The unsung Zeiss G 35/2.0

jtcedinburgh

New Member
Hi everyone.

Having now had the 35/2 for a couple of months and used it exclusively to shoot the candids for some friends' wedding, I thought I'd report back.

In brief: this lens has suffered a number of criticisms which my findings disagree with.

I've now put a few films through the camera with this lens, and I'd say that qualitatively it is a very fine photographic lens - easily among the best lenses I've used. The extra speed over my 28/2.8 is useful, and despite a few people stating otherwise, I have not found the bokeh (out of focus rendition) to be anything less than pleasant.

One of the nice things about this lens is its size - being a small lens, it makes the G2 much more suitable to carry about with me when photography isn't my primary objective. In this respect it's like a big compact, and even with a B&W SMC filter on the front it is still pretty compact, certainly more so than the 45/2.

One limitation is its minimum aperture - I wish it stopped down a little more - f16 is not enough in my opinion. This is a flaw that is also shared with the lenses in my 'other' system - the Mamiya 7 - although in that system it's more of an issue due to increased focal lengths.

One of the beauties of using the Contax G2 is the way it marries inherent balance with a low vibration shutter. This means that invariably I get more 'sharp' shots when handholding over an SLR. The 35/2 doesn't dissapoint - though its the smallest of the G2 lenses that I own (28/35/45/90) I don't find that it affects the balance, and the extra stop can make all the difference.

I've not done any conclusive testing - I generally don't - if it looks good it is good in my book - but I'd guess that for all reasonable purposes the 35/2 is as good as any camera lens when handheld; mount it on a tripod with an RRS plate and a good ballhead and you might notice a difference between it and the 45/2, I don't know - I think we'd be talking gilded lillies ;)

Verdict: well worth the money. My lens was s/h but mint, and though I had the 28/2.8, I wanted a faster wide-angle for those occasions when only one lens would be used - e.g. the friends' wedding.

John
 

jhslater

Member
John -

Thank you for your opinions. I is super to see that all users are not having problems with the equipment.

My G2 and lenses function properly. If people would only realize that nothing is perfect, maybe we would not see posts outlining a lot of problems. I have not had any of the problems a lot of users have had.

Out of all the cameras I have owned, the G2 is definately the best.

Jim
 

jtcedinburgh

New Member
Hi Jim,

Yeah, I have a soft spot for the G2. I can't see me changing it - though the allure of digital may prompt me at some stage to buy a digital EOS (I recently sold my EOS bodies but kept my two favourite lenses for this reason) I would prefer to buy a Digital G should one be launched as the biggest benefit of the G to me is that it is compact yet delivers outstanding image quality.

I'm not suggesting that life is always a bowl of cherries with the G2 - far from it - but invariably when the shots are substandard the problem is one of user error (i.e. me!) rather than one of any problem with the camera. What's great about the G2 is that the interface works, the AF works (once you've taken the time to get to know it) and the metering works. Coupled with top-notch optics and construction, what more could I ask for?

Regards,

John
 
W

writing4me

[QUOTING John's message] > Posted by John Clark on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 8:43 am: > > Hi Jim, > > Yeah, I have a soft spot for the G2. I can't see me changing it - > though the allure of digital may prompt me at some stage to buy a > digital EOS (I recently sold my EOS bodies but kept my two favourite > lenses for this reason) I would prefer to buy a Digital G should one > be launched as the biggest benefit of the G to me is that it is > compact yet delivers outstanding image quality. [ END of QUOTE]

I've been wondering if there might be a digital G2, G3? Is this possible for the rangefinder system? It sure would be cool to say the least. What is the opinion of those of you who understand the technical side of this? Could existing G series lenses function for it? And of course, if you've heard any rumours that such a beast is being built, please tell us
Thanks -Lynn L.
 

dagata

New Member
Hi Lynn. I balked at getting the 35, even though it's my favorite focal length, because of the bad things I'd heard, but I gave in and got it, and I don't regret it. I don't think I have the expertise you have with regards to how to judge its qualities, but I know that, I'm selling the 45/2 Planar because the focal length just doesn't work for me--and I've resisted that for a long time because the lens gets such raves. Sam Abell of National Geographic said the same thing in an interview I read: that a 50mm lens is either too short or too long. The 35 is on my G1 all the time and it's perfect. Although I love the 28 Biogon too, I've been in too many situations with it in which I've wanted to isolate something and just couldn't because it's too wide--even if I got really close. Moral: choose lenses you will use to take the pictures you want; don't choose lenses just based on high MTF ratings. I love the bokeh etc. of the 45, but in four years I have maybe one memorable shot from it. It's just too much of a "square" look, if you know what I mean. It's fine for a head shot but not for groups or more relaxed street shooting. This of course is my opinion...
 
C

Chops

I agree 100% with John's assesment of 35mm lens. I am extremely happy with the lens sharpness and contrast I get. The 35mm focal length with my G1 is small enough and conspicous enough to carry with me to do 'tourist' type photography. I find myself using this lens 80% of time over 28mm and 90mm lenses (which are also great lenses).
 

tomasjpn

Well-Known Member
I concur! I love the 35. I mentioned in a post some time ago that my 28 and 90 spend most of the time in my camera bag. I tried the 45 and ended up selling it. I don't know how to describe it, but it lacks something that I love about the 35....hmm. I wouldn't go so far as to say that the 45 is a 'boring' lens, but.......

Mark
 

robgo2

Active Member
I have both the 35 and 45mm lenses and use both of them extensively. In particular, I often find the 45mm focal length preferable for landscapes where I want a bit more attention given to distant objects. The 35mm is usually my choice for general travel and street shooting.
 
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