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Contax Zeiss Tessar 45/2.8 CY why not popular?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
anscochrome wrote:

2. with the release of the 40mm F 2.8 Canon EF pancake lens, there is not much motivation left to mess with the C/Y Tessar. The Canon Lens is optically superior, has AF (I know, I know...), and is MUCH cheaper to purchase. Plus it works out of the box without any major surgery (adding more expense to the cost of the Tessar)


I can think of one possible caveat. I maybe totally wrong though, maybe you can tell me. Smile

If the Canon 2.8/40 has the same build quality as the EF II 1.8/50 or EF-S 18-55 then to put it mildly, it's junk waiting to fall apart.

For me, plastic and modern standards of construction are a massive, massive downside to the purchase of a modern lens. If a lens is made out of brass, aluminium and chrome, has already survived many decades of use, then it's going to serve me until the day I either die or get too old to use a camera. That is a huge plus point for me.

Maybe I'm wrong and the 2.8/40 is better built than the EF II 1.8/50? If it is, then how much better? I know it's never going to be as sturdy and solid as an old lens precision machined out of solid metal, but just how sturdy is it?

Whenever I think of modern Canon gear, I just can't get that image of the 1.2/50 L where the optical block fell out after a few months light use because it was only held in by a small ring of double-sided sticky tape. To me, that's like finding out the side impact bars in your car are made out of balsa wood. I certainly wouldn't feel safe driving such a car, and I wouldn't feel secure owning a Canon lens if it's as cheaply constructed as some of them are.

Please feel free to correct me if the 2.8/40 is a solid, sturdy lens, I just don't know because I've never seen or held one.


The mount is all metal (as opposed to the plastic of the 50mm F 1.Cool, and it feels much more solid of a lens. Plus , it uses the new STM focusing (only benefits 700D and newer bodies for smooth video autofocus), which works just fine on my older bodies. I love it! If it breaks from my mishandling, so what-they cost $150.00 brand new.

I let my brother use it on my 5DII body while on holiday three weeks ago-he has a 45mm Tessar for his old Contax/Yashica body film setups-and he didn't want me to take it back home with me! My 35mm F 2.8 Distagon has not gotten much use since I have owned the 40mm-I always knew I wanted a lens close to the diagonal of the format, and this lens has convinced me of that.

The filter here at work prevents me from sharing samples. I'll upload some tonight if you wish.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
wuxiekeji wrote:
iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
For me, plastic and modern standards of construction are a massive, massive downside to the purchase of a modern lens. If a lens is made out of brass, aluminium and chrome, has already survived many decades of use, then it's going to serve me until the day I either die or get too old to use a camera. That is a huge plus point for me.


+10
I had a Canon 50/1.4 fall apart in 3 pieces the first time I took it on a cycling trip because of constant pressure from stuff in my backpack. Bought a Contax Zeiss 50/1.4 and happy ever since, survived at least 4000km already and still in perfect functional shape.


Ouch, did you get a refund under warranty?


It was out of warranty, but Canon restored it for me to almost-new condition for $141 (which involved replacing most of the plastic and AF mechanism with new parts; the glass was fine and scratch-free), after which I sold it for $260, informing the buyer of the whole breakage and repair story of course, because I wanted to use the proceeds toward getting a metal-housed and MF lens which wouldn't fail on me mid-trip (and mind you I do mostly MF work so prefer the firm, stable, yet buttery focus rings of MF-only lenses, even though the Canon has admittedly fantastic optics).


PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a wonderfully interesting thread, both in the factual information and the tangential stories. I have learned and laughed. Laughing


PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMHO, there is no wy to buy a tessar design lens in the 50 mm range.

Why?

Because the tessar at F/2,8 to 5,6 is not better than the planar, ultron, etc designs. The last are more contrast and with more resolution power tahn the first.

At F/ 8 the planar has better corners than the tessar, similar at the center.

At F/11 and F/16, the tessar shows his better rendering, and, in this way, is better than the planar design.

That my experience, with hundred of tessar's design used and similar quantity of planar's design too, that included srl and rf copies.

