80-200 Contax vs. Canon

If you ask about good 80-200's these two will frequently receive honorable mention. I'm told the Leica is even better, but I'm not ready to get into Leica territory. The Nikon f/4.5 square back is also a good lens I shot years ago, but decided against tracking a copy down to include as I've largely moved away from Nikon.

So let's get right too it!

Wait, first a note... When testing I usually put the camera on a tripod, as I've done here (if note I'll mention it). I then manually focus using 11x magnification or whatever it is on camera. I'll focus wide open then stop down without refocusing while I shoot. If a lens exhibits focus shift it'll be penalized accordingly. Sadly I'm not perfect. As the 135mm test below shows, it appears that the Contax is back focused and the Canon is correct or slightly front focused. No, I'm not re-doing it. I have a full time job, shoot part time for hire and have a family. I'm not sure how I even manage to get this done once... But I'm honest so I'll call it like I see it. Okay, that's out of the way, now let's get right too it!

First, a couple across the board observations... The Canon is a thicker lens, the Contax is a longer lens. The differences aren't huge but they're there. Weight between the two is fairly similar and handling of both is good. I didn't bother to take shots of the lenses, like most old tele-zooms they're long and thin. Two other important distinctions I noticed while shooting these lenses, one negative for both. The Canon does not handle flare well. At All. So if you're shooting towards the sun, forget about it. The Contax seems much better, but I haven't stress tested it the way I did (incidentally) the Canon. For the Contax, as the shots below show, it generally trails the Canon in global contrast. Easily enough fixed these days, but it was pretty apparent. So onto the crops.

80mm

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In the centers I see more CA and smearing at f/4 on the Contax. Mind you, neither is bad, but the Canon is better to my eye. The story continues at all apertures. The Canon has a slight lead. I'd actually chalk this up to slightly better micro contrast of the Canon, allowing for better differentiation of the grasses and roof shingles. If they weren't side by side though, I couldn't guess which was which.

In the midframes things change and the Contax pulls ahead. I see cleaner detail at all apertures in the Contax, though I think you could also say the Canon maintains slightly better micro contrast than the Contax. 

In the corners, it looks like the Contax has a hint more vignette than the Canon but I'm picking. The sharpness situation seems to have again flipflopped, with the Contax slightly ahead, a lead it seems to maintain. Again they are very, very close. 

If you shoot 80mm a lot, pick one and be happy. I'm pretty sure that's going to be my conclusion throughout though...

135mm

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In the center the Canon is winning, handily. It has me wondering if I had a focusing error here with the Contax, but I'm not trying to take anything away from the Canon! The Canon showed cleaner detail wide open at 80mm as well, so I think it might just be a sharper f/4. Things get better at 5.6 for the Contax and it's close by f/8 but wide open is significant.

Midframes, okay I'm getting some confirmation from these shots. The Canon is more front focused, the Contax is more back focused. Look at the grasses and tree branches here and the sharpness flipflops. I think sharpness is closer than these crops indicate but I'm not redoing it, so take what you will from this...

Corners look like a push between these two at 135, but we know things are iffy here. Regardless I see better contrast again from the Canon. Neither is poor either. So let' stick with:

If you shoot 135mm, pick one and be happy.

200mm

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In the centers, the Canon is the better lens wide open. It's a good deal sharper and it carries more contrast. At f/5.6 the Contax makes strides but still doesn't catch up to the Canon. By f/8 they are pretty close. The Contax doesn't win but it's about the same.

The trend of the other focal lengths continues, the Contax has better mid frame results at all apertures. The Canon catches up at f/8 but never passes the Contax.

Likewise in the corners, the Contax doesn't look much worse than it's center, while the Canon struggles a bit wide open. I don't believe this to be a focus issue either. Both the trees behind as well as the sliver of grass in front look better in the Contax example. To me, this is the biggest performance difference of these shots. 

Conclusion

You can probably guess, just pick one and be happy! The trend is fairly consistent (if we just ignore the 135mm focal length) the Canon is sharper in the center, the Contax is sharper in the midframe and edges. The Canon carries more contrast if you're shooting SOOC JPEGs and don't want to mess with editing or changing your JPEG setting. Otherwise the contrast difference is well within editing tolerances. So it's worth considering how you'll use this lens here. If you're trying to isolate a central subject than the Canon's sharp centers may be important. I do like these lenses at 200mm and close focus, it throws the background into a nice fuzzy blur. But this is also not a lens traditionally used for portraiture etc. And so if you're using it for landscapes or similar, the across the frame performance of the Contax, particularly in the corners is likely of interest. Still, neither shows enough deficiency to say there is a clear winner. So enjoy some comparison images below, then pick one and be happy.

