The Contax 100-300 Vario-Sonnar
/forum/topic/926319/3

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pdmphoto
Registered: Jan 02, 2005
Total Posts: 3308
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: 3308
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: 642
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: 6499
Country: Sweden

My CA tests shows almost none as well.

A



pdmphoto
Registered: Jan 02, 2005
Total Posts: 3308
Country: United States

Z250SA wrote:
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.


Yes, we are splitting hairs. This lens is a super performer - regardless. Thanks for posting. It got me looking - and I found one



mMontag
Registered: Dec 15, 2008
Total Posts: 2078
Country: United States

Congratulations on the new lenses - that one seems to be a more obscure lens for Contax.

I've seen images of long FL used for landscape - isolating a large feature from a distance sometimes shot from a higher elevation giving a perspective that could not be done closer in with a wide lens. For whatever reason I rarely shoot landscape longer than 100mm - I would have to change my "thinking" to use 200-300mm for landscape effectively. I'm not referring to tele close-up - more an isolated landscape scene.



ewadler
Registered: Dec 22, 2005
Total Posts: 293
Country: United States

I am choosing between a Zeiss 100MP and this lens. Can anybody offer any help?

Do I need more than 100mm?
My answer: It would be nice. Don't need it.

Do I need Macro capabilities?
My answer: It would be nice. Don't need it.

I would like the 100MP and I would like the C/Y 100-300mm. Just can't figure out which way to go.

I have been lusting after the 100MP, but figured it was out of reach. I recently decided to hunt down a C/Y 100-300mm, but a 100MP at a good price came into view. At a crossroads, not really sure what to pick, and probably folks in the Z* thread won't have had much experience with the 100-300 as to give much help other than tout the 100MP. Just curious how people in this thread would respond to my question.



mMontag
Registered: Dec 15, 2008
Total Posts: 2078
Country: United States

ewadler,

I think your question gets answered by the number of used lenses for sale. - Each person has different want & needs and then they change - I have been working on my "kit" for years and have two lenses on the B&S and a few coming in - though I was sure a few months ago I was done with that.

For my reasoning a 100mm expensive fixed prime even with macro would be fun at first then wouldn't get used after a while - this thread introduced me to the VS 100-300 - thanks to the O.P. and contributors - I'm usually not interested in long FL lenses.

I'm not one to use a heavy long lens for shooting smallish flowers and things - one topic in this thread has mentioned the slower aperture and use of a potential tripod collar for landscape - I have a limited interest in that - I could put that to use with a high IQ, lighter weight, less expensive lens for reason that I would not use it that often - but could if the scene called for it.

Attached are two landscape images - the first one at 70mm with a VS 35-70 @ 70mm the second is with a Canon 70-200 (on the B&S board) @ 200mm - northern end of GCNP looking northwest - the cliffs on the horizon are the Vermillion Cliffs some 30 miles north.



ewadler
Registered: Dec 22, 2005
Total Posts: 293
Country: United States

mMontag, thanks for your reply. Very lovely images, I love hiking and I make it to Las Vegas every so often for work, I really need to make it over to the Grand Canyon one of these times.

At any rate, I feel like I am in a never-ending quest for the perfect lens kit (we probably all do around here). I am also not one for the longer FL. But, there are those times I could use something longer. I have a Sigma 150/2.8 and a magic drainpipe which I rarely use. But, I would like to have the option of a macro (which could be satisfied with extension tubes), as well as a long focal length, as the need does arise every so often. And the folks in the Z* thread go on and on about how magical the 100MP is. And, I just really like Zeiss. I am hoping to get some food for thought that I may not have considered. Your post is a start, for sure.



Z250SA
Registered: Jul 10, 2009
Total Posts: 642
Country: Finland

My seeing work as primes. Using zooming makes me sea sick, there is no solid structure to build the image within (my brain). But for rarely used focal lengths, zooms could be justified IFFF the IQ is there.

For the makro part, Samuli suggested that the 100mm f/3.5 Sonnar is competent with extension tubes. I tried, it is. It is also very small and light with very high IQ. But all the love songs to the glory of the MP is impossible to avoid. Soo..

I actually decided to get the 100MP and checked that they were available at the Zeiss online shop. Too tired to go thru the ordering process I went to bed. When I got up the next morning they were out of stock... So I rushed to KEH and ordered the VS.

Zeiss is openly implying that they will continue the development of the Z* line of DSLR lenses. Why wouldnt they?. We hate the first sample images, and love to spend what ever for them when they finaly arrive! So if the "need" is just an itch, we might be able to wait, because we will get new and wonderful lenses in a not too distant future.



philip_pj
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 3103
Country: Australia

Hah hah - primes make me sick when a composition I thought would work as, say, 100mm (I have the wonderful 100/3.5 also) only to find I need 135mm or 150mm - argh. For my work this happens all too often, across huge valleys...and adds to the aggravation of lens changes, extra fiddling with caps and step rings, you really need a third hand. All this in the dirt and harsh wind and airborne particulates.

So high quality zooms are an absolute boon if nothing else about them gets in the way. Field nirvana is two VS zooms (35-70 plus this one) plus the wides you need! Thanks for the truck wheel image, pdm, I agree with your assessment re the major characteristics.



Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6499
Country: Sweden

I used to be a Zoom guy and then I realized how much better and faster primes usually are. This zoom is as good as any prime I have tested so it is a keeper.

A



rico
Registered: Jul 13, 2003
Total Posts: 3861
Country: United States

I have the S100, too - mark of the CZ aficionado. For regular closeup shooting, however, a dedicated 100mm macro is nice to have, and good ones are cheap. The CZ offerings displease me due to the LoCA bokeh (so-called on FM Alt). In that regard, the Apo Macro Elmarit-R 100 option is better. Being a zoom, the VS100-300 never appealed to me, but these images show great control of axial color: pity about the lack of tripod mount.



pdmphoto
Registered: Jan 02, 2005
Total Posts: 3308
Country: United States

I am not a zoom guy, but I love the Zeiss 100-300. Here is the Zeiss at 300mm wide open on an old Oregon farmhouse at sunset. Shooting from the property line - so 2xx would not do it:







AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 5018
Country: Germany

Nice, but it looks like your border shadow also blurred part of the picture...



rsolti13
Registered: Aug 31, 2009
Total Posts: 3587
Country: United States

Anybody have a clue on how to convert for Nikon?



ewadler
Registered: Dec 22, 2005
Total Posts: 293
Country: United States

Is this lens practical to put on extensions for macro shooting? Any examples?



pdmphoto
Registered: Jan 02, 2005
Total Posts: 3308
Country: United States

AhamB wrote:
Nice, but it looks like your border shadow also blurred part of the picture...


Thanks, I am testing the waters with different borders on my pics.



pdmphoto
Registered: Jan 02, 2005
Total Posts: 3308
Country: United States

ewadler wrote:
Is this lens practical to put on extensions for macro shooting? Any examples?



At 300mm the lens would need a lot of extension for macro (the longer the focal length the more extension required). Being a rather heavy lens, without a tripod mount, wouldn't make it practical.



Anden
Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Total Posts: 6499
Country: Sweden

But with tubes at 100 mm it would be useful. I have shot alot with the 85L on tubes.

A



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