Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/2.8 rounds up the trio of compact and light wide angle lenses that the company used to offer for its now discontinued Contax SLR lineup (the two other being Distagon T* 25mm f/2.8 and Distagon T* 28mm f/2.8). The new lineup, along with resurrected 25mm and 28mm primes, also includes a revised 35mm version - Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/2. The Contax version of Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/2.8 is one of the most affordable lenses. Compare that to the price of ~US$800 for its slightly wider cousin, Distagon T* 35mm f/1.4 (also in Contax mount), or to the price of ~US$900 for the new version of the lens in Nikon F (ZF) or Pentax (ZK) mounts.

Like its wider f/2.8 cousins, Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/2.8 sports an excellent build construction - the barrel is fully metal and both aperture as well as focusing rings are rubberized for comfortable grip. The focusing ring is very smooth and the aperture ring snaps in into positions very nicely, even requiring a little bit of pressure. There is no play with the aperture/focus rings. Despite its lightweight construction, the lens measures only 62.5 x 46mm (2.4 x 1.8in) and weighs 250g (8.6oz), the lens leaves impression of being quite sturdy, with no wobbling inside or out.

The optical construction of the lens consists of 6 elements in 6 groups - pretty basic optical formula by todays standards. The lens focuses down to 40cm (1.5ft) and has the minimum aperture of f/22 (the aperture ring moves in one full f-stop increments). The inner cam of the lens extends a little bit during focusing towards closeup, however, the front element does not rotate, and this allows using circular polarizers without any problem. The lens accepts 55mm screw-on type filters.

All-in-all, Carl Zeiss (C/Y) Distagon T*35mm f/2.8 is a decent lens that is not going to break your bank account. The lens shows better overall performance on an APS-C body, where the lens shows better image resolution at wider apertures along with a better control for vignetting. On the other hand, if you are using the lens on a FF camera, then you should be prepared to shoot at slower aperture levels to achieve best results. It's also not the fastest 35mm lens in Carl Zeiss lineup - the older C/Y mount 35mm Distagon was also available as an f/1.4 variant and the newest Distagon 35mm addition to Nikon's Ai-S mount is available as a f/2 variant. Unfortunately, with speed comes extra price tag and both of these faster lenses would cost you ~3x of the 35mm f/2.8 price. But, there are other high performance 35mm lenses available on the market. As with any other non-native mount lens, you should weigh all the benefits and disadvantages you will be getting should you choose to go with Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/2.8.


Lens Composition 6 elements, 6 groups  
Angular Field 62 degrees
Minimum Focus 0.4m (1.5 ft.)
Diaphragm Action MM fully automatic
F stop scale f2.8-4-5.6-8-11-16-22
Filter 55mm
Filter connection Screw-in type
Lens Hood 55mm G-11 soft hood, screw in type; No 3 metal hood (with 55/86 ring), screw-in type
Weight 245 grams (8.6 oz)
Lens Size 62.5x46mm(2-7/16x1-13/16 in)
Lens Cap 55mm K-51, snap type


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Product ($499) SN: ***
Condition: Like New (LN)

Warranty: 2 weeks shop warranty, covering manufactural defects

What You Will Get

- F/R Caps


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Contax Carl Zeiss Distagon 35mm F2.8 T* AEJ CY (used)


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