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Is the Contax 85/1.4 N better than the Canon 85L II?

 
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John Black



Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 41
Location: Dallas, TX

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:47 pm    Post subject: Is the Contax 85/1.4 N better than the Canon 85L II? Reply with quote

Is the Contax 85/1.4 N better in any way than Canon's 85L? A co-worker offered to sell him his, but after paying him and having the conversion done it will still cost lightly more than my 85L II. Selling the 85L II would make this close to a break-even endeavor. So, is there any compelling reason to pick the Contax over the Canon?
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jjlphoto



Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 102

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Contax 85/1.4-N is a different type of lens than the Canon 85/1.2L. Where-as the Contax 85/1.2 CY would out-perform the Canon, center and edge to edge, the Contax 85/1.4-N is a totally different lens, designed from the ground up to be a portrait lens. The edge performance trails off at all apertures. I read some other reviews from Googling stuff like Photo.net, etc, and found similar comments.

Take a look at the Contax 85/1.4-N's MTF sheet:
http://www.zeiss.com/C12567A8003B58B9/Contents-Frame/8401A54783ED1154C12570F90049667D

When a 22MP FF 35mmDSLR is released, Contax lenses are in a better position to deliver to deliver the goods. They are simply designed to deliver more L/mm than a Canon lens, but it can be hard to tell on a 10MP camera sometimes as the extra power is sometimes not recordable by the sensor (yet).
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John Black



Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 41
Location: Dallas, TX

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still pondering this... May do it, but not quite sure. Did you have a chance to shoot your Contax side by side with 85L? I'm curious to know how the colors stacked up. I'm quite pleased with color palette from the 100/2.8N, so if the 85/1.4N has the same color response, then I'll probably do it.
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Freedolin



Joined: 20 May 2007
Posts: 28
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can expect a photozone review of the 85/1.4N (as well as 24-85 and 70-300) within the next few days.

Klaus Schroiff (photozone site owner) does not test the colour rendition, but sharpness, vignetting, CA and distortion (on an APS-C body, full frame tests will start once the 5D II arrives).

His tests seem to confirm my impression that the 85L (the old one, not the Mk II) was a tad sharper, but the Contax delivers slightly better contrast and has less CA (except longitudinal CA in OOF areas).

Btw.: all three lenses will be for sale here after Klaus publishes his results, since I will most likely switch to Nikon soon.

-- Markus
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