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Thread: C/Y mount to R?

  1. #1
    sirvine
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    C/Y mount to R?

    I was recently given a set of C/Y mount lenses (Distagon 15/3.5, Planar 85/1.2 and Distagon 35/1.4) by a *very* generous friend, and I'm looking for a digital platform worthy of this exceptional glass. The obvious choice is Canon, but I'm skeptical that any of the current Canons can do them justice. (See below for explanation.)

    I don't know anything about the R mount from a technical perspective, but I'd be curious to know if it's possible to adapt the old C/Y mount to it. If it's even remotely possible, I'd be more than pleased since I can start building an R lens collection at the same time.

    If it's a technical no-go, anyone have any suggestions for a proper digital platform for these lenses?

    (For the record, my resistance to Canon is based on what I perceive to be mushy AA filtering at the sensor and consequent flattening of that special "dimensional" quality that makes lenses like these sing. Again, tell me I'm nuts and I'll be ordering a 5D in an instant.)

  2. #2
    Subscriber gogopix's Avatar
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    C/Y have too short a registration distance for the R. They do work on the M though if you can live without the RF and just estimate (I use with the estimable 21mm)

    Victor

  3. #3
    sirvine
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Even better. I'm off to find the right adaptor. Thanks!

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    Senior Member EH21's Avatar
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Well what a high class problem to solve - and what a great friend to have.

    If it were me, I'd probably still go with one of the canon bodies. I think the balance of the M8 with some of those lenses is going to be weird especially considering the big adapter. But actually what am I saying....if it were me, I'd trade those contax lenses for Leica R glass and go for a DMR.

  5. #5
    sirvine
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Fair points, for sure. These lenses are certainly heavy by any measure. I promised I wouldn't sell them, though. Also, the 15 is likely to be the only useful lens for zone focusing, realistically.

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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Your friend is indeed generous - that 85/1.2 alone... Anyway. IIRC correctly the AA filter robustness in Canon SLRs from virtually none to thicker goes 1D, 1Ds (Mk1), 5D and 1Ds2 followed by the rest.

    The issue(s) you may have with the 5D specifically could be:

    1. Mirror clearance. 5Ds are known for sloppy tolerances on either mirror size and/or placement. It varies by camera and is more common with very fast glass such as you've been given. It is the Canon DSLR with the most MF lens fitment issues.

    2. Focus screen. Much like it's mirror tolerances, the camera also suffers from sloppy tolerances in the moulding of the focus screen/prism housing or mounting hardware. It is not unusual (I had this problem) to have to send the camera and any Canon (forget aftermarket) alternate focus screens into a service center for shimming to obtain accurate focus. My 5D with the Canon ultra-matte screen would not focus correctly period. 1 series cameras do not have this issue - pop in your screen of choice and go.

    3. Colors. Some people are ok with it, some not so much, but the 5D's sensor/firmware tends to want to deliver a reddish tint to skintones and to a lessor degree ultra whites right out of the camera. Can be fine-tuned out of course with custom setting or in PP, but worth mentioning.

    4. The 'fin' on the back of some Contax lenses will mark the mirror box plastics on most Canon bodies. This could potentially get plastic particulates into the sensor area. The fin can be cut off with a dremel safely and easily (had to do it with a CZ 60 Macro S), but with an 85/1.2 Jahre, it would kill the value. If you clean the area and sensor on a regular basis, it won't be an issue.

    If you have a chance I'd try the lenses on a 5D and a 1Ds/1Ds2 before purchasing a body. My personal recc, expecially given their current 2nd hand prices would be a 1Ds2. A mild touch of USM is all that is needed to overcome the AA filter when using sharp glass and those 16.7 MB FF files are gorgeous with alternate glass.

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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Should also mention, trying to exploit the magic of lenses like the 85/1.2 Jahre (a $5000 lens in itself) and to a lessor degree the 35/1.4 wide open using DoF on an M8 (vs. coupled RF lenses or on a DSLR) would be very tough. The magic of these lenses and their allure is what you can do with them WO.

  8. #8
    sirvine
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Thanks, Rob. That's useful insight. I'll keep an eye out for a used 1dsMk2. The problems you describe with the 5D are exactly the kind of thing that turn me off, in addition to the AA filter.

