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Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6
  
 
bwcolor
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p.5 #1 · p.5 #1 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


Thanks Fred for another quality set of lens tests/comparisons.

I picked up the 100-300mm in my Contax days. I can only think that Zeiss designed such a good lens, simply because they could. Time to take it out on the RTSIII for some field sports. I don't know if I could even do this anymore. All the better.. a challenge.
This weekend, it is soccer and the GM 100-400mm...hopefully with the 1.4x..should it come in time. I'm resisting testing it for lens symmetry, because I know that the results won't really be important on the sideline. The autofocus issues are important.



Aug 02, 2017 at 04:03 AM
mark1958
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p.5 #2 · p.5 #2 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


I had decided not to sell my Contax 100-300 but did a lot less in terms of side by side comparisons.. so thanks for confirming and doing these specific comparisons.


Aug 02, 2017 at 04:03 AM
Jannik Peters
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p.5 #3 · p.5 #3 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


virtualrain wrote:
I'm sure it depends on your body and how drunk or cafinated you are. Intoxication probably offers an extra stop of stabilization. A triple espresso the opposite.


Great! Now I know why I always keep my camera steady One of both is always the case, but in 99% of the time the caffeine booster :P

Regarding stabilisation - I'd really appreciate to have the IBIS focal lengths on the back wheel (where ISO at default is).. Changing the FL with a manual zoom lens is a real pain and I only use it when I stick to a scene and feel that I don't get the shot otherwise.



Aug 02, 2017 at 06:14 AM
Phillip Reeve
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p.5 #4 · p.5 #4 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6




Fred Miranda wrote:
With high res bodies like the A7RII, I consider the shutter speed rule of thumb for handholding (without OSS) to be focal length times 2. So, at 400mm, I would consider handholding it at 1/800s as a minimum.

With OSS activated and with good technique, I'm able to handhold it with great results at 400mm + 1/50s, which is 4 stops from 1/800s.

I you say you are able to handhold do you mean you get tripod quality every time or maybe 1 in 5 attempts?



Aug 02, 2017 at 07:46 AM
Fred Miranda
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p.5 #5 · p.5 #5 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


Phillip Reeve wrote:
I you say you are able to handhold do you mean you get tripod quality every time or maybe 1 in 5 attempts?


At 400mm f/5.6, I get consistent results at 1/50s or 1/60s but longer than that, it's perhaps 1 in 5.
I didn't compare it vs tripod but compared it vs higher shutter speeds like 1/50 vs 1/640 and the results are similar at 1:1. However, this is subjective to handholding technique and varies from person to person. Some may be able to get much better results than this and some worse.



Aug 02, 2017 at 03:00 PM
jhinkey
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p.5 #6 · p.5 #6 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


DavidBM wrote:
Hmm. At 200 the C/Y appears to be still the go at f5.6 by a long way at!
At 100 the difference seems to be mainly contrast - maybe that could fix in post?

Most reports on the GM say it's best at the extremes and worst 200-300 - but we know from Roger's testing of zooms that where they are best is as much a function of variation as it is of differences in the underlying design.

Edit: at 300 they look close again, and 400 looks pretty good to me - I doubt if any of the classic 5.6/400 primes
...Show more

At 400mm f/5.6 my across-the-frame-sharpness standard is the relatively rare, but excellent 400/5.6 ED AI Nikkor which I don't hesitate to shoot wide open on my A7RII (or D800). I plan on renting the GM to do my own comparison and will share the results when it's available. Both lenses look pretty darned good though.



Aug 02, 2017 at 05:10 PM
GMPhotography
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p.5 #7 · p.5 #7 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


One word for this lens . Monopod

I have two of them. Lol



Aug 02, 2017 at 05:36 PM
Schlotkins
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p.5 #8 · p.5 #8 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


Fred Miranda wrote:
Definitely not the best choice for 'action' but when you hit focus, colors and micro-contrast are hard to beat.


Yea that's one reason I probably won't get this lens. I want to get a Contax 100-300 but if I'm shooting something that's moving I am still going to use my Canon body.



