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Phase Detect Autofocus with Carl Zeiss Contax G lenses on the Sony a7R II

***UPDATE*** On October 7th,2015 TechArt released v2.1.0 of the firmware described in this post that remedies many if not all of the problems with the initial release. Read on for my original review. I have made edits throughout the text to reflect the new version.

On August 29th, TechArt, maker of the Golden Eagle Contax G to Sony E adapter quietly updated their firmware to support the Sony a7R II. Originally the adapter did not work with the new camera so I contacted the folks over at TechArt hoping against hope that they would soon have a solution. An individual named Lau wrote me back, assuring that an update would be released before the end of August. True to their word, on 8/29 the new firmware v2.0.0, popped up in the TechArt Update app for iOS (download here for iOS and Android). But they didn’t just fix what was broken, they also added support for the 399 fast phase detect sensors on the a7R II!


If you don’t have the adapter, go ahead and skip this paragraph but for owners, it may provide helpful to updating your firmware. Using the app is simple, if not odd:

Here are the Steps:
1. Make sure your phone has Bluetooth activated and launch the TechArt Update app
2. Select the latest v2.x.x firmware from the list of available updates
2. Mount a G lens to the adapter and camera
3. Turn on camera and switch your aperture to f90 (not a typo – use the dial on your camera to set the aperture / not the aperture ring on the lens)
4. Take a picture. It helps if you set the camera to M or S mode, otherwise you are going to have a very long shutter speed.
5. Turn off the camera and remove the lens from the adapter
6. Place the phone right next to the adapter on the camera (yes, the camera should be OFF)
7. Press Update in the Techart App
8. When done with the upgrade, mount a lens, change your aperture to f/2 and start shooting!

The Golden Eagle is compatible with screw drive lenses designed for the Contax G platform. The popular Contax G1 and G2 cameras were rangefinder designs but mated to autofocus lenses produced by Carl Zeiss. At the time of their release, the system was a direct competitor to the Leica M and many professionals considered the Zeiss lenses to be of the same quality.  They were definitely well constructed and as compact as a typical Leica lens of the same focal length and speed.

The original: Contax G2 with Carl Zeiss Planar 45/2 in black

Since the emergence of mirrorless cameras, fans of these lenses have been adapting them to use via manual focus with limited satisfaction. Several years ago, TechArt designed an adapter with a motor to drive the AF screw and developed the electrical and software interface to make everything work – except it didn’t always. The early versions were buggy with frequent lock-ups and slow AF, depending on the cameras’ contrast detection systems. Over the last year, with the latest firmware updates, the Mk III has become dependable (bugs be gone) but some users still complained about the accuracy of focus.

Now, with the advent of the Sony a7R II and its 399 phase detect sensors, the adapter follows in the footsteps of the Metabones EF adapter by supporting fast PDAF. This is truly a revelation as we now have the complete digital equivalent of the legendary Contax G cameras. This combination actually focuses faster than the original Contax cameras did. So now, those looking for the smallest AF lenses of the highest quality on the Sony a7R II have another viable option. Many of us were initially attracted to the system due to its compact size so it is nice to have these beautiful little lenses that give up very little to their larger modern equivalents.

In my stable I currently have the excellent Planar 45/2 and Sonnar 90/2.8 but other good options would be the 28/2.8 and 35/2. The 28mm will have soft corners until stopped way down on the a7R II but there will be no color shift in the corners. I’m going to get my hands on the 35/2 soon so will report back once I put it to work*. Both the 35mm and 45mm lenses are truly tiny but weigh more than newer lenses like the Sony FE 55/1.8. All of that metal and glass in the Zeiss G lenses adds up to a dense little package.

*Update The planar design of the 35/2 was very good but I preferred the look of the sonnar FE 35/2.8 and the fact that the Sony lens focuses much closer. Given that the FE lens will also have access to the more advanced modes of AF (Eye-AF and tracking) and the size is virtually the same, I’m going to stick with the native lens. Still, some might prefer the 35/2 and it worked well on the adapter. I have added some sample photos from outside the camera store to the end of the gallery.

