The Contax 100-300 Vario-Sonnar
/forum/topic/926319/2

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Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6605
Country: Sweden

IDURITA wrote:
That Zeiss zoom is amazing. I don't have that FL covered yet. Makes my mouth watery and my valet cry.


I felt the same way when I found out about this zoom. I had to get it.



IDURITA
Registered: Jan 13, 2005
Total Posts: 657
Country: Philippines

I have a Sigma 150mm macro HSM APO and the Canon 400mm f/5.6 L.
Nothing in between.

I was considering:

A) Canon 135mm f/2 L and Canon 200mm f/2.8 L

or

B) Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS L

or

C) Sigma 100-300mm f/4

all of them are getting high ratings.

But I could no make my mind up yet. Now comes this Zeiss 100-300mm along.

Anden, your macro shot of your garden are so sharp and the colors really pop, also the tele shots of denoir's safari are stunning.

What to do ?



IDURITA
Registered: Jan 13, 2005
Total Posts: 657
Country: Philippines

I have just found a Japanese website with some nice sample images of this lens.

http://info.xitek.com/producttest/200901/12-10471_3.html



philip_pj
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 4166
Country: Australia

Another sleeper from the CY series unearthed!

"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".

I have the first three of these and they make for a superb travel/landscape set for the discerning Zeissist. So I have to listen to you good people about this one.

As expected, the long end is weaker in its MTF data but looks about the same at both reported apertures. Wow, the short end looks incredible, as good as primes - nice low distortion also at 100-200mm, the main usage band. Very nice shaping in the shots in this thread.

MF is less of an issue for me - my work at this FL is generally at infinity. And stabilisation matters little, at the long end you still lose so much at working apertures in low (read photographic) light, so it's a tripod job anyway. In the end, it will come down to performance.

Anden, if you can do us a couple of your typical work at 250-300mm over longish distances I (and I am sure others) would love to see.

Another temptation is the ability to fine tune framing with minimal lens changes using just the 35-70 and 100-300. The weight is about on par with other tele consumer zooms (!) from Nikon and Canon (and my Minolta 200mm APO), small filter size is fine also.

Denoir, thank you for showing us why we prefer CZ ;-) A good day to all.



philip_pj
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 4166
Country: Australia

Many thanks, Anden.

Other information on this one for readers: front element rotates with focus change, no tripod socket, and some experience zoom creep. MFD of 1.5m and 925 grams weight.

Some indicative images here: http://forum.mflenses.com/contax-vario-sonnar-100-300-sunflowers-t18597.html

The ebay sharks ask $US800-900 for mint ones.



Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6605
Country: Sweden

philip_pj wrote:
Many thanks, Anden.

Other information on this one for readers: front element rotates with focus change, no tripod socket, and some experience zoom creep. MFD of 1.5m and 925 grams weight.

Some indicative images here: http://forum.mflenses.com/contax-vario-sonnar-100-300-sunflowers-t18597.html

The ebay sharks ask $US800-900 for mint ones.


It is by no means the perfect lens but I am looking mostly at the results it produces and the result is stunning. I guess the Canon 70-200 II is the more convenient choice but for me a slower process is good since I end up with more keepers when I slow down.




AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 5253
Country: United States

philip_pj wrote:
no tripod socket


When searching for this lens on ebay, I find a lot of tripod mounts specifically made for it (apparently). Such as: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280357419115



Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6605
Country: Sweden

I will probably order that tripod mount. Reasonable price.

Here are another sample thread. Not my photos :http://www.dchome.net/viewthread.php?tid=919904



Peire
Registered: Apr 27, 2010
Total Posts: 2329
Country: Poland

denoir wrote:
Nice shots Andreas

I would love to be tempted by that lens.. but I have a 70-200 f/2.8 IS II that is very very good. It's definitely one of the best Canon lenses in terms of colors and micro contrast plus constant f/2.8, AF and optical stabilization is difficult to beat.. It is also absurdly sharp - as sharp as a good tele prime.

No, it's not definitely not a Zeiss but it does have a nice 'pop' of its own:



















I would of course love to be able to replace the glass inside the lens for Zeiss glass and keep the rest..

So anyway, I don't think the Contax 100-300 is for me. I want AF on a long zoom. I want IS and I want a large and constant maximum aperture.



Outstanding animal shots no 1 and no 2 denoir!


mMontag
Registered: Dec 15, 2008
Total Posts: 2118
Country: United States

Anden wrote:
I will probably order that tripod mount. Reasonable price.

Here are another sample thread. Not my photos :http://www.dchome.net/viewthread.php?tid=919904


For that FL - I could see some real usefulness of this lens but on a tripod and using a collar - the build looks like a larger scale of the 35-70 - I assume the collar would attach to the inside sliding barrel below the focus ring. A mint copy just sold on auction last night for $645.00 usd - I hope someone here got it - the BIN's are asking over $800-900 - KEH has an UG for $300.

