Stumbled on this interesting old post from Mitch Gross in 2005, where he compares Contax glass super favorably to Super Speeds. It looks like he owned a set once, though I think he's since sold it:
And here's another post from Bryan Drysdale, where he mentions that Aaton mounted Contax glass was often used alongside S16 Zeiss primes. Pretty cool:I have a set of Contax Zeiss lenses that ARE the same as the SuperSpeeds. 35mm, 50mm &85mm all at T 1.4 and a 135mm at T2.1. I'm out of town at the moment but I will try to remember to check these lenses when I get home to give you more details.
I've come to recognize the unique look of Contax glass, the way they flare, and definetly noticed a similar look in Moonrise Kingdom, which was shot on S16mm Zeiss SuperSpeeds.The Zeiss Contax lenses are extremely good and are pretty similar look wise to Zeiss cine lenses. They were modified to Aaton mount for shooting Super 16, often used in combination with the 16mm Super Speed Distagons.
Good to know this isn't all in my mind. These old lenses, some of them made as far back as the 70s, have a unique charm that I'm growing very fond of. The AE's in particular, made from the mid 70's until 1984, really have this look. They flare great.
(The MM's (from 1984 to 2005) color match with the AE's, but resist flare a bit more, and trend a wee bit more modern, with a tad bit more contrast, but it depends on the lens too. You'd have to pixel peep to notice the difference sometimes. The MM's also don't have the famous ninja-star. Generally only the AE's do. Also, when the MM's flare, you are more likely to get a purple Zeissian "splotch". Whereas the AE's tend to flare, almost bloom, very white and evenly. Looks great.)
In my mind I'm almost visualizing the AE's as "Mark 1s", and the MM's as "Mark 2's/3s".
Modern glass is awesome too, don't get me wrong, but I think I'm digging what Mark Toia would call "crap" lenses. 30 year old "poo" indeed!