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Contax Lens Adapter For Digital
Q. I was overjoyed to see the question on adapting Contax/Zeiss lenses for digital, but was “uberdisappointed” with the flimsy response and the lack of help out there for all of us Contax/Zeiss users. I spent $4600 Canadian ($4000 US) 15 years ago on the Zeiss 100mm macro and the 100-300mm zoom. I have five other prime lenses as well. Who can afford to trash this investment? If computer/digital companies want us to switch to digital we need help/accommodation. I have read many articles regarding the difficulties of using film SLR lenses on D-SLRs. However, I have been interested in trying a Sony D-SLR, but contacting their website leads you to a phone number. When you call, they know nothing and suggest your e-mail. Is there an expert out there who has answers for people with Zeiss lenses who are interested in a D-SLR? So hoping all of us Zeiss aficionados hear from someone with precise, specific information.
Patrick O’Leary Photography
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
A. I contacted Richard Schleuning, National Sales Manager, Carl Zeiss Camera Lens Division. From his comments it sounds like many individuals have been successfully using their Zeiss lenses on Canon EOS D-SLR cameras. He also mentioned several online sites where you can obtain more detailed data than we can supply in this type of reply. Here’s what Schleuning said: “The manual focus lenses for the Contax RTS and prior Yashica systems can be used successfully on Canon EOS cameras. The Flange Focal Distance (FFD) on these lenses is 45.5mm and they can be mounted to the Canon cameras, which use a 44mm FFD via an adapter. In fact, any lens with a longer FFD can be mounted to a camera with a shorter FFD via an adapter—as long as the rear lens does not project too far from the mount and interfere with the camera’s mirror. When using these lenses on the Canon EOS cameras with an adapter, there is no electronic interface between the lens and the body. As a result, the meter is not functional, the program exposure modes do not work, and the aperture must be stopped down prior to exposure. There are some ‘chipped’ adapters available which fool the camera into thinking a lens is mounted so the focus assist is operational.” For more details, Schleuning suggested visiting the following sites:
I hope this data will provide the technical information and guidance you seek so you can continue to use your older Zeiss lenses.
Q. I need a more powerful flash to use with my Canon EOS 5D and 7D cameras along with a Canon 600mm lens for photographing birds at a rookery many yards away from a shoreline location. I have tried a flash extender on my shoe-mount flash but this still is not strong enough. I am considering a Quantum Qflash T5dR but have heard that it does not couple properly with the Canon E-TTL metering system on my cameras. Do you have any suggestions?
A. My contact at Quantum told me the Qflash T5dR is fully compatible with the E-TTL II and E-TTL systems of all current Canon high-end cameras. You will need to purchase their D23wR E-TTL adapter that mounts onto the Canon hot shoe and connects to the Qflash T5dR. Since you will be using this flash a considerable distance away from the subject you might want to consider getting their telephoto reflector (model: QF63B) that gives an extra two stops of flash power. You mentioned that a flash extender used on your regular hot shoe-mount flash did not offer the extended flash power range you seek.
Another option is a Fresnel lens assembly that attaches to the head of most hot shoe flash units. This will increase the light output by about 22⁄3 f/stops. It is recommended for use only with lenses 300mm or longer, is available in six sizes for different flash units, and lists for $44 plus shipping and handling. You can find the Better Beamer flash extender on this website: www.birdsasart.com/accs.html#BEAMER.