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WTB: certain c/y zeiss glass
  • Now, there´s certainly no rush here on my part right now but I´m looking to expand my c/y kit and I don´t want to bother with ebay. Optics need to be in really good condition but other than that I can be flexible, depending on the deal. If you have a snug fit c/y - ef adapter you need rid of, that too might be of interest... Hence, if you have any of the following / consider selling – please let me know (asking price also):


    18mm f4 distagon

    21mm f2.8 distagon

    35mm f1.4 distagon

    100mm makro-planar

    +long teles might also be of interest.


    33-135mm f3.3-f4.5 vario-sonnar

  • 15 Replies sorted by
  • You know that you may pay more than for a current Zeiss lens for the vintage 21mm, do you? It's a cult lens.

    Even the 35mm 1.4 will cost you at least 600,- € in decent condition.

    The 18mm F4 is not the greatest lens Zeiss ever made, BTW.

    And the 28 to 85 Zoom is much better and still around for a reasonable price. But it's push-pull zooms, as you may already know.

    Somebody in Germany is selling a whole row of the slower still lenses on Ebay right now:

    For anybody interested in Zeiss C/Y glass, I'd recommend this thread:

  • @nomad Yes, I know..

    I´m building an extensive set.. and I have no desire to go with canon or nikon mounts, even if it might make better sense for the 21mm. The 18mm lens would be there just to have the possibility to go that wide (with the same look). Not for ordinary situations. Looks ok from the samples I´ve seen.

    Personally, I avoid zooms, but they can be put to use with good effect by some. Since I also rent out equipment, this may cater to other peoples interests rather than my own..

    It seems like most people disagree re: the quality of zooms though. The 33-135 vario sonnar is supposedly the best they made. Although, the 28-85 is decently priced, for sure, I´ll keep an eye out for it.

    re: the fast 35mm I reckon it would be worth a bit of extra expense. It´s a nice focal length on s35 and the 35mm 2.8 is no fav of mine - it lacks a bit of "oomph" and I reckon it´s the softest c/y zeiss I´ve got. The 1.4 looks good.

    Cheers for the link, I´m going to keep tabs on the 25 and 200mm lenses.. :)

    Personally, I will be looking to get the 18-35 sigma for shots in the wide end. Looks great and not too expensive. It does make the 21mm sort of obsolete for my own use, but for others who might be a little more insecure about the lens selections and want one set for their film - the 21 might be sort of important. (now, this does sort of contradict what I wrote before about not wanting to go with canon or nikon mounts... :))

  • The Contax share the same characteristics as the film lenses Zeiss produced in that era - I have modern ZF 21 35 85 100 and Contax 28 2, 35 1.4, 85 1.4 and 100 f2 and the Contax are far funkier - horses for courses the 21 is nice both formats but the Contax 1 touch zooms as stellar as they are picture wise (especially the 35-70) may piss you off eventually! in the end I've bought em all and the Leicas and Rokkors etc etc if you aren't filming professionally really really don't bother - unless you're collecting lenses - if you're daily filming include the lens hire in the production costs and get the best you can for the film you're making. I got 90% of mine cheap years ago before the current bollocks prices - remember lens and camera don't make a good programme you do! Too much gear spotting these days - just shot for a year a commissioned doco on all Panny shit lenses and GH2 Sanity hack - Channel 4 UK - if you don't tell em they watch it :) Trust me I mix daily multi region multi million broadcast programmes that are absolutely utterly utterly shitly captured sound and picture - still goes out and terrestrial channels biggest programme - lesson - just get yer ass out and make it?

  • :)

    great @ soundgh2

    I`ve picked up mine over time, buying one or two when I found a good deal or had some spare cash.. But it´s been an investment that payed for itself handsomely over time (I use them all the time) which can´t be said about all the gear! In that sense I still find them sort of a bargain, except maybe if you pick the first fixed priced listing you see on e-bay. 4-500 usd for the 50mm f1.7 ...

    Right now I basically don´t shoot a thing (or very little) as I`m a stay at home dad (until spring) meanwhile doing post production jobs to keep the business going - a good time as any to improve the lens set. But normally we do a lot of low budget stuff and rental shops are too far away for most of those - the cash would go towards other stuff than lenses anyways (same situation for most other guys working with film / video here). Occasionally the situation is different but most of the time we make do with what´s close around.

    Btw, the 60mm f2.8 makro s-planar may be the best lens I´ve ever used, optically speaking.

