I own one for about 15 years used with an RTS II and an ARIA. It's a wonderfull portrait lens. The only comprise for the lightweight is small aperture of 3,5. But this compensated by the difference of 20 mm to a standard portrait tele about 80 mm. On the RTS II I used it as my standard lens.
It is a gorgeous lens. If you can live with the small F/3.5 aperture, it is an amazingly sharp and contrasty lens. When I need to travel light, I will prefer it to my Planar 100/2.0. In broad daylight, it always produced crisp and saturated transparencies. In lower light, it still reproduced the subtle shades that make those Zeiss lenses so remarkable.
My ideal field equipment comprises a Distagon 25/2.8, a Planar 50/1.4 and either a Sonnar 85/2.8 or 100/3.5. They all have the same filter thread and roughly the same dimension (the 100/3.5 is slightly longer, but not by much).
If you can find a used one on eBay or elsewhere, I think it is a real bargain.
I'd love to pick up one of these lenses. I just saw one (AE version), for Â£299. This seems steep to me, but then again they seem quite rare. For the same price you can find an 85/2.8MM, which have a more solid construction but are heavier. Does anyone have any idea what these lenses typically go for?
The easiest way to get some idea of what the lenses "typically" go for is to go to eBay, search by "completed items" and see what people actually paid for those lenses recently. Doing that, I found that a 100mm 3.5 was just sold for US $315 on 12/16.
Of course this may be very misleading in many ways (condition of the item, seller, bidding frenzy...), particularly if you only find one recent sale. But if you find several, you can get some idea of what people out there are willing to pay.
I remember a test, which said the 3.5/100 to be more than superb, in my interpretation that does mean "better than the 2.8/135". But I do not remember, in which magazine this test was; must have been Color Photo or FotoMagazin from Germany.
So, I would buy it instead of the 135. Could you say something about the price ?
> [I own both lenses. Although both lenses are very good performers for sharpness, I would say the 100mm has a definite edge, especially at wide open apertures and over the entire picture area. It is also considerably smaller and lighter. If I want to do some informal portraits, it is my lens of choice. It focuses down to 1 meter, compared to 1.6 on the 135mm. I have been in and out of Contax a few times and I have always sought and bought this lens, in AE and MM mounts. Note, you cannot use the 1.4 converter with the 100mm]
Both lenses are great. The 100mm you can shoot wide open at f3.5 and it's still extremely sharp. Very compact lens and one of the sharpest. That said, I love the 135mm too.. but it's much heavier and larger. Mike
Oh ya, from what I've read (I think it was from a photo mag test) the 100/3.5 is more susceptible to flare then the 135/2.8. By how much I don't know. But if it was significant I'm sure you'd see some criticism.
> I wonder if the magazine tested the lens without an appropriate lenshood. Unlike the 135, the 100 f3.5 lens does not come with an integrated hood. I have shot high-key, brightly lit portraits with this lens with stunning clarity and contrast.