Eric L. Woods

This Old Lens: Contax G Zeiss Planar 45mm f/2

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Preface

Writing this post is a horrible idea for me. Why? I do not have this lens. Samples are from a prior Contax G bender a few years ago.

Contax G1 and G2

I bought back into the Contax G system last year and convinced myself that I would not be purchasing this lens again… We’ll see how that goes after going through these images again.

Film or digital, no matter the camera, if the lens is no good none of those other things will matter. There will be no spoilers as I will like all of these lenses. This lens is the last of the Contax G lens trio I had previously. Will nearly be a cut and paste of the G 28mm and 90mm.

Asking Price

This lens is a bit more than the 28mm and a fair bit more than the 90mm at less than $400 for the Titanium version and more for the Black version.

Value

For reference I will compare this Planar ZEISS 45mm f/2 to current new model manual focus ZEISS Loxia 50mm f/2 for $809 and AF ZEISS Batis 40mm f/2 CF for $1,104. While in hundreds and not the $1,000 gap as seen with the 90mm there still value to be had here. That being said it is still the best value if you are determined to obtain a ZEISS lens.

Why I (Had) Bought It

It is a Zeiss lens. It is a normal lens. That is usually more than enough reason for me right there. It was last time. Why not this time? Simple. I enjoy the 28mm and 90mm lenses and I have the 50mm-ish focal length covered out the whazoo (technical term). Will this reasoning stick? We’ll see. That being said this is a great lens.

As mentioned previously I had sold this system to fund another purchase but later wanted back in. Since I jumped back in I have picked up the 28mm and 90mm. So far I am sufficiently distracted with the two lenses. Digital AF is possible with the TECHART AF adapter.

TECHART G Master

Image Quality

<ahem> It is a Zeiss lens. Once again mostly a copy of the 28mm, 90mm, and CY mount 50mm f/1.4 (the main reason I can fend off the G 45mm for now) lens characteristics points below. It ticks off every single positive lens attribute box. Brief comments below but I will largely let the samples talk below, but again it hits it out of the park.

  • Flare
    • Have not witnessed any flare with this lens.
  • Sharpness
    • It is the Zeiss-eist. Wonderfully sharp with film and digital.
  • Colors
    • Zeiss scores again. Wonderfully color rendering. Looks better than the actual scene without looking artificial.
  • Bokeh
    • Another win. Not only in the amount of bokeh available but in the quality. No squirrely distractions like some other lenses. Just creamy backgrounds and foregrounds.

Samples With Film (Contax G1 and G2)

T-Max P3200 / Contax G1 / 45mm f/2
Kodak T-MAX P3200
Contax G1 w/ Zeiss Planar 45mm f/2 and Lomography 400
Lomography 400
Contax G1 w/ Zeiss Planar 45mm f/2 and Lomography 400
Lomography 400
Contax G2 w/ 45mm f/2 & Fuji Acros 100
Fuji Acros 100
Contax G1 w/ Zeiss Planar 45mm f/2 and Lomography 400
Lomography 400
Contax G1 w/ Zeiss Planar 45mm f/2 and Lomography 400
Lomography 400
T-Max P3200 / Contax G1 / 45mm f/2
Kodak T_MAX P3200
T-Max P3200 / Contax G1 / 45mm f/2
Kodak T-MAX P3200
T-Max P3200 / Contax G1 / 45mm f/2
Kodak T-MAX P3200
T-Max P3200 / Contax G1 / 45mm f/2
Kodak T-MAX P3200
T-Max P3200 / Contax G1 / 45mm f/2
Kodak T-MAX P3200
Contax G1 and 45mm f/2 w Lomography 400
Lomography 400
Contax G1 and 45mm f/2 w Lomography 400
Lomography 400
Contax G2 w/ Agfa Vista 200
Lomography 400
Ilford XP2 w/ Contax G1
Rollei RPX 400
Ilford XP2 w/ Contax G1
Rollei RPX 400
Contax G2
Lomography 400
Contax G2
Lomography 400
Contax G2 w/ 45mm f/2 & Fuji Acros 100
Fuji Acros 100
Contax G2 w/ 45mm f/2 & Fuji Acros 100
Fuji Acros 100
Contax G2 w/ 45mm f/2 & Fuji Acros 100
Fuji Acros 100
Contax G2 w/ 45mm f/2 & Fuji Acros 100
Fuji Acros 100

With Digital

TECHART G Master
Contax G Zeiss 45mm f/2
Contax G 45mm f/2
Techart Contax G to Sony A7 Adapter
Techart Contax G to Sony A7 Adapter
Techart Contax G to Sony A7 Adapter
Techart Contax G to Sony A7 Adapter
Techart Contax G to Sony A7 Adapter
Techart Contax G to Sony A7 Adapter
Techart Contax G to Sony A7 Adapter
Techart Contax G to Sony A7 Adapter
Techart Contax G to Sony A7 Adapter

Conclusion

A great lens. You could spend more for modern mirrorless MF and AF versions, but if you enjoy shooting on film and digital this lens is a great option. While not as much of a savings as the 28mm and 90mm I do still recommend this lens.

-ELW

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