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Just got the C-Biogon 35mm f2.8
Old 06-26-2010   #1
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Just got the C-Biogon 35mm f2.8

Last week I bought a 35mm f2.8 C-Biogon to try out for the architectural stuff I have been shooting with my Leicas lately. Having shot a couple rolls of film with it, I REALLY like this lens! My 35mm Summicron Version IV is for sale. The C-Biogon is sharper and has less light falloff toward the edges. I rarely shot the Summicron wide open, so I won't miss the extra stop. Here's one of my first C-Biogon 35 pics. I'm happy!


Leica M6, Arista Premium 400 (Tri-X) at EI-320, developed normally in D-76 1+1.
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Old 06-26-2010   #2
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wow... no distortion at all seemingly. I'm really quite attracted to this lens.
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Old 06-26-2010   #3
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The Summicron is in the classifieds here on RFF.

I love the Zeiss lens so far, I have several more photos from it that I scanned last night that I will post soon. It is very sharp, even wide open, no distortion as Gavin noted, and has beautiful bokeh (which you can't see here) and tonal rendering.
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Old 06-26-2010   #4
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wow, nice to see how good this lens performs. been wanting to get it for my ZI to replace the Nokton 40 currently on it. Looks like a great lens.
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Old 06-26-2010   #5
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it is a great lens.
as far as selling gear goes...this is one of my regrets.
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Old 06-26-2010   #6
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It's a tiny little monster of a lens, and rock-solid mechanically. For those who have not seen it there is a longer RFF thread about the Baby Biogon here.

35 Biogon-C, f/5.6 or 8, ACROS, XTOL 1:1.


f/2.8, Superia 400.


f/2.8, Superia 400.
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Old 06-26-2010   #7
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Any more pics Chris?
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Old 06-26-2010   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdigital View Post
Any more pics Chris?
I have more scanned but I haven't finished editing them. Will have some up soon!
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Old 06-26-2010   #9
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Yes, please.
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Old 06-26-2010   #10
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Here you go. Shot the same day as the Smiley Chair. Same camera, same roll of film.

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Old 06-27-2010   #11
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Quote:
:
Originally Posted by fdigital
wow... no distortion at all seemingly. I'm really quite attracted to this lens.
Hi - I'm a fan of relatively 'slow' lenses. I have the C-Biogon, and the more I use it, the more amazed I am by it's rendering.

I believe I have the best 35mm lens for ME on the 'M' platform that I could get at ANY price. I have no inclination to photograph at f1.4 or f2.0, and I prefer f8 photography to wide-open/fast-shutterspeed photography, so my C-Biogon is my 35mm lens-for-life. Why not treat yourself, and maybe you too might have the best 35mm 'M' lens you could have. I heartily recommend you subscribe to Reid Reviews and read Sean's recent article on 'slow' 35mm lenses on the M9.

.............. Chris
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Old 06-28-2010   #12
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I sold my 35 lux asph because I haven't used it since I got the 35 C-Biogon. I think I'm going to sell my 25 Biogon because that hasn't been used either!
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Old 06-28-2010   #13
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I would not sell the 25 Biogon if I were you. It is one of the few lenses that rivals the 35f2.8 C-Biogon in performance! My 4 most used Zeiss lenses are the C - designated lenses (21f4.5, 25f2,8, 35f2.8 and the 50f1.5). I dont carry them all at the same time - but they are usually along as a "pair" (21/35 or 35/50). Usually the longer lens on a M2 and the 21/25 on a R4M.
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Old 06-29-2010   #14
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I have 3/4 of those Tom The exception being the 21/4.5 because I have (and love) the 18/4 and find the two lengths too close.

I'll keep my 25/2.8, at your suggestion.
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Old 06-29-2010   #15
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Nice to see the next one in the fun-club

I like the sharp-to-soft rendering at f4. If it should have to be "fixed apertured" it has to be 4.0 for me.