Aug 02, 2017 at 07:14 PM
virtualrain
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p.5 #9 · p.5 #9 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


Hey all... I'm interested in getting a one of these 100-300 Contax lenses as a landscape telephoto for my travels. I'm wondering what to look for when buying one? I gather fungus can be a common problem?

What adapter would you recommend?

I'm going to be in Hong Kong next week... apparently there's a ton of great used camera stores there. I wonder if I might find one there for a reasonable price?



Aug 12, 2017 at 11:25 PM
Parariss
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p.5 #10 · p.5 #10 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6



GMPhotography wrote:
One word for this lens . Monopod

I have two of them. Lol


Um, Guy, those are called "legs."



Aug 13, 2017 at 01:14 AM
 

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Samuli Vahonen
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p.5 #11 · p.5 #11 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


virtualrain wrote:
Hey all... I'm interested in getting a one of these 100-300 Contax lenses as a landscape telephoto for my travels. I'm wondering what to look for when buying one? I gather fungus can be a common problem?

What adapter would you recommend?

I'm going to be in Hong Kong next week... apparently there's a ton of great used camera stores there. I wonder if I might find one there for a reasonable price?

There seems to be issue with this lens, that rear lens elements get "hazy". In eBay there are exactly 6 of these in sale, 100% of them have issues. Quotes from those listings:
"There are tiny bubbles in the rear lens."
"There is haze."
"There is thin haze(Degradation of the balsam affixing the lens) on inside of the rear lens(Half of the surface area)."
"There are a few something like fungus."
"The rear of lens has heavy haze ."

There was one last week (or beginning of this week) from Germany, which was serviced recently by Zeiss (had even MTF-measurements with it). It was 900EUR, while these haze-versions from Japan are 400-600EUR, and the listing specially mentioned that it's OK, not like all other listings. I think I'm no longer interested buying this lens, all sellers might not be telling (or recognizing) haze, fungus etc. issues typical to this lens. I have followed situation randomly last 3 years, and it's common to have this haze problem. So be careful examining the lens before buying.

I gave up idea of Contax 100-300 due to this haze issue, and keep using Leica APO-Elmarit-R 180mm as my long lens. I hoped Sony 100-400 to solve lack of long zoom for me, so much that I pre-ordered one. But it seems to have ugly boke on large distances, which is important for me. So sad as stuff in focus plane looks so good on this lens. I don't shoot birds etc. at close distances, where boke seems to be OK. Also I don't shoot anything moving so all fancy AF, OSS etc. provides no additional value for me.



I recently got new kind of adapters, which have sturdy tripod leg connection, for all of my C/Y lenses. Example eBay list of new kind of adapter, pay attention to tripod foot, not brand&model, they sell same stuff under various brands and you can only trust listing photos, not brand&model:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tripod-CY-CONTAX-Yashica-Lens-to-Sony-NEX-E-mount-Adapter-NEX7-NEX6-NEX5-NEX3-/141869996246
After getting them I added flocking material to inside of the adapter before taking them to use. I do this to all adapters as I love shooting backlight, and the painted black metal always has reflections - specially important for all SLR-lens mount adapters.

Also Metabones is good, but it's about 5-8 times more expensive, you can buy via their website, their partners, but also there seems to be one in eBay as well:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Metabones-Adapter-Contax-Yashica-an-Sony-E-Mount-T-black-/272769081832
Benefit of metabones is that it has directly Arca/Swiss compatible tripod foot. For others I need to install small Arca/Swiss-plate.

The "older model" tripod foot adapters like this should be avoided (again attention to photos, ignore brand&model):
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Contax-Yashica-C-Y-Lens-to-Sony-E-Mount-NEX-VG10-NEX3-NEX5-NEX-C3-Adapter-Tripod-/162527087376
All of them over the time have issues with tripod skrews getting loose. If you get one, then disassemple it and use quality skrew glue (e.g. Locktite threadlocking products) for the skrews. Also this model is less sturdy, and I would feel REALLY uncomfortable using 900EUR heavy lens on this kind of tiny tripod foot, it's aluminium and can snap easily. I left this kind of adapters to some lightweight lenses like 1.7/50 (also there it can be problem, because camera weights multiple times light lens weights => I would advice to not carry camera on tripod, even for short distances, with this kind of crappy adapters).

