I owned the 28-85 for a few years and loved it, but eventually traded it in because I found it to be too big and heavy to allow always having the camera with me. I then used the tiny 45/2.8 for the next two years, until a few months ago when I bought the 35-70/3.4 zoom.
I find the 35-70 is a good compromise. It is small and light enough to allow me to always have the camera with me in a small camera bag. Also, it has a very nice macro mode, which is not available in the 28-85.
Although the 28-85 has outstanding image quality, I found it often quite hard to focus at the 28mm end in low light. I would crank the barrel back and forth, never quite sure if I had it in good focus or not. That annoyed me. I sometimes had to resort to scale focussing in those situations.
The 35-70 is easy to focus, and has slightly better image quality than the 28-85. I have a 28/2.8 to cover the situations where I need the wider angle of view.
If size and weight don't matter to you, go for the 28-85. If the size and weight is a problem, go for the 35-70. If you want to use a good macro mode, go for the 35-70.
I never used the 28-70, so I can't offer any comment on that. The main reason I didn't get interested in the 28-70 is because I prefer the one touch zoom. I don't like using a separate zoom ring and focussing ring. It isn't efficient. That's just my preference. Some people prefer the two touch zoom and focus.
Thank you ! I had the chance to have a look at the 35/70 and the 28/85 at my lokal Contax dealer.
The 28/85 makes it not easy to focus at 28 mm. In the sales room i had to put the lens to 85 mm to focus correctly before changing to 28 mm.
The 35/70 was much easier to use
Hmmm... I don't know, so far B&H, Adorama, and Cameraworld here in the US do not make any mention of 35-70...
Was it in similar price range of the 28-70 or more money?
Does anyone have opinions of the 28-70 please? It is at a very good price if bought in a kit with the Aria or RX.
But I assume that on these cameras aperture is set from the aperture ring on the lens, so would it be inconvenient on a lens with variable maximum aperture? Or does one just ignore the lowest aperture selection when you at tele?
Also at what focal legnths does the maximum aperture change?
As long as you're using your cameras inbuilt exposure meter[TTL] then the variable max. aperture will be taken care of . If you're using a handheld meter or something you need to be a little more careful .....
I love my 28-85 for landscape and architecture. I would stay away from the 28-70. I think it is a cheaper version and not worth the Contax name. I had it and got rid of it fairly quickly. It just didn't seem sharp or vivid.
Any reports on the 35-70 for the G2. I have used mine a little and like it a lot. I tend to shoot at the higher aperture numbers for greater depth of field.
For what it is worth, Tamarkin lists the 35-70, but it was like finding a needle in a haystack. I would suppose that if you really want to order it, you could contact Tamarkin to see if it is really in stock.
Disregard the above post about the 35-70. As soon as I posted and went back to Tamarkin site, I realized it was about the Lecia R 35-70, not the Contax Zeiss 35-70. I really did do my search looking for Contax / Zeiss.
The 35-70 is available at smilephotovideo.com, both USA and "Import" (grey). Price is $860 and $600, respectively. I contacted them earlier this week by email and it is available.
I decided to save money and get the 28-70 (they have it for $419). I really use 28 more than 35. I am sorry to hear the 35-70 is better; judging by the MTF curves I would have said they were quite similar (if anything, the 28-70 had the edge).
Sorry if any rule was broken, but my intent was not to endorse one dealer or another, but only to add to the discussion that it does not appear that the 35-70 lens is available, at least with what we know to be a reputable dealer. It would seem that the others may have been attempting to do the same, but by necessity, mentioned a specific dealer, and thereby, inadvertently advertised.
I trust that in your research you will find that this lens has not been discontinued and those who want it will be able to obtain it and enjoy it!
Your work is very much appreciated. Continue to do good and even greater things with this site!
I tried the 40-80 in a shop. I didn't buy it because of it's poor minumum focusing distance of 1.2 metres. I needed something that can focus down to 60 cm or better. That's why I finally bought the 35-70. It has good close focus ability as well as a macro mode at the 35 mm end of the zoom.
I tried one in a second-hand shop. The 40-80 is very "mass". The feeling is very Contax. I also tried a 35-70, it is very light.
I still hesitate to decide to buy which one. I am a quite conservative guy and believed German made is better. Anyway, I will make decision sooner. Once I have whichever. I will tell the group the result.