Never regret to sell my CV 50/1.5 and buy this beautiful lens.



f4.0 | APX100 in HC-110 | Yellow Filter

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Old 06-29-2010   #16
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I wouldn't be able to do it, I shoot to often in low light. I'd want the f2. Beautiful shots though all.
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Old 06-29-2010   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom A View Post
I would not sell the 25 Biogon if I were you. It is one of the few lenses that rivals the 35f2.8 C-Biogon in performance! My 4 most used Zeiss lenses are the C - designated lenses (21f4.5, 25f2,8, 35f2.8 and the 50f1.5). I dont carry them all at the same time - but they are usually along as a "pair" (21/35 or 35/50). Usually the longer lens on a M2 and the 21/25 on a R4M.
Hi Tom

Would you know how the CV25/4 compares the 25 Biogon? I have the CV25 and I'm very pleased with the results

Taffy
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Old 06-29-2010   #18
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Nice samples Chris. Would love to see more!
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Old 06-30-2010   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taffy View Post
Hi Tom

Would you know how the CV25/4 compares the 25 Biogon? I have the CV25 and I'm very pleased with the results

Taffy
The CV 25 is a very good lens, small and good performer. It does not come close to the ZM 25f2.8 though. But the penalty is higher price and considerably larger size.
I use the VC 21/25's as "pocket" lenses. They can comfortably sit in the jacket/vest pocket and be pulled out when needed. The ZM would make you "list" considerably if you put that in a pocket!!!
My VC 21/25's are usually on a R4M as that has the framelines for the FL's and you dont need to carry finders. The ZM 25 is on a M2 with the Zeiss finder.
I have printed stuff from both the ZM 25 and the VC 25 to 16x20 without problem. The extra stop gained with the ZM is handy sometimes.
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Old 06-30-2010   #20
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Thanks Tom and Double Negative.

I didn't realize that the ZM was that much better. Maybe one day I'll get to try one. Please share your photos with this wonderful lens!

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It's a great little lens.
Old 06-30-2010   #21
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It's a great little lens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
Last week I bought a 35mm f2.8 C-Biogon
Congrats on the lens, Chris, it's a beaut. I used it for images of 30th st. Station in Philly. I like the lens a lot.
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Old 06-30-2010   #22
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Another one. ACROS in XTOL 1:1, scanned using a Polaroid Sprintscan 4000. [bigger 1.6k x 1k] [ginormous 4.5k x 3k]

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Old 06-30-2010   #23
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I have the old 35mm Biogon in classic Contax RF mount.
Does any one know if that lens has the same optical formula as this newer C lens in M mount?
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Old 06-30-2010   #24
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My 35mm c Biogon.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg L1001267.jpg (192.2 KB, 222 views)
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Old 06-30-2010   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepyhead View Post
I have the old 35mm Biogon in classic Contax RF mount.
Does any one know if that lens has the same optical formula as this newer C lens in M mount?
I think its a little different, because the old ones stuck so far inside the camera that they almost touch the film. The C-Biogon has more space behind the rear element when mounted, though it does stick further into the Leica than the 35mm Summicron pre-ASPH.
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Old 07-03-2010   #26
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More examples. ACROS again, this time in Rodinal 1:50.







...and three more, posted to the Ultimate Bokeh Thread.
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Old 07-06-2010   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
Hi - I'm a fan of relatively 'slow' lenses. I have the C-Biogon, and the more I use it, the more amazed I am by it's rendering.

I believe I have the best 35mm lens for ME on the 'M' platform that I could get at ANY price. I have no inclination to photograph at f1.4 or f2.0, and I prefer f8 photography to wide-open/fast-shutterspeed photography, so my C-Biogon is my 35mm lens-for-life. Why not treat yourself, and maybe you too might have the best 35mm 'M' lens you could have. I heartily recommend you subscribe to Reid Reviews and read Sean's recent article on 'slow' 35mm lenses on the M9.

.............. Chris
I agree with you and yes Sean's insight is great. Please subscribe.
I might soon be carrying 3 35mm lens for walking around.
IE VC35f1.2 35f2v4 and the c-biogon
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Old 07-06-2010   #28
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Curious: Why do you want 3 35mms? I can understand the big 1.2 nokton and the small summicron but to add the biogon too?
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Old 07-06-2010   #29
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Quote:
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Curious: Why do you want 3 35mms? I can understand the big 1.2 nokton and the small summicron but to add the biogon too?
The pre ASPH is great lens but its can be a little soft for my taste. In some light the "glow" due to undercorrection of blue look really good its great for people photographs but now always. Often I have to push the black level up. I will use it when shooting old people as it is more forgiving but doesn't give nitty realism which sometime is what I want. It give an impressionist look. Good and bad.

It doesn't give confidence when i want to print large.

Sometimes i want sharp which means the nokton in the day not something i fancy doing.
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Old 07-06-2010   #30
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Fair enough!
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Old 08-01-2010   #31
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This lens continues to blow my mind.

