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  1. #4031  
    Member Zak Forsman's Avatar
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    I've modded a set of AEG/AEJ lenses with fixed oval apertures (semi-permanant, easily removed). Here's a quick test with the 50mm on a 5D mark III.

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  2. #4032  
    Senior Member Ben Scott's Avatar
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    Looks great. I know Jason Wingrove has a full set of DSO-modded Contax glass and does great wrk with it. Tell us more about your mod.
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  3. #4033  
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    I do love the look of this mod. Great vibe.
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  4. #4034  
    Member Zak Forsman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Scott View Post
    Looks great. I know Jason Wingrove has a full set of DSO-modded Contax glass and does great wrk with it. Tell us more about your mod.
    First step was to carefully open each lens and measure the diameter of the aperture wide open. I then designed the 2x oval aperture discs in adobe illustrator and sent that off to a company that would cut them from .4mm thin stainless steel. Once i received those it was a matter of opening up the lenses again and carefully affixing the aperture disc from the front.

    The 35mm and 28mm were a little trickier but once i understood their design, I was able to disassemble and reassemble without issue. Exposure is controled by ND. That being said, the mechanical aperture is still functional and once you've stopped down to an f/4, it clears the oval aperture. So you *could* use the them with original aperture too.



    Some notes...

    • The stainless steel lowers contrast a touch more. I intended to blacken them but after a test, I liked the effect.
    • The fixed aperture gives you the combined benefit of stopping down but retains the defocus qualities of being wide open.
    • Each lens is outfitted with an 82mm step up from Breakthrough Photography and the Xume adapters for fast swapping of ND.

    What i love about pairing these with a full frame sensor is this: not only do they mimic the oval bokeh of an anamorphic lens, but the sensor's expanded field of view approximates the field of view a real anamorphic lens has too. Anamorphics definitely have their own character, but this is a nice, low weight, relatively inexpensive approximation.

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  5. #4035  
    Senior Member Ben Scott's Avatar
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    They look great. You should sell this :)
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  6. #4036  
    Hey everyone, over the past week I have made my way through around 200 pages of this magnificent thread, and like many others, I have pulled the trigger on a Contax lens as a result (28mm F2.8 MMJ) - a very slippery slope I fear!! I love the organic look and character of the images coming from these lenses, and for this reason I am seriously considering swapping from my current Nikkor AI-S setup to a Contax MM range! However, I have one pressing question - I am currently on a Sony A6300 (APS-C), but I want a set of lenses that are future proof if I decide to go the full-frame route in the future (A7Sii etc.). This is only really a problem when it comes to choosing a wide angle lens (something in the 16-20mm range I’m thinking… the 21mm F2.8 is outa the question unfortunately), as several SOLID options will only cover an APS-C sensor (which isn’t the end of the world, but I just don’t know what the future holds). Having extensively read the thread, certain lenses keep popping up, the most common of which I have listed below:

    Zeiss 16mm Standard Prime (ebay-??) - Looks very nice, good colour matching I hear, but comes with a price - out of my league I feel!
    Contax 18mm F4 (ebay ~NZ$700) - Good handling of distortion, very nice build quality, but somewhat slow and soft WO.
    Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 (NEW ~NZ$1000) - Beautiful lens, fast - not a perfect match for contax ‘look’, but with filtration, can get close… only major gripe: DOESN’T cover full-frame… and I kinda feel it’s expensive since the 18-20mm range is all I am really after, and that isn’t where this lens shines (visible distortion at wider end).
    Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 (NEW ~NZ$600)- Good option - wide on APS-C-good wide angle range, works at 16mm on FF (how well compared to Contax 16mm F4??), fast, but somewhat different ‘look’ to other Contax (somewhat fixable with Colour Correction / Filtration?), not the nicest flares.
    Zeiss Jena 20mm F2.8 MC (ebay ~NZ$600) - Some people say this is a good option - sharp enough, close enough when it comes to colour, fast and still in the ‘zeiss family’... I also like that it’s a prime at a reasonable price. Not OVERLY wide.

    Is there any other options out there now (being 2017) that would fit with the contax family? What have the rest of you had success with? Are my assessments of the options on point? I am really set on having a SOLID Wide Angle option available before I full on invest in a range. Here is the range I am considering (essentially Nick’s ‘Standard Primes’ with the 50mm F1.4 being an exception, and the 60mm thrown in there for macro work):

    28mm F2.8 MM (On it’s way)
    35mm F2.8 MM
    50mm F1.4 MM
    60mm F2.8 MM
    85mm F2.8 MM
    135mm F2.8 MM


    Kind Regards from New Zealand.
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  7. #4037  
    Senior Member Paul Russell's Avatar
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    Patrick, I have the Contax 18mm and love it. It's my go-to lens for steadicam-style work as it's in focus almost everywhere, sharp as a pin (WOis f4) and hardly has any barrel distortion.

    I have bought two Tokina 11-16mm lenses and sold them both. It's a trash level lens with serious CA issues and shitty colour. Will not intercut with your Contax lens footage.
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  8. #4038  
    Patrick, I have the 18mm f/4 MM and also love it. But I also have the Tokina 11-16mm, which I actually like. It's modern and different to the Contax, but if you put a 1/4 promist (+ maybe 1/4 ultracon) you can start giving the lens a bit more character. Though I use it mostly with Sony CineAltas, so it's not so hard to match to them.

    But if you want a vintage look that's a bit faster you might consider the Leica-R 19mm f/2.8. Though, they are not cheap. They around the same price as the Contax 21mm f/2.8.
    Last edited by Tristan Pemberton; 06-22-2017 at 05:06 AM.
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  9. #4039  
    Great feedback guys, much appreciated. How do you both get over the fact that the 18mm doesn't have a filter thread? I like using ND via screw on filters, so is there any viable options out there for a DIY solution? Keep in mind I live far away from the US/Europe so sending the lens to be modded by the people mentioned in this forum is out of the question.
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  10. #4040  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    Zak, these mods are SICK!!!

    Love it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zak Forsman View Post
    First step was to carefully open each lens and measure the diameter of the aperture wide open. I then designed the 2x oval aperture discs in adobe illustrator and sent that off to a company that would cut them from .4mm thin stainless steel. Once i received those it was a matter of opening up the lenses again and carefully affixing the aperture disc from the front.

    The 35mm and 28mm were a little trickier but once i understood their design, I was able to disassemble and reassemble without issue. Exposure is controled by ND. That being said, the mechanical aperture is still functional and once you've stopped down to an f/4, it clears the oval aperture. So you *could* use the them with original aperture too.



    Some notes...

    • The stainless steel lowers contrast a touch more. I intended to blacken them but after a test, I liked the effect.
    • The fixed aperture gives you the combined benefit of stopping down but retains the defocus qualities of being wide open.
    • Each lens is outfitted with an 82mm step up from Breakthrough Photography and the Xume adapters for fast swapping of ND.

    What i love about pairing these with a full frame sensor is this: not only do they mimic the oval bokeh of an anamorphic lens, but the sensor's expanded field of view approximates the field of view a real anamorphic lens has too. Anamorphics definitely have their own character, but this is a nice, low weight, relatively inexpensive approximation.

    Nick Morrison
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