    I've already got a small collection of Canon lenses, so I will give it a try. I've only mounted these lenses to an old gen-1 dRebel so far, and the results were beyond poor. (Of course, I realize there is a lightyear or two between the dRebel and the 1dsMk2.) Anyway, I'm off topic for this forum now, so I'll post over in the Canon area when I get some shots.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    If the 85/1.2 works on a 1DsMKII, it's fin probably was already shaved which is near impossible to detect. It was very common practice when the CY lenses on Canon 1 series cameras were really hot items for Contax users after it became clear Kyocera was out of the camera business.

    On the 5D, most people shaved the mirror itself.

    Were I you, and wanted Zeiss performance on a digital SLR, I'd opted to sell the lenses and use the money to purchase ZF glass for a Nikon D3 or next higher spec Nikon full frame DSLR. That way you get full aperture metering and focusing. Stop down work is simply a PITA these days. The 85/1.2 Anniversary commands quite a price from collectors ... I sold mine with a shaved fin for $4,800. just to move it quickly.

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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Bear in mind, a CZ lens with the fin attached WILL mount and work on a Canon body. It just contacts the plastics enough to scuff it. Looking at camera mount, lower RHS.

    Now, all caution aside, no one is buying CZ lenses for use on a CZ body anymore so a 1.2 Jhare properly modded may have GREATER value for it's typical targer audience - Canon users.

    A clean 1Ds2 can be acquired for US$3800 which is a downright steal IMHO. While the modestly weaker AA filter on the 5D was appealing all the other crap I went through trying to get the sucker to focus properly tried my patience. Sold it to an AF-only user, bought a 1Ds2 and haven't looked back.

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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Bear in mind, a CZ lens with the fin attached WILL mount and work on a Canon body. It just contacts the plastics enough to scuff it. Looking at camera mount, lower RHS.
    No to be contrary, but mine didn't. It hung up the camera and triggered an error code. Wouldn't work on my buddy's 1DsMKII either. Shaved a tad off the fin and it was fine ... but focusing an 85/1.2 manually close-up produced to many missed shots even with the split microprism screen, so I sold it, along with the 28/2, 35/1.4, 85/1.4, 180/2.8 and a few choice zooms.

    Since then there are some C/Y lenses that have been converted to an EOS mount with no fin that provide full auto metering. Zeiss/Contax N lenses are also being converted to full auto function ... including AF.

  12. #12
    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    but focusing an 85/1.2 manually close-up produced to many missed shots even with the split microprism screen,
    Don't use the split screen (see image below) the accuracy is off especially in close up focusing distance and with very shallow depth of field. You can read more about the topic if it interest you.
    http://popcapture.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=33
    -Son
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Did you set the custom menu setting for the split screen Son?

    At any rate, it may be true Son, but it was difficult to quickly achieve accurate focus manually at f/1.2 close-up using a Canon with any screen unless the subject is dead stationary and in decent light (neither of which this lens was particularly designed for IMO) ... in comparison it's much faster when mounted on a Contax camera like a RX with focus confirmation.

    The Canon 85/1.2L does the job with a lot less hassle and a lot more accuracy.

  14. #14
    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Did you set the custom menu setting for the split screen Son?

    At any rate, it may be true Son, but it was difficult to quickly achieve accurate focus manually at f/1.2 close-up using a Canon with any screen unless the subject is dead stationary and in decent light (neither of which this lens was particularly designed for IMO) ... in comparison it's much faster when mounted on a Contax camera like a RX with focus confirmation.

    The Canon 85/1.2L does the job with a lot less hassle and a lot more accuracy.
    Marc,
    I should have clarify the systems that I have tested. The illustration you saw above is from the Rollei 6008 Integral I body with two different screens, one with split screen and the other is the simple matte screen. I have tested other systems with split focusing screens and they are all off including the Contax 645 split screen in close up distance. Thus, I hope this finding will allow use to understand some of the problem with focusing. We all already have enough headache with the sensor being front and back focus and the last thing we all need is not understanding how the split screen work and if it is reliable at close up or far away. We bought these screens and none of the manufacturer tells us the exact function of the screen and when it is prone to be off.

    When I tested 14 of these 1.2/85 50th and 60th Jahre lenses on the Canon body I found 3 were extremely sharp and the Canon 1.2/85L was below its class. The next 5 were good but cannot separate themselves from the Canon. The other 6 were a tad below the Canon. I also found that when putting the right adapter thickness on this Zeiss 1.2/85 the chromatic aberration was best controlled than any other fast lens that I have tested. However, if the adapter was too thick it will not performs well. At the time I did this work, the adapters in the market were too thick. I asked them to make it thinner but they refused to listened and thus I customized 3 adapters thickness as I found out that the wide and super wide angle lens require adapters that were thinner than the normal and tele-photo lens. The point that I am making here is that the split screen is off in many systems.

