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Rollei vs Contax Zeiss any difference


I'm talking about German lenses, although Singapore and Japan can certainly join in too!
Any experiences? Or, better yet, has anybody shot any difinitive comparison tests between the Zeiss for Rollei SL35 and the Zeiss for C/Y mount lenses?


Well-Known Member
Posted by Chris Leong (Emotepix) on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 10:29 pm: > > I'm talking about German lenses, although Singapore and Japan can > certainly join in too! > Any experiences?

Hi Chris,

I do own Rollei 35 as well as Contax with CZ lenses.

I don't see any noticeable difference although I didn't make anything that could be counted as a lens comparison test.

I own 2.8/28, 2.8/35, 1.4/50 and 2.8/135 in YC and 1.4/35, 1.8/50, 1.4/85 and Rolleinar 2.8/135 and 3.5/200 along with 2x converter for each lens mount. I did own some other Rolleinar lenses (2.8/28, 2.8/35, 1.4/55) and 2.8/85 which I sold because they were obviously inferior to the other lenses I mentioned. Of course I have some 3rd party lenses for those slr too (esp. Tamron lenses !).

If interested in my experiences with 3rd party lenses (even compared to CZ lenses you're invited to ask.

Kind regards



Hi Chris,

I think it is very difficult to answer this question in general.

First off all a lens design must not be the same, just because both lenses have the same focal lenght. So it could be (I just do not know), that both lenses (the Rollei one and the Contax one) are totally different.

Secondly there are over the time improvements in lens design/ coatings and production enhancements, which can affect image quality.

Third, there is a difference between a lens with Zeiss design and the name Rollei on it and the same Zeiss design with the name Carl Zeiss on it. The different name on it tells you, that the lens was manufactured/ controlled by Carl Zeiss (with the Zeiss name on it) and by Rollei (with the Rollei name on it). The lens design might be in both cases from Zeiss, but it is coming from a different factory.

But this does not mean, that the Rolei one is worse. It is just a clear differentiation where is what coming from in terms of design, production and quality control.

The best ex&le is the Planar 80/2.8 PQS for the Rollei Medium Format. This is NOT a Zeiss production, although a Zeiss design. It is a Rollei production and under Rollei quality control. That is , why it is named "Rollei Planar" and not "Carl Zeiss Planar".

Do not mix this with HFT vs. T* coating. Both are almost the same - at least no difference that you can see in your final prints - according to the homepage of Carl Zeiss.


rollie and zeiss is a family now.But Rollie and Zeiss is a pecfact march.


I have found the CONTAX Carl Zeiss lenses on the G2 less warm in color than the Rollei Carl Zeiss 35mm SLR lenses. The CONTAX CZ lenses are tack sharp but when shooting color I just prefer the German products compared to the Kyocera ones. I also recently tried the much touted Carl Zeiss 24-85mm AF N-mount zoom lens which seems to have quality inspection paperwork originating from Germany. My guess is this actually pertains to the glass which is made in Germany, but the lens is assembled by Kyocera, Japan. IMHO, I'm sticking with the Rollei manual focus SLR lenses. Some of my best shots are derived from the Rolleiflex 3003 with a 25mm Distagon non-HFT 1-pin lens going back to 1973, and more recently (past 12 years?!) with an 85mm 1.4 HFT Planar. For grins, see some of my ex&les here:
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Some lovely shots. I have Rollei QZ 35mm camera.
the lens made by Rollei is superb, perhaps the best among my other 35 mm slr cameras lenses.