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35-70 Landscape Comparison

A quick backstory, I've had the C/Y 35-70 for some time now, and it is excellent. I don't use it all the time, but I always love the results when I do. I've known it had a permanent spot on my shelf, and Fred Miranda's comparison to the new Sony GM 24-70 where the legacy Contax was near as good everywhere but wide open, just reinforced that.

Marc Petzold on DPReview gets the credit for pushing the Minolta 35-70 f/3.5. Since I like knowing how lenses fair, I had to compare. I'll cut right to the chase, the Minolta is excellent, and has the nifty ability to be altered to open to f/2.8 at 35mm, though the IQ does take a hit. Let's get right to the results.

Landscapes

35mm Focal Length

35mm Focal Length

At 35mm the lenses are tough to distinguish in the center. The Contax is a hair warmer, and may carry a bit more contrast. It appears the light changed slightly between the two shots, based on the trees in the background. The Minolta may even be a hair sharper at f/11 based on the red sign on Fishy Fishy.

In the mid frame the Contax has a bit more glow wide open, but sharpens up quicker than the Minolta. At f/8-f/11 I think the Contax is better but you have to pixel peep to see any difference.

In the corners, we see similar results to the mid frame. The Contax sharpens up much quicker, at f/5.6 its plenty good. At f/8 the Minolta is acceptable though f/11 is better. It never catches the Contax but it's still a good and very useable result.

50mm Focal Length

50mm Focal Length

In the centers we have much the same results as at 35mm. The Contax is a bit warmer, maybe a bit more contrast. I think I like the Minolta a bit better wide open. By f/8 I couldn't pick which is which in a blind test.

Into the midframes, the Minolta is sharper wide open. The Contax catches up at f/5.6 and maybe just barely surpasses the Minolta. At f/8-f/11 I think I just barely prefer the Contax but they are both great and again I couldn't pick one from the other.

Yet again in the corners the Minolta has a slight advantage wide open, the Contax as some SA going on it seems. And at f/5.6 it again catches and supasses the Minolta slightly. I can the restaurant's covered porch has a corrugated roof on the Contax, not quite on the Minolta. Again at f/8 and f/11 they are very close. I think the Contax is carrying contrast better into the corner than the Minolta is, but both are quite good.

70mm

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To my eye the centers are pretty much identical, with the Minolta possibly having a slight edge wide open but even that's debatable. Both are great.

The midframes flip flop wide open, the Contax looks stronger wide open with the  Minolta not catching up until f/8 and possibly better at f/11? I'm splitting hairs again, they are very, very similar.

Neither corner is very good wide open. At f/5.6 I think the Minolta actually cleans up a bit quicker, I think the Contax still has some astigmatism at f/5.6. Both look great by f/8 but the Minolta is still a bit sharper.

35mm Focal Length

35mm Focal Length

50mm Focal Length

50mm Focal Length

I decided to lump these together rather than a write up for each focal length separately. I shot this to get a sense for mid range sharpness as well as how it handled bokeh in the mid ranges. There's really not a whole lot to highlight as far as distances go. I think the Contax is sharper earlier at 35mm and has more contrast, with the Minolta a bit better at f/11 Background is a bit smoother but Contax is a touch faster, both are pleasant.

At 50mm to my eye the Minolta is sharper and neither bokeh looks as smooth wide open with the Contax looking a touch busier. Flip a coin. At 70mm I again think the Minolta is a bit better, and both bokeh's are nervous. At f/5.6 and smaller they're hard to distinguish. Very similar performances here.

Bokeh

What test would be complete without looking at Bokeh?

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At 70mm the extra 0.1 of f stop helps and the Contax looks smoother in addition to having slightly more blur. The Minolta just looks more nervous to me. At 35mm I think they are closer with both looking sllightly nervous but not bad for a 35mm. The Minolta does have a trick up its sleeve. Removing two small tabs held in place by 4 screws, you can take out the aperture limiter that lets the lens open to f/2.8 at 35mm. As you can see though, you get a lot more vignette and the bokeh gets more nervous. If you really need 2/3 a stop it's there but to me it was a pretty large hit to IQ. SA increases and effects sharpness a good bit.

