Another Zeiss Tessar Fan

Contax 139Q with Zeiss Tessar 45mm f/2.8 lens.

I just finished reading a terrific post on Shoot Film, Ride Steel titled, The Contax Tessar 45mm f2.8 lens. I know there are a number of Tessar fans out there, and it's always good to run across one who publishes.

In his article Andrew writes, "I could rattle on about this or that aspect of the lens type that I find superior, but it’s really the totality of the look they produce that makes me love them. " And that's it exactly.

I remember an email exchange that I had with Johnny Brown, another analog shooter who likes Tessars, who said essentially the same thing. "I just like the way the pictures look."

My favorite Tessar is the Zeiss 45mm f/2.8 that's available in the Contax/Yashica mount. It's a pancake lens that hardly adds any weight or bulk to your SLR. I mount mine on a Contax 139Q, one of the lightest, full featured Contax SLRs of the 1980s. The overall size and weight isn't much different than many mirrorless cameras of today.

San Francisco 2016 - Photo by Derrick Story

And, it produces beautiful, unique images. So when it's time for some analog street shooting, this is the camera that I reach for. You can find these Zeiss Tessars for less that $200. And I think they perform well beyond that price.


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