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Thread: Contax 645 Carl Zeiss 350mm f/4 Tele-Apotessar T*

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    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Contax 645 Carl Zeiss 350mm f/4 Tele-Apotessar T*

    Anyone with experience using this lens?

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    Re: Contax 645 Carl Zeiss 350mm f/4 Tele-Apotessar T*

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    Anyone with experience using this lens?
    Yep, used one for many years ... mostly with film and vacuum backs. But I did use it with a Kodak ProBack for a couple of years. Can't really comment on how it would work with today's super high meg digital backs, but I suspect it will kill most other long lenses.

    Awesome lens. Excellent IQ. Super-duper build quality. Big. Better used in Manual focus, (did I mention BIG?).

    Get a Gimble head if you do get one, makes all the difference in the world.

    -Marc

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    Re: Contax 645 Carl Zeiss 350mm f/4 Tele-Apotessar T*

    Dear Doug

    have it from film thru kodak as marc had and up thru the P25 to my current P65+.

    Holds up well...sharp tough to focus at wide open but I've used with 1.4x and still works.

    Here's a shot from our resident hawk, being dive bombed by a blue jay!

    This was WAY overexposed (am, P65+ and contax went for the dark trees

    Anyway the 100% shows I think a wide open shot pretty good for 60MP

    Victor

    PS Marc is right, at 8lbs plus 5 for contax/P65 you dont want to hand hold like the 400/6.8 LOL
    I use a Wembley Gimbal mount on a 1500 series Gitzo.

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    Subscriber Member Chuck Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Contax 645 Carl Zeiss 350mm f/4 Tele-Apotessar T*

    Doug, it's an absolutely killer lens. Grab it by all means! They are very hard to find.

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    Re: Contax 645 Carl Zeiss 350mm f/4 Tele-Apotessar T*

    Doug,
    I have used this lens extensively, but only with film. The images it produces, with and without the "mutar", are without equal in my experience. It is also solidly built, mine traveled repeatedly with me from Madagascar to the Pacific north west and through the Florida swamps and, as an aside, it is a thing of beauty in its own right. I cannot imagine that it would not fare quite well in any digital medium.
    You will love it.

    Douglas Benson

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    Subscriber Member KurtKamka's Avatar
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    Re: Contax 645 Carl Zeiss 350mm f/4 Tele-Apotessar T*

    If I'm reading between the lines, Doug, are you thinking S2 via adapter?

    Kurt

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    Re: Contax 645 Carl Zeiss 350mm f/4 Tele-Apotessar T*

    Kurt,
    Does such a beast truly exist?

    Douglas Benson.

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    Re: Contax 645 Carl Zeiss 350mm f/4 Tele-Apotessar T*

    I doubt if there will be a contax 645 lens adapter; the lens needs electrnics to stop down (I am not sure there isnt a way to fake it by shorting the contacts or making a chip Conerus I think had at least one for some camera.)

    The rsgistry distance would likely work.

    An alternative of course, that DOES work is the 350mm SA Hassellad. I have both, and they are both great. The SA is like a surgeons knife, while the Contax has a better drawing of the scene.
    WIth the Mutar of course you get a 500/5.6 lens, in MF 645. There just isn't a faster lens except for thye Mamyia.

    I think once someone breaks the code on the Contax lenses, a lot will be possible. I've actually stacked adapters to use Hasselblads on an Leica M! but the electronics of the contax make it difficult.

    Victor

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    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: Contax 645 Carl Zeiss 350mm f/4 Tele-Apotessar T*

    Quote Originally Posted by KurtKamka View Post
    If I'm reading between the lines, Doug, are you thinking S2 via adapter?
    That's one fantasy, but it seems that electronic translation could be an issue. Another option would be a Contax 645 body & digital back - but I'd have to try the combination before committing to it.

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    Subscriber gogopix's Avatar
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    Re: Contax 645 Carl Zeiss 350mm f/4 Tele-Apotessar T*

    Contax? Why would you want to buy into a dead system?

    BECAUSE IT"S GREAT!!!!

    WOuld be wonderful for you to join the CCC (Contax Club of CRAZIES).

    I think the S2 is a great sysem. Eventually. May even go there myself for trekking -- but I will NEVER sell my Contax set (I have every piece they ever made for the MF version, including the VERY rare auto bellows)

    As for the wildlife system for telephoto? My system of choice is the contax and 350mm , either Contax or hassey SA. I have even gotten pretty good using the better beamer to get some light on the subject.

    For field work, the DMR and all those great Leica long lenses (though slow). I have tried the Leica modular280- 800mm etc with a sliding back and the Phase 65+. A little vignetting, but mostly too difficult to use.

    The COntax stays maounted on the Wembley/Gitzo with C645 and 350/4

    Victor

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    Re: Contax 645 Carl Zeiss 350mm f/4 Tele-Apotessar T*

    Quote Originally Posted by gogopix View Post
    I doubt if there will be a contax 645 lens adapter; the lens needs electrnics to stop down (I am not sure there isnt a way to fake it by shorting the contacts or making a chip Conerus I think had at least one for some camera.)
    If you have a Contax 645 body handy, you can fool Contax 645 lenses into stopping down by selecting the aperture you want and holding down the DoF preview button while you remove the lens from the body. It takes a bit of coordinated hand effort, to be sure, but the lens will remain stopped down at whatever aperture you selected and if you have a suitable adapter, you can then remount it on another body (although, as Victor has pointed out, registration differences may limit your options here).

    I have been in communication with Bo-Ming Tong at Conurus about modifying Contax 645 lenses to stop down manually and for at least the ones I presently own (35, 45, 55, 80, and 140), it's my understanding that this can be done, although not with anything he offers off-the-shelf (unless, of course, you wish to use them on a Canon body in combination with the NAM-1 adapter, which either has or can have -- I forget which -- this function built into the adapter. He says he added this at the request of cinematographers who are using Canon DLSRs for their video ability.)

    (FYI, all of the above has caused me to resume work on a project I have been tinkering with for several years now that would take advantage of the fact that a 1.3X crop sensor leaves some usable image circle on the table. I won't say any more about it now, but if anything ever comes of it, you'll read about it here first.)
    Last edited by Audii-Dudii; 21st August 2010 at 13:43.

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    Re: Contax 645 Carl Zeiss 350mm f/4 Tele-Apotessar T*

    Quote Originally Posted by doug View Post
    That's one fantasy, but it seems that electronic translation could be an issue.
    Presumably the lens could work on an S2 as a kind of fixed F4 using a purely mechanical adaptor? Do you need any other aperture, Doug?

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    Senior Member doug's Avatar
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    Re: Contax 645 Carl Zeiss 350mm f/4 Tele-Apotessar T*

    Quote Originally Posted by wattsy View Post
    Presumably the lens could work on an S2 as a kind of fixed F4 using a purely mechanical adaptor? Do you need any other aperture, Doug?
    Yes I need other apertures. The 350mm SA Hasselblad lens might be a better candidate for adapting, and I could use a Mutar with it too.

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