Other Thoughts

If I didn't already own a Contax I'd probably buy a Minolta and be happy, but owning the Contax it isn't going anywhere. Personally I like the one touch zooms, and found the twist zoom mechanism of the Minolta a bit awkward to use. But I know others that have said they much prefer the two touch.

One other potentially important difference, both of these lenses offer an approx. 1:2.5 macro setting. However the Contax offers this at 35mm while the Minolta offers it at 70mm. For me, I have a Tamron 90mm f/2.5 so I prefer the 35mm option if I want something wider. Others might prefer having a more traditional working distance.

Both are great lenses, and it seems the Minolta's values are creeping up. Certainly if you're looking for a 2x standard zoom either of these should keep you happy.

35's - Interesting Contender

I'm going to do a more in depth on this lens in the near future, but wanted to share an initial test. Now these weren't shot on the same day, so I'm going to have to re-do it with some comparison lenses. But any landscape shooters out there should give this lens some serious consideration. Stopped down it's pretty good, and thus far flare resistance seems quite good as well, but needs more testing.

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It's not the IQ either, which looks pretty good, but we'll have to see how contrast holds up under identical lighting. The reason I personally find it interesting is because the 35 is TINY. It's barely larger than the M42 adapter I use. Adding it to a kit, it'd be easy to forget it's even there. 

More to come!

A Small 35mm Shoot Out

An Intro

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I love trying and shooting new adapted lenses. It's always enjoyable to put a lens through it's paces and see what it's capable of. Still, for some time now I've found myself gravitating towards 35mm as my go to. 50mm is nice, but it's too tight when you're shooting a family gathering etc. indoors. I remember a great shot of my daughter dancing with her grandmother. At the time I was shooting the Nikon D300S and had the trusty 35mm f/1.8 on it. I couldn't back up any further in the small restaurant, so Nana's head ended up chopped in half. To me 35mm is the perfect balance. Not too wide, not too tight. After switching to Sony (A6000) I found the 24mm f/1.8 which was a great lens and very enjoyable to use. But when I moved up to the A7 series things got trickier. For one, the 35mm f/2.8 was never all that attractive. I know it's very close with equivalence, but I didn't go full frame to shoot a slower lens and have the same look. It also doesn't focus near as close as the 24mm f/1.8. Secondly, I started shooting a lot more legacy glass now that I could use it at its native focal length. Thus began the quest for a great 35mm.

Minolta HG 35mm f/2.8 - Actually not bad, but slow and lens/adapter combo flared a lot.

Contax Distagon 35mm f/2.8 - Good color and a bit of 3D pop, but f/2.8 and nervous bokeh.

Contax G 35mm f/2 - I ignored the reviews and gave it a try. Worst. Field. Curvature. Ever.

Minolta Rokkor-X 35mm f/1.8 - Looked so flat and dull compared to the Zeiss. Not a bad lens, but didn't excite me to use it at all.

Nikon Series E 35mm f/2.5 - In fairness I didn't expect a lot, but this was one of the worst 35's I've used.

Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f/1.4 - This was my first Voigtlander and M mount lens. Great color and 3D pop. Bad bad edges until stopped down. It was a love affair that didn't last.

Canon FD BL 35mm f/2 SSC - This lens is fairly impressive. I still have it, but it's still only f/2 and bokeh is fairly nervous.

I wrote this in December of 2015 after the failure of the Contax G:

"So, what to try next? A C/Y Distagon 35mm f/1.4 would be nice but its cost is more than I can swing now. Otherwise a few candidates I've come across and some questions:

Zeiss ZF 35mm f/2. Someone said the ZF had a great reputation... Any of the Other Zeiss 35's worth a look? ZM looks a little pricey and the 1.4's are too much.

Voigtlander 35mm f1.4 Classic: Didn't love the samples I saw of the outer areas, potentially limits framing options?

Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f/1.7: Might try this one, biggest concern was field curvature that Phillip Reeve mentioned.

Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.2: This would probably be amazing, but at that price might be best to save a little more for the Contax 35mm f/1.4. Anyone ever compare them?

Minolta 35mm f/1.8: I occasionally look at them, but much prefer the color and contrast of the Zeiss, which Voigtlander seems to compete with.

Nikon & Canon fast 35's: Same as Minolta above. They just don't hold up in color and contrast."

