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CZ 200mm lens questions


Well-Known Member
Hi folks,

It would appear to me that there is a CZ 200mm/F4 Tele-Tessar and a 200mm/F3.5 Tele-Tessar in the CZ lineup, or at least I see these two different lenses listed on e-bay. If anyone knows, is there a big difference between the two, and is there likely to be any real difference between them and my 80-200/4 Vario-Sonnar set at 200mm? Finally, if I want a Zeiss prime near this focal length, am I better advised to get the CZ 180mm?

Thanks for any info anyone can provide.


Well-Known Member
Hi Tom,
I had the 200mm f3.5 and liked it. It was beautifully made but I sold it when I sold all my Contax gear to go medium format a few years ago. I couldn't resist the Contax lure though and had to reinvest. I subsequently bought the 200mm f4 which is also beautifully made and is much smaller and lighter. I cannot remember if the 3.5 version had a built in hood and I don't think it was MM.
I don't think you will in practice notice any difference in results between the two but on the grounds of size and weight, I would go for the f4 version.
I haven't had the 80-200 Zeiss zoom but have the Yashica equivalent and I am not tremendously impressed with it although it is "OK". I would always use my 85mm Sonnar or the 200 in preference.
Hope that is of some help.


Well-Known Member
Thanks John,

Good information. I'm not overly impressed with my 80-200 f/4 either, its as you say, "Okay" for the little I have worked with it. I actually have four copies of the Yashica version we use for work, maybe I should do some testing between them and the CZ zoom. I notice that even the Zeiss literature speaks only of "very good" image quality across the zoom range with this lens even though with others they seem more enthusiastic. I'm hopeful that a prime will do better work at the long focal length. Between the two 200's I'm looking at I think it will come down to price.

By the way, ten minutes ago I unwrapped my 85 Sonnar I got from Australia on e-bay. This looks like a really neat lens!



Well-Known Member
Great! I think you will love the 85. I had the f1.4 version before I unwisely traded all my gear. In fact at one stage I had two of them. I loved them as artifacts. When I re-established with Contax and Zeiss, I bought the f2.8, in a way as second best but now I realize what a gem it is and I wouldn't go back to the f1.4 despite the extra speed. The Sonnar is so compact and handy and very sharp - a pleasure to use and own.


Well-Known Member
Tom if you check down along this board you'll find info on each of the lenses you mention. I had the Zeiss 80-200mm f4 and the Canon 70-200mm f4L at the same time, in the field I found the Canon sharper @200 but the the Zeiss had more umph, gave a more contrasty image (using chrome film).


Well-Known Member
Just to say, the 200/3.5 was from the earliest RTS range of Zeiss lenses released in the mid/late 70's. It was later discontinued and the 200/4 replaced it in the 80's. The 200/3.5 was only AE and the 200/4 was both AE and MM I believe. The 180/2.8 has always been available (both AE & MM), the very early ones were somewhat heavier and bulkier (similar to the early 300/4) and the design was altered quite early to the most recent design & weight,
Cheers Steve.


Well-Known Member
Yes, but the 80-200 f4 has outstanding out-of-focus qualities for a zoom. Don't knock it until you have used it for its strengths--dreamy backgrounds