Tale of the tape: Carl Zeiss Batis 85/1.8 for Sony FE vs. Carl Zeiss 90/2.8 for Contax G

Back to the performance of the Golden Eagle adapter on the a7R II – there are issues. I’ve found that when attempting focus at the minimum focus distance (MFD) of each lens, the adapter will hunt badly and worse, slip into a contrast detection mode that will continue to hunt when focused at longer distances. This hunting will quickly worsen until the only recourse is to power down and pop the battery. This problem is exhibited more often on the Planar 45/2 and I couldn’t figure out why. Later I discovered that the more stopped down you are, the less likely the adapter is to slip into this downward spiral. So it makes sense that with the 90/2.8 it would behave better than the 45mm at f/2. The sweet spot for stability appears to be around f/5.6, even at MFD. Hopefully the engineers at TechArt will be addressing the problem and issuing a FW update soon.

*** As of revision 2.1.0, released in October, 2015, the performance is rock solid with AF speed on both my lenses (45/2 and 90/2.8) that rivals a native lens – yes you read that correctly. I’ve noticed some minor hunting in low contrast / low light subjects but nothing major and native FE lenses frequently do the same. AF accuracy is spot on and the MF implementation now works as it used to, meaning that you can engage MF at any time by adjusting the small focus dial on the adapter. This is a major achievement by TecArt and finally makes these lenses viable options that I would feel confident shooting even for paid work.

Take a peek at the AF performance on the 45/2 *** note that this was taken with v2.0.0 of the firmware and does not reflect the improvements in v2.1.0. There is no more “hunt of death”

Gallery of some sample photos from the Planar 45/2 and a7R II below…

About the author Chad Wadsworth

Chad is a Sony Artisan of Imagery and Red Bull Global Photographer based in Austin, TX.

All posts by Chad Wadsworth →

132 Comments

  1. […] Read Chad Wadsworth’s Post: Phase Detect Autofocus with Carl Zeiss Contax G lenses on the Sony a7R II […]

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    1. I have the Techart MKIII adapter for my A7 and Contax G 90. Even after microadjusting, however, the G90 still misfocuses at times when shot wide open, which seems like the inherit nature of the lens on G cameras according to Ken Rockwell. How is it on the A7rii in terms of focus accuracy?

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      1. Focus is very accurate on the a7R II.

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    2. Paul Guenette July 2, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Hello,

      Thank you for the article, it is very helpful.

      I have recently purchased a Sony a7r II and the Teacart GA-3 adaptor. I have the 28, 45 and 90 mm lenses. I usually shoot in aperture priority. Would you please explain how to set camera up so I am able to use the in camera light meter so that can accurately set the f-stop on the lens. With the adaptor on I have set the f-stop to 45 inside the sony, as per the instructions.

      How do I set up the camera so I can read the meter, through the viewfinder, for getting the best exposure ?

      Thank you very much, Paul

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      1. I belief you must set it to aperture priority and to the max f stop of the lens for it to get metering correct.. I dont think you can get the aperture to display on the display.

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  2. Great work here, Chad! The thought of having all that great Contax/Zeiss glass on a modern sensor is amazing. It’s a shame Sony hasn’t expanded PDAF abilities for third party lenses on the A7 and A7II as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. The difference is the BSI sensor on the a7R II which speeds data transfer. Nothing they can do to gain that level of performance on the older sensors.

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      1. Thanks for the reply, Chad. That makes complete sense. I’m sure this is something we’ll see resolved on the inevitable A7III and A7SII

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Looks like the a7S II will not work with this firmware either since there in no BSI or PDAF sensors. Maybe a future a7III…?

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  3. Thanks Chad. Are all of the samples wide open?

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    1. Welcome. Yes, I believe all these were wide open @ f2

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  4. […] Chad Wadsworth already tested the new version and there is on bad and one good news: Bad news: “I’ve found that when attempting focus at the minimum focus distance (MFD) of each lens, the adapter will hunt badly and worse, slip into a contrast detection mode that will continue to hunt when focused at longer distances.” Good news: “On the upside, the 90/2.8 is very fast to focus – as fast as my Batis 85/1.8 and is sure footed, finding focus in situations where even the Batis struggled. Truly remarkable.” […]

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    1. Hey Chad, since you made a comparison of the Contax 90mm vs the Batis 85mm as fas as AF goes, I’m wondering if you could expand the comparison to image quality? Since they are both Sonnars, I’m wondering how different they are (besides the speed difference of f2.8 vs f1.8)? I have the 90mm, and I have the Batis on pre-order, so I would be very interested in how they compare optically. If they aren’t that much different, I’m wondering if I should cancel the Batis pre-order, and look for something else?

