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  1. #1

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    Contax Hexagonal Blues

    I have been shooting a Contax 167MT for ages. I am very happy with the camera but... If I shoot at a wide aperture, then I get nasty hexagonal highlights all over the place with my 50mm Planar. A typical case: shooting a portrait in front of summer trees. The subject is sharp but the whole dang photo is ruined by little out-of-focus hexagonal doppelgangers sprinkled throughout the background. This is not flare - it is cancer of the bokeh.

    I am finally willing to entertain alternatives. Are there Contax C/Y lenses with circular apertures? Say, the 40mm Tessar? I would be willing to give up resolving power in exchange for banishing the hexes. If not Contax, are there any modern lenses with circular apertures, for any 35mm system?

    Hex devils do not plague my early Contax RF lenses. Surely there is a solution for a modern SLR!

    Sign me,

    Vexed by Hexes

  2. #2
    bjorke's Avatar
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    which 50?

    I don't see that with my 50 1.4...

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
    KBPhotoRantPhotoPermitAPUG flickr Robot

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke
    which 50?
    I don't see that with my 50 1.4...
    I am using a 50 f/1.4 also. I just developed another portrait of a lad taken inside a tourist train across a dining table, so the distace is probably three feet. Part of the background (the distant interior wall of the train car) is near black, with a couple of small spills of light from vents or what have you. The out of focus spots of light are rendered on the film as distinct little hexagons. They are really ugly when blown up. I'd be curious if you see this type of effect from a similar lighting situation.

    In looking through my "Only Zeiss" book, I notice they are calling out circular apertures in some of the high-end telephoto glass in an effort to improve the rendering of out of focus areas.

    j

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke
    which 50?
    I don't see that with my 50 1.4...
    This is interesting... just discovered it on the zeiss.com website.

    ...In addition to this, ZF lenses come with a completely newly-designed iris featuring a circular shape, not those hexagons, octagons and similar geometries that give out-of-focus highlights an artificial, unnatural look. While the Japanese have appreciated this natural look for a decade or more, Hollywood has only recently rediscovered it. Curiously, it was the Japanese photo equipment makers who were mainly responsible for introducing the hexagon and octogon iris; European makers favored the circular iris until the 1960's...

    Interesting, nay?
    j

  5. #5

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    I am tempted to believe that any lens is going to display this artifact of spots showing up on the negative under such conditions as are being discussed. If the diaphragm is made more circular then I would expect the spots to be more circular. I am not saying that proper lens formultation and construction is unable to help but I would expect spots to appear when conditions of the type being discussed are severe enough. If a person prefers circular spots to hex shaped then will Zeiss actions to their liking. Having a morecircular diaphragm is helpful in other areas also.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire Senft
    I am tempted to believe that any lens is going to display this artifact of spots showing up on the negative under such conditions as are being discussed. If the diaphragm is made more circular then I would expect the spots to be more circular. I am not saying that proper lens formultation and construction is unable to help but I would expect spots to appear when conditions of the type being discussed are severe enough. If a person prefers circular spots to hex shaped then will Zeiss actions to their liking. Having a morecircular diaphragm is helpful in other areas also.
    Hello Ms Thrope (may I call you Claire?) - I should have been more precise in my postings. It is not the spots/highlights themselves that concern your faithful narrator. Rather, it is the hexagonal shape of the spots. Round or otherwise amorphous spots would be just dandy.

    j



 

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