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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    35mm
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    192

    85mm Contax RF Sonnar

    I'm talking about the original contax mount lens, not the modern, expensive, and hard-to-find ZM one.\
    Anyone have experience with this lens? I was thinking of pursuing one since I have an amedeo adapter.

    Is it useable wide-open?
    Is there focus shift?
    How does it compare with the pre-asph 90mm Summicron's in terms of sharpness and contrast?

    Any samples?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    North Yorkshire, England
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    721
    I have heard, but cannot confirm it but I think this lens was used in the design of the 85mm F2 Russian lenses which fitted the Kiev 4 and 4B Contax clones. Also on a different mount (42mmscrew thread) to fit the Zenith Reflexes. If that is true then I didn't think a lot of it. I borrowed one to fit on a Pentax Spotmatic years ago and it had such low contrast it was unusable - almost.

    But there again Russian lenses were, shall we say questionable in the quality control department, this may have just been a bad one.

  3. #3
    Jeff L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Toronto ON
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    Multi Format
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    491
    As I understand it....
    There are pre-war and post-war versions. The Russian Jupiter 9's are copies of the pre-war lenses, the very early ones contain original Zeiss elements. I have a Jupiter 9 and find it to be pretty good. The quality control was all over the place, but I got lucky. My optics are good but the mechanical is a bit sloppy. Sometimes Henry Scherer has overhauled original Sonnars for sale on his site. I think there are companies that sell serviced and collimated Jupiter 9's.
    Good luck.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Boston
    Shooter
    Med. Format RF
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    128
    I had a Zeiss Jena 85/2 for several years (I sold off my Contax gear and bought a Mamiya 7II). It was a fantastic lens, but they are expensive and difficult to find. I never had any issues with focus shift, but then again, I really didn't stop it down much. It's very sharp wide open, and the bokeh is very nice.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New Jersey (again)
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    35mm RF
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    1,976
    The postwar version is a very nice lens. It's significantly lighter than the prewar Jena version. It likely will need to be serviced. I've been very pleased with the lens. It' a Zeiss lens, so you know it will be good, It's another Zeiss design copied by others.

    The postwar lens takes 49mm filters.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Saint Paul, MN
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    35mm
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    3
    I have the post war lens as well. There is no focus shift on my copy, the bokeh is quite pleasant. It is very useable wide open. Sorry no digital examples. I have the amedeo adapter for it and it works great.
    Plan on a cla as most are in need.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Boston
    Shooter
    Med. Format RF
    Posts
    128
    Mine must have been post-war. It took 49mm filters. it had an aluminum barrel, and the lens was coated. It is, IMHO, a world-class 85mm.



 

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