So, for me, to use only F/11 and 16 is not a good idea to buy a new lens.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But then again, this one is a bit different. It's one of the latest designs with newish *T coatings. To me the images show wonderful clarity and micro-contrast. Very lifelike. It's not all about corner sharpness, and on mirrorless we enjoy the very sharp center crop.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Contax Zeiss Tessar 45/2.8 CY why not popular? Reply with quote

Pontus wrote:
I don't get it, why does the Contaxt 45/2.8 receive so little love? The lens is tiny and inexpensive, the clarity is phenomenal, it's sharp and contrasty with saturated colors. It can shoot brick walls without much distortion. The bokeh is so-so, the lens is a bit slow at f2.8 and there are more solidly built lenses but those are minor points. I've seen some truly wonderful shots taken with this lens.

The lens should have cult status but it is mostly forgotten.


definitely not me - I am a big fan of this lens - I simply love it

and now pictures - in this gallery, every pic is followed by its crop - watch carefully the unmistakable 'CONTAX' colours

here we go

CLICK ON THE PICTURE:



CLICK ON THE PICTURE:



PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

panagor ext tube - 21 mm


1


2


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5


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10



NO EXTENSIONS Wink
11


12


PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pontus wrote:
But then again, this one is a bit different. It's one of the latest designs with newish *T coatings. To me the images show wonderful clarity and micro-contrast. Very lifelike. It's not all about corner sharpness, and on mirrorless we enjoy the very sharp center crop.


To be honest, I think if you were to put modern T* coating on an old Tessar, it would probably perform the same.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The difference should be minimal, if you look at the elements and air space in the tessar design, no much improvement from the single coating one.

In the facts, the difference is there, it's real. But the coating (contrast) and the resolution power, as everybody knows, not the same.

The macro pics taken with the tessar lens, will be better with the 5 o 6 elements macro lens.

In the close focus pics, the differences at F/ 2,8, 4, 5,6 are for the winner planar design.

To whom like the tessar, well, good for them. But objectively, the tessar does not be better than the planar in general use.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the main reason why the Planar outperforms the Tessar in the outer margins of the frame is because the image circle of the Planar is bigger.

I wouldn't argue that the Tessar is better than the Planar, but I would argue that the Tessar is more than good enough. Smile


PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really nice pics from Trifox - hey, what does it matter which lens took them? Wink (Whoops, better get my satchel and beat a hasty retreat, eh?)

More seriously, I'm not sure Ian's correct about the larger image circle of the Planar being responsible for its better edge performance. I think (but am by no means certain) that if a Planar computed for 24x36mm has a larger image circle, then it's a by-product of the computation rather than integral to it. Maybe one our better optically-educated members can say something about that.

And picking up on both Ian's and Dr Juan's comments on improvements to "old" Tessar formulations, from what I've read it seems that mulit-layer coatings on their own wouldn't make a great deal of difference but that substantial improvements CAN be made with by comprehensive re-design together with the use of appropriate coatings.

One of the few writers who seems to write objectively (yes, it's a pun...) about the progress in lens designs is Erwin Puts, albeit most of his stuff is about Leica lenses. But in his Lens Compendium he does chart the evolution of the 50mm Elmar, which is pretty much a Tessar. According to Puts, the f2.8 recomputation in the 1950s traded extra speed for slightly reduced performance at medium apertures whereas the complete redsign in the 1990s produced a lens which equalled the performance of the contemporary Summicron at medium apertures. He also compared it to the Cosina Voigtlander 50mm f3.5 which seems to have been equally good, if not better in some respects. The down-side to these "Ultimate Tessars" is, unfortunately, their relatively high cost.

Ian's pretty much right on the nail when he says that the Tessar "is more than good enough", certainly most of the time.

I've remembered that the earlier version of Puts' Lens Compendium can be down loaded at http://www.furnfeather.net/books/pdf/llcforweb.pdf
. . . all 223 pages of it. The link was still working a few moments ago.