Samuli



Aug 13, 2017 at 05:19 AM
virtualrain
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p.5 #12 · p.5 #12 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


Samuli Vahonen wrote:
There seems to be issue with this lens, that rear lens elements get "hazy". In eBay there are exactly 6 of these in sale, 100% of them have issues. Quotes from those listings:
"There are tiny bubbles in the rear lens."
"There is haze."
"There is thin haze(Degradation of the balsam affixing the lens) on inside of the rear lens(Half of the surface area)."
"There are a few something like fungus."
"The rear of lens has heavy haze ."

There was one last week (or beginning of this week) from Germany, which was serviced recently by Zeiss (had even MTF-measurements with it). It was 900EUR,
...Show more

Thanks for this. I also noticed that most of the e-bay listings have issues. I'll see what Hong Kong offers. Otherwise this board buy and sell forum.

Does this 100-300 work with the Techart Pro AF adapter? (edit: I see Fred posted a couple pages back some photos taken with the TAP - it works well then?)



Aug 13, 2017 at 08:08 AM
PEKA62
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p.5 #13 · p.5 #13 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


I bought one for cheap about a year ago with such a hazy rear element, believing it could be cleaned.
I sent it to a special lab here where they do all kind of repairs and services on old cameras and lenses.
The problem is, that the rear element is made out of two lenses that are glued together. The haze comes from the glue between the lenses. I was told, it is not possible to separate the lenses for cleaning without destroying them.
I was also told, this is a well known problem with that lens, and the only way to repair it is replacing the double rear element with a new one. Unfortunately there are no more spare parts available.
So beware buying such a lens with 'some haze' on the rear element, it can not be repaired or cleaned.
It's just junk.



Aug 13, 2017 at 10:41 AM
Kierzkow
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p.5 #14 · p.5 #14 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


Samuli Vahonen wrote:
There seems to be issue with this lens, that rear lens elements get "hazy". In eBay there are exactly 6 of these in sale, 100% of them have issues. Quotes from those listings:
"There are tiny bubbles in the rear lens."
"There is haze."
"There is thin haze(Degradation of the balsam affixing the lens) on inside of the rear lens(Half of the surface area)."
"There are a few something like fungus."
"The rear of lens has heavy haze ."

There was one last week (or beginning of this week) from Germany, which was serviced recently by Zeiss (had even MTF-measurements with it). It was 900EUR,
...Show more

---------------------------------------------

PEKA62 wrote:
I bought one for cheap about a year ago with such a hazy rear element, believing it could be cleaned.
I sent it to a special lab here where they do all kind of repairs and services on old cameras and lenses.
The problem is, that the rear element is made out of two lenses that are glued together. The haze comes from the glue between the lenses. I was told, it is not possible to separate the lenses for cleaning without destroying them.
I was also told, this is a well known problem with that lens, and the only way to repair
...Show more

Samuli and PEKA62,
Fantastic advice worth $1,000. Every time I see a new photograph by Ronny Olsson taken with the C/Y 100-300
I rush to e-bay to get one for myself. Something was always holding me back when I would read the accompanying description.
Just a few days ago I missed one C/Y 100-300 lens offered in Germany that really seemed to be perfect but I was now quick enough.
But what now gentlemen?
I do mainly landscapes, and never ever sports, birds, supersonic airplanes, and things like these.

Thank you again.



Aug 13, 2017 at 11:11 AM
Samuli Vahonen
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p.5 #15 · p.5 #15 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


Kierzkow wrote:
Just a few days ago I missed one C/Y 100-300 lens offered in Germany that really liked perfect but I was now quick enough.

Oh, you too, damn; who got it? Confess now...

Kierzkow wrote:
But what now gentlemen?
I do mainly landscapes, and never ever sports, birds, supersonic airplanes, and things like these.