    -Son
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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    If the 85/1.2 works on a 1DsMKII, it's fin probably was already shaved which is near impossible to detect. It was very common practice when the CY lenses on Canon 1 series cameras were really hot items for Contax users after it became clear Kyocera was out of the camera business.

    On the 5D, most people shaved the mirror itself.

    The 85/1.2 Anniversary commands quite a price from collectors ... I sold mine with a shaved fin for $4,800. just to move it quickly.
    Marc,
    too bad the lens was shaved. I choose the path of creating another groove along with the already existing groves below the mirror to free both the lens mounting fin as you pointed out and the aperture fin when using a thin enough adapter for infinity focus (see image bellow for illustration). I believe it is essential for users adapting their Contax/Yashica and Leica R mounts lens to the Canon Professional DSLRs to create the groove along with cutting the mirror.
    -Son
    Last edited by PSon; 18th February 2008 at 19:41.
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    fotograz - interesting. Must vary by lens (e.g.fin) or maybe adapter thickness.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Most interesting investigations Son. Something to take seriously for users of ultra fast lenses like myself. The different adapters needed for different lenses is especially interesting.

    Personally, I've given up on adapted lenses because they are too slow in use for the type of work I do. The exception is the CF adapter to use Zeiss 500 series lenses on a H camera ... where focus confirmation has proved to be extremely accurate for manual focusing, and a Zeiss/Contax 24-85/3.5N lens with an EOS mount that provides AF ... since this zoom is far better than any wide zoom from Canon.

  18. #18
    sirvine
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Hmmm, when I first asked the question, I figured mounting on a Canon would be an easy, if not ideal solution. Now its seems more trouble than it's worth. What a shame to see these lenses fall into obsolescence. I guess there's always film. (Ugh.)

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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Don't get discouraged by our cautions, etc.

    Mounting the lenses, especially on a 1 series, is very painless. Buy a good adapter (say cameraquest to name one), put her on the lens, mount on the camera and either go Av or manual and away you go.

    I use nothing but CZ and Leica on my 1Ds2 (and before that), 5D, 1Ds Mk1 and 30D (with Kateye screen) with zero issues - other than the 5D focusing. As long as you have a good bright viewfinder, you're laughing.

    If the 85/1.2 has a clearance issue - make a decision then to dremel the fin, etc. Hell, borrow an adapter and a camera (or rent the latter) and go to town for a trial run. The 17MPs of a 1Ds2 or the 21MP on a 1Ds3 would make those lenses sing.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Quote Originally Posted by sirvine View Post
    Hmmm, when I first asked the question, I figured mounting on a Canon would be an easy, if not ideal solution. Now its seems more trouble than it's worth. What a shame to see these lenses fall into obsolescence. I guess there's always film. (Ugh.)
    Not totally true IMHO. I used these lenses on an RX and AX, which can be had at fairly reasonable prices, and the results using film were spectacular. It's unfortunate that film is so frequently overlooked since it is a beautiful medium and resulted in most of the great work ever produced.

    Here is an example of the 82/1.2 on an AX:

    http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=4335405

  21. #21
    sirvine
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    My friend gave me an S2 along with the lenses, but boy is it ever hard to motivate myself to pack it when I go out to shoot!

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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    We should not be surprised the technical involvement of adapting lens. Look at the Leica M series as an example. The same Leica lens on the Leica body has to be adjusted to make it work perfectly and even at time it cannot be calibrated. Sometimes we get them right and sometimes we cannot but we should resolve the problems at hand and move forward. However, it is essential that we must recognize the problem and willing to change it. When you are using equipments at this level you must have some understanding of the gears. Fear is the destruction to knowledge/creativity and experience is the best mentor you will find. Learn from those that has gone before you and take it to another level so you can come back and tell them something new; that is progress and contribution.

    -Son
    Last edited by PSon; 19th February 2008 at 16:34.
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    The information is being offered in a vacuum, and is only as good as it applies to each individuals' applications. One person may find that using adapted lenses is fine for their applications, where another may find it a PITA to use them, even when adjusted perfectly.

