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Zoom lenses possible switch from Nikon to Contax


I realize that these kind of questions can be very subjective, but here goes:

Here's my dilemma: I currently own a Nikon F100 with a 28-105 lens. I also recent bought a Contax G2 with the 45mm lens. I bought the camera
for the lenses and I am extremely impressed! Particularly the color and saturation from the lens -- it's amazing.

Now, I would like to upgrade my zoom lens for my autofocus SLR. Ignoring differences between camera bodies and between primes and zooms,
and ignoring pricing for now, I'd like some advice on lens choice. I plan to buy either a Nikon AF-S 28-70 2.8 zoom or the Contax N1 with the 24-85 zoom.

Does anyone have experience with these two lenses? How do they compare with respect to all aspects of lenses (sharpness, color, etc)?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Although my observation may be a bit controversial I will say this. Strictly sticking to the points of the glass my 24-85 3.5-4.5 variable may not be as fast as your 28-70 2.8 fixed, I find with the extra range fits my needs a bit better. In addition I have found the sharpness and color saturation truly remarkable for a zoom lens. In fact in my humble opinion I will go as far to say that this lens is superior to many primes that I have seen. You will not be disappointed in the glass. Just make sure the body will meet your needs.

Stephen: I found myself in the same situation about 2 years ago, except I had a N90S.

I got the N1 with the 24-85 because
1. I wanted to have the 24 mm range rather than starting at 28, and
2. it is a fantastic lens which can be had for about $800 grey. Compare that to the Nikon which is much more expensive, heavy and huge, and doesn't even have 24 mm. I don't really miss the F2.8 all that much. Choice was easy and I have the slides to back me up.

You can read my experiences with the 24-85 on epinions, should you care.

Thanks Gavin and Otola. Nice review in epinions Otola.

Anyone else also have experience to compare the the higher-end Nikon (28-70 2.8) and the CZ 24-85?

Did you also ask this question on the Nikon forum?

It might prove interesting!



I would include this one and any other one you participate in.

Go for it. See what happens.


Basically, whenever you want to shift to any system, the basic question is about what will be your actual need?

Taking this as an ex&le, disregarding the optical quality, 28-70 and 24-85 is already talking about two different applications. F2.8 and 3.5/4.5 is another. Another hidden question is what other ranges do you need?

I experienced this shifting struggling. I almost tend to choose Canon for the much more options in lens as part of the advantage. The lens speed of both Nikon & Canon zoom lens are also faster than N system, and even AF speed.

However, when consider deeply my shooting pattern, what i need is a very high quality lens, convenient zoom range for travel, occassionally big apperture, seldom sports and wildlife photos, etc. My conclusion is that N system fits me much and value for money.

No system is the best. Only a system "best fits" to your application.

The quality of CZ T* (I need to add T*!) is unquestionable. You may also see some reference to compare the lens quality among different brands in this forum.

While comparimng different zoom lenses, I would look closely at the ability for reducing lens flare, the clour reproduction, sharpness and also minimum focussing distance.

Even if you compare the manual focus lenses from Zeiss with the new N-lenses, you will see some surprises. The N24-85 zoom has a smaller minimum focus distance (0.5m) than the older lenses. This helps dramatically in using 85mm as a portrait lens. Try that with a 135mm which needs 1.6m distance or the 85/2.8 and 85/1.4 which need 1m.

Lens flare is absolute outstanding and colour reproduction as well. Only the softer image at 85mm (which is good for portait work) could be an issue for some people.
If I may share some direct user experiences.

I have shot extensively with Canon, Nikon,Leica and Contax/Zeiss 35mm glass. IMO, there is no comparison between the quality of the Zeiss zooms I've used (N 17-35/2.8, 24-85/3.5, and 70-300/4.5-5.6) and the other makers.

Canon L zooms, while improved, still show more distortion than the Zeiss versions. This includes the much touted 24-70/2.8 which shows more barrel distortion, and it is quite prone to flare despite the huge shade, (I have not tried the new Canon 18-40/4 as of yet). And the bokeh of the Zeiss glass is more pleasing than the Nikon zooms. I totally dislike B&W work from the Nikon glass where the Zeiss glass excells at it. I even prefer the Zeiss zooms over the Leica R versions, including the new 21-35/3.5 ASPH. That lens was a enough of a disappointment, considering its cost, to make me finally abandon Leica R altogether.

This is not a blanket endorsement of the Zeiss N line-up which is woefully short on fixed glass. Plus the 50/1.4 could and should be a better lens than it is (I dislike the Bokeh of this lens compared to the less expensive Canon version), and it exhibits no where near the performance of the ultra expensive, newer design 50 Lux from Leica. The 85/1.4 N however is worth every penny. But then again the Nikon 85/1.4 and Leia 80/1.4 aren't exactly bad themselves.