Fast forward about a year and I'd tried the Voigtlander 40mm and the Canon SSC. As luck would have it, a busy fall gave me the resources and four deals materialized on the remaining lenses. I'd finally get to shoot all of them, and compare side by side. Yes, there are other great 35's that maybe I'll shoot someday (RX1 Sonnar, ZM 35mm f/1.4, Sony 35mm f/1.4, etc...) but these are lenses I've been looking at for quite a while.

The Contenders

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The Contax C/Y Distagon 35mm f/1.4 MMJ Version: This has been my dream lens for a long time. A nick in the aperture ring made this significantly more affordable than normal.

The Zeiss ZF Distagon 35mm f/2: This has the reputation for some of the best 3D pop out there. It's only f/2 but maintains fairly smooth bokeh.

The Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.2 V1: If you like good, fast 35's you have to try the only f/1.2, right?

The Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f/1.7 VM Version: Glowing reviews also made this a must try. 

A note about the Zeiss ZF 35mm f/2. Why the odd photo? Well, it's already moved on. I'd originally picked ZF so I could possibly use it on a Techart Pro adapter. After handling it for a bit, I'm confident that I'd never use it that way, so I'd much prefer a ZE version. Since I personally bought all of these lenses, when I had a chance to sell the ZF I took it. Sorry if that disappoints you. Admittedly I have a touch of sellers remorse. Who knows, maybe I'll go buy it back in a week...

Results

Okay, this is what you're all here for, right? Let's go straight to the crops, but first a couple of notes. Some might take issues with some of my tests, save it. I'm going to test how I normally shoot, which is hand held most of the time but I'll use a tripod for longer exposures. For these crops to keep the same framing a tripod was used with a 2 sec release. AWB was generally used, but where the FD is included I (sometimes) adjusted it in post due to some yellowing. For the close focus bokeh test I had to hand hold the M mount lenses because it wouldn't fit on my Tripod with the TAP close focus adapter being used. Down below there are galleries of hand held shots comparing them as well. WARNING: Large Files Ahead!

Landscapes

This scene was shot focused on the red sign in the center of the center crops. It's about 950' from the camera, and the docks run nearly perfectly parallel to the sensor. All shots were focused wide open then stopped down. If a lens has focus shift it'll be penalized and I'm okay with that. It'd affect my real world shots or drive me crazy trying to nail it. I included the Contax C/Y 35-70 here as it's a great landscape lens and a good benchmark to compare against. Large files ahead - These crops are large, click on them to load the images in a new window. 

Image Centers

Image Midframes

Image Corners

Thoughts

Nokton 35mm f/1.2: Image centers are pretty useless at infinity and f/1.2 which isn't surprising. By f/2.8 it basically matches everything else. In the midframes I think it's still showing a bit of smearing at f/2.8 but it's looking better at f/4. At f/5.6 or better yet f/8 the corners would be perfectly usable (and it's good, really) but never match some of the other lenses. But you don't buy this to shoot f/8 landscapes do you?

Ultron 35mm f/1.7: Very sharp in the center from wide open. At f/2 the ZF is the only thing close and it shows more fringing. The Ultron lives up to it's sharpness reputation. The midframes hold up well even wide open. It's not perfect but it's worlds better than the Nokton 40mm f/1.4. At smaller apertures its right there with the C/Y 35-70, much better older RF wides. Corners are another story. I actually lifted the exposure on this whole set by 1 stop so you could see details (stop complaining, you'd do it anyway in a photo).  Both the Nokton and the Ultron look like it's after sunset. This vignette never goes away completely, even at smaller apertures it's the darkest. The level of detail never catches up to the DSLR lenses. Probably partly due to design and partly due to field curvature. Still, it's slightly smeared at f/5.6 but pretty decent at f/8.

Zeiss Distagon ZF 35mm f/2: I wanted to compare this side by side with the Ultron. The Ultron is sharper in the center wide open with less fringing and generally looks a little better at all apertures. Head to the midframes and the Ultron is still ahead or at least tied at all apertures until diffraction starts kicking in around f/11 or f/16. Look at the midframe fence pickets just under the red roof at f/4. At f/8 they are pretty much identical This surprised me, I didn't expect the Ultron to be competing away from center. In the corners though the RF design meets its limits. The ZF is better at all apertures and usable at f/4, where it looks better than the Ultron even at f/11.

