Contax / Yashica Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135 mm f/2.8 T* on film and digital

Seaham docks | Stock Photo | iStock.

Contax / Yashica Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135mm f/2.8 T* and Sony NEX-5

The Contax/Yashica Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135 mm f/2.8 lens is a very good lens for taking photos. However, if you look around the web, you might think this is not true. You often find bad photos or bad “tests” for this lens. This happens mostly for two reasons:

  • testing a lens properly is difficult,
  • testing a lens on film (this lens was designed for film) is expensive – much more costly than writing a few lines on a blog, indeed.

I photographed the Seaham docks  with the Sonnar mounted on the Sony NEX-5 camera: a very poor performer! This lens, on digital, creates plenty of nasty false-coloured out-of-focus areas (I guess this is due to spherochromatism, I am not sure). This lens, on digital, is a very poor performer. I had to spend too long time to correct this image and make it good.

Contax / Yashica Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135 mm f/2.8 T*, Kodak Ektar 100, Canon EOS 1n
Contax / Yashica Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135 mm f/2.8 T*, Kodak Ektar 100, Canon EOS 1n

On the other hand, the photo of the traffic in Newcastle was taken on Ektar 100 film, and only minor correction in Photoshop was necessary. This Sonnar, on film, is a very good lens.


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One Comment

  1. roberto

    buonasera Marco
    sto cercando una alternativa al canon ef 135 f/2L su full frame eos 6d
    e pensavo anche a una ottica datata avevo puntato il sonnar ma questa tua recensione mi ha convinto a fermarmi, posseggo con orgoglio un canon 80 200 f2.8L un 50 200 f3.5-4.5 L e un canon ef 85 f1.8 e come avrai compreso adoro scattare ritratti, se hai piacere sarei lieto di avere un tuo consiglio
    grazie e auguri cari Roberto Zuena

    good evening Marco i’m looking for an alternative to the canon ef 135 mm f/2 on full frame eos 6d I thought even a dated perspective I’d bet the sonnar but this your review convinced me to stop me, I own a canon 80200 proudly f 2.8 L a f 3.5-4.5 50200 L and a canon ef 85 f 1.8 and as you understand I love taking portraitsIf you wish I would be glad to have your opinion about tanks and best wishes dear Roberto Zuena

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