Even more German

This time around it's a Contax Zeiss 50mm f/1.8, complete with T* coating. It came with a Contax 137Q body whose leatherette has seen better days.

Initial impressions weren't that good. The lens does produce sharp photos, but they're not as bitingly sharp as the Zeiss Ultron. Contrast was also lower than I would expect from a Zeiss lens. Shining an LED flashlight through the lens illuminated the culprit: haze inside the lens. I disassembled the 50mm, and discovered the fogging is between the fourth and fifth elements that are glued together (is this the "balsamic separation" that I see on some eBay listings)? Not much I can do at this point except live with it.

It's still a good lens though. OOF isn't as nervous as the Ultron. The colors have a certain richness to them that's not present with other lenses. Flare is still an issue, but not too bad. I'm sure I'd be more impressed with a clean, haze-free copy.


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