I’ve been shooting with this lens for about a month now and absolutely love the results. It’s small size has made it an easy choice for long hikes and street photography when I want the somewhat wide look of 28mm. It’s become my go-to lens for those times when I don’t want to carry around a bag of lenses, nor the heavier weight of a zoom. An impressive MFD means I can get really close to subjects for a tight shot, and yet step back and encompass more of the scene than a nifty 50 or 85mm prime.
Minimum Focus Distance:
I measured MFD to be somewhere between 9 and 10 inches from the sensor plane.
Getting this close can give you some unique shots. May not be the look you’re going for if shooting portraits, or it may be.
Older lenses tend to flare more than newer lenses. This can be a good thing, or a hinderance, depending on your shooting style. I’ve noticed some flare when pointing directly at the sun. I’ve also noticed that you can chance the angle of the camera and shoot again without flare, so it’s pretty easy to correct for if you have the extra time.
I under exposed the image above to highlight the flare in the 3 o’clock position from the sun. Repositioning the camera and exposing correctly gave me the image below:
The lens does show some corner darkening at most apertures. It’s most apparent wide open and does improve stopped down. It’s not as noticeable as the 28-85mm when the zoom is at 28mm.
Below is a real world example of the vignette at f2.8:
Notice the slight darkening in the top left corner. Very easy to correct in post. Also notice the lens flare produced from the sun. The lens did manage to capture the beautiful fall colors of this day.
AEG & AEJ Vs. MM Versions
My version of this lens is AEG. I’d be interested to hear how flare may be different in the MM versions, or if there are any differences at all. My AEG version can experience ninja star bokeh at f4, and only at f4. I’ve never really found that MM versions are worth a higher price but I’d like to know what others have experienced.
Black & White Photography
I have found all CONTAX Zeiss lenses to be outstanding for black and white photography and the 28mm f2.8 is no different. There’s something about that high level of micro contrast that makes images shot with these lenses unique.
You really can’t go wrong with this lens. It’s sharp wide open, has beautiful Zeiss color and contrast, all metal construction, and is small enough to walk around with all day.