Canon EOS 350D with Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 2.8/85mm

Veijo Vilva

(Page under Construction)

  • FOV corresponds to a 135mm lens on a 35mm camera

  • very good contrast and sharpness, reasonable bokeh
  • very inconspicuous and light for a 85mm lens -- good for travel and street photography,
    lighter and only slightly longer than a Planar 1.4/50, smaller than a Distagon 2.8/28,
    less than 30% of the weight of a Helios 40-2 1.5/85mm

  • mounted with a Contax/Yashica Bayonet-to-EOS adapter
  • manual focus
  • AV (aperture priority) or M (manual)

Sonnar T* 2.8/85 vs. Helios 40-2 1.5/85


At full aperture (f/2.8), the bokeh is quite good though on the neutral side.
The edge of the blur circle is there, but it is rather soft.

A crop:

For the bokeh, see also EOS 350D: Playing with the Bokeh


  • my test procedure isn't very rigorous
  • bad results may be caused by bad focusing as manual focusing in dim lighting isn't any too easy when the DOF for this level of expected sharpness is just a few millimeters in either direction
  • the backs of the books aren't at exactly the same depth, the maximum difference is about one inch. Only a few books at the center and at the upper right-hand corner have been aligned - roughly.
  • the test only shows that the specific tested lens is at least as good as my results -- even that individual lens might be better, and others of the same make and model may be better or worse
  • anyhow, the equivalent magnification of the 100% crops is just plain sick, i.e. about 48x on a typical 17", 1024x768 CRT. Normally, 8x has been considered a reasonable maximum for critical sharpness from film. At 48x magnification, a 35mm film frame would be about 172cm (68") wide, and even a 1.6x crop factor dSLR frame would be 107cm (42") wide!

Nothing Wrong with the Sharpness -- There Shouldn't Be! (Full-size)
(f/11 used to get a reasonable DOF at 2.4m as the backs of the books are at slightly different depths, focused using a Canon magnifier, tripod-mounted, remote release)

A crop:

Note the cloth texture of the book to the right of the middle, the width of the back is 20mm

Note: All shots hand-held

A crop:


A crop:

A crop:


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A couple of crops:

City Culture: An Empty Bottle on a Litter Bin

A hand-held shot while waiting for the bus

A crop:


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