Contax Distagon 35mm f/1.4: First off, apologies, I forgot to shoot this one at f/1.7 to compare, so we have f/1.4 floating all by itself up there. at f/1.4 it's not great but it's a lot better than the Nokton at that aperture. By f/2.8 it looks about the same as the ZF in the center. In the midframes it seems to trail the ZF by a hair and both are a bit behind the Ultron in terms of detail. In the corners it trails the ZF pretty badly until f/5.6 but even then the contrast never seems to catch up. Not shocking given what then lenses are designed to do, and I'll actually call it a good showing from the Distagon.

The C/Y 35-70 and FD are included for reference. The 35-70 needs f/5.6 for good corners, but it's reputation seems warranted as it's sharpness is right there with some primes. The FD does well for a legacy lens but it needs f/8 or f/11 to get where the Zeisses all are by f/5.6 at the latest.

Bokeh

Two different scenes from the Bokeh crops. The first is one I did with some trees in the back yard. Camera was on a tripod with 2 second release. I wasn't sure about my focus on the C/Y 35/1.4 though so I wanted to redo it regardless. Also, I only shot in whole stops, so first row is f/1.2, then f/1.4 with the Ultron at 1.7 instead, then f/2 and f/2.8. After doing this I realized I wanted to compare at f/1.7 so did the second indoor sets differently. I'll clean up and label the first set one of these days... Fortunately in between the first and the second the season of lights arrived at my house. Perfect! I included two sets of crop here. One near the minimum focus distance of the Nokton 35/1.2, and one at about 14", which is closer to the Zeiss', and near the limit of the Voigtlanders with a close focus adapter. The FD SSC 35mm f/2 is included as well for my own edification, it performs reasonably well, though outlining is present wide open. 

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Nokton 35mm f/1.2: I'm going to nickname this lens the King of Onion Ring. You can see with the trees in the background it provides a nice blur, but throw in some OOF highlights and things get rough quick. It shows a little bit of outlining but no worse than most of the others. The 10 blade aperture keeps things fairly round, interestingly, the blur disks show rough edges at all apertures, even stopped down, the result is it appears more round than the Ultron, which has more clearly defined aperture blades. 

Ultron 35mm f/1.7: It doesn't have the highest quantity, but the Ultron makes up for it in quality. No onion rings, very little outlining and 10 blades keeps it pretty round but not perfect. Outdoors I'd generally say it looks a little more nervous than the Distagon and Nokton, but for what it's worth, while actually shooting with the Ultron, I really do like it's bokeh. It has a painterly quality to it that I haven't seen very often. Also, I suspect the nice clean edges to the Bokeh are the same quality that helps modern Voigtlander lenses have a great reputation for sunstars.

Zeiss Distagon ZF 35mm f/2: The first thing that jumped out at me with the Zeiss was the LoCA. Sure it cleans up pretty well and pretty easily in most any editor, but I wasn't expecting so much of it in an optic like this. Back to the Bokeh, no onion rings, very little outlining, only slightly more than the Ultron. At f/2.8 it also holds its round shape better than the Ultron does.

Contax Distagon 35mm f/1.4: Honestly I had never bothered to check, but I hadn't realized the Contax was aspherical until shooting these tests. The onion rings surprised me, but they're a lot better than the Nokton. It has some outlining wide open but cleans up slightly better than the Nokton. The largest draw back is probably the eight straight blades that form noticeable octagons stopped down.

Other Thoughts

Handling

Nokton 35mm f/1.2: This is my favorite handling lens. It's a dense little thing, but focus ring has a good feel and it adequately wide. Aperture stops are firm clicks and it's easy to find both rings by feel. On the camera it's a compact fast package. Other than the wear to the body of my copy, it just 'fits' the A7II the best. Minimum focus distance is the biggest problem at about 3'. Use of a close focus adapter helps it compete with the SLR lenses, but adds weight and cost.

Ultron 35mm f/1.7: The Ultron is very smooth in use and makes for a nice small package. Honestly though I feel its a touch too small, and I think other reviewers have agreed. The aperture ring is about perfect, its got a softer click than the Nokton but I mean that in a good way, it's perfect. I much prefer the scalloped focus ring to the tab that I had on the Nokton 40mm f/1.4, but it needs to be about 1cm wider. It's very easy to find by feel and manipulate with one finger, but it's not overly enjoyable (but admittedly perfectly functional.) MFD is better than the Nokton but still longer than the SLR counterparts. Again, a close focus adapter evens the playing field.

