Topic: Zeiss Tele-Tessar T* f/4 200mm
I don’t have particular reason for this post, apart from that maybe natural exhibitionism
25 years ago I bought this Zeiss Tele Tessar for my RTS3. To this time, my longest lens had just 85mm, maybe I thought some more focal length would be helpful. So far the idea. But to be honest, I don’t think that I made more than 100 photos on film. And the most of them are either out of focus or blurred. So, in this context, the purchase was somehow waste of money.
The Tele Tessar belongs by far not to most famous Zeiss lenses for the Yashica/Contax system.
In comparison, the Sonnar T* f2.8/180mm is much more famous; this lens is also called the descendant of the world famous Olympia-Sonnar which deputed for the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936. But this lens had its weight with 815 gr. and a very Zeiss specific price tag. While the Sonnar has a front diameter of 72mm, the Tessar has 55mm; its weight is only 550 gr. including the build in lens hood. The f stop range goes from 4 to 32.
But nevertheless, the Tessar is still a typical Zeiss lens. The build quality is superb, the mechanical performance is outstanding. Everything is tide but works smoothly.
Those days I tried a comeback, using the lens with an adapter on my Canon or Fuji cameras. With the help of this quick feedback you have as digital photographer, I realized pretty soon that the main issue is not the lens itself; instead, it is rather the guy behind the camera.
I don’t have any camera with build in sensor shift, so I have to realize to use the tripod in order to get sharp images while that sulky weather.
As result, I have collected some images taken on short, medium and far distance. I used the Canon and Fuji cameras.
Short focal distance images
EOS 600D. I must admit, I was surprised about the images I shot in short focal distance. The images are much better than I expected. Tripod was necessary.
Medium focal distance images
These images are taken during the last days, while we had some special wheater situation early in the morning.
Fuji 50~230mm. This is a 100% view of the only other tele-lens I have, the Fuji 50~230mm vario zoom.
This very cheap lens outperfoms the Zeiss lens easily. The image is hand held, using the lens build in stabilisation.
Far focal distance images
Not easily to find during this time. You need some luck to find a clear atmosphere.
It is somehow hard to understand that a 200€ expensive Fuji-lens produces better images than the very expensive Zeiss brother. But I admit the Zeiss lens was calculated in the seventies for film material, while the more modern lenses are designed to work with digital cameras, with the help of powerful computers.
I am by far not a pixel peeper. Although the Zeiss lens has many CAs, especially when used with the 600D in critical light situation, and less when used with the 6D, I like this lens, with all its weaknesses. CAs can be removed in Photoshop, what keeps is the Zeiss feeling, the manual touch.