Scanned this neg and found the following.

ACROS at ISO 100, developed in XTOL 1:1. The shaded rectangle shows the enlarged region below. It's a 1:1 enlargement of a 4000 d.p.i. scan (the lower-mag crop shown is 20 megapixels -- 5500 x 3600). The scan was done on an old Polaroid Sprintscan 4000 and is in no way optimized -- just one pass with my usual defaults. Obviously, I haven't bothered to deal with some dust spots.



The grid pattern in the ceiling essentially gives us a field-acquired MTF under extraordinarily unfavorable conditions -- handheld with a too-slow shutter speed (and indeed, there are signs of camera movement), focus most likely swung hard to the infinity stop (it was a grab shot), and the steps for the MTF are very strongly backlit, so this is a strong test of both resolution and suppression of veiling flare.



Under these absolutely awful conditions we're still easily getting 30, and maybe close to 40 lp/mm (this is the absolute limit of what the scanner can see in the film; the lack of moire tells us that there's an AA filter on the scan head).

Someone want to tell me again why I'm supposed to be shooting digital?
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Old 08-01-2010   #32
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Billy Was Here!

Here's another of mine from the 35 C-Biogon. I have a lot more to scan, this lens has gotten A LOT of use lately!
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Old 08-01-2010   #33
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It has such a silky zeiss bokeh...

how is OoF areas compared to CV 35mm f2.5?
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Old 08-01-2010   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeicaFoReVer View Post
It has such a silky zeiss bokeh...

how is OoF areas compared to CV 35mm f2.5?
I have not used the CV but the bokeh is superb, both in foregrounds and backgrounds. As linked above, here are three more examples.

I've developed, scanned, and carefully inspected about 15 rolls of film so far, and I just can't find a weakness in this little lump of machined metal and silica. It's the closest thing to a flawless lens for general photography that I've ever used.
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Old 08-01-2010   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post

Billy Was Here!

Here's another of mine from the 35 C-Biogon. I have a lot more to scan, this lens has gotten A LOT of use lately!
Chris. I remember you felt Color-Skopar 35mm you got from me was too crisp too contrasty. I sold the lens for the same reason, but Ive got another one for the time being and thinking about C-Biogon.

How does C-biogon compare with Color-Skopar? It's hard to see this from scans on computer display, you know? Probably you haven't got time to print yet, but looking forward to your opinion.
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Old 08-01-2010   #36
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Well depends on which film you use for c-skopar. HP5 is good choice as it is low contrast film. But my curiosity is the OoF areas...c-skopar can be so smooth wide open too. I will try to post an image to show.
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Old 08-01-2010   #37
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Chris. I remember you felt Color-Skopar 35mm you got from me was too crisp too contrasty. I sold the lens for the same reason, but Ive got another one for the time being and thinking about C-Biogon.

How does C-biogon compare with Color-Skopar? It's hard to see this from scans on computer display, you know? Probably you haven't got time to print yet, but looking forward to your opinion.
Sug,

The C-Biogon is contrastier than the 35mm Summicron version IV that I had before but not as contrasty as the 35 Color Skopar. Its about the same as the current 50mm Summicron, which I have, so I think the 35 C-Biogon and the 50mm Summicron go great together. The C-Biogon has less light falloff at the edges than the Color-Skopar too, which is nice. Overall I like the C-Biogon a lot more than the Color-Skopar.
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Old 08-01-2010   #38
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The C-Ciogon is the most technically corrected lens I've ever used. Sharp wide open out to the corners, flare resistent, distortion corrected. Wide open it;s the sharpest 35mm lens at 2.8 available. What more could you want, but speed? So I have a Nokton 35 to solve that issue when it comes along.
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Old 08-01-2010   #39
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Man Chris....
You had to post and brag on the C-Biogon 35mm f/2.8...
I just received the C-Sonnar 50mm from a trade with Back Ally, and I am loving this lens and how it draws and the bokeh too... Oh yeah.... The colors are unreal on my G1.

I have been thinking of selling my 35mm f/1.4 Nokton and adding some $$ to get this lens...

Now, I am hooked, I want one.

I know finding a used one {now} is impossible after this thread was posted and read by many

Thanks for the experience your sharing with the ZM 35mm f/2.8 C-Biogon. It sealed the future for me.
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Old 08-01-2010   #40
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Thanks Chris for your insights. Sounds very promising and definitely a bad influence to my GAS level. Looks like the doom is near.
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