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  • Buying a lens with tiny scratches

    Hey guys,

    I have a chance of buying a Zeiss C/Y 28mm F2.0 for 600 eur. It has a few tiny scratches on the rear element of the lens, which I don't think it's affecting the image, but wanted your opinion.

    I took my camera and shot inside the store a bit and told him I was going to check in my computer for traces of those scratches. Since it's in the rear element, I don't think it should affect flaring very much so I didn't bother to take the camera outside.

    Here are some stills. Please, let me know what you think and if you need some DNGs to inspect a bit more.

    Thanks!!



    28mm F/5.6




    28mm f/11




    28mm f/4





    28mm f/2



    Last edited by david evans; 10-09-2019, 10:17 AM.

  • #2
    The lenses I own that have roughness on the elements don't have visible "artifacts", they just render images with less contrast and a more glare. I would avoid it, personally, unless it was at a heavy discount. My main reason being that to sell it, the next guy will probably be just like you are, wondering if it's a good buy.

    Considering good 28mm lenses are common as beans, I don't see anything particularly special about this one, unless you are trying to match image to a bunch of other zeiss glass that you already own.

    The same lens can be had on ebay for less, most likely with no scratches.

    With that said, the images look good.

    Just my opinion - others may differ

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by GeranSimpson View Post
      The lenses I own that have roughness on the elements don't have visible "artifacts", they just render images with less contrast and a more glare. I would avoid it, personally, unless it was at a heavy discount. My main reason being that to sell it, the next guy will probably be just like you are, wondering if it's a good buy.

      Considering good 28mm lenses are common as beans, I don't see anything particularly special about this one, unless you are trying to match image to a bunch of other zeiss glass that you already own.

      The same lens can be had on ebay for less, most likely with no scratches.

      With that said, the images look good.

      Just my opinion - others may differ
      thanks Geran,

      Well, I'm not really worried about selling it. I'm trying to gather a few Zeiss prime lenses of the same era, with that specific coating and optical formula. The guys at the store were willing to do the declicking of the iris and adding a C/Y to Canon adapter at no extra cost. Not sure if it's a good deal, but my main concern is to get a lens with pristine IQ. I've been tracking Contax Zeiss glass at ebay and most 28mm F2 that are declared scratch free and fungus and haze free are much more expensive, so not sure what to do here...

      Comment


      • #4
        Hmm. We must be seeing different results, then. Are there different 28mm f/2 zeiss lenses? I just did a search for “zeiss 28mm f/2”. Only a few are above the one you’re looking at, and ef to boot.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by GeranSimpson View Post
          Hmm. We must be seeing different results, then. Are there different 28mm f/2 zeiss lenses? I just did a search for “zeiss 28mm f/2”. Only a few are above the one you’re looking at, and ef to boot.
          You're probably getting the ZF.2 version (or maybe the 2.8 which is way cheaper). I'm looking for contax West germany version (AEG), they share similar optical formula to the standards and super speeds. Nowadays I think they are expensive because they are rare...
          Last edited by david evans; 10-09-2019, 10:28 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Ah, yes I see the difference now. That is a good price, with the service, too. It depends on how bad the scratches are.

            Are they this bad?
            IMG_2889.jpg
            IMG_2888.jpg

            That amount of dust/wear/scratches will make the image have less contrast and appear hazey.
            If my example is shockingly bad compared to the zeiss then I wouldn't worry about them and consider it a good deal.

            Comment


            • #7
              Generally speaking, scratches on the REAR are much worse than scratches on the FRONT.

              Scratches on the front will be almost invisible, unless you catch them in a flare, where they can alter flare character sometimes.

              If they're on the back they have more visual impact. A tiny scratch on the back CAN show up more than a bigger one on the front. Basically a softening in the area at shallow stops and you will start to "see" the scratches at deeper stops on flat fields.

              It also tends to be worse on wider lenses.

              It will show up more at deeper stops.

              Good way to test would be to shoot a sky at say F11 or F16. You should start to see the outline of the scratch itself.

              Like a lot of things, it also depends a lot on the size, depth, angle, position on the lens itself. In the middle vs on the outer edge for example.

              JB

              Comment


              • #8
                Check these out. One is the same price as what you are looking on and the other two are between $180-200 dollars more. I don't know if its out of your range, but the glass is basically mint on al of them so that should gain some peace of mind. Even though they listing says from Japan, all 3 have the "Made in West Germany" on the lens. I think its just shipping from Japan.

                https://www.ebay.com/itm/Exc-Contax-...cAAOSwdb5dlijl

                https://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-NEAR-M...8AAOSwe-tdmwHb


                https://www.ebay.com/itm/Excellent-C...43e563dba39cc2
                Darren Scott
                Freelance Director/Director of Photography


                https://vimeo.com/jambredzvisions/videos

                Comment


                • #9
                  Remember that excellent++++ in Japan ebay is like “fair/good” to “very good” quality. One of them says there is slight haze and one says some separation.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks guys.

                    I bit the bullet and ended up buying a mint version from germany. It was about 900eur but it was listed pretty much as like new. I love the character of this "Hollywood" lens. No wonder Kubrick liked them so much (well the cine version of course).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A few more grabs with this amazing lens.



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just to clarify, the Contax 28mm f2 is great but the "Cine" version as you call it, is an optically different lens, not a cinevised version of the Contax.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jpblack View Post
                          Just to clarify, the Contax 28mm f2 is great but the "Cine" version as you call it, is an optically different lens, not a cinevised version of the Contax.
                          Hi,

                          According to several references, including Zeiss, it's the same glass and the same coating. I'll try to look for those references when I get the chance. Anyway, it's an amazing lens.

                          EDIT:

                          https://www.newsshooter.com/2019/09/...-super-speeds/

                          Very similar, especially with the coating being the same. Probably a difference in the design as the super speeds were faster.
                          Last edited by david evans; 10-14-2019, 04:19 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My dear friend, may I suggest you look more into before referencing inaccurate sources, not looking to pick a fight just trying to tell you that it's a bit more complicated and if really interested, to look more into it

                            No source suggests that the Contax 28mm is the same optically as the legendary Standard speed. I had both, and they simply aren't the same lens. Both are great, but the Standard Speed is amongst the best 5-10 lenses I've ever used, it's legendary for a reason. Concerning the "Hollywood" contax version and its nickname most of the stuff I've found is trivial urban legends. Still a great lens though, I'm sure you will enjoy using it, congrats on getting a nice copy


                            p.s. If you do find an accurate source (e.g. Zeiss), I'll be glad to read more about it

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jpblack View Post
                              My dear friend, may I suggest you look more into before referencing inaccurate sources, not looking to pick a fight just trying to tell you that it's a bit more complicated and if really interested, to look more into it

                              No source suggests that the Contax 28mm is the same optically as the legendary Standard speed. I had both, and they simply aren't the same lens. Both are great, but the Standard Speed is amongst the best 5-10 lenses I've ever used, it's legendary for a reason. Concerning the "Hollywood" contax version and its nickname most of the stuff I've found is trivial urban legends. Still a great lens though, I'm sure you will enjoy using it, congrats on getting a nice copy


                              p.s. If you do find an accurate source (e.g. Zeiss), I'll be glad to read more about it

                              Well, that source I referenced, actually states they spoke with Zeiss about that. They could be making it up, of course, who knows... and who cares? And the comparison is between the Super Speeds and the Contax, not the standards. But it's an academic discussion, really. Most important to me is actually buying a lens whose mix of character and precision suits me and my camera. Everything else is just curiosity and probably urban legends as you put it.

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