CONTAX CANON COMPATIBILITY DATABASE

Comments Regarding Certain Contax C/Y Lenses on Canon dSLRs

 
 

CANON 5D dSLR AND CANON 5D MARK II

The following applies to just about every Contax C/Y lens 50mm and wider

It is very common to read about one Canon user enjoying success with a given lens and adapter combination, and then reading another stating the opposite. There is speculation about Canon’s quality control and the placement of the mirror box. Photographers with multiple Canon 5D’s have cited occurrences where a Contax lens and adapter works fine with one of their 5D’s, but not the other. Finding the right adapter thickness is often the key. For those planning to use Contax lenses as their primary lenses, you may want to consider purchasing a Canon 1Ds, Mark II or Mark III.

CONTAX 15mm F3.5 DISTAGON

The following applies to the Canon 5D and 5D Mark II

Preliminary reports indicate mirror clearance on the Canon 5D Mark II is still a potential problem. This is not a very common lens, so there is not much information available. Some people are using the lens via Live View, but it is a serious kludge because of the mirror clearance issues.

CONTAX 18mm F4 DISTAGON

The following applies to the Canon 5D and 5D Mark II, Lens Review Available Here

In some cases a rear retaining ring holding the rear element in place catches the Canon 5D mirror. A thicker adapter resolves problem, but at the risk of losing infinity focus. The problem has been reported with both AE and MM versions. The lens is reported to work fine with the Canon 1-Series bodies and the 1.6x EF-s bodies.

CONTAX 21mm F2.8 DISTAGON

The following applies to the Canon 5D and 5D Mark II & possibly others

The generally accepted correct “technical” adapter flange thickness is 1.5mm. In practice 1.425mm has proven to be the best all around adapter thickness. Some have reported 1.2 to 1.3mm being better for the 21mm Distagon. Such a thin adapter could have clearance issues on a Canon 5D - and possibly even the 1-series. Overall, using the 21mm Distagon on a Canon 1.6x or Canon 1-Series will work fine. 5D owners may need to experiment with various adapter thicknesses. My $.02 - save yourself the headaches and get a new Zeiss 21mm F2.8 Distagon ZE.

CONTAX 28mm F2.0 DISTAGON

The following applies to the Canon 5D and 5D Mark II, Lens Review Available Here

Similar to the 18mm Distagon, in some cases a rear retaining ring holding the rear element in place will catch on the 5D’s mirror. A thicker adapter may resolve the problem, but may also compromise infinity focus. The problem has been reported with both AE and MM versions. The lens is reported to work fine with the 1.6x dSLRs such as 40D and 1-Series bodies. Again, a new Zeiss 28mm F2 Distagon ZE is the prudent decision, especially with the Canon 5D bodies.

CONTAX 28mm F2.8 DISTAGON

The following applies to the Canon 5D and 5D Mark II

The 28mm F2.8 Distagon has a reputation for not fitting Canon 5D’s. It is the same old story - adapter thickness. The standard procedure is to buy multiple adapters and hope for a magic combination, and/or to try multiple versions of the lens itself. For those of use who don’t mind cracking open lens and making some adjustments, here is a thread on Fred Miranda discussing how to adjust the infinity focus setting, click here.

CONTAX 35mm F1.4 DISTAGON

The following applies to the Canon 5D and 5D Mark II

Generally the 35mm F1.4 is not an issue for Canon 5D owners, but some owners have run into problems. Whether the issue was (is) the particular 5D body or adapter is unknown. The 35mm F1.4 does have a floating element design for improved near focus performance, so 35mm 1.4’s can be compromised with with too thick or too thin of adapter. Since 35mm F1.4’s can be impaired by a “cheap” adapter, start with one of the higher grade adapters from Kindai, Cameraquest or HappyPageHK (Ebay ID). There is also a risk of the mirror striking the rear element if the adapter is too thin. A new Zeiss 35mm F1.4 Distagon ZE is available and may be a more economical choice.

CONTAX 35mm F2.8 DISTAGON

The following applies to the Canon 5D and 5D Mark II

Like the 35mm F1.4, generally the 35mm F2.8 works fine for Canon 5D owners, but some owners have run into problems. Whether the issue was (is) the particular 5D body or adapter is unknown.

CONTAX 45mm F2.8 TESSAR (PANCAKE)

The following applies to the Canon 5D and 5D Mark II

Surprisingly the 45mm F2.8 Tessar can be another picky lens on the Canon 5D. Like all the lenses here thus far, mirror clearance can be hit or miss depending on the specific Canon 5D and adapter combination.

CONTAX 50mm F1.4 PLANAR

The following applies to the Canon 5D and 5D Mark II

Generally the 50mm F1.4 Planar will work on a Canon 5D without issue, but as always, there are exceptions. If this lens does not clear the mirror, I would suspect someone mucked the focus ring and tweaked infinity focus to their preferred taste.

CONTAX 50mm F1.7 PLANAR

The following applies to the Canon 5D and 5D Mark II

The 50mm F1.7 is commonly cited as having clearance issues with the Canon 5D. Whether a thicker adapter will resolve the problem is case by case. Whether or not infinity focus is compromised is another concern.

CONTAX 100mm F2.0 PLANAR

The following applies to the Canon 5D and 5D Mark II and the Canon 1D Series, Lens Review Available Here

The 100mm F2.0 Planar will fit; however, there is a metal fine on the rear of the mount. This fin may need to be filed down slightly. For more information, see the 100mm F2 Planar review.

CONTAX 135mm F2.0 PLANAR

The following applies to the Canon 5D and 5D Mark II and the Canon 1D Series

The 135mm F2.0 Planar will fit; however, there is a metal fine on the rear of the mount. This fin may need to be filed down slightly. For more information, see the 100mm F2 Planar review.

 

SPECIFIC COMMENTS FOR VARIOUS CONTAX LENSES