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Zeiss 645Zoom 4590



As I already announced 2 weeks ago, the new Zeiss zoom is now available. Here the copy of the official press release:

"New Vario-Sonnar T* f/4.5 45-90mm Mid-Range Lens, Perfect Match for Photo-Journalists and Wedding Photographers

SOMERSET, NJ - Kyocera Optics, Inc., announces the introduction of the new Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* f/4.5 45-90mm lens for the Contax 645 system. The compact Vario-Sonnar T* 45-90mm lens incorporates the Dual Focus Mechanism and has a fast, constant aperture of f/4.5.

The Vario-Sonnar T* 45-90mm lens is a perfect one-lens solution that meets the needs of professional photographers, especially those in the wedding industry, by providing moderate wide angle to normal coverage. The lens is also a perfect choice for general, landscape, event and location photography. The lens is approximately equivalent to a 28-55mm (in 35mm format) and allows for greater flexibility when space is limited and working distances do not allow the use of a longer focal length lens.

The latest optical and eco-glass technology were used to develop this lens, resulting in unsurpassed contrast and color reproduction, the hallmark of Carl Zeiss T* lenses. In addition, the new Carl Zeiss 45-90mm lens takes full advantage of Carl Zeiss’ improved internal baffling system technology that controls stray light increasing contrast and image quality.

In addition, the Carl Zeiss T* Vario-Sonnar is supplied with a Contax Three Year Limited Warranty" (in USA).


Number of elements: 12
Number of groups: 10
Max. aperture: f/4.5
Focal Length: 45.9-87.5 mm
Negative size: 56x41.5 mm
Angular field 2w: 74,3¡ã - 43,4¡ã diagonal
Mount: Contax 645 mount
Aperture scale: 4,5, (5,6), 8, 11, 16, 22, 32
Filter connection: 95 mm screw-in type
Distance range: ¡Þ to 0,5 m
Weight: approx 1200 g
Position of entrance pupil: a) 39,2 mm behind the first lens vortexb) 31,5 mm behind the first lens vortex

The street price of the Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 45-90mm lens is $2,900.00.
I was wondering if anybody has had any experiences with this lens already. I am seriously considering ordering it, and would be glad to hear some feedback.
> Posted by Marc Koegel on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 2:22 am: > > I was wondering if anybody has had any experiences with this lens > already. I am seriously considering ordering it, and would be glad to > hear some feedback.

If you visit the archives of the list at www.contaxslr.com, you can find some recent posts from Kaisern Chen. While these mostly deal with the N Digital camera, he does make some very positive comments about the new zoom, particularly liking the build and optical quality.

Hi Marc,

I have not used the lens so far, but what I have heard from others, it seems to be very impressive. The finish seems to be even more robust, smooth and elegent then the N1-zoom lenses. If you want to use it for the 645 it is definitely worth to buy it, but for the N1/Nx the zoom range is not big enough, it is heavy and has just the aperture of 4. This is not very much, considering the weight.
From my experience with a similar zoom lens on a Mamiya 645, manual focusing will be very difficult in low light conditions because it is a f4.5 lens and wide angle. f4.5 is pretty dark for a wide angle, I'm assuming this is an AF lens, it appears to be based on the image. I guess "dual focus mechanism" is tech weenie code for AF and manual focusing?
I just ordered my 45-90/4.5 Vario-Sonnar, and will be posting my first impressions once I had a chance to take it for a day's test-shoot. It should be especially interesting to directly compare it to the Contax primes in the same focal length's, and I will aim to post some information about that as well.
Uuuaaaahhhhhhh ...., you have to pay Euro 3999.- in Germany. Kyoceras website says $ 2900.-. Why this ?

If anyone is interested, I may be able to provide for new Vario-Sonnars in Europe at Euro 4250,--.
US Pricing of new Contax 45-90

According to my German dealer's information Yashica Japan will correct the "mistyped" price (2,900 $) for the new Contax 645 Zoom 45-90 given on http://www.contaxcameras.com. The European street price of around 3,900 EUR is correct.
I checked out the new Contax 45-90 today at Houston Camera Exchange and the "sticker" price was $2900. I'm not sure what the current exchange rate is for USD/EUR but 3,900 seems high. I also saw the lens posted by B&H for $2900. I didn't buy the lens but will wait for the 90-180.