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      1. I would love to do that comparison…just need the time.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Kiril Karaatanasov August 31, 2015 at 6:52 am

    Hello, great review! Thank you so much for spending the time. Can you please upload the video to YouTube or Vimeo. Fac
    ebook simply does not work.

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    1. Uploaded to YouTube. Should work now.

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  6. Hi Chad, Just wondering, does it work with the phase detection points on the a6000 too, or just the A7rII? Thanks!

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    1. I believe the update is solely for the a7RII so I don’t think so but don’t have an a6000 here to test. Sorry.

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  7. I’m not all that impressed with the standard zoom options for FE mount. Any chance you’ve used the 35-70mm Contax G?

    Thanks!

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    1. That lens isn’t supported on this adapter.

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  8. tylerhayward604009347 August 31, 2015 at 11:36 am

    When you mentioned the 28, just wondering why you said it would be really soft until heavily stopped down? I only own the 45mm for the g2, but was looking into the 28 as well

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    1. The 28 f/2.8 is a gem on the G2. Sharp, sharp, sharp right to the corners but it suffers on a digital sensor. There isn’t any smearing just some softness that will sharpen up – as I recall, around f8.

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    2. I’m not sure Chad answered your question, so here goes. The Biogon design of the G 28mm (and G 21mm) don’t play well with the thick cover glass on the A7 series, at least in the stock configuration.

      The thick glass protecting the A7 sensor leads to astigmatism and field curvature once you leave the central zone. For landscapes, the G 28mm is problematic. On the A7, the G 28mm is sharp and contrasty in the center, but that’s about it. Edges and corners never really get great, even at f/11, though they’re usable for some types of landscapes at various apertures. I’ve done some astro with the G 28mm on my A7 and was happily surprised at the performance – stars around the edges become short lines due to the astigmatism, but the astigmatism bothers me infinitely less than the coma I get with some of my old SLR lenses (OM 28/3.5 and 24/2.8).

      It can be more appropriate for closer shots, but due to the field curvature, you’ll often see backgrounds getting back into focus at the edges. I’m not keen on this, but YMMV.

      There is a fix, but it will void your warranty, costs $400, and may interfere with AF on native lenses. You’d to get the Kolari thin cover glass mod ( http://kolarivision.com/product/sony-a7-series-thin-filter-legacy-lens-upgrade/ ), which might make sense if you use a lot of rangefinder lenses below 50mm.

      I love the G 28mm, really enjoy it’s look, and used it quite a bit on my APS-C NEX-5R. For the A7, I ended up just getting the Sony FE 28mm f/2, which is a very nice lens, though quite different from the Biogon.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  9. So it’s your understanding that this advancement will not come to the A7II? I’m in the market and I don’t really need the high MP for weddings. I’d much rather get the A72 or S, but the opportunity to use G lenses with good AF is pretty attractive.

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    1. No, what I understand is that you will not get this PD advancement on the a7 II. As a low light concert shooter i didn’t think I needed the extra mp either but now I will be replacing my a7S and purchasing a second a7R II body.

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  10. Hi, Thanks for the great post. However, I can not update the firmware via the app on my iphone. It keeps saying that is can not connect to the adapter. I followed your steps, but I keep thinking there must be something I’m doing wrong. Any help would be appreciated.

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    1. Hey Rick.

      Here are the Steps:
      1. Make sure your phone has Bluetooth activated and launch the TechArt Update app
      2. Select the v2.0.0 firmware from the list of available updates
      2. Mount a G lens to the adapter and camera
      3. Turn on camera and switch your aperture to f90 (not a typo – use the dial on your camera to set the aperture / not the aperture ring on the lens)
      4. Take a picture. It helps if you set the camera to M or S mode, otherwise you are going to have a very long shutter speed.
      5. Turn off the camera and remove the lens from the adapter
      6. Place the phone right next to the adapter on the camera (yes, the camera should be OFF)
      7. Press Update in the Techart App
      8. When done with the upgrade, mount a lens, change your aperture to f/2 and start shooting!

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  11. Thanks! It didn’t work the first time I tried these steps, but the second time, I adjusted the MF wheel on the lens before pressing the shutter and turning the camera off. Then it worked. Not sure why I had to do that?

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  12. Hi Chad, thanks for the instruction. After some trouble the update works. But the lens 90/2.8, doesn’t work well. Seems that the connection goes on and off. Aperture on the screen: F – – . And no autofocus. What can be the problem?

