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Needing suggestions about lenses

Hi all,
i´m trying to decide if a will upgrade or charge to the N system from the C/Y i have, but obviously, i have some questions that i couldn´t answer searching in the archives and i hope any of you could help me.
so, here i go:
1- i have the VS 100-300mm, which i love for its performance, and if i upgrade i will buy the 70-200mm N, which i have heard/read very good comments. How do you compare these 2 lenses in terms of performance?
What will i miss or upgrade if i change between these zooms?

2- That bad is the VS17-35 f2,8?? i´m really surprised about the comments i read in this forum about it. This lens is my main reason to make the switch/upgrade! perhaps i will have to see more carefully the 17-40mm f4 from Canon and make a switch of brands?

I hope any of you could help me.


Active Member
Alejandro, the 70-200 is a nice compact lens with sharpness & color you'd expect =20=

from Contax. The 17-35 2.8 is a sharp, distortion free, beautiful lens =20=

(my favorite). Wherever you heard those negative stories.... =20 ignore!!!!! Bert


Well-Known Member
Hi Alejandro,

Looking back to the 17-35mm forum, except for a couple of postings, most "active" members that owned this lens seem to love it. Any forums that you read, including Leica, Hasselblad, you will find positive and negative feed back.

I have recently got the 17-35mm. It is a good as any Ultra wide zoom it can get IMO. In fact, it is one of the reason I stay in the N system. At one point I wanted to switch to the Canon 10D with the 16-35mm L zoom. I played with that combo for a while and felt that the quality on the Contax zoom is so much better, with the exception of the AF speed. Of course, I have not done a reasonable comparison test. To me, it is waste of time. I just use whatever I feel the quality and has the features that I am looking for, and work with any limitation, as all gear has its limiation.

I also have the N24-85 and N70-300 zooms. They deliver what Carl Zeiss promised. I cannot give you a comparion on the c/y lenses since I don't used them long enough to do so.

I guess to be sure, if possible, try it out at your local dealer.
Hi Bert and Albert,
thanks for encouraging suggestions! ;o)
I´m planning to make the upgrade in a month or less so i have some time to continue my reserch and decide what will i buy.
I wish to buy a N1 + 17-35 + 50mm + 70-200mm, -but all the negs about the 17-35 and all the ravings about de 24-85mm turned me undecided about which zoom to buy.
best regards,


Well-Known Member
Hi Alejandro,

IMO,if you buy one lens, I think the N24-85mm is the best choice. It has a nice range for most occasion.Very fast USM, crisp image you can see right away from the viewfinder, and well balance with the N1.

Ultra wide is harder to use unless there is interesting enough fore ground, or if you like the extreme perspective it gives.Keep in mind that the 95mm Pol filter will cost you arround $350.

You wish list has a nice range. But I would suggest to start with the N24-85. I bet you will use this lens 90% of time.

I also find that the 28-80 or 70-200mm are lesser lenses than the 24-85 and 70-300mm. I know some users may not agree with me. But there is a reason why they weight and cost so much more. You may as well bite the bullet get the heavier 70-300mm. There are some good deals in eBay now.

You know what is best for your needs, I just give you my 2 cents after I have used the N system for 2 some yrs.

Good luck,


I'm a happy 28-80 user, but I also agree with Albert that, if you are going to buy one lens, 24-85 is probably the best choice. For me, I bought 100mm Makro with the money saved by going 28-80. And for the wide-angle shots, I use G 21mm Biogon.


Hi Ale ! I agree 100% that the 24-85 is the best choice, unless you want extreme wide all the time. I have a lot of Nikon lenses but I´m using a sigma 28-70 f 2.8 most of the time. On contax line I own the 16mm 2.8 distagon, is a nice look but not so usable. About the 17-35 or 70-200 quality opinions my personal one is that any discussion about Carl Zeiss lens and optics is a lost time. I had Canon, Olympus and Nikon gear all are excellent but..... May be the autofocus of these brands is faster but you must think about the work you do and ask yourself if is it nessary. OLD MASTERS had not auto-anything and his photos are models for us. Think about !
All best !



The N1 + 24-85 is an excellent combo, probably unrivaled in SLR land - the Canon 24-70 is also very attractive and is also faster, but is just too damn heavy to hang around your neck (well, mine at least) and also very expensive. This is an important issue if you plan to travel a lot. For the same reason, the 70-200 is a wonderful lens: quite lightweight, and I believe in terms of MTF actually superior than the much heavier 70-300 (Color Photo, I think). People sometimes say that that is not possible because because the latter is more expensive - well, they had to engeneer that lens to extend to 300, it has manual focus override and a more sturdy and heavy build. This does not mean it is better optically, which it is not; it is easier to design a 3x than a 4x zoom because you will have to compromise optically in case of the latter. Thus, if the bulk of your pics does not extend beyond 200 (still doable with 100 speed film without tripod)take the 70-200. If you are planning on doing long tele work, you'd be better of with Canon or Nikon, in my opinion. There are some reviews on epinions and photographyreview.


