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12-30-2012, 01:03 PM   #1
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Zeiss 35-70 f3.4 vs f3.5?

Hey eveyone!

First of all, I'm the biggest Zeiss noob on the planet so please forgive me if I'm wasting your time

So, I was thinking of getting a copy of Contax/Yashica mount Zeiss 35-70 f3.4 to be used with my K-5. I've heard the micro contrast of this particular lens is phenomenal, which is why I've decided to get one. Sadly, it seems like there's no C/Y to pentax k mount adapter available, right? I did search some forums and I managed to find a few tutorials of how to convert a C/Y lens to K mount. However, as I'm not good with any tools and doing that sort of stuff, I've decided not to go for it.

What I've just found out, there's a Zeiss Jena 35-70 f3.5 lens - which is, btw, much cheaper than the f3.4 - but I don't know anything about it and I couldn't find much info about it either...

So, the question is what's the difference between the Zeiss 35-70 f3.4 and the 35-70 f3.5 lenses?

Anyone?

12-30-2012, 02:50 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by dof Quote
So, I was thinking of getting a copy of Contax/Yashica mount Zeiss 35-70 f3.4 to be used with my K-5. Sadly, it seems like there's no C/Y to pentax k mount adapter available, right?
Check out Leitax:

Vario-Sonnar 35-70 on Pentax

QuoteOriginally posted by dof Quote
What I've just found out, there's a Zeiss Jena 35-70 f3.5 lens - which is, btw, much cheaper than the f3.4 - but I don't know anything about it and I couldn't find much info about it either...

So, the question is what's the difference between the Zeiss 35-70 f3.4 and the 35-70 f3.5 lenses?
The f/3.4 is the real McCoy.
The f/3.5s were badge-engineered lenses made by Japanese manufacturers like S i g m a for the East German Zeiss brand.
12-30-2012, 02:58 PM   #3
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both are very different in quality and in optical aspect.

So far i know the Vario Sonnar 35-70/3.4 is quite expensive maybe because it's a 10 elements lens, in 10 groups, with a 67mm front element.
thsi one is a real Carl Zeiss optic.

the Jena is without doubt very average, probably made by Sigma or Cosina, and is basically a re-branded lens (short story ; british own the Carl Zeiss Jena Co. and did some rebranding during the +/- 1985 accros europe and asia).

Short answer go for the 3.4 version, or go for the 2.7-3.5 version that is also astonishing.

Side information : Jena did only two zoom on their own (and they were good) the 35-70/2.4-3.7 in M42 and the 80-200/4 in M42.
12-30-2012, 03:24 PM   #4
dof
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Thanks for the replies guys!

12-30-2012, 03:50 PM   #5
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There is several stories concerning Carl Zeiss, their Contax brand and the Jena offshoot.

First, I'll go with the C/Y mount. Back in 1975 there was some sort of partnership between Pentax and Zeiss. Pentax came out with their K mount, along with their K 28/f2 lens which is a duplicate of the Contax Carl Zeiss 28mm f2 Distagon, and Zeiss suddenly had their T* coating which was rumored to be based on Pentax's SMC. For what ever reason, the two went their separate ways, with Zeiss going into a 25 year partnership with Yashica. The C./Y mount was created, which is extremely similar to the Pentax K mount that Zeiss helped Pentax with during their "association". By the way, Asahi Optical bough the name Pentax from Zeiss for their camera line a bit earlier (note the similarity between Contax and Pentax). Anyway - back to the mount story, the K and C/Y mounts are very similar (same registration distance) - with the C/Y mount flanges being thicker so that the two will not inter-operate. You can shave them, but you destroy the value of the lens. The best way is to swap mounts using the mount swap kit from Leitax.com, which is fully reverseable. Given the same registration distance and the same mount diameter, there is no room for any type of adapter or appliance to slide between the body and the lens - the mount change is the only solution.Contax is Zeiss own camera brand. They partnered with Yashica to hold down their production costs. Yashica came out with their own entry level camera line with the same mount and their lenses are also excellent, however does not command the same price.

Zeiss Jena is the East German Company (in the original Zeiss buildings) and Keiv camera is the Russian version - Russia took the Contax camera tooling as war reparations and moved the equipment to Keiv. Zeiss moved to West Germany (Oberkochen or something like that) and that is the Carl Zeiss company we know as Zeiss today.

The early Contax lenses were built in Germany - the AE version known also as AEG and also some of the MM version known as MMG. The manufacturing all moved to Japan eventually and hence the AEJ and MMJ versions. All the same lens designs and same quality. Zeiss had their engineers over see the production. Today, all the Zeiss lenses are made by Cosina in Japan, just as all the Voligtlander lenses are.
________________

Leitax.com advises that the mount conversion is tricky for the lens you are asking about. I have had 2 lenses converted by Eric (a Pentax legend), and they are perfect.
12-31-2012, 12:21 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Leitax.com advises that the mount conversion is tricky for the lens you are asking about.
You have the option of sending a lens to Leitax for them to do the conversion.
In the case of the Vario-Sonnar, that would indeed be a wise move.
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