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Worst and Best Lens



Just going through the many threads in this forum and others, I have noticed that there are many varied opinions about the best lenses. I wish to conduct a survery with this thread. The idea of this, is to nominate the best and worse Contax Zeiss lens that you HAVE USED. Would like to keep it focused on that. Hopefully, this would provide users with more information regarding people's experiences. Please don't put down your views or opinions, just the best and worst.


Active Member
What do you mean by "Best" and "Worst" ? Optical quality ? Usability ? Something else ? How shall I measure e.g. the optical quality ? There is a lot of the photographer's personality in such a Voting. So what do expect me to answer ?

To your Info: I use or used the following CZ-Lenses: 2.8/25, 2.8/35, 1.4/35, 2.8/85, 1.4/85, 3.5/200. They are such different !



Well-Known Member
YES there are problems but everyone can measure him/herself ...

For me I only have to call the 2.8/28 the Best Zeiss lens. I have the 2.8/35 new and have the 1.4/50 and 2.8/135 (both good) none of them to call bad. I have tried some Zeiss lenses for Rolleiflex : The Planar 1.8/50 is VERY GOOD (perhaps just my copy) the 1.4/85 and the 1.4/35 can't be compared with "normal" lenses but they are very good too.

After all : The 2.8/28 is the best (my opinion) - and that what I have read from many other : Pictures are just blowing you away !

;-) Paul


My vote for the best lens is the 85mm f 1,4 (German made).

I cannot nominate a bad Zeiss lens as my experiences with them have all been positive.



Well-Known Member
The 85mm1/4 is, by far, my favorite or "pet" lens ... not the the best lens optically ... but certainly one of the most gorgeous and sexy-looking lenses I have ever seen. I think the 85mm/1.2 may be even better ... but how many of us even get a chance to look at one!

The best lens that I have, optically, is probably the 28mm/2.0.

I've heard that the 25mm/2.8 is not quite as good a lens optically, compared to all the Zeiss lenses, and it's not even a true 25mm - it's closer to 26mm - and therefore really cannot justify the higher price. I can vouch for the 28mm/2.8 ... a really superb lens ... and I have a 30 x 40" print to prove it!


Well-Known Member
To all the people who own the 85mm/1.2 ..... I HATE YOU!


Just as an opinion, not to start a war::::

The worst lens I have is the 28 2.0.
I wouldn't trade it and use it rather regularly. It's the only tool for the job. Soft at 2.0, gotta be careful of flair, (time for a lens hood) but lets me shoot faster.

The best lens I use is the 85 1.4. Best thing going for portraits, low light, far from sharp, open, but produced the finest shots I've printed.
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Joe W


Sorry, to clarify, I was referring to personal choices as to the best and worst lens. There are heaps of discussions on technical quality and the alikes, but what I want to know is what are the 'people's choice' when it comes to best and worst. In that regard, worst does not mean optically bad, but just a lens that you consider to be not as good as the otheres. If that makes sense...
Best: 85mm 1.2

Worst: 28mm 2.0 -- not a bad lens, really pretty good, but flares quite nastily.

I assume we're confining the discussion to manual focus C/Y mount glass. For overall Zeiss lenses, the 45mm f2 for the G series and the 120mm f4 for the 645 merit equal consideration (in my personal experience) as the "best" Zeiss lenses for Contax cameras.


20 years plus using the 85 f1.4, since I shoot mainly portraits, its the one I use most. I will always love the 35 f1.4 as it really is class in glass. You should always use lens hoods, and when you stick the Contax metal hoods on both of the above lenses they LOOK so good....BTW the 140mm f2.8 for 645 is also superb.


I'm not here to give my vote to the best and worst zeiss lenses despite I've 17 of them. I would consider every zeiss lenses would be of very high optical quality. In fact the beauty of zeiss lenses are their very consistent performance in terms of colour tone and contrast. This is very important when preparing a porfolio for presentation. For me, my choice of best lense always depends on situation. There is no absolute winner from a practical point of view.


Active Member
For me the best lens is the discontinued 28/ 2.0, one of the fastest wide angle lens, really aspherical and with a superb color saturation.
It was my fist CZ lens, and the "gilty" of my Zeiss addiction.


Active Member
For me the best lens is the discontinued 28/ 2.0, one of the fastest wide angle lens, really aspherical and with a superb color saturation.
It was my fist CZ lens, and the "gilty" of my Zeiss addiction. I've buyed it many years ago because needed a better wide angle lens than I had (a Yashica 28/2.8 ml., lots of barrel distorsion!) and was impressed with the CZ quality. Afterwards, I've always buyed CZ lenses.

The worst, optically the 28-70 Vario sonnar. Is only 3 times better than the best Canon lens, but I use it when I travel, because is a light zoom and very useful to have in separate rings the focusing and the focal lenght .