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Good Wide Angle Lens

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davidfung

Hi all. I recently purhcased into the Contax system with a RTSII and ST. I got a 50 f/1.4 with one of the cameras. I am looking to branch out. However, I wish to only have either 3 or 4 lenses in total. I know that the 85 f/1.4 is going to be one of them, the other choice is a wide angle. Given that only one or two wide angles will be purchased. What are your recommendations regarding choice. My short list is:

- 28 f/12.8 + 21 f/2.8
- 21 f/2.8 9 + 35 f/1.4
- 18 f/4 and 28 f/2.8
- 28 f/2.8
- 21 f/2.8

Would appreciate any advice and experiences users have regarding the choice and selection. Thanks.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
David,

Welcome to the club!

The Distagon 21 delivers mind-boggling performance and is worth every penny, but be aware that it's long like a telephoto, and deceptively heavy. The Distagon 28/2.8 is roughly the same size and weight as your Planar 50/1.4, is very affordable, and also delivers an excellent image - the perfect travel lens. I have all of these.

You might consider the 28-50-85 combo to start. After some use, you may determine whether ultra-wide is the right step. Everything below 28mm gets expensive in the C/Y line-up. Yashica and 3rd-party primes and zooms let you explore options cheaply: if a focal length works for you, then move up to the Real Thing.
 

paulcontax

Well-Known Member
Depends on what you want to shoot....

If taken in account that you have the 50mm and will buy the 85 mm and only want to have at least 4 lenses : Do do want any tele ? The 135 is very good, I would take a 200mm. I you want only 1 wide angle lens then I'd take the 2.8/28 (my favourite Zeiss lens). When you want to take more wide angle take the 21mm. The 35 is quite close to 50mm - so : If you don't want to have a few lenses more I would not take an additional 35mm-lens into account. (Even though I have one - but I have some more lenses than only 3 or 4) If you only want wide angle lenses and would like 2 of them : Well - take the 28 and 21 ! ;-) Paul
 
K

kvandrup

Hi David,

Welcome to Contax and Zeiss. You wont regret it!=20

I have a RTSII and RTSIII and for the time being 9 Zeiss lenses, all = fixed focal length and varying between 21mm and 180mm. It means a VERY = heavy bag of gear!

After some trips to Asia, primary PRChina, I have limited the amount of = lenses in the bag to only the ones I use most:

21 f/2.8, This lens is excellent, but quite wide. I tend to use this = more than my 28 f/2.8 as I like the extra "wildness" of the shorter = focal length.

35 f/1.4, as I like 35mm's better than 50's. The lens speed is still "as = good as it gets", and it is a performer of choice. And, I know I am a = freak, the mechanics is fantastic.

85 f/1.4, as it is my best lens, and probably the best lens Zeiss makes. = I take a lot of B&W people shots, and this captures the mood and the = atmosphere so nice. Contrast and Sharpness is the best I have = experienced. I understand why this is a fix most in your purchase list.

Give us some feedback on your choices and experience when you get some.=20 Good luck, Karsten =20
 
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davidfung

Thanks for the replies so far! Very helpful. I am mainly interested in shooting architecture, urban & natural landscapesand general candid photography. So I guess that is why I favour the wides. It does certainly seem that 21-28-50-85 is the way to go. But really, the lenses are so cheap compared to the Mamiya 7 stuff that I have. For the same price as the body, plue 80mm and 65mm, I can get a full outfit of 2 bodies and probably 4-5 lenses, plus flash, etc. Anyway. Thanks so far!
 

sml

Member
David,

I also got a set prime lenses,including the 21/28/45/50/85/180. When I go for photographic trips, my set up would be 21/28-85/100-300 to reduce weight and increase flexibility. So you may consider buying the zooms instead. They're really good.
 
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davidfung

Simon, I have often wondered about the 28-85 lens. From all accounts it is a great lens. It seems that the size is similar to the 21, but a bit heavier. My only concern with that lens is the distortion. In particular, I shoot a lot of architecture, and want my edges to be straight. It seems that the 28-85 shows about 3% distortion at the wide side. In your opinion, and given you have the 21 and 28, do you think that it is necessarily bad performance? It would be great to have an outline like 28, 28-85, 85/1.4. But my concern is with distortion. What can you comment about it. Thanks.
 

crocus63

Well-Known Member
I use the 28/2.8 and 85/2.8 most often and is my travel set as well. I don't usually use the 50/1.7 as much as my 28/2.8, and preferring the wider perspective I hope to get my hands on the superb 21/2.8 someday. >
 

sml

Member
David,

You're right that distortion is a problem with the 28-85 if you want to take serious architectural wide-angle shots. In that case, I would prefer the primes. Some people may prefer the use of those Biogon lenses for G series. But on the other hand, you may not get the exact framing and angle which may cause other problems. So I would go for the SLR superwide for this case. The 28mm is very good and the 21 is outstanding.
 
