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35/2.8 or 45/2.8

Matus

Member
Hi,

I consider getting Aria and a few light lenses (mostly f2.8 versions). I am quite curios about the Distagon 35/2.8 and 45/2.8 Tessar. What do you think about these two lenses?

35 would fit nicely (18)/25/35/85 lens kit, the 45 would go like (18)/28/45/100. 45 is much smaller and lighter and it has different optical design. I do realize that 45 due to its small size may be a bit harder to use (at least for some).

So - how do they "draw"? Looking purely at MTF the 35 seems a bit better, bit I would not base my decision on that. I would love to hear your experience.

thanks
 

allouis

Member
I also have an Aria with various lens. 35 is good but not exceptional. 28mm is greatest for me. The 45 is nice on the Aria because it is very compact and discreet. His record is excellent at f8. Since I often go with him and my 85 in the pocket. And the Aria is almost a compact !!
It must be said that in any case I prefer the 50mm to 35mm (and 25 to 28 but it is too expensive)
 

crocus63

Well-Known Member
I don't have experience with the 35/2.8, but I do have and use the 45/2.8 most often (maybe because 40/45 is my preferred focal length). It is sharp and a little contrasty (not as sharp as the 50/1.7). The aperture and focus ring are small and a bit too close together, but my hands aren't that big so I manage. I use it without a hood and don't find flare an issue (though I generally avoid sun or bright lights in the frame).

Being that you will use this with your other set, I like the (18)/28/45/100 or 85 combo. Personally I carry the 28, 45 and 85 (all 2.8 for lightness) for most of my outings (the 50/1.7 and zooms mostly get left home).
 

Mark Muse

Member
I have both the 45 Tessar and the 35 Distagon that I use on my Canon 5D II.

I love the 45! It is ridiculously small on the 5D2, but no matter, the image quality is very good for me for landscapes. Generous depth of field, grace going out of focus, very sharp at f8, superb color rendering and contrast, absolutely no chromatic aberration. The only negatives for me are it is a little too small for my hands and there is some fall-off and color shift in the corners. This is probably exadurated by the oblique angle of light hitting the sensor in the corners. But it is an easy fix.

The 35 is a good lens, not as sharp in high frequency detail as the 45, not as much depth of field, but very superb contrast and color rendering, and no CA. I use mine little because I find the 35-70 f3.3 to be its equal, though heavier.
 

Matus

Member
Thank you Mark. I have to admit I did not expect more replies here. I did not get an SLR (yet), but find the Aria with a couple of compact lenses very tempting. I have to admit that I am in a "mixed state" now - weighting my Mamiya 6 to Contax 645 (I do not have). If I would go for the Contax, another SLR would probably not happen. But otherwise it most probably will.

Even though I started this thread on 35 & 45 lenses - if you could share your opinion on others (28/2.8, 35-70, 85/2.8, 80-200/4 ...) too it would be great. How does the 45/2.8 compares to 35-70? The speed of theses two lenses is very close. I do realize that the 35-70 is large and on the heavy side, but it cover the range most used on travel and would require much less of lens-swapping.
 

Mark Muse

Member
I don't know the Aria but if I was going to stick with film I would shoot a Mamiya 7 for hand held. And I have an Ebony 23S (6 x 9 field camera) that I would use for landscapes.

But I do all digital now. For hand held digital I would look closely at the Sony NEX 7 and use Zeiss (like the 45!) and Leica lenses on it with adapters.

Of the CY lenses you list I have 35-70 and the 80-200. The 35-70 is a very good lens: high contrast, great color, no CA. If you think of sharpness in terms of frequency, it resolves the lower frequencies extremely well, but not the highest frequencies. This is perhaps less obvious on film than when shooting hi res digital.

I like the 45 better than the 35-70 for subjective reasons. There is something seductive about the 45 image quality that I can't quite put my finger on. The 45 has a romantic quality where the 35-70 is more analytical.

The 80-200 is a little more problematic. It has great detail contrast and resolves high frequency detail better than the 35-70 (at least my 35-70) and I really love this lens for its positive qualities. But it is prone to pretty severe purple fringing in high contrast scenes (branches against a bright sky for example) and it can be a little tough to remove all CA. These are largely digital problems. High res full frame digital is extremely demanding of lenses, and any problems at all become obvious, if not exaggerated.

I am now thinking about replacing my 80-200 with a CY 70-210 Æ’3.3, or with a Leica-R 80-200 Æ’4. Not sure which.
 

crocus63

Well-Known Member
Even though I started this thread on 35 & 45 lenses - if you could share your opinion on others (28/2.8, 35-70, 85/2.8, 80-200/4 ...) too it would be great. How does the 45/2.8 compares to 35-70? The speed of theses two lenses is very close. I do realize that the 35-70 is large and on the heavy side, but it cover the range most used on travel and would require much less of lens-swapping.

I use the 35-70/3.4 on a RTS II body and find it balances well. I understand the Aria is a lighter body, but it shouldn't feel too heavy for a one lens system. It has been said by Zeiss that it gives results equivalent to fixed primes in it's range.

I've used the 28/2.8, 35/1.4, 45/2.8, 50/1.7, 85/2.8, 35-70/3.4 & 80-200/4.0, and my favorites from those are the 28/45/85 combo for traveling. Not a bad lens in the bunch, and that 45 seemed to have been made for the small lightweight Aria; I think they even have a anniversary version with that very lens in a titanium finish.
 

Matus

Member
Thanks. I am somehow more inclined towards wider than 28, but true is that the 28/2.8 is a great lens and the 25/2.8 often gets less then flattering review (although I read somewhere that the ones with SN above 722****). But indeed 28/45/85 is probably the lightest combo to go with (600g for the 3 lenses). The 35-70 with its 430g seems like a good traveler's candidate too.
 
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