  • Sorry, late while i was typing. Very good advice from soundgh2, nevertheless. Bringing renting-out into your calculations just to be able to afford insanely overpriced lenses like the 21mm only makes sense if you already have built a client base and know they want it and are ready to pay for it.

    Otherwise I'd drop the 21 and even the 14 and use the 18-35 instead. From what I hear they match quite well with C/Y glass (I don't yet have a Sigma).

    And, yes, any one-touch zoom can be a pita, even a very well made one like the Zeiss. Plus, three of the slower lenses are not heavier than one zoom.

    One last thing: the 200 is a pretty old design, rather go for the 180, it's stellar.

  • And, sorry, I'm not going to let go any of mine. Sold the zooms a while ago. I got pretty good prices for most of my C/Ys, just being patient and observing German eBay.

    I tend to watch offers from non- dealers with a high initial price and contact them if nobody bids. Could talk quite a few of them into fair deals.

  • @nomad

    Good advice re: ebay dealings.. Not sure I will have the time to spend to keep watching. (at this moment in time at least!)

    Also cheers for the heads up on the 200 / 180mm lenses!

    The rental service is not so much to be able to afford stuff but overall goodwill to my peers, locally. Helps me get more work as well!

    I agree on a personal level that the sigma 18-35 is more worth the trouble than the widest lenses, maybe even the 35mm f1.4. And it does seem to match c/y well from the samples I´ve seen... With that said, I won´t hesitate to spend a little extra if I have it in the budget to add to the wide end of the set in particular. The 28mm f2 is a beauty and if the 21 is anywhere near that it will get time on the camera. Not that I´m going to go all out to get those lenses.

    One thing to take into consideration though, is that c/y glass is full frame and as such, I can use a speedbooster for s35 if I want to. For the sigma, a speedbooster would only be useful for smaller sensors.

  • Another thing to consider regarding "funkiness" of C/Y glass: this applies in particular to the "Ninja" bokeh of AE lenses when stopped down one or two steps. MM lenses don't show this and fetch higher prices in general.

    You might want to get cheaper, fast AE glass – why buy fast glass if not for using it WO ? – plus the slower lenses in MM version. Some of them are gems in their own right, like the very sharp 50 1.7 or the tiny 85 2.0.

    Regarding macro: the 100mm is nice, but the 60 is a fantastic lens for many other situations apart from macro too.

  • I still hang on to the 28-85mm even though my copy is dusty from all the pushing and pulling. I once shot an entire film with just the lens, and the 60mm Makro. The 60mm is ridiculously sharp, but the 28-85mm is as good as any Zeiss prime out there.

    The 18mm f4 is not great, but the Zeiss ZF 18mm f3.5 is not that bad. I use it with BMCC 2.5k, and my images are decently sharp.

    Grab any Contax you can find now. The last I checked, prices have gone up quite a bit, and places like Keh regularly run out of stock

  • Re: the 18, I don´t plan to use it on any smaller sensor than s35. I´d dare to say that no lenses that wide and that old are particularly sharp.

    I think all my c/y are AE. My two copies of the 50mm f1.7 get very little usage because of the much better 60mm makro. :)

    Got to check out the 28-85, for sure. Nice focal range.


    Actually, I tend to not be so fuzzed about speed these days. I prefer a slower lens that looks good wide open over a fast lens that looks good wide open, in general. However, f.i. the 35mm f2.8 was a real bummer, and the faster lens looks to pack more of a punch.. Not too worried about the shuriken bokeh though. It´s pretty easily avoided by either stepping up or down if the scenario makes the bokeh intrusive (and the "effect" is not decided).

  • I have both the 35mm 2.8 and the 1.4. My 2.8 is tack sharp WO, but it's a MM. Maybe they improved these in MM? My 1.4 is a bit "glowy" WO.

  • Could be! do you get a clear feel of when it´s in focus? Could be that I have a bad copy also. Is your fast 35 an MM or AE?

  • The fast one is AE. It's my approach: I have all my fast lenses (35, 50, 85 now) in AE and all the others in MM. Saved me hundreds of Euro. Together with the SpeedBooster, I feel quite set and will not hunt for a 21mm or a 28mm 2.0 (which is not that great WO anyway).

    But of course, having more DOF, the 2.8 doesn't "snap" into focus like the 1.4 WO.

  • Have a look at the SpeedBooster thread, I tested Zeiss 35mm 1.4 plus SB against SLRM 25mm and Voigt 25mm.

  • Update: recently bought a 180mm sonnar. Looking for MM version of 35mm f2.8 or the fast 35mm lens (any version) - so if you have one to sell - PM!