I gave up and I'll keep shooting with Leica 180APO and Leica 80-200 and maybe also Contax 80-200 until Loxia 100-300 comes out . If my local used camera stuff store gets one Contax N 70-200 (MTF does not look great...) I'll try that. Also if they get Sony 70-300 and price is not crazy I may try also it. Realistically I do not expect either one of the 70-2/300 be level I would like them to be, and most likely they have awful boke on large distances like Sony 100-400.

Samuli



Aug 13, 2017 at 11:25 AM
PEKA62
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p.5 #16 · p.5 #16 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


I was also watching that auction and also contacted the seller to learn how he managed to get the lens serviced @ ZEISS, as they normally do not service these old Contax lenses. He told me, he's a former employee with still very good contacts there...

Like Samuli I would not buy a 100-300 Contax any more (had a good one and sold it 2 years ago).
Even if you find a good one, there is always the risk that you suddenly get this haze problem one day...



Aug 13, 2017 at 11:43 AM
Kierzkow
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p.5 #17 · p.5 #17 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


Samuli Vahonen wrote:
Oh, you too, damn; who got it? Confess now...

I gave up and I'll keep shooting with Leica 180APO and Leica 80-200 and maybe also Contax 80-200 until Loxia 100-300 comes out . If my local used camera stuff store gets one Contax N 70-200 (MTF does not look great...) I'll try that. Also if they get Sony 70-300 and price is not crazy I may try also it. Realistically I do not expect either one of the 70-2/300 be level I would like them to be, and most likely they have awful boke on large distances like
...Show more

---------------------------------------------

PEKA62 wrote:
I was also watching that auction and also contacted the seller to learn how he managed to get the lens serviced @ ZEISS, as they normally do not service these old Contax lenses. He told me, he's a former employee with still very good contacts there...

Like Samuli I would not buy a 100-300 Contax any more (had a good one and sold it 2 years ago).
Even if you find a good one, there is always the risk that you suddenly get this haze problem one day...


O.K. Let's wait for Loxia 100-300, or Loxia 200 or 300.
Maybe Sigma will start producing lenses for Sony A7 cameras soon.
There is another variable in our system of equations: Sony will launch a successor to A7Rii which could drastically
reduce the usefulness of the C/Y 100-300.



Aug 13, 2017 at 12:34 PM
bjornthun
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p.5 #18 · p.5 #18 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


What makes the Contax 100-300 especially prone to developing haze in the rear group?


Aug 13, 2017 at 12:53 PM
virtualrain
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p.5 #19 · p.5 #19 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


PEKA62 wrote:

I bought one for cheap about a year ago with such a hazy rear element, believing it could be cleaned.
I sent it to a special lab here where they do all kind of repairs and services on old cameras and lenses.
The problem is, that the rear element is made out of two lenses that are glued together. The haze comes from the glue between the lenses. I was told, it is not possible to separate the lenses for cleaning without destroying them.
I was also told, this is a well known problem with that lens, and the only way to repair
...Show more

---------------------------------------------

bjornthun wrote:
What makes the Contax 100-300 especially prone to developing haze in the rear group?


Thanks... this is good to know. I guess I'll just put the money towards the 100-400.



Aug 13, 2017 at 04:34 PM
Luvwine
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p.5 #20 · p.5 #20 · Sony FE 100-400/4.5-5.6 GM vs Contax 100-300/4.5-5.6


I bought a Zeiss 100-300 here on the B&S forum and it works very well for my purposes. I just checked and see no haze or bubbles or what have you in the rear element. I wonder about the likelihood of seeing a "Loxia" 100-300. So far Loxia have a 52mm filter thread and the Zeiss 100-300 is 67mm. I suppose a landscape oriented telephoto zoom is possible, but I expect it will be a while before one comes. The quality of the Zeiss 100-300 across the frame for me is not up to my Leica 180/2.8 apo or 280/4 apo or even my Sony GM 100 stf, but when I don't have a particular need for the speed or focal lengths, I find the Zeiss more convenient to carry and its rendering is really attractive.


Aug 13, 2017 at 05:09 PM
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