A faster Contax 50mm

It's usually not a good idea to pair two new items at the same time, but I was itching to try the 2.0 firmware on the Z7 and the Contax 50mm f/1.4 AEG that I picked up a week ago. Off to Carnaval SF to see how it all plays together.

First the firmware: I can't say that I noticed if AF was faster or more accurate, but the Eye AF feature didn't work too well for me. It's not that useful on the 24-70mm and shooting events as there are too many faces for it to lock on. I'd like it more if the AF area could be limited to a box instead of the entire frame. I'm curious to see how it performs with surfing shots, and hopefully there will be some waves next month.

Carnaval was wet at the start (first time in over 15 years of shooting at the event), but it eventually stopped raining, and the sun came out every so often. Otherwise it was pretty grey; great for portraits, not so great for making the vibrant colors of the event pop. 

The Contax 50mm f/1.4 AEG has too much veiling flare wide open. By f/2 the contrast is back to normal though, so I mostly shot at that aperture or smaller. No surprises on the IQ, it looks just like the other Contax lenses. I did notice the ninja star bokeh in some shots, but only when viewed at 100%.

Overall, it's not a bad lens, but it's not a great lens either. The quest for an f/1.4 lens continues.

And now for some sample photos.
More photos can be found here.


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