    My main application is shooting people in available light ... often people who are not standing still and are not aware of being photographed. When mounted on a Canon 1 Series camera, even with a focus confirmation adapter, the instance of missed focus made it not worth it. The instances of in-focus images were much much higher with the same lens mounted on an Contax RX.

    Others may use them in a completely different manner and have a much higher rate of success.

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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The information is being offered in a vacuum, and is only as good as it applies to each individuals' applications. One person may find that using adapted lenses is fine for their applications, where another may find it a PITA to use them, even when adjusted perfectly.

    My main application is shooting people in available light ... often people who are not standing still and are not aware of being photographed. When mounted on a Canon 1 Series camera, even with a focus confirmation adapter, the instance of missed focus made it not worth it. The instances of in-focus images were much much higher with the same lens mounted on an Contax RX.

    Others may use them in a completely different manner and have a much higher rate of success.
    Well said!
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  25. #25
    sirvine
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Believe me, your points are well taken here and I appreciate the level of input I'm getting. The bottom line is that these lenses will drive me nuts until I get them working, whether on film, digital or otherwise! For me, it's only a question of how best to spend the money. Between Marc and Son, though, I'm in the company of a couple of people who are known to go the extra mile (and then some), and I certainly take some inspiration from this.

    If you detect any hesitation on my part, it is only how and when to best part with a few thousand dollars to do these lenses justice in a digital world. You can be assured that I will exhaust all options before selling them in this case.

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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    A very, very good option would be one of the newer Canon bodies with LiveView.

    Played with a 40D the other day. While the camera itself left me somewhat ho-hum, LV was sweet and addictive. Made manual focusing a doddle. You just watch the plane of focus move back and forth as you focused. Must have taken 50 shots with a EF 100 Macro in MF mode and nary a missed shot.

  27. #27
    sirvine
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Took your advice, Rob... (Please excuse the pet-modeling.) All shots on 1Dmk3 with the 50 and 85. Many of these are at ISO3200 and in near darkness. Impressive! Live view is the key to nailing focus, it seems.

  28. #28
    sirvine
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    BTW, to get back on topic for this forum...what's the best R-mount adaptor for this new Canon of mine?

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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Nicely done - how about a lens as a consulting fee? ;> Hell, I said rent a camera, not buy a new 1DS3...! Sweet.

    A lot of folks have luck with various eBay adapters, but the best are usually considered to be Cameraquest (made by Kindai I think) and Fotodiox. I have some $80 eBay units that always seem to need adjusting (see www.pebbleplace.com for procedure) and am now going to Stephen Gandy at www.cameraquest.com.

    Don't bother with focus confirmation units. At best they are an approximation only. At close range and wide apertures, they are very rarely accurate.

    Get either the optional prism, Ec-S or the focus screen designed for the 1Rns (sic) that is 1/2 a stop brighter for easier non-LV focusing.

    Well done

    R

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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Forgot to ask - how do you like the 35 and the 85? Am thinking of a 35/1.4 as the 35 lux won't mount on a Canon. Your Pom looks stressed...

  31. #31
    sirvine
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    The 35 seems pretty great. I'll post some images when I get a chance. BTW, I picked up a used 1DMK3 for a song. Haven't noticed any mirror clearance issues.

  32. #32
    sirvine
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    From the kitchen studio, some focus "tests". All handheld @1.4 with the 35. First two are ISO50, last one ISO1600. Healthy dose of "just getting used to the feel of this body and lens" applies.

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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Nice . Sorry mis-read your first post, thought you'd bought a 1DS3... Yeah lots of 1D3s out there from PO'd owners; but if you're not doing AF work.....

    Lens looks very nice.

  34. #34
    sirvine
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    It's actually a great platform for my purposes because I don't care about rapid-fire AF. The crop and smaller MP doesn't bother me at all.

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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    Nice bokeh as well. With LV and it's good high ISO performance and very modest crop (trims off those soft outer edges from many a lens), a cheap 1D3 makes a great platform as you say. How much USM do you find you have to do to overcome the AA filter?

  36. #36
    sirvine
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    Re: C/Y mount to R?

    I'm still bothered by the fact that Canon's AA filter seems to turn straight lines into wavy lines at the pixel peeping level. I don't think sharpening is much of a solution, but it's better than nothing. I apply about half the slider for sharpening in Aperture 2's raw fine tuning, and maybe as much as a quarter of the slider for post-RAW sharpening. I haven't gotten my Canon post processing formula down yet, though.

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