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  1. #2841  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hamilton View Post
    Cousteau shoot, Sudanese Red Sea, Dragon 6K, Zeiss Contax 60mm Makro, German lens.

    [IMG]A007_C010_0326HV by Red Sea Pictures, on Flickr[/IMG]
    Wow GORGEOUS!!
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  2. #2842  
    Senior Member Tom Hamilton's Avatar
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    Thanks very much Nick, lens declicked, overhauled, and custom lens gears installed by Peter at RP Lens for use in the Rouge underwater housing.
    Attached Images
    Dragon 6K 'Red Sea'
    Gates Deep Weapon/Dragon
    FAA 333 UAS Aerial Cinematography 4K RAW
    Red Sea Pictures
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  3. #2843  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hamilton View Post
    Thanks very much Nick, lens declicked, overhauled, and custom lens gears installed by Peter at RP Lens for use in the Rouge underwater housing.
    WOW super cool!! I never realized Peter could add IRIS gears!! Why didnt I think of that??!! What a great Easter gift!!

    Love this mod Tom!!
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  4. #2844  
    Senior Member Tom Hamilton's Avatar
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    Yep, I tasked him with the job, he came through with flying colors, amazing lens tech, would not use anyone else for these lenses. And thanks to you Nick for the Zeiss Contax steer.

    The 6K video is stunning, this lens has unbelievable cinematic mojo. Lots more to show if I could, but all under wraps for the upcoming Cousteau movie, will post links as they come on line.

    Cheers
    Dragon 6K 'Red Sea'
    Gates Deep Weapon/Dragon
    FAA 333 UAS Aerial Cinematography 4K RAW
    Red Sea Pictures
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  5. #2845  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Morrison View Post
    Looks great! Are you using a gimbal? Love her styling too!

    Yes its Reduser, but we often discuss lots of cameras on this thread...no worries!
    Hey Nick,

    I am using the Glidecam 4000 for this shot.
    A perfect match for the BMCC's form factor IMO.

    thanks
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  6. #2846  
    What is a good wide-angle zoome fitting the 35-70/28-85/80-200 contax lenses? The 18mm from contax costs quite a bit and I would
    prefer a wide-angle zoome. But afraidly contax hasn't got any.

    Any sugestions?
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  7. #2847  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janis Huber View Post
    What is a good wide-angle zoome fitting the 35-70/28-85/80-200 contax lenses? The 18mm from contax costs quite a bit and I would
    prefer a wide-angle zoome. But afraidly contax hasn't got any.

    Any sugestions?
    Janis, unfortunately Contax never made a wideangle zoom in C/Y. They made a fabulous 17-35 for the auotofocus N line, but that's very expensive, and needs to be modded to EOS (also expensive).
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  8. #2848  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    In honor of NAB 2015, I present the latest update to the Contax Survival Guide.

    Again, been writing this for the past 3 months, so if anyone feels like adding anything, just drop me a note! best

    ************************************************** ******

    THE CONTAX LENS GUIDE - 2015 EDITION

    Contax was in business for 30 years (1975-2005), and released almost 40 lenses. This is an attempt to provide feedback on almost all of them - mostly with film-making in mind.

    Note - I have a Contax Brochure from the 1994 that includes prices! When available, Ive posted all the original LIST/NEW prices (adjusted for inflation to present day value), and compare them to today's USED prices (in "LIKE NEW" condition)...for everyone's edification. It's fun to see what's changed over past 20 years!

    Here we go:

    THE CONTAX “Supers”
    These are the primes I'd recommend if you are willing to spend $$$. Except for the macro and the 21, these keep you at an f2 from 28mm to 135mm.

    21 2.8
    28 f2
    35 1.4
    50 1.4
    85 1.4
    100 f2
    135 f2
    60 2.8 Macro

    Note - "New" prices are 1994 prices adjusted for inflation (59%).

    21mm 2.8 ($3,150 new, $2,000 today/used)
    The 21mm is a gem. It's arguably one of the best designed and all around lenses in the Contax lineup, and demands a high premium (one of the most expensive primes available). The design barely changed when it moved to ZE/ZF. Razor sharp wide open and edge to edge (even on full frame). Blessed with superb close focus. The best wide angle available. A world class lens.


    28 f2 ($??? new, $1,250 today/used)
    The 28mm "Hollywood" is full of personality. Allegedly borrowing the floating element design from the 28mm T2 Standard Prime, this full frame derivant is NOT the same lens, but nonetheless a standout. It's close-focusing (almost macro quality), nervy/gorgeous bokeh, and spectacular performance stopped down make it tremendous addition to the arsenal. It's very similar in performance to the 35 1.4, except wider, and more extreme.


