Please note that this is NOT a test. Absolutely nothing scientific about this other then an observation made after developing the test roll I ran thru my new Contax a few days back. I wanted a Contax body after fondling an RTS at a recent camera fair. It just felt like a really well made camera. And of course being able to use the legendary Zeiss optics was a real plus. I researched the brand a little and decided that a 167MT sits firmly at the crossroads of capabilites and cost. I really liked the 1/4000 top shutter speed and the spot metering. A little perusing of the auction site and a fairly clean body showed up on my doorstep. It did not come with a lens and since I had a 14 day warranty I quickly bid on and won a Yashica ML 50/1.9 ($40) which after a little more internet research had also seemed to sit at the capabilites/cost crossroads. Am I giving the idea that Im kinda cheap? Well, I am. While waiting for the lens to arrive I remembered that a local camera shop had a couple of Contax bodies and Zeiss lenses. I devised a plan. When my Yashica arrived I loaded up some Reala and headed over to said shop in hopes that the nice proprieters would be kind enough to loan me a Zeiss to take some quick shots around their shop just so I could compare the two lenses and get ready to start saving my pennies for a nice Zeiss 50mm. Sure enough they let me borrow a 50/1.7 so I snapped a few shots and then gingerly handed the lens back before I had an accident with it. The only thing I noticed when I was shooting them was that the Yashica actually had a closer focusing distance then the Zeiss. I was a little suprised by this but didnt think much of it. When I got the film home I was suprised again with how well the Yashica performed. I have heard a lot about Zeiss optics and I have to say that I didnt notice a whole lot in favor of the more expensive lens vs my cheaper Yashica. It was a pleasent surprise. I am sure that their are plenty of fine Zeiss optics that simply blow most everything away but for my meager skills (and wallet) Im thinking that I can do just fine with Yashica lenses for now. This is especially true since I want to acquire a macro lens for this wonderful little body and quite frankly the Zeiss Makro is out of my price range. The Yashica macro on the other hand...not quite so bad So...my very unscientific comparison can be seen in the shots below. You can see the closer focusing distance of the Yashica and it actually turned out quite nice vs the Zeiss. No, the two shots are not EXACTLY the same and the conditions weren't controlled due to varying light coming in the window but still...an interesting comparison. Also included is a photo of my lovely wife taken with the Yashica which seems to exhibit a little of the 'swirly bokeh' that several online posts said that this lens was capable of. taken with the Zeiss taken with the Yashica the lovely wife (with swirly bokeh) and a gratuitous shot of my lovely trio of favorites (taken with my Droid X) I may not have a Zeiss 50, but I do have a Nice 50.