Some Contax Triotar 4/85 sample shots

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by vidom, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. There wasn't much response when I asked for information about the
    post-war Carl Zeiss Triotar's performance. It seems to be quite a rare
    lens. I had the opportunity to do some amateurish testing and to shoot
    some sample pics after I got mine. I was surprised with this lenses
    performance. It seems to be very sharp in the middle even wide open,
    getting somewhat weaker at the edges. Stopping down enlarges the area
    of good sharpness reluctantly (doesn't this sound like Erwin Puts??).
    Compared with a post war Carl Zeiss / Zeiss Opton (7-element) Sonnar
    2/85 at f/4 and below, the Sonnar is not sharper in the middle (here
    the Triotar may even have the edge), but it's performance seems to be
    a bit more even over the whole frame, maybe as a result of it's higher
    correction. All in all the Triotar is a perfectly usable lens that
    plays in the same league as the Leitz Elmar 4/90 despite it's simple
    3-element design. It is hard to find and because of it's rarity it
    won't be much cheaper than a Sonnar 2/85, so the Sonnar will propably
    be the better choice as a shooter. Now here are some pics:
  2. one more - sorry, they seem to be a bit too large...
  3. one more pic
  4. last one
  5. Peter, I keep hearing good things about this lens. Another maligned lens is the 135/4 Sonnar which is also very sharp and contrasty. Few cameras but a Contax have an adequate rangefinder to focus it at f/4.

    Is that Bremerhafen, Hamburg or elsewhere?
  6. Hey, Peter, these are really good shots - the eye is as good as the lens!
  7. @ Mike - I took the pics in Rostock which is where I live. There's a modern overseas harbour as well, but that's too far from my place. Near the city centre there is the old harbour with some marinas for yachting, some long-disfunct historic machinery and old boats in the museum part of the harbour. This is within a quarter of an hour's walking distance from my place and thus one of my favourite destinations for testing old cameras.
  8. Peter...the results don't surprise me. It performs simliar to a Tessar. The high speed of the Sonnar, with its good yield of performance, demands a lot more effort (and price) to design. Of course this is a no brainer.

    Thanks for sharing, as I have always been courious do you have one of the 25mm lenses?
  9. I have not yet visited this former DDR area north of Berlin.
  10. Sorry, I was on vacation when you made your 1st post.

    I have the Carl Zeiss version & your test shots are in accord w/my own experiences. Unfortunately, I don't have many online shots taken w/the Triotar (a whopping 2 taken over the past couple years):

    Of the classic short telephotos I have, I would rate it as comparable to the Leitz 90/4 Leitz (collapsible) & Canon 100/3.5 Lens (black & chrome & all-black). Like the Leitz & Canon lenses, I think the main advantage of the Triotar is it's lower weight & smaller size as compared to its high-speed brethren.
  11. Peter, beautiful pictures from a wonderful lens!
  12. What's a 'Hafen'?
  13. "Hafen" is German for "harbour" (BE) or "harbor" (AE).

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