The Canon II would be a great choice if $2,300 usd + 1490 gm will work for you - the fixed 2.8 is a real plus - add the new TC 1.4 for 280mm @ f4 plus $500 and 220 g. Very nice but expensive and very heavy - might need to add a heavy tripod though the new IS is quite efficient. If wildlife and/or sports is the main subject (though 200mm is short for wildlife) and you don't need to carry it very far - must be one heck of a set-up.



philip_pj
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 4166
Country: Australia

For landscapes that require you to actually walk to get there (!) giant tele lenses are a big problem, no pun intended, and no IS gets near a tripod image. Which outs the tele zoom set for me at least. Sony make a great 70-200 also but it is huge.

Thanks AhamB, I saw those tripod collars but they all refer to a f4.5 lens, which I thought might be yet another lens, but checking the Contax list I see no other. If so, that would assist greatly in consistently sharp images. The only place for a collar is at the front of the lens it seems - unless you attach it just in front of the aperture ring, over the focal length scale? Maybe an oversight on Zeiss's part, for such a slow lens would be hard to handhold at decent shutter speeds.

I like the zebra MTF test, which the Canon passes with flying colours, although it looks more like 2 lp/cm than 40 lp/mm - hah.

Back to the 100-300, sadly it extends in linear fashion - 100mm in retracted form, 300mm at full extension, unlike the 35-70. Happy to be wrong about these things.



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 5253
Country: United States

The lens is 4.5-5.6, so they just labeled it incompletely on those tripod collars...
I think you won't be able to mount it with the lens at 100mm, but then at 100mm it will be handholdable. Maybe from 135mm or so the lens will be extended far enough to provide room for the collar.



philip_pj
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 4166
Country: Australia

Late summer grasses and autumn leaves...still a nice rendition, light notwithstanding - thank you again. I was hoping that is how this lens would go at the long end, where good rendering of a central subject is more often needed than blazing 'across the frame' performance.

From the MTF, it looks to be stunningly good at 100-150mm, really good at 200mm and a gentle loss of performance from there on - with the aperture being more of a DOF control than a big factor in IQ. Much 'better' than the 80-200/4 at 200mm, but such comparisons can, of course, be odious and limited! And other shots show a certain 'delicacy' to this 100-300mm; subjects sit nicely in image space.

It's a fairly short lens at the 100mm end, and a tripod shot using the body's socket/QR will work fine, as the COG is not very far out in front of a full-frame body.

For any Sony users reading, Leitax can do a custom mount for it, at extra cost. In the near future...



Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6605
Country: Sweden

I am very satisfied with the rendering. Will try to shoot some more at the long end and wide open.
I have no problem shooting on a tripod without a tripod mount. The lens is not heavier that my 85L.

A



pdmphoto
Registered: Jan 02, 2005
Total Posts: 3938
Country: United States

Good news Anden. I have a KEH sample in EX condition coming my way.



Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6605
Country: Sweden

pdmphoto wrote:
Good news Anden. I have a KEH sample in EX condition coming my way.


I like your photos so this should be a good addition to your stable. Make sure you have a solid tripod to make the most of the resolution available.

a



pdmphoto
Registered: Jan 02, 2005
Total Posts: 3938
Country: United States

Thanks Anden. I received it late today and its a keeper. The few snapshots I've taken are great, even for a prime lens. Wide open at 300mm, I see a little loss of contrast and just a hint of CA, and only at infinity. The sharpness, color, and contrast are super. No LoCA and nice smooth bokeh. I'd say it is a better overall performer than my Zeiss 35-70/4. Those two zoom with a few prime lenses are going to be my landscape kit



pdmphoto
Registered: Jan 02, 2005
Total Posts: 3938
Country: United States

Here's one of my tests shots for purple fringing, loCA,and other high contrast nasties. Taken from my truck at a stop light, a large commercial vehicle was next to me. 300mm wide open (high ISO):







100% crop:







Z250SA
Registered: Jul 10, 2009
Total Posts: 655
Country: Finland

pdmphoto wrote:
Here's one of my tests shots for purple fringing, loCA,and other high contrast nasties. Taken from my truck at a stop light, a large commercial vehicle was next to me. 300mm wide open (high ISO):


Not much there to discuss, is it? The VS is my second best lens, beaten only by the superachromat. E.g. the Canon 300f/4LIS show comparably severe fringing and loCA. Just for the sake of comparison (so nothing quantitative here), if the LIS suffers "ten times" stronger CA, it is just "twise as" sharp as the VS. And the minute advantage in sharpness is immediatly lost if the focus or exposure is not spot on. If this is the weak end of the zoom range, I have to say that I find it pretty sufficient for what ever challenges there is. We are discussing the final few percents of physically attainable performance. Yes, Im still as amazed by this lens as when I posted the OP. Images from skilled photogs do support it nicely, I think.



Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6605
Country: Sweden

My CA tests shows almost none as well.

A



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