Yashica ML 50mm 1.7

Zenitar-M 50mm 1.4

Focal Lenght: 50mm
Max Apeture: 1.7
Lens Mount: Contax/Yashica
Min. Focus: 0.5 mm
Filter Size: 52 mm
Weight: 240 g

LENS STORY

It’s no secret I love Carl Zeiss lenses, ever since I started shooting with vintage lenses. I’ve never tried a Pancolar or Planar, so when I read up on the history of Yashica and their work with Zeiss I knew it was time to jump the gun and try the brand out. 

Contax/Yashica was one of my few missing camera + lens combos. At the time I was also missing a good all-around fast 50mm. I read up on the different 50mm’s by Yashica and with the f2 being a bit of a budget lens and the f1.4 being pricier, I opted for this one. It pairs well with my Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 and makes a nice, light-weight setup.

HANDLING

Pretty standart for a 50mm. Good, but not great minimum focusing distance, not too heavy. 

I used to prefer the 49mm filter ring to 52mm, but after I purchased a certain Micro-Nikkor, I bought a set.

OPTICAL PERFORMANCE

This lens has a ton of potential. 

Colors are good, to my taste, with a nice amount of pop, as they say. They stand out and look just a bit oversaturated.

Contrast and micro-contrast are great, I’m really happy with the results I got from the lens. It works great for B&W as well.

Bokeh is smooth and wide open the one caveat is some coma. If you’re out in the field shooting stars, I’d try another lens.

What makes this lens great is how well the corners sharpen up. I find them excellent at around f8-f11 and wouldn’t think twice about using this lens for landscapes.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you need a fast, normal Contax/Yashica lens this is a no-brainer. Very similar to the much pricier Contax version, this middle-child is a great choice for a standart always-on lens which doesn’t dissapoint.