    35 1.4 ($2,675 new, $1,500 today/used)
    The 35 1.4 is a must have. It's your "normal" lens, and at 1.4 gives you tremendous lowlight ability. Feels like a Super Speed, and acts like one. Tremendous focus throw, great close focus (with a similar floating element like the "Hollywood"), and has gorgeous/dreamy bokeh. Anchors your lineup. Changed only minimally in it's move to ZE/ZF.


    50 1.4 ($700 new, $450 today/used)
    The 50 1.4 is a classic 50, and complements the 35 and 85 perfectly. More traditional bokeh than the nervy 1.7, and has much more robust build. Tack sharp stopped down. A perfect 50 for your set. Changed only minimally in it's move to ZE/ZF (in fact many say its better).


    85 1.4 ($1,700 new, $800 today/used)
    The 85 1.4 is a CLASSIC. Capable of timeless imagery, this lens has minimal to no distortion, making it ideal for portraits and landscape. At 1.4, gives you tremendous lowlight ability, and focal separation (shallow depth of field). The perfect compliment to the 35 1.4 during interviews.


    100 f2 ($2,800 new, $1,200 today/used)
    The 100 f2 is another CLASSIC. Never continued into the ZE/ZF line, this lens has enjoyed a cult status for years. Like the 85, has almost no distortion, making it another gem for portraits and landscapes. Sharp wide open, and brimming with tonality, this lens is a fantastic compliment to the 85, when you need to get just a bit closer.


    135 f2 ($??? new, $1,200 today/used)
    The 135 f2 is a bit controversial. Honestly, it can be hard to see the performance improvement over the 2.8 Sonnar, which is much, much cheaper. However, at f2 this 135 still delivers powerful imagery, and having that extra stop cannot be underestimated. It also has a twinkle and a magic that at times is worth the price of admission.


    60 2.8 S Macro ($1,700 new, $700 today/used)
    The 60 2.8 is my favorite macro. Not because the 100 isn't great, it is...but the 60 is just so versatile. It's focus throw seems more forgiving than the 100, and it's ability to transition from a "normal" 60mm to a 1:1 macro is incredibly useful. Bear in mind, this phenomenal lens is capable of 1:1 MACRO, not 1:2 like the ZE/ZF macros, putting you TWICE as close to the action. Incredibly sharp wide open, and with almost zero distortion, this is another world class lens.
    Last edited by Nick Morrison; 07-15-2015 at 08:09 PM.
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  9. #2849  
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    THE CONTAX “Standard Primes” or GIMBAL PRIMES

    18 f4

    28 2.8
    35 2.8
    50 1.7 / 50 1.4
    85 2.8
    100 3.5
    135 2.8

    Contax Zeiss did the world a favor and made "budget/travel" versions of many focal lengths. Small, lighter and more affordable, these lenses seem designed not just for cost conscious professionals, but also for travel photographers who often needed to save space, and keep things simple.

    To that end, most of these primes are almost IDENTICAL in SIZE/SHAPE/WEIGHT...so much so it's hard to believe it's a coincidence (they almost seem designed to be "swappable" in a travel case).

    THESE primes in particular are almost identical in shape/size/weight:

    18 F4
    28 2.8
    35 2.8
    50 1.4
    85 2.8

    Why is this important? Well in this age of gimbals, where lens size/weight is so important to balancing your rig, having a set of tiny LIGHT WEIGHT Zeiss primes that also happen to be evenly SIZED...is incredibly convenient. In fact, Movi shooters like Chris McKechnie are able to swap these primes mid shoot and barely make any adjustments to their gimbal...which is a MASSIVE time saver.

    REVIEWS:

    18 F4 ($,1975 new, $850 today/used)
    The 18 F4 is a very interesting lens. Though not tack sharp wide open, it's still VERY professional at F4. What makes it truly special however isn’t just it's ability to cover Dragon 6K (its full frame after all), but it's incredibly well controlled distortion. In fact, it has the same level of control as the 21mm, even though it's wider at 18mm...underscoring how remarkable it is. Stopped down it’s strong. Has fantastic close focus.

    It's one downside is lack of any filter thread. Best remedy for this is to have a lens tech attach an 80mm OD piece of Delrin to the front, so you can easily clamp on 80mm attachments and filters (that's what we did).


    28 2.8 ($900 new, $450 today/used)
    The 28 2.8 is a superb wideangle. In fact stopped down it may even surpass the 28 f2 Hollywood. Very popular amongst landscape photographers for it's small size and incredible resolution at 5.6 and beyond. The MM is improved over the AE, so try and get the MM if possible.


    35 2.8 ($725 new, $400 today/used)
    The 35 2.8 is very similar. Stopped down it is remarkably sharp, and even at 2.8 hard to distinguish from the 1.4 (especially at S35). A very small lens with tremendous punch.


