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yashica 35 mm 2.8 Ml lens?

Nigel Sinkins , Feb 10, 2009; 10:09 p.m.

hi there all again, am very nearly completed my necessary collection of yashica equipment, or is that obssession? but have one moe lens to go. I would like to add a 35 mm lens but dont know wether to go for a dearer Contax 35 mm 2.8lens or for a Yashica 35 mm 2.8 Ml lens. I have seen and read some good reviews about the Yashica 35 lens on the internet, and to be honest have grow to like using Yashica equipment, however inferior it might be to Contax, but wondered if theres any advice out there that can help to point me in the right direction.
yours gratefully


Mike Gammill , Feb 10, 2009; 11:21 p.m.

If you mean the ML series, they are, for the most part good performing lenses and a great value. Except for a few German made ones, the Contax lenses and Yashica lenses were made by Kyocera in Japan. Now I'm NOT saying the Contax 35 and Yashica 35 are identical, but instead that there may not be much difference. Maybe some other PN members who have used both lenses will give their impression of these lenses.

JDM von Weinberg , Feb 10, 2009; 11:58 p.m.

Being a "completionist" is a real danger in collecting of any kind.
That "one more lens" is often a moving target.

I know, I've been there, heck am still there.

Vincent DiPietro , Feb 11, 2009; 08:43 a.m.

I once owned both the Yashica 35 and the Contax 35 and as I recollect, the Yashica 35mm ML 2.8 rendered the image in a cooler fashion while the Contax 2.8 has that warmer, more romantic Zeiss rendering to it. I also think the Contax 35 is sharper than its Yashica cousin.

Steven Moseley , Feb 11, 2009; 10:59 a.m.


"Except for a few German made ones"....actually there were many German made ones...all of the following were made in Germany at some point:

Contax 15/3.5, 16/2.8, 18/4 (AE & MM) 25/2.8 (AE & MM), 28/2 (AE & MM), 28/2.8 (AE only but not that many..RARE), 35/1.4( AE only I think), 35/2.8 (possibly a few AE only) 35PC, 50/1.4 (AE only..rare), 85/1.4 (AE & MM), 85/2.8 (AE & MM), 100/2 (AE only I think), 100/3.5 (a very few AE only very rare), 135/2 (AE only), 200/3.5 (AE only), 200/4 (AE & MM), 180/2.8 mk1 (AE only), 180/2.8 mk2 (AE & MM), 300/4 mk1 (AE only) 300/4 mk2 (AE only)...and also the limited runs of the 55/1.2 and 85/1.2 also German made.

So...actually rather a lot really. It must be borne in mind that many of the above were also made in Japan at some point. Many people are under the mistaken impression that all AE lenses were German made and all MM ones were Japanese made, but that is totally false.

"Contax 2.8 has that warmer, more romantic Zeiss rendering to it"....this according to many Contax lens users can vary from AE to MM versions. Later MM lenses may have different 'improved' coatings which alter the signature of the lens.

cheers Steve.M.

Steven Moseley , Feb 11, 2009; 11:51 a.m.

I missed some out:
also made in Germany at some point:

45/2.8 (AE only..not many-rare), 60/2.8S macro (AE only), 100/2.8 macro (AE only), 100/4 bellows macro, 210mm night mirotar, 300/2.8 (AE only), 500/4.5 mirotar (AE only), 1000/5.6 mirotar (AE only), 40-80/3.5 (AE only), 70-210/3.5 (AE only).


Stephen Cumblidge , Feb 11, 2009; 11:59 p.m.

The Contax 35 2.8 is a really amazing lens. Keh has a pile of them for than $200-300. I have made some very nice 11x14's with my AE version (see below). Photodo gives it a 4.0, which is the same level as the Canon 35 1.4 L, which costs $1180 at B&H.

Yes, I do like Contax lenses :-)

Arthur Plumpton , Feb 14, 2009; 08:06 a.m.

For what it's worth (not being familiar with the 35 lens), my experience with two fine Yashica ML lenses, the 21mm f3.5 and the 28mm f2.8, has been very positive. Almost all of the lens lines of different manufacturers have some great and some only fair lenses. Yashica did have a series before the ML series that was less desirable, but it too may have had some quite good lenses. I would try Googling "Yashica ML" lens and "test" or "review" to attempt to find the comparative tests (Contax, Yashica) which have been noted here before.

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