This Old Lens: Contax Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f/1.7

I love a good deal.

3 of 3 C/Y mount posts.

Recently picked up one heck of a deal in a camera. Seems appropriate to find deals when it comes to lenses for it. I typically get three primes when I purchase a film system. A normal. A portrait. A wide. This is the normal. The Contax Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f/1.7.

Why did I buy it?

  • $133… Why a bargain compared to the previous 2 lenses…
  • Three words. Carl, Zeiss, and Planar. And this lens does not disappoint.
  • That is about all I needed.
  • There are faster normal Zeiss lenses, but I am not willing to pay over twice as much for them.
  • Looked nice enough in the KEH listing.
  • …Planar.

Then I received it.

It may be that Zeiss Pixie dust clouding my vision, but this lens is amazing. The other two are far more than good, but this lens is the best. Other focal length Zeiss C/Y lenses can get quite pricey so it is nice that there is a relatively affordable variant.

There is a pattern here.

  • Sharp.
  • Great colors.
  • Pleasing out of focus bits.
  • And I need to add a fourth important bullet for this lens courtesy of that f/1.7 aperture. Great low light performance.

All like the previous two, but this one goes to 11. Thought I might want to spring for a pricer variant after I got this, but I am quite pleased.

Below are some sample shots and here is a link to an ongoing album.

Happy shooting.

-ELW