Potetial Contarex buyers beware

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Ornello
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Potetial Contarex buyers beware

Postby Ornello » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:51 am



Keith Tapscott.
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Location: Plymouth, England.

Re: Potetial Contarex buyers beware

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:02 am

It's probably better to invest in buying classic Leica range-finders than Contax as the Leica's seem to be the more desirable and hold their value better.
They all have their mechanical weaknesses.

Ornello
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: Potetial Contarex buyers beware

Postby Ornello » Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:25 am

The page was about Contarex cameras, although what you say is true. I had no idea these cameras were so bad. I remember drooling over them in the late 1960s. As the author states, the only reason to own a Contarex is to use the lenses. They are superb, I understand. On the other hand, it's not hard to make a superb 135mm f/4 or 50mm f/2.8, or 21mm f/4.5 lens (for which the mirror must be locked up). In other words, the lenses were slow for the most part. Yes, they did offer 35mm f/2 and 55mm f/1.4, but those lenses were not the best ones.

http://www.photomoritz.com/contarex/crex_bodies.html

http://www.photomoritz.com/contarex/cre ... ml#tess115

Suffice it to say I'm glad I went with Leicaflex. My SL2 just last year had its shutter serviced for the first time in 35 years! The 'brake' broke, or something.

Keith Tapscott.
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Location: Plymouth, England.

Re: Potetial Contarex buyers beware

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:07 am

Ornello wrote: As the author states, the only reason to own a Contarex is to use the lenses. They are superb, I understand.



Suffice it to say I'm glad I went with Leicaflex. My SL2 just last year had its shutter serviced for the first time in 35 years! The 'brake' broke, or something.
I didn't mean to get off topic about the Contarex and I expect that the Contarex lenses were very good, but I doubt that they are as good as the current range of Zeiss lenses which are available for a range of different camera lens mounts.
Voigtlander also make a limited range of lenses and I believe that they also make (or made?) some of the Leica lenses under licence.

http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/products.asp?PT_ID=698

http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/products.asp?PT_ID=708

Zeiss and the Voigtlander SLR series of lenses can be bought from Robert White in the UK.
Now that Leica no longer manufacture SLR cameras, I don't know why that they haven't done the same by making lenses for popular camera manufacturers.

Your post has given anyone considering buying a Contarex a lot to think about.

Ornello
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: Potetial Contarex buyers beware

Postby Ornello » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:08 am

Apparently it has to do with licensing rights. For some reason, the 'Zeiss' lenses (actually made in Japan) do not violate licensing of the mounts. The 'Zeiss' lenses being made for Nikon, Canon, etc. are not the same as the Contarex designs, and, from what I hear, they are nothing special, and inferior to those Contarex designs.

Here is a typical review:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Revi ... eview.aspx

"As I mentioned in the beginning of this review, very high image quality is what Zeiss lenses are renowned for. So, I was very excited to see what this one could do. After very carefully shooting the ISO 12233 resolution chart in my studio/lab, uploading the files and opening them in DPP, I was very disappointed with my results - they were not very sharp even stopped down. My only conclusion was that I was doing something wrong. So, I carefully aligned everything and shot the test again. I used zoomed Live View, computer-attached Live view, focus bracketing ... with a large number of test samples and the results were the same. Use the ISO 12233 Crops link at the top of this page and select sample "2" to see for yourself. The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens, a much less-expensive lens, is noticeably sharper. Based on the reputation, the price and the build quality of this lens, my only conclusion is that my first lens had something wrong with it."

Another test:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/zeiss/zf50.htm

Part of that test:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/50-comparison/lca.htm

Comparing the Zeiss lens to the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 in lateral chromatic aberration, he says:

"ANALYSIS

The Zeiss is dead last. It's the worst and has obvious (at this magnification) first-order (red-blue) problems. Obviously Nikon knows something Zeiss doesn't about making it's digital cameras work well with it's own lenses, even crummy old ones.

The f/1.4 AI is the next worst, but much better than Zeiss. It also has mostly first-order effects."

Keith Tapscott.
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Re: Potetial Contarex buyers beware

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:54 am

Thanks for those links, I did not realise that the Zeiss lenses I mentioned were made under licence by Cosina.
I can only say that I was surprised and disappointed when I read the lens performance reviews for the Zeiss's.
I have learnt something new.

Ornello
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: Potetial Contarex buyers beware

Postby Ornello » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:46 am

Keith Tapscott. wrote:Thanks for those links, I did not realise that the Zeiss lenses I mentioned were made under licence by Cosina.
I can only say that I was surprised and disappointed when I read the lens performance reviews for the Zeiss's.
I have learnt something new.
Well the extreme wide-angles seem to be pretty good, but the others seem to be nothing to write home about, if not outright weak.

In any event, they are not the same designs as the Contarex lenses (for better or worse). Many of the the Contarex lenses were slow; that's why they were so good. It's not difficult to make an outstanding 135mm f/4 lens, a 21mm f/4.5 non-retrofocus lens, a 50mm f/2.8 lens, or even a 50mm f/2 lens. But fast wide-angle lenses are very difficult to design and manufacture (speaking of retro-focus designs for SLR cameras in particular).


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