Shooting Landscapes with the Contax 28mm f2.8

I’ve been walking around with the Contax Zeiss 28mm f2.8 for a little over a month. I can easily say this has become my go-to landscape hiking lens. It’s small enough to not be bothersome on long hikes, and the image quality is superb.

A landscape image shot with the Contax Zeiss 28mm f2.8 lens.
Contax Zeiss 28mm f2.8 @ f11.

The image above is from conservation land in my town. I chose f11 because of the depth of this scene and wanting to have most of it in focus. The lens exhibits typical Zeiss colors. I did find the image much warmer at f11 than at f2.8. The image below is wide open at f2.8:

Contax Zeiss 28mm f2.8 @f2.8

The above images were shot within seconds of each other. Notice how much cooler the second image is at f2.8. I shot a few images at both f-stops to confirm this effect. ISO for both images was 100. The f11 image was shot at 1/1600s and the f2.8 image was shot at 1/125s. My guess is that the sensor of my Nikon Z6 chose interprets scenes differently based on the amount of light entering the lens. Keep in mind that with no mechanical or electronic connection to the camera, this lens was at f11 during metering, instead of stopping down after metering, the way a modern lens would. The warmer colors of the f11 image is how I saw the scene while taking the photos.

Corner sharpness isn’t great at f2.8. See image below:

Contax Zeiss 28mm f2.8 Corner Sharpness @f2.8

Center sharpness is great. These corners aren’t looking great at f2.8. They’re also out of focus so not the best test.

Below is an image at f8:

Contax Zeiss 28mm f2.8 @f8

While corner sharpness isn’t great at f2.8, I’m not really in the habit of shooting landscapes at f2.8, and much prefer f8 and higher, and that’s where this lens shines for landscapes.

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