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  1. #41
    pstake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucemuir View Post
    I have nothing wider than the 50 planar so will need to be investigating one in the future.
    What are your guys favorites?
    The 28 f/2 looks interesting but may be too steep to justify.


    The 28 2.8 is first class as well, and smaller and less expensive than its Hollywood counterpart. If you can do without the extra stop, it's well worth it. The size of the Hollywood is more in line with the 21mm ... the 28 2.8, on the other hand, shares filters with the Planar 50's (55mm).

    This photo was taken with the 28 2.8 ... easily a default lens.

    http://www.apug.org/gallery1/files/6...ese-bucket.jpg

  2. #42
    ContaxRTSFundus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    If you can scrimp and save for the 28 f2, do so. That's another legendary optic. The 28 f2, 35 f1.4, 50 f1.4, 85 f1.4, 100 f2, the aforementioned 60 macro and the 100 macro, 180 f2.8, 200 f2 are all in that legendary category. There's also the 15(?) rectilinear, but that's in the "if you have to ask..." price range. For the ultimate performance in wide-angles, the G-series optics for the rangefinders are the bees knees. I have the 21 f2.8 for my G2 and you can pry that lens from my cold, dead hands.
    I agree with all the lenses you mention except the 200 f2 which I have always found soft wide open although the 300mm is pin-sharp. I still love my early AE 135 f2 and 180mm f2.8 but spend most of my time using the 55 and 85 1.2 Planars; I find the AE 85mm provides a more neutral colour rendition than the later 60 year version. Looking through the entire Zeiss Contax range of prime lenses, the only turkey ever made was the initial version of the 25mm; this being quietly corrected towards the end of the AE production. One other prime I would add is the 21mm - the first lens to truly lay to rest the claim that the Zeiss glass made in Japan was not as good as those produced in Oberkochen. Zeiss made the 2 best zooms in their respective focal ranges (imho) in the guise of the 70-210 and 100-300 lenses. If you have to sell your granny, grab the 70-210: sharp, distortion-free and a macro capability and close focus that defies logic. I also love the 35-135 for its versatility but it's a cumbersome beast. My Zeiss (and Yashica 15, 21, 24 and 100 macro) lenses have been enjoying an additional lease of life on digital cameras along with my G-series 28mm (with a little baffle surgery) and 45mm lenses. Long live the old glass - though since the ROHS Directive here in the EU, the amazing T* coatings, such as those on the C/Y 21mm, have been banned and have had to be modified as lead was used originally.

    Going back to the original question, you won't be disappointed with the 85 1.4 (I prefer the AE West German version for its neutral colour rendition), especially for portraiture as it is sharp edge-to-edge wide open and so gives you a lovely shallow depth of field to focus on the sitter's eyes. Of course, the 1.2s make the 1.4 look pedestrian in such matters but whether they are truly worth 7 times the cost is a matter of debate. Enjoy the 85 1.4 - it's a stunning piece of glass in a well-engineered body. It'll outlast any camera..

  3. #43
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    Okay pugsters this is the convouoluted thinking of my distorted mind

    I went with a bgn Germany made AE ninja star version thinking I was utilizing every drop of my Scottish blood.
    I also told myself I could live with the few times the star showed up in highlights.

    Received the lens and took it for a short spin around the house in poor lighting.
    I was floored.
    Very good wide open and once you start stopping down it gets you near nirvana if sharpness and clarity is what you crave.
    Truly astonishing.
    Shot a few backlit trees to see what transpires in the highlights.

    Now the not really bad news.
    An ex version MM with caps pops up for only around 90 dollars more.
    I never use MM features really so my entire reason was to get a less obtrusive aperture shape at 2.8-4.
    I'll post some shots when it gets exchanged but my Scottish ancestors are cursing me for incurring additional shipping fees.


    btw: KEH was super accommodating and pulled the newer MM version to verify it had not been owned by Kwai Chang Caine previously
    Last edited by brucemuir; 04-28-2012 at 08:17 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #44
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    A few years from now the MM one will have an issue and you'll wish you kept the AE one..... ;-)
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  5. #45
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rich815 View Post
    A few years from now the MM one will have an issue and you'll wish you kept the AE one..... ;-)


    Thanks Rich


    Believe me I waffled on this but not as much as my normal OCD when it comes to gear.
    There is internet hyperbole about the superiority of the German plant but I am skeptical.

    All I can say is the Kyocera boys have a lot to maintain because as I said, the AE version I tested was a stunner but I couldn't get next to the ninja star pattern.
    Only other time I was INSTANTLY wowed when evaluating a lens was with the 135L wide open
    That one did it too.

  6. #46
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Bruce - I know what you mean about the 135 L lens - I had to get one too after I saw what it could do. It's an AWESOME lens. The closest thing in image quality I've found to the 85 1.4

  7. #47
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    Bruce - I know what you mean about the 135 L lens - I had to get one too after I saw what it could do. It's an AWESOME lens. The closest thing in image quality I've found to the 85 1.4
    I hear the 200 f/2 L is like this too.
    Hope I get to try one someday...

  8. #48
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Not to drag open an old thread but I finally snapped and got the 135/2.8 Sonnar on the way. KEH had one for only $159 and I bit!!
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  9. #49
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Rich.
    I know you'll put it to good use.
    I've been eyeing the f/2 version but alas... that will have to wait for another day.

    Post some eye candy once you get a chance to run it through it's paces.

  10. #50
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    The 135 f2.8 is a good but not spectacular lens. For the price you can't go too far wrong, but it does have perceptible pincushion distortion - something you'd not expect from a Zeiss/Contax lens, but it's there. Thus the price. I'll content myself with shooting the 135 f2 L on my Canon rig when I want/need something in that focal length.

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