Contax C/Y lenses

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Luke Armstrong

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Contax C/Y lenses

PostTue Jun 11, 2013 9:49 am

Hi guys

I know a few of you are using the Zeiss Contax C/Y lenses with EF adapters, I picked up the 29mm F2.8 to try out. Unfortunately I can't seem to get tack sharp focus, and I'm getting very strange halations and flares on highlights at F2.8 until F4. Is this normal for this lens or could this be to do with the adapter I'm using?

I don't have any stills to hand but I may be able to put one up later.

Cheers
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jamesedge

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Re: Contax C/Y lenses

PostTue Jun 11, 2013 4:40 pm

I have a copy of this lens myself, although I haven't yet had a chance to use it. However, the 28/2.8 is known to be one of the sharpest lenses in the contax zeiss lineup - it has a great reputation. I suspect this is a problem with the adapter that you're using, or there is a mechanical problem with the lens (unlikely they are built to last). All the contax zeiss lenses I have used are sharp on my 7d, so I'd be surprised if there were issues on the bmcc.
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Luke Armstrong

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Re: Contax C/Y lenses

PostTue Jun 11, 2013 5:58 pm

jamesedge wrote:I have a copy of this lens myself, although I haven't yet had a chance to use it. However, the 28/2.8 is known to be one of the sharpest lenses in the contax zeiss lineup - it has a great reputation. I suspect this is a problem with the adapter that you're using, or there is a mechanical problem with the lens (unlikely they are built to last). All the contax zeiss lenses I have used are sharp on my 7d, so I'd be surprised if there were issues on the bmcc.


Hi James, thanks for your reply.

I noticed you mention 28mm rather than 29. I happen to have picked up the unusual 29mm variant. Are we definitely talking about the same lens?

I read online this particular lens is known for being a little soft.
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Kholi Hicks

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Re: Contax C/Y lenses

PostTue Jun 11, 2013 6:13 pm

The entire set short of the 50 and 85/1.4's soft wide open. It will be much more apparent on a smaller sensor, as well. They tend to look best on 135 or close to.

Zeiss ZE and ZFs fair better in this application. I say this as someone that was once a pretty hardcore Zeiss C/Y Fan and full set owner. =[
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jamesedge

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Re: Contax C/Y lenses

PostTue Jun 11, 2013 6:24 pm

I assumed the 29mm focal length was a mistype. never heard of that lens, and I couldn't see anything immediately on google or on the wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contax). are you sure its a contax lens not another brand with a c/y mount.
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Luke Armstrong

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Re: Contax C/Y lenses

PostTue Jun 11, 2013 7:45 pm

jamesedge wrote:I assumed the 29mm focal length was a mistype. never heard of that lens, and I couldn't see anything immediately on google or on the wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contax). are you sure its a contax lens not another brand with a c/y mount.


Thanks both for your replies. Sorry, it does appear I've got my facts wrong, it is actually a M42 mount by the looks of things, I was going to buy the 50mm F 1.7 from the same seller, but went for this lens mistakenly thinking it was also a contax mount - whoops.

Here is the actual item I bought: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... TM:GB:1123
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jamesedge

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Re: Contax C/Y lenses

PostTue Jun 11, 2013 8:20 pm

ah... that's a carl zeiss jena lens. basically when germany split into east and west carl zeiss became two companies, and had lots of legal wrangles over the name. the jena lenses aren't as highly regarded as the carl zeiss ones, but they aren't bad and are decent value for money. I think the seller is behaving a bit badly tho, it looks like he only mentions in one place that its a jena.
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Luke Armstrong

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Re: Contax C/Y lenses

PostTue Jun 11, 2013 9:22 pm

jamesedge wrote:ah... that's a carl zeiss jena lens. basically when germany split into east and west carl zeiss became two companies, and had lots of legal wrangles over the name. the jena lenses aren't as highly regarded as the carl zeiss ones, but they aren't bad and are decent value for money. I think the seller is behaving a bit badly tho, it looks like he only mentions in one place that its a jena.


Ah that explains it. It doesn't function like I would expect a Zeiss lens to. I'm going to return it tomorrow on the grounds that I can't get critical focus as he advertised. I tested it on a friend's 5D and it doesn't look right to me on there either, so perhaps there is something wrong with the lens or mount.

On the BMCC. I can hit focus at any distance under .5m, beyond that everything is unreasonably soft - I suspect due to the FFD not being quite correct with the adapter.

Cheers for your insights!
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Nick Vega

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Re: Contax C/Y lenses

PostWed Jun 12, 2013 6:44 pm

OP, I use the 50 1.7 on my BMCC and its super sharp at 1.7. I do experience some halation on my highlights, but I like it. As you said, once I stop down one or two stops, it goes away.

Idk about the 29 but the 50 is solid, and supposedly sharper than the 50 1.4 made in the same decade.
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