HI Contaxians ! Excuseme but I want to be a little clear : I think ( like you all, I supose) that Carl Zeiss optics we use are the best instumens we got. When I said time lost I was talking about QUALITY LEVEL and when some of us have any opinion about sharpnes, contrast an so we must think on the conditions our were taken ! Usually the fault is not the lens quality but a photographer mistake . I expect not to ofend anybody with this comment !!
thanks !


Very true Eduardo. I was looking through Ansel Adams book "The Camera" before bed the other night. I was marvelling not only at the images he took with his famous large format favorites, but also at the images he made with simple old 35mm Contax II (rangefinder) and Contax (named simply Contax was the first 35mm SLR I believe in the line?). If you have the book, see his image on page 14 of Stieglitz. Handheld Contax II 1/10 second available light. Lovely lovely lovely! See also page 9 handheld somewhat precariously he stole a moment of conversation between O'Keeffe and Orville Cox ... incredibly charming. Superb depth in the blacks but beautifully delicate in the skin tones. I look at these and think: someday I'd like to be 1/10 of what he was! And as you say, it was done with very old (but quite excellent) gear. -Lynn

> Posted by Eduardo Sobol on Saturday, July 26, 2003 - 5:51 pm: OLD MASTERS had not auto-anything and > his photos are models for us. Think about !
Hi all out there!
i really, really appreciate all your comments and suggestions. They are very helpful for me.
But first i want to clarify why i want to make an upgrade.
1-The AF is not required in my pics 90% of the time but i would love to have it for the other 10%.
2- Most important thing for my upgrade is the 17-35mm zoom. I´m a flyfishing lover. I entry seriously in photography mostly for capture the stunning landscapes i visit when i go out fishing and here in Patagonia, there are a lot of nice places to mix the flyfishing and photography (mmmm,lovely blend!!). i think Eduardo understands me as he lives 10 miles away from me.
Too many times the 28mm i have is not wide enough to capture what my eyes are watching and that really drives me crazy! I know i have lot of wide angle primes to choose from in the C/Y mount, but imagine the size and weight of the photo bag + the fishing tackle!!! With that zoom all my problem will be solved as i will use it as the default (and only) lens when i decide to go out fishing. Surely the 24-85 is a top lens, but i feel it is not wide enough for many things i plan to do.
4- about the tele zooms, i already have the VS100-300 as i said in my first post but i rarely use it in 300mm, sometimes for its slow speed (i use almost all the time ISO 100 slide) and sometimes because i don´t do a lot of long tele photography, so i guess the 70-200 will do all the job i need.
best regards,


Active Member
> [Although I love my N1 and nothing else comes close for my needs I'm afraid an N1 might not meet yours. If you taking pictures of flailing fish I fear the auto focus will be willfully lagging forcing your to miss your shot. You should demo one first before buying it. In addition the N1 is not sealed to the elements. Lets face it, when you in an unstable boat things happen, water gets in the boat. Honestly you may be better off with the EOS-1V or F5.

Good Luck!

Gavin ]


1) When the day comes for you to really require AF 90% of the time, the N1/ND/Nx will disappoint you (compared to other brands)

2) How about a panoramic camera. You use the word landscape! It's cheaper/lighter than a N1+17-35. At 17mm, will your subject become too small unless you get close? If 28mm isn't good, then 24mm most probably won't help either. Think 18mm/4.

4) You hardly use 300mm, so, don't zoom to 300!. Your rock solid 100-300 is a superb lens. Stay happy with it. Don't trade for a flimsier 70-200.

Stay with C/Y mount unless you are a newcomer to Contax or want digital. Honestly you don't need N mount. I suggest panoramic. New format, different perceptions, new toy!


New Member
You don't need to switch to an N1 with 17-35mm lens if a wide angle is what you want. What about the 21mm in C/Y mount? It will give you 92 degrees of coverage vs. the 63 degrees you get with a 35mm lens.


Well-Known Member

I like the C/Y D21 for the urban canyons of Chicago, but would never use a rectilinear ultra-wide for organic settings. For Patagonia, lens of choice is the fisheye (I have a couple), and camera of choice is the swing-lens panoramic like the classic Veriwide. The Veriwide and current-production Noblex offer a cylindrical projection:

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Note the s&le images: straight vertical lines remain straight, but horizontal straight lines are curved. This minimizes angular distortion. Note the Hassy XPan is an ordinary rectilinear design.

Of course, your AF needs and weight considerations remain - perhaps the Nikon F5 and a llama!


Well-Known Member
I forgot mention the other route to the panoramic world, namely digicam plus stitching. You need computer, software, and time to learn the ropes. The potential reward is field-camera resolution without the weight. With a digital workflow, you can use a cheapo lens, fix optical faults and choose any projection you want. A shirt-pocket digital P&S is enough, with optional tripod.

Link to Panorama Tools (free software):

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And in particular:

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>=20 >=20 >=20 > [The EF 24-70/2.8L is a great lens and sharpness is as good as the 24-85 = N but > the disappointing area is the very visible distortion, even at 70mm, you = still > need to be careful not to place a model face closer to the corner of the > frame. N lens is better in this regard although I do hope one day soon t= he N > can autofocus as swift as Canon or Nikon, it may not be necessary to many= user > but it will be a very nice option if needed. Regards, Kaisern] >=20 >=20 >=20