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Zeiss Vario Sonnar 35-135



Has anyone first hand experience with this lens? I heard a lot of different opinions about it.
Thanks, marc.


Hello Marc, Yes I own the 35 to 135 VSCZ Zoom. I
purchased it at an incredibly low price on Ebay
over a year ago. I love this lens. It is razor sharp, fast for a zoom (3.3) and its color saturation is great. I use it on my RX. It is a very large lens and weighty (about 2lbs). Recently I purchased a contax metal lens hood for it -- this was hard to find, but I found it and paid $45.00 for it. The filters are around the same price. This lens had been priced in stores in NYC between $2,100 and $1,700, but recently I heard from a camera store dealer that the prices on most photo equipment has been falling. In the case of this zoom he said it was selling for $1,100 in some stores. This is because of a bad economy and the fact that Zeiss is focusing ( no pun intended) upon the N series of lenses. If you don't mind the weight, and can afford the price, well then this may be the lens for you. I, as I said, LOVE it. The range of 35-135 is really all I need for street photography. As long as I am physically able to do so I will use this lens. By the way dispite its heft, it is so well balanced I don't notice the weight. I hope this helps you a little.


I agree with Vincent.
The 35-135 is really a great lens. If you don´t need the wideangle range below 35mm but need some more "tele", then the 35-135 is better than 28-85 (it´s astonishing how often you can use the 80-135mm range in landscape photography).
Compared to VS 28-85 the VS 35-135 pleases me more, because contrast of VS 28-85 is a little bit to hard in my opinion. Colours are outstanding, sharpness is like fixed focal lenses. The macro setting is strange because it´s at 35mm focal and you get a redicoulus small distance between front lens and object because the lens is so big ! But even at the macro position results are excellent.
Keep in mind the weight (approx. 900 grams) and size of the lens which can be handled reasonable only with bigger Contax bodies like ST, RX, RTS III or AX. I use it with RX and it´s nearly perfect in handling.
The big 82mm Filters are expensive, using many filters may be an aspect against VS 35-135.
Now I´m looking for Distagon 2.8/21 which will give an excellent partner at the super-wide end for the zoom (and uses also 82mm filters).



I used all the 35-70,28-85, 35-135 lenses. The 35-70 is great but it has a short range (I can take the 50mm f1.4 for this range). The 28-85 is great too. I have found out that the 35-135mm is not as sharp as the other 2 above. I have heard many people rave about the 35-135 but I have tried 2 s&les of them and they are not that sharp. I sold the 35-70,35-135 and keep the 28-85. The 28-85 has great range and great optical.