DPR Forum

Welcome to the Friendly Aisles!
Register now and use your old dpreview username.
Enjoy this modern, easy to use software. Look also at our Reviews & Gallery!

Contax Zeiss N17-35/2.8


Who has it already? What is your first impression. Can you compare it with other Zeiss-lenses? For what kind of shooting you are using it? Is the weight and filtersize an issue for you? why/why not?


I have just taken delivery in the last 3 hours.
Feels real good! Like with the CZ 70-300, this new lens is well balanced on the camera.
I'll be out later this evening taking some dusky landscape shots.
Filtersize is significant for this 92mm monster, my local contax specialist didn't have any in stock.
They may prove tricky to find but I'll be on the prowl in the next few months.

...if you look at the MTF-chart in the download section on the left, I see a weak point at ca. 25mm focal length. Would be intersted to know, whether you can see this in real pictures/slides

Hi Patrick,

thank you for the information. I will exchange my badly scanned MTF charts of these lenses with the new ones in the next update of the download-section.

I hope to get the MTF charts of the 85/1.4 within the next days. You will find it then also in the download section.

I do hope to God that the 85 is better than the 17-35. When the zoom first came out I got one and found it a bit loose feeling and noisey. Finally the flat images it consistantly produced prompted me to return it for a second one to test...which also went back for the same reasons. Maybe it was just that I jumped in to early, and the ones are now better. Anyone using the 17-35? What are your experiences. I need this lens, or the N system will be to weak for Pro work.
For certain work the 24-85 is brilliant and extremely valuable but for more organised and controlled work prime lenses are better! I have the planar 80 f2 from my 645 and the 50mm f1.4 N all I need is a 28 f2 and I would be very happy. Please Contax.
I had the 17-35 for 2 weeks and tested it pretty rigorously in the field. It was fast focusing, and sharp but the out of focus areas were awful. White pebbles in grass looked like donuts. Leaves looked like broken glass-harsh edges. Any high contrast area looked like the grays had been smeared on with a knife. Tonal distortion is the best I can describe it. And the effect wasn't constant. It changed depending on how out of focus things got. Which just made it more distracting and bizarre looking.

This lens was a huge disappointment. I'm now only using the 645 lenses on the 35. They are universally excellent. I bought back part of my old system to cover the wide angles. Not the solution I had hoped for.