I received one of this with a Pentax Super-Takumar 50mm f/1,4 I bought some time ago.
I warn you, this will be a very short review…
This converter, for all intents and purposes, simply sucks. This, of course, at least used with the above mentioned Pentax 50mm f/1,4 Super-Takumar.
Really, I’ve never seen anything worst. It was incapable to obtain a passably sharp image at all stops, with the possible exception of f/11 where the results were soft but at least printable.
I didn’t start with high expectations: I was hoping to use it for portraits and soft-focus shots. But it is way way too soft even for this!
Strangely enough, used for macro, coupled with extension rings, the results are almost passable. It’s just that they not justify the effort, and beside: I rarely do macro, and if and when I do I have the Makro Planar that can smoke this little old timer away.
At least I was finally able to give something the rating of “use it as paperweight”, a thing that after all this years I thought was never gonna happen!
An underdog, often overlooked because of its big brother the 85mm f/1.4, that indeed performs marvellously.
But this one is however one of the best Contax lenses ever made.
100% crops. Left center, right borders (on Canon 5D Mark II):
The Sonnar is compact like a 50mm lens, razor-sharp, has no troubles with flare, it is contrasty and has the marvellous Zeiss colors.
Its only problem is the maximum aperture, quite limited.
If this is not a concern for you then get one, and you will love it.
A sweet lens, sharp all the way and with good bokeh.
Teamed with the 45mm f/4 it was my walk-around lens.
Its main purpose, the one for what it has been designed, is the portraiture.
But it has proven a great landscape lens too.
Its only fault, one that in my opinion it shares with all the lenses in the Pentax 67 lineup I’ve used, is the lack of a “spark” that the Zeiss for Hasselblad lenses have, and the Pentax don’t.
Otherwise, or if your tastes are different than mine, definitely a keeper.
Rating: on film
Ok, I don’t really quite like superlatives, but this lens deserves them all.
Because it’s almost unbelievable and absolutely WONDERFUL!
The only flaw that I can think of it is that it’s not a Zeiss (and I love Zeiss colors more that the yellowish Canon ones).
Bokeh, sharpness, flare resistance, autofocus accuracy and speed they are all over the top.
The price is over the top too, at 1.200€ street.
But this is a lens that you will use forever…
After the first photos this will be the word that will be out of your mouth when you will see the results.
The pictures made with this handy zoom literally pops-out from the screen, even from the tiny one of the digital cameras, not to mention from an iMac!
By any means this it’s not a cheap lens.
When it came out its price was out of range for most professionals. And even used, now, its price is stable around the 500/700 euro.
But, believe me, it is worth every cent.
Luminosity aside, carrying this tiny (for the focal range) lens is like carrying around a full set of top-grade fixed focal lenghts.
Contrast, color, definition; it’s all over the top. The only lenses that I know of that are marginally better of this zoom are some fixed Zeiss focal lenses: the Contax 85mm f/2,8, the 100mm f/2 and the 100mm f/2,8 Makro. Period.
Even the Contax 300mm f/4 falls short in comparision.
Long story short: unless you shoot sport, if you manage to find one buy it, and you will not regret!