



edwardkaraa
Registered: Sep 27, 2004
Total Posts: 7152
Country: Thailand

I always wondered what's with Zeiss telephotos bad reputation. I used to own the 180/2.8, 300/4 and 80-200/4 and they were all outstanding.



Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6468
Country: Sweden

And this Zoom is supposed to give them all a run for their money...



Ulff
Registered: Jun 13, 2003
Total Posts: 840
Country: Germany

Nothing artistic, but at least an example. I have shared the adapter (and therefore the EXIF-infos) with two other Zeiss lenses, so it's difficult to be sure about the actual used lens while trying to find good examples. But this one is definitely from the 100-300, wide open, don't remember the focal length:



And here's a link to the full res jpg (from raw, lightroom standard settings) to get a better impression:

Zeiss 100-300



Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6468
Country: Sweden

Thanks Ulff! Great sharpness and microcontrast. The full size file looks great.

A



Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6468
Country: Sweden

Yay! Mine has been delivered and is waiting for me at home :-)



Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6468
Country: Sweden

I can just report that the lens works great on my very cranky 5dII. I have a big_is adapter. No photos yet. It is evening in Malmö and this is not a low light lens.



Z250SA
Registered: Jul 10, 2009
Total Posts: 638
Country: Finland

On the contrary! If the sky is clear to the S and SE, put it on a tripod, ISO 4000-5000, exposure around 5 sek, 300mm wide open (of course ) focus on Jupiter and get a nice picture of the Jovian moons on line around it! Uranus is very close up to the right just now. A blueish "star". But itīs movement can be followed by photographing several nights. Uranus should be right on top of Jupiter around September 15th.



Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6468
Country: Sweden

Haha! I will try another night. Have to get out of town to do that. Too much light pollution here.

A



Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6468
Country: Sweden

Some snaps from our garden. All wide open. Different FL:s



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