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Yashica 50/2 instead of Zeiss Tessar 45/2.8


Well-Known Member
After picking up a little 139Q I was thinking of getting the 45/2.8 Tessar, but even used they are going for $120 to $180 USD used. That seems a little too much to me. Instead I was thinking that a Yashica 50/2 or 50/1.9 might be a great compromise. They are dirt cheap and a stop faster which will make for a brighter focusing screen. I have a CZ 50/1.4 but at times it's more lens in terms of weight and length than I want to carry. Anyone care to share their thoughts on the Yashica ML 50's?


The 1.7 and 1.9s are great lenses. Very well built and capable of generating a good conrasty image.

Try to avoid one of the more plastic ones they offered with the later FX-3 S-2000s.

If you're in the UK, you can borrow my 1.9 if you pay the postage (about 5 pounds).



It think that a much better choice would be the Zeiss Planar 50/1.7 as it is relatively cheap and has one of Photodo's highest ratings.


Well-Known Member

The 50/2 ML is going for less than a ham sandwich, so buy one and take it for a spin; mine cost $15 like-new from KEH. The aperture ring is plastic and markings are printed, but the barrel is metal with excellent build quality. If the images produced don't please, use it as a loupe or stylish paperweight!


Well-Known Member
Jim, I have a CZ 50 1.7 Planar AE. I also ended up with a 50 1.9 Yashica DSB, and the later 50 2 Yashica ML (multi-layer coating). I bought the DSB to use as a loupe (works great), and found the other ML in a shop very reasonable. Out of curiousity, I tested all 3 under the same conditions, outside sunny and outside cloudy, as well as some indoor shots. The Planar gave excellent results except it was a little softer at 1.7. The surprise to me was the 1.9 DSB seemed better wide open than the Planar. It seemed to compare very well with the Planar. My s&le of the 50 2 ML gave results very close to the other 2, but it seemed the Planar and the DSB had slightly better color. I might sell the 50 1.9 DSB, if you're interested in more information, e-mail me off this forum at Tom.


Jim, I own the Yashica ML 50 1.9 as well as the CZ 50 1.4 AE and CZ 50 1.7 MM. I find the ML 50 1.9 to be a very sharp, compact lens. Mine is one of the later plastic ones but that only makes it more light weight. So far the big difference that I see between these lenses is that The CZ lenses are much warmer in tone. I guess it all depends on what effect you are looking for.


Jim, I own the tessar 45 / 2.8. I think it is an excellent lens. Very sharp and brilliant. There was a test about a year (or two?)ago in Colorfoto. The zeiss 45/ 2.8 was a clear winner and it was the cheapest lens compared to the competition (Nikon 45 mm)
At 90 grams this is the perfect lightweight lens for travel and street photography.
See my website
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I made lot's of photographs with the tessar 45/2.8


Well-Known Member
Super photos. Thanks for sharing them. Do you use a tripod? I cannot imagine that you do in some of that terrain but the pictures are very sharp: great.