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What is a Contax Carl Zeiss 50 1.7 planar worth?


noone
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A charity shop I work at has an excellent condition Contax CZ 50 1.7.

What would you pay for such a lens?

I do not need it but if it sits there for a while, I might have to adopt it and give it a forever home.

This was "the" standard lens many testers used in the end days of film photography with magazines using it as the comparison (at last some) and in the arly days of the internet too i think.     Sure there are better lenses now (I love its grandson in my Sony Zeiss 55 1.8).

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Looking at Ebay for sold prices, it seems to range wildly for what people have actually paid (not what is asked for).

$116 (Australian) for one for "spares and repair with haze" from the UK, $137.93 for one in good condition with a Fuji X adapter also from the UK (this one seems an absolute bargain), $141.61 working but some dust and not so smooth focus (UK), a $143.45 for one with fungus (UK again).

User ones in ok condition generally seem to be around $200-$250 with the better ones seemingly in the $300-$400 dollar range.

I would rate this charity store copy as a very good one.

Since it has now sat unloved in the front window for several weeks, I think I will suggest they either send it to Sydney to go on Ebay, or reduce the price to $100 (and sell it to me...Not that i need another lens like this so probably not).

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Is it an MMJ or an AEG? You can tell by looking at the last number on the aperture ring. If it's green, then it's an MMJ. Also the later serial numbers are supposed to be sharper versions, but I believe they're the ones in the 8xx... range. The AEG versions will have the sawtooth bokeh.

I've owned 2 or 3 over the years. The first one I owned was unbelievably good. I don't remember which version I had. I never paid more than $125 for one, but I haven't owned one in a few years.

If you pair it with a 25mm 2.8 or 28mm 2.8, I think it's a great little Zeiss set. And then eventually, if needed, you can get the 35-70mm 3.4 to fill in the gaps... if you don't mind a push/pull zoom.

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2 hours ago, mercer said:

Is it an MMJ or an AEG? You can tell by looking at the last number on the aperture ring. If it's green, then it's an MMJ. Also the later serial numbers are supposed to be sharper versions, but I believe they're the ones in the 8xx... range. The AEG versions will have the sawtooth bokeh.

I've owned 2 or 3 over the years. The first one I owned was unbelievably good. I don't remember which version I had. I never paid more than $125 for one, but I haven't owned one in a few years.

If you pair it with a 25mm 2.8 or 28mm 2.8, I think it's a great little Zeiss set. And then eventually, if needed, you can get the 35-70mm 3.4 to fill in the gaps... if you don't mind a push/pull zoom.

AEG (pretty sure I checked that but forgot to mention it).

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2 hours ago, mercer said:

Is it an MMJ or an AEG? You can tell by looking at the last number on the aperture ring. If it's green, then it's an MMJ. Also the later serial numbers are supposed to be sharper versions, but I believe they're the ones in the 8xx... range. The AEG versions will have the sawtooth bokeh.

I've owned 2 or 3 over the years. The first one I owned was unbelievably good. I don't remember which version I had. I never paid more than $125 for one, but I haven't owned one in a few years.

If you pair it with a 25mm 2.8 or 28mm 2.8, I think it's a great little Zeiss set. And then eventually, if needed, you can get the 35-70mm 3.4 to fill in the gaps... if you don't mind a push/pull zoom.

$200 Australian is about $150 US at the current exchange rate.      If it gets put down to $100 or even $150 for its condition that will be a bargain.      Since it is a charity, I wish they would put it on Ebay but they are not allowed to do it locally for some reason.   I think even $300 is a great price for it (not that I would buy it for that).   Will look at the serial number today hopefully for an 8## serial number! (must read up on it again, it has been a while). 

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6 minutes ago, noone said:

$200 Australian is about $150 US at the current exchange rate.      If it gets put down to $100 or even $150 for its condition that will be a bargain.      Since it is a charity, I wish they would put it on Ebay but they are not allowed to do it locally for some reason.   I think even $300 is a great price for it (not that I would buy it for that).   Will look at the serial number today hopefully for an 8## serial number! (must read up on it again, it has been a while). 

I think I was wrong, it's been a while since I've looked at the lens either. I think they only made AEJ and MMJ versions. So all of the 50mm 1.7 were manufactured in the Yashica plant in Japan. The later versions were the MMJ. Hopefully you see a green f/16 marked on the aperture ring. I think I had a serial number in the 7xxxxx range and it was really good. But that was waaay back when I had a G7 on a dummy adapter...

Good Luck!

I just bought a Zeiss ZF Classic 50mm 1.4. It's now the 3rd one I have owned. I got it for an UNBELIEVABLY good price, but it isn't perfect with a few particles in the glass. When I attached it to the camera, I didn't notice anything weird. So all in all, not bad at all. I'm probably the only one, but I prefer the Zeiss Classic line over the Contax. 

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6 hours ago, mercer said:

But I don't think you can go wrong with any real Zeiss lens. Even the old Rollei Zeiss lenses were pretty special. Especially the ones made in Germany.

Well I am spoilt since getting the Sony Zeiss 55 1.8 By far the best normal lens I have had (and I had a couple I really liked like the FD 50 1.2 L and Pentax 50 1.2 K) even the Nikon little 50 1.8 AF (non D made in Japan) was a great cheapy...lots of others (Canon EF AF and FD 1.8s, Sony APSC 50 OSS, about a dozen 50 1.7/1.8 and f2s from  all sorts of makers), an ancient Biotar 58 f2 with 17 blades but I think the Zony is pretty special (LOCA can be an issue but not a problem for me so far).     It is because of the Zony I probably will not get this lens at any price no matter how cheap (ok I would for under $100).

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