There aren't any illustrations but the text is very informative and much of what he says applies to the evolution of lens design in general.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good info there Stephen, cheers.

I'm not sure I'm right about the image circle being bigger, it was a supposition on my part. Perhaps someone has the specs of the planar 50 and knows it's angle of view? Reason for my supposition is that in medium an large formats, the Tessars have smaller image circles for a given length than plasmats, so perhaps the same apples to Planars.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian - what do you mean by 'outperfom'?
they're totally different optical designs

this thread is more about 'WHY NOT POPULAR' and not about 'WHY NOT BETTER THAN PLANAR'

tf

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
I think the main reason why the Planar outperforms the Tessar in the outer margins of the frame is because the image circle of the Planar is bigger.

I wouldn't argue that the Tessar is better than the Planar, but I would argue that the Tessar is more than good enough. Smile


PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian, we're talking about lens for 35mm format...

Contax Tessar 2.8/48 with Contax/Yashica mount, if I am not wrong

again the title is Contax Zeiss Tessar 45/2.8 CY why not popular?

So, We are not discussing medium/large format Tessars

tf


PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Zebra Tessar 2.8/50 that came free with a Praktica Nova was my first Zeiss lens and I have to say that, although people might give scientific reasons why it is not as good as "this lens" or "that lens", I really like the results I got from it. I will leave the physics to those that understand it while I continue to enjoy the results this lens gives me.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trifox wrote:
Ian, we're talking about lens for 35mm format...

Contax Tessar 2.8/48 with Contax/Yashica mount, if I am not wrong

again the title is Contax Zeiss Tessar 45/2.8 CY why not popular?

So, We are not discussing medium/large format Tessars

tf


Yeah whatever, go pick on someone else, I don't appreciate the personal jibes, this is the fourth or fifth time now, how predictable.

I did nothing wrong, so please, don't try to order me about, it just makes you look bad.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HI Ian

I am not picking on you, therefore - telling me 'go to pick on someone else' is totally inappropriate

I just believe that comparing medium format lenses to 35 mm format is not completely right, that's all.

tf


PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough, I'm just suspicious due to previous admonishments that seemed to have little reason.

You did misunderstand me though, what I wrote was not about medium format, it was just giving a reason for me supposition about the Planar having a larger image circle than the tessar on the 35mm format, so not off-topic at all really.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok - Ian no problem at all

If you like, I can take my Contax Tessar 2.8/45 with me and my 5DMkII and we can compare it to the 2.8/50 Tessar

Unfortunately, I have no Contax Planar 1.4/50 anymore but this lens has different character in comparison to Contax Tessar 2.8/45

I have had Contax Planar 1.4/50 and the image looks different when using the Planar

Contax Tessar 2.8/45 is wider and you can feel the difference straight in the viewfinder

If I can add something - the Tessar has something like 'own' colour pallet'
another thing - Tessar 2.8/45 has no purple fringing or any kind of CA

The CA control is equal to the CA control in Distagon 2.8/21 - their equal in this aspect

tf


PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have any interest in comparisons I'm afraid, but maybe some others might.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the pancake is difficult to focus with big finger, in the reflection you can see that my 2 fingers just fit
wide open


this lens is best used in hyperfocal or prefocused like this one


quite good coating


discrete for candid shots


PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aah, I remember well that beautiful shot of the two guys in mid-air, truly great IQ and a great capture.

I need to stop looking at this thread, otherwise you'll have me breaking into my piggy bank to buy a 2.8/45.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:28 am    Post subject: Tessar 2,8/45mm Reply with quote

The TESSAR "Eagle Eye" lens design is no doubts, the most popular and in million versions most copied lens design of the worls!


PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't say I've read all the responses (I will, but later, it's late and I am sleepy), but...

I love my 45/2.8 (Thanks kendo1). It's small, fast enough for most things, and sharp. What's not to like? There are other lenses I prefer (Pentax-M SMC 50/1.4 and 1.7's), but this lens is certainly high up on the list of things I won't ever get rid of, short of impending total financial Armageddon.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a bump Smile

I might get another one!