Carl Zeiss 85mm 1:2.8 Sonnar T* Contax/Yashica – review

Published by Tony on

Carl Zeiss 85mm 1:2.8 Sonnar T* Contax/Yashica lens review, aka Carl Zeiss 85mm 1:2.8 CY

Mount – Contax/Yashica (C/Y)

This is the compact portrait lens released by respectable Kyocera based on Yashica technologies with the license of famous Carl Zeiss. This lens should be magic by origin.

The lens for the test was provided by Egor Nikolaev (Егор Николаев) – many thanks and greetings.

Carl Zeiss 85mm 1:2.8 Sonnar T* specifications

Name engraved on the lensCarl Zeiss Sonnar 85mm 1:2.8 T*
f[mm]85
A max [1/f]2.8
A min[1/f]22
Lens design [el.]5
Lens design [gr.]4
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]55
Lens Shade
closefocus[m]1.0
Dimension Ø x length [mm]61×47
Weight[g]232gr
Year1975
StyleCY
Notes 

More data

Floating elementsNO
Aperture blades number6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesEnough high
Reviewed Lens SN:8435525

Carl Zeiss 85mm 1:2.8 Sonnar T* lens exterior

Carl Zeiss 85mm 1:2.8 Sonnar T* sharpness

Сlose-distance resolution test, minimal distance

Testing methods description

  • Target: 10-15 cm picture, printed on glossy photo paper
  • Distance: 1.7m
  • Camera: Sony A7II (24mpx, full-frame, tripod, remote control). M-mode, ISO fixed, WB fixed, SteadyShot – OFF.
  • The test was repeated for every F-stop on every focus position with manual focus adjustment for each shot. That is to avoid the effect of field curvature.
  • RAW processing: Capture One, default settings. All quality settings – 100%. Crops – 300×200 px

Original target image (printed in horizontal orientation on 10cm X 15cm glossy photo paper)

Scene preview

Test results

Long-distance resolution test

Testing methods description

  • Target: cityscape
  • Distance: > 200 meters to center focus point
  • Camera: Sony A7II (24mpx, full-frame, tripod, remote control). M-mode, ISO fixed, WB fixed, SteadyShot – OFF. The focus point is on the center only.
  • RAW processing: Capture One, default settings. All quality settings – 100%. Crops – 300×200 px

Scene preview

Test results

Carl Zeiss 85mm 1:2.8 Sonnar T* aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Long-distance bokeh

Test #1

Test conditions: the lens was focused on minimal distance on the scale (1.0m), buildings are on “infinity”-distance.

Test#2:

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.0m

Light bubbles bokeh – long distance

Test #1

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 1.0m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.0m

Carl Zeiss 85mm 1:2.8 Sonnar T* – final conclusion

This is the rare case when it is possible to say: this lens has no weakness. Of course, the word “almost” is always somewhere around such sentences because ideal lenses are absent in our singularity, but the main idea is true – this Carl Zeiss is really cool.

It has nice sharpness even on wide-opened F2.8, the normal level of vignetting, almost zero geometry distortion, and no coma. A very small level of chromatic aberrations is presented, but nothing serious if to use digital cameras. Add here a nice bokeh, or, in rather in other words – the bokeh, which a normal person cannot find fault with.

Amazing size, weight, and build quality are also in the set.

However, it must be said that this lens is not very fast, and this is the payback for some of its advantages. Those. it is a bit of a compromise, and this is worth remembering when choosing.

Now you understand my enthusiasm – this is a lens that you can put on any camera and shoot without thinking about the limitations. Without a doubt, it can be recommended for photographers of any level, but only if there is the confidence that F2.8 will be enough.


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