    50 1.4 ($700 new, $450 today/used)
    The 50 1.4 has been reviewed above.


    50 1.7 ($450 new, $350 today/used)
    The 50 1.7 is a very interesting lens. Though a budget prime (the most affordable of all Contax primes), this lens delivers remarkable performance. Sharper than the 1.4 wide open at 1.7, this lens is a serious piece of engineering. Its lively nervous bokeh gives it a unique, youthful signature.

    It’s only drawbacks are it’s tiny size (even smaller than the 50 1.4), making it harder to attach a FF too, and it’s build quality - designed with a blend of plastic and metal (to save $$$), this planar lacks the ALL METAL robustness we come to expect from Contax glass. A small price to pay though...for stunning performance...on a budget.


    85 2.8 ($??? new , $450 today/used)
    The 85 2.8 is a classic design that delivers world class imagery. Wide open it’s tack sharp/contrasty, and blessed with gorgeous circular bokeh. Incredibly even performance up and down the iris makes this lens one of the most complete in the Contax arsenal. The AE flares like crazy. Whereas the MM is much cleaner. A small marvel.


    100 3.5 ($??? new , $450 today/used)
    The 100 3.5 is one of the oddest lenses in the Contax arsenal. By all accounts, it’s one of the sharpest lenses Contax ever made. Indeed it’s sharper than both the 100 f2 and 100 Macro, even wide open. However it’s slow speed and mild distortion (the other two 100’s have almost NO distortion)...makes it a bit of an odd duck. Nonetheless...it remains an outstandingly sharp and powerful lens. I’d love to see more people shoot with it.


    135 2.8 ($900 new , $350 today/used)
    The 135 2.8 is a favorite of mine. Extremely sharp wide open, and today very affordable, this tele is a no brainer. If you don’t need the extra stop of the Planar, this Sonnar is a perfect complement to your arsenal. Like the 85 2.8, has very even performance up and down the iris. The MM is a bit improved over the AE (keep that in mind as you go shopping).
    Last edited by Nick Morrison; 04-06-2015 at 09:18 PM.
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  10. #2850  
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    ADDITIONAL PRIMES TO CONSIDER

    25 2.8

    100 2.8 Macro
    180 2.8
    300 F4
    16 2.8 fisheye


    25 2.8 ($1,350 new , $650 today/used)
    The 25 2.8 is a personal favorite. Derived from a very classic design, wide open this lens is RAZOR sharp in the center, but soft at the edges. The result is magic to the eyes (I love the vintage feel and bokeh on S35), but can disappoint others on full frame. Nonetheless, by F4 this lens is sharp across the board, and at 5.6 even more impressive. One of our most used primes when we shoot. It's blessed with character, and flares like CRAZY. The AE’s are maybe better built? MM’s can sometimes get “soft”, perhaps we think because elements have lodged out of place?


    100 2.8 Macro ($3,150 new , $1,200 today/used)

    The 100 2.8 macro feels like a clone of the 60, but with more reach. Nearly identical in performance, and build, its hard to pick them apart. In fact, for some the 100 may be better...as the working distance can be more convenient (ie you can shoot macro from further away). We've found the focus more sensitive and demanding on the 100, presumably because it's a longer lens than the 60. Either way its world class and brilliant. Almost no distortion and capable of 1:1 macro - just like the 60.


    180 2.8 ($2,450 new , $450 today/used)

    Once expensive (as much as the 35 1.4), this now affordable Sonnar is a great tele. A modern update of the venerable "Olympia Sonnar" from 1936, this is a classic with a modern twist - it features a floating element (like on the 28 f2 and 35 1.4) to improve close focusing...which makes me wonder if it was designed also with portraits in mind? Professional wide open, and sharp stopped down, this lightweight tele is fast enough for studio work. Great barrel rotation/long focus throw. The MM is said to be improved over the AE.


    300 F4 ($3,150 new , $450 today/used)
    This once extravagant Tessar is now incredibly affordable and convenient, but hard to promote wholeheartedly. It's not super sharp, and woefully outclassed by the much smaller/lighter 100-300. Nevertheless, its capable of strong imagery in the right hands, and is a professional budget 300. Its 82mm thread accepts 77mm filters (with stepdown), which is convenient.


    16 2.8 Fisheye ($7,550 new , $1,800 today/used)
    This Distagon maybe one of the best fisheyes in the world. One of the sharpest Contax primes ever made, its design is uncompromising (hence it's shocking price when NEW). Built like a tank, its protruding element nevertheless makes it vulnerable to scratches and scuffs. Hard to get a great copy. Rare and exotic. Like all fisheyes, renders the world in unique way. However when shot "flat", this one betrays very little distortion (only adding to its allure).
    Last edited by Nick Morrison; 05-27-2015 at 12:50 AM.
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