X

xwray

Hello List... My last eye exam confirmed that I am developing cataracts with the left eye being the worst. I can see "fine" but it is getting nearly impossible to properly focus my RX which is forcing me to make a decision. I believe that I need to get something other than an SLR to use in the future. I'd like your opinions on how much of a hit I might take if I were to sell my system and whther it would be better to auction it off on ebay or try to sell to those who love Contax.

Briefly, the system consists of the RX, 50mm 1.4 Planar, 135mm 2.8 Sonnar, and 28 - 85mm 3.3 Vario Sonnar. It also includes the TLA-360 flash w/ PS220 external battery pack and extension cord for off camera use, P8 external battery pack for the RX, several Contax brand filters including UV filters for each lens and several other bits and pieces.

All items are absolutely mint...the RX still has the plastic bottom protector affixed. I previously used a Nikormat system and bought the RX system about 4 years ago. I seldom take pictures unless I'm on vacation travelling to the various National Parks where I enjoy capturing the beauty of God's creation and as luck would have it, because of job changes, I wasn't able to take a vacation for 2 of those years so the syatem has seen very little use...I would imagine about 25 rolls of Kodachrome have been run through the camera.

If you were in the market, what would you be willing to pay for such a system...would, say, some percentage off B&H's current prices be the way to go. Would you be willing to buy the entire system...I would much prefer to to sell it all at once rather than piece it out. How would I best advertise the system...are there web sites that that you could recommend (other than ebay). If you had to sell the system, how would you procedd in order to minimize your loss...I know I'll take a hit but I don't want to get beat to death...

Thanks for any feedback you might provide.
 

olebojensen

Active Member
Hi David

My favorite set of lenses is 18/4 + 28/2.8 and 100/3.5. Very low weight and very good optical performance. I also own the 80-200 and are pleased with it but the 100 makes me work more with the subject.
I like the dramatic effect the 18 gives and I dont think the distortion is a problem. The 28 mm is good for crowds and cities and landscapes and performs wonderful.

If you are curios about the way/subjects/results you get from the lenses try these links out.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
and
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
which will show you some of my photos with the two lenses.

Regards

Ole
 

swoolf

Well-Known Member
> Hello List... My last eye exam confirmed that I am developing> cataracts with the left eye being the worst. I can see "fine" but it> is getting nearly impossible to properly focus my RX which is forcing> me to make a decision. I believe that I need to get something other > than an SLR to use in the future.

Why not just get your cataracts fixed?? Steve
 

afong

Member
The 28 2.8 is a fine lens although the G2 version seems a little better, smaller, and lighter to boot. Both are among my favorite for travel when I can't go MF.
 
O

ou1954

Posted by David Fung on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 3:46 am:

Hi all. I recently purchased into the Contax system with a RTS II and ST. I got a 50 f/1.4 with one of the cameras. I am looking to branch out. However, I wish to only have either 3 or 4 lenses in total. I know that the 85 f/1.4 is going to be one of them, the other choice is a wide angle. Given that only one or two wide angles will be purchased. What are your recommendations regarding choice. My short list is:

- 28 f/12.8 + 21 f/2.8 - 21 f/2.8 9 + 35 f/1.4 - 18 f/4 and 28 f/2.8 - 28 f/2.8 - 21 f/2.8

Interesting that the Carl Zeiss 2.8/25 T* isn't mentioned. I got one when I purchased my original RTS. It's marked "Lens made in West Germany". I have had great results with it.

My normal lens is a Carl Zeiss 1.4/50 T* purchased at the same time and it's marked "Lens made in Japan" and it gives super results.

In making those choices I decided that the 25mm Distagon was a more difficult lens to manufacturer so I picked a German made one.

Finally, for my 70-210 Zoom, I picked a Yashica DSB f1.4, again as a cost tradeoff. I have a Sigma Series 1 zoom for another camera and both are good, but I have never compared them.

For all the Y/C mount lenses I listed, I have MTF and distortion charts and again they look quite good.

The interesting thing about that 50mm normal lens is that "The dealer told me" that the optics were made in Germany but assembled in Japan. No way for me to know, either then or now.