Zeiss Distagon ZF 35mm f/2: I started shooting on Nikon. I used to laugh off reviewers who talked about Nikon being backwards. Having long since migrated away from Nikon, this damn thing is backwards... Now it didn't really affect usage, I shoot so many different things, I tend to be more flexible, but it's there. Still focus was smooth and aperture was nice. Despite being an f/2 I found it to feel the same as the Distagon, and have about the same dimensions, it's not a small lens. 

Contax Distagon 35mm f/1.4: A hefty lens, the Distagon is the largest of the bunch, about as long and heavy as the 35mm f/2 but wider. It looks good on the camera, but it isn't petite. I don't take long hikes etc, so this doesn't really bother me, but it's worth noting. I had trouble fitting the lens and camera in the Contender's crops. The aperture ring only has whole stops, but it's easy to park it half way. I might consider engraving half stop detents into it. Purists might not like that, but I think it'd be a nice benefit in use. Also worth noting the focus is very smooth and goes to about 12", but from about 6' to infinity is a very short focus throw. Zeiss clearly intended this lens for usage in tighter quarters. Infinity performance is fine, but you need to take care while focusing.

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Other Qualities

What about vignette, flare resistance, distortion, etc. As you can see from the landscape crops above they all vignette and the Ultron is the worst by a large margin. I didn't specifically compare, it's not a trait I worry too much about. It's easy to edit and I add it as often as I fix it in the real world. As to flare, I deleted the files somewhere along the way but these all offer good performance in this regard. I was able to elicit small colored blobs but all of them, but that was a worse case scenario. All hold their contrast well while shooting into the sun. I don't shoot architecture with these (at least not critically) so I don't worry too much about it. I think it's seemed the Distagon was probably the worst in this regard but it was simple and easily correctable. Still, I'd need to go find a brick wall to verify.

Final Thoughts

After shooting all four of these lenses (even my short time with the Zeiss ZF) I could honestly say I really, really like all of them and had difficulty settling on just one to keep. As of this writing I think I'm keeping two. I think that choice ultimately needs to come down to what you shoot the most and how you travel. 

Contax Distagon 35mm f/1.4 This lens is one of my keepers. It's been my dream lens for a long time, it would also be the hardest to replace in the future if I decided to sell. So full disclosure, things which have no bearing on its quality are influencing my decision. Even so, personally I think it's the best "people" lens of the bunch. Great color and contrast, but with a gentleness that compliments skin tones. The focus fall off just wraps around faces and looks great. You'll just have to trust me on this as I'm sure you don't want to look at a bunch of photos of me, and I don't regularly post photos of my daughter.

Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f/1.7 As of this writing this is my other keeper, though I have both the Ultron and Nokton for sale, so who knows. The lens has a sharpness and crispness to it that's just enjoyable. I need to get a close focus adapter for it though, I'd rather avoid using the Techart Pro unless I'm shooting where I really need AF. That aside it's a great lens for shooting nature and things, just be aware of the vignette at infinity. It's also the smallest and lightest of the bunch, for when that's important.

Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.2 If the Ultron were to sell first I'd have no problem keeping this as a second one either. Although it has a faster aperture I'd still prefer the Contax for shooting people. The Voigtlander lenses have more contrast to them, which looks great on things, but a bit harsh to me on people. It's easy enough to fix in post, but it's something to consider. It's also a great deal smaller than the Distagon, though it isn't a whole lot lighter in use.

Zeiss ZF 35mm f/2 Well obviously I've already sold this lens so it isn't the keeper. I may find a ZE version again in the future, but I'm probably least excited about this lens even though it fits what I shoot fairly well. It's only f/2 and though it's Bokeh is nice it doesn't have the quantity that you sometimes want. It's the best landscape lens of the bunch, but then I'm not shooting landscapes at f/2 and at f/8 the Distagon isn't far behind and the 35-70 isn't leaving my bad any time soon, so it's a bit pointless in that regard. Throw in the LoCA that would bother me to constantly clean up. It's a fine option, and anyone should be happy with it, but I think the other three lenses here bring more to the table, for me at least. 

Final Samples

Edit: I managed to find one set that had the Zeiss images intact. The FD SSC isn't included, but who cares! I'll include a few apertures since its the only one.

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I spent an afternoon shooting the same shots in a park with all four lenses plus the FD SSC. As luck would have it, I can't find the Zeiss copies... I guess it was never meant to be. I did have a chance to review them after taking them and can say it wasn't an extreme difference. It had good sharpness edge to edge, color and contrast was in line with the others.

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