Contax Zeiss Lenses

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Belgarchi Senior Member • Posts: 2,124
Contax Zeiss Lenses

Many of my favorite lenses are Contax Zeiss MM.

These photos were taken with the 60/2.8 Makro lens, the first one at F/5.6, the next at F/2.8. Fujifilm X-T3. Kipon adapter.

And here is the list of Contax Zeiss lenses I used on APS-C and M43 cameras, and a short assessment for each:

- 28/2.8: Very Good to excellent sharpness, good resistance to flare, nice to use. No floating elements here, and it is fine. I am less found of 'floating elements' for wide angles these days. The mechanism required is more fragile, and typically the focusing a lot less smooth and accurate than 'classic' lenses.

- 50/1.4: One of my two best 'nifty fifties', the other one being a Minolta MD-III. But like all others, focusing is critical at f/1.4, and resolution / contrast / vignetting improve a lot at f/2.0

- 60/2.8-C Makro: pretty much perfect optically. In theory, according to some comments of users, and Zeiss MTF curves, it would be less than perfect at f/2.8 at infinity. It is not my experience. Excellent even at infinity at f/2.8.

- 85/2.8: Ah, that one is extraordinary! Maybe the sharpest lens I ever used in the center of the image. Still very, very good in the corners. Fantastic details. And a pleasure to use: smooth focusing and light weight. I only regret the minimum focus distance, 1 meter.

- 135/2.8: excellent resolution at full aperture already. Can be found in perfect condition for less than $200. A little bit heavy.

- 180/2.8: very good to excellent resolution on the whole image, smooth focusing, a little bit heavy, chromatic aberration (not very strong, and greatly reduced at f/4)

- 200/4.0: a pity that its 'so-so' reputation is verified. Good but not great resolution and contrast. But really nice to use, despite its weight: smooth focusing, short minimum distance.

- 300/4.0: very good to excellent sharpness, a little bit of C.A. Superb build quality and... look compared to Canon 300/4.0 L New FD. But the Canon has less (practically none) C.A. Sharpness similar.

I would be interested by your own experiences with Contax Zeiss lenses?

 Belgarchi's gear list:Belgarchi's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 Leica D-Lux 7 Olympus PEN-F Pentax KP Olympus OM-D E-M10 III +92 more
Fujifilm X-T3
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