Don Williams
 
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ou1954

> >Posted by Jim Wray on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 3:56 pm: > >Hello List... My last eye exam confirmed that I am developing >cataracts with the left eye being the worst. I can see "fine" but it >is getting nearly impossible to properly focus my RX which is forcing >me to make a decision. I believe that I need to get something other >than an SLR to use in the future. I'd like your opinions on how much >of a hit I might take if I were to sell my system and whther it would >be better to auction it off on ebay or try to sell to those who love >Contax. > >Briefly, the system consists of the RX, 50mm 1.4 Planar, 135mm 2.8 >Sonnar, and 28 - 85mm 3.3 Vario Sonnar. It also includes the TLA-360 >flash w/ PS220 external battery pack and extension cord for off camera >use, P8 external battery pack for the RX, several Contax brand filters >including UV filters for each lens and several other bits and pieces. > >All items are absolutely mint...the RX still has the plastic bottom >protector affixed. I previously used a Nikormat system and bought the >RX system about 4 years ago. I seldom take pictures unless I'm on >vacation travelling to the various National Parks where I enjoy >capturing the beauty of God's creation and as luck would have it, >because of job changes, I wasn't able to take a vacation for 2 of >those years so the syatem has seen very little use...I would imagine >about 25 rolls of Kodachrome have been run through the camera. > >If you were in the market, what would you be willing to pay for such a >system...would, say, some percentage off B&H's current prices be the >way to go. Would you be willing to buy the entire system...I would >much prefer to to sell it all at once rather than piece it out. How >would I best advertise the system...are there web sites that that you >could recommend (other than ebay). If you had to sell the system, how >would you procedd in order to minimize your loss...I know I'll take a >hit but I don't want to get beat to death... > >Thanks for any feedback you might provide.

Jim,

Please contact me off list. For some reason I didn't see your email address in the original message.

Don Williams dwilli10@san.rr.com
 
D

davidfung

Thanks again for more responses! The 25mm does seem to be an ideal focal length, being half of 50, making it a very useful perspective and coverage. However, from user reports and various published data, it seems that the 25mm is some way less optically perfect than the other wide angles. Even the 18mm f/4 seem to be on par, if not better. Perhaps those who have used the 25mm and the other wide angles (18, 21, 28) can comment on that?
 

eviloc

New Member
>Jim,

If a developing cataract is your only concern, you may find that the cataract can be replaced more quickly than you think. There is no longer a requirement for the cataract to mature before surgery and my health insurance covered the operation after it was determined that my vision at night into oncoming traffic was sufficiently poor. Cataracts develop at widely differing rates.

I remember my shock when I realized that I was no longer able to focus my Contax using my right eye. Like you, one of my eyes was better than the other, and while I had some trouble remembering to use my left eye, I was able to continue to focus using the left eye until my right eye worked again.

If you as pleased with your camera and lenses as I am, you may be sorry you sold them. The delay between pressing the shutter release and the actual shutter opening on an autofocus camera is something that I find very disconcerting.

Chuck Olive
 

swoolf

Well-Known Member
The 25mm does seem to be an ideal> focal length, being half of 50, making it a very useful perspective > and coverage. However, from user reports and various published data,> it seems that the 25mm is some way less optically perfect than the> other wide angles.

Their are supposedly aspects of the 25's performance that lag some of the other lenses - thats not to say that its not still a damn good lens! Anyone who actually has one[including me] will usually tell you that it has a certain quality about it that is hard to define - some refer to the 3D effect . At the end of the day I wouldnt part with mine because it is both excellent and a very useful focal length - I use it even more than my 21 as the wider one is sometimes just that bit too wide....... Also , the 25 is very compact and has the same size filter thread as your 50mm . Dont underestimate it........ Steve
 
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ou1954

>Posted by Dirk on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 6:36 am: > >"Any chance the moderator could stop these blank messages?" > >We banned the user and deleted the postings. Sorry, but obviously >somebody wanted to waste his with games like this
=== In looking at the pattern of blank responses it looks like every message resulted in a "blank" response.

Looks like someone has left an auto-responder on during vacation. This generally works, and most of them have the capability to only respond once to each source email address. This one apparently didn't have that capability.

Since this list uses a unique response system any response with text such as "I'll be back next week" would not be returned, just the line which is already in the response section.

Now all the bounced messages to this or any other group will end up generating yet another auto-response, until the owners mailbox is full.

Don Williams
 

admin

Well-Known Member
" ...Looks like someone has left an auto-responder on during vacation. This generally works, and most of them have the capability to only respond once to each source email address. This one apparently didn't have that capability.

Since this list uses a unique response system any response with text such as "I'll be back next week" would not be returned, just the line which is already in the response section.

Now all the bounced messages to this or any other group will end up generating yet another auto-response, until the owners mailbox is full... "


This could be a reason for it. But if he is going on vacation, I do not understand why he did not turn off all e-mail notifications from this forum in his profile with a click....
 
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