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    1. Hi Annemarie. Sounds like the you don’t have the lens properly mounted. I get a similar problem with the aperture not being reported on occasion. Usually unmounting and remounting the lens does the trick. Do you have any other lenses and are they working ok?

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      1. Hi Chad, thanks for your reply. Other lenses have the same problem. Unmounting and remounting didn’t help….Strange isn’t it? And when I mount the lens I do not hear a click that it fits properly, and when I turn the aperture ring the lens unmount sometimes very easily….. And I know for sure that I can’t turn the lens further on.

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      2. Really basic question and I apologize if this sounds patronizing but have you used G lenses on a Contax body before? If not, there is a unique mounting method and you should definitely feel an engaging click when properly mounted. Here is a video that shows the proper mounting technique. It will be the same on the adapter: https://youtu.be/7jSClgx77no?t=44

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      3. 🙂 yes I have used these lenses on my Contax G2, but thanks for the video. i now mounted the lens on the techart and after that I mounted both on my A7r and now it works!! But another problem: the autofocus don’t work properly. Just a few times the autofocus was good… Do I have to do something else now? Or maybe update again?

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    2. It’s working almost fine now Chad. But could it be that the problem is low light? In bright light it’s working much better (not super, but better…..) but in low light it’s terrible, although I’m working at iso6400 and F2.8. Look forward to your reply. Thanks a lot!! Kind regards Annemarie

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  13. It’s awesome. Unfortunately, with the 28mm and its smearing, the adpater will basically only focus in the very center of the lens. Otherwise it can’t find anything in focus at all and it just hunts. Seriously considering the Kolari Mod just for that. Or finally getting around to buying a G2.

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  14. When using the Golden Eagle techart III adapter with the Sony A7Rii, do you get automatic aperture information in the camera? … Or you have to set the aperture manually in the camera?

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  15. I have the Techart MKIII adapter for my A7 and Contax G 90. Even after microadjusting, however, the G90 still misfocuses at times when shot wide open, which seems like the inherit nature of the lens on G cameras according to Ken Rockwell. How is it on the A7rii in terms of focus accuracy?

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Hey Kevin. The focus accuracy of the Techart adapter on the a7R II is night and day compared to the other Sony models. It is extremely accurate.

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  16. There is a new, as of 10/7, update for the TA-GA3 adapter, version 2.1.0.

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    1. Thanks Carl! I just upgraded and they improved it significantly. No more hunt of death, and you can use the MF wheel at any time, where previously you would lose the MF function when the lens started hunting. AF is deadly accurate as well. I tested using CAF. Will update the post.

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  17. Hi Chad,

    Any experience with this adapter on the Sony A7, A7 II or A7S and the G90 lens? Am curious since I seem to have focus issues with the G90 and the techart adapter (version 2.1) like Kevin above so am curious if my sample is a dud or if the A7R II is the only camera that can focus the adapter (which I can live with). I can manually focus it with the wheel to the point where it’s sharp wide open but the autofocus is very spotty and I’ve tried the different settings to see if it would be better, but don’t think it’s doing anything.

    Appreciate the insight

    Thanks,
    Tony

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    1. Hey Tony,
      I’m assuming you have the Mark III adapter and firmware version 2.1.0, is that right?
      I don’t have an a7II or a7S to test with but with the previous firmware (2.0.0) the adapter only worked on the a7RII. Maybe the new version works with both the new and older bodies. You needed the older versions (1.5) to work with the other camera models. I did try v1.5 on my a7S (sold) and it worked well, accurate but slower contrast detection AF. I never had trouble with the G90.

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      1. Hey Chad,

        Sorry to ask, I know you aren’t tech support but you have the most experience. I have just received the Version III Techart Auto Focus Adapter Contax to Sony E but am unable to update to firmware Ver 2.1.0 from Ver 2.0.

        We have tried on two iPhones (OS Version 9.0.2)
        A7RII is Ver. 2.00 – The newest one with 14 Bit Uncompressed RAW
        The update goes all the way to 00>>0
        rssi:-90db

        And then it freezes. I never see a confirmation message ‘Techart firmware update success!’ message. The iOS app is stuck. I check the lens firmware and it still says Ver 2.0.

        Is there something wrong with this particular adapter?

        Thanks,
        Rick

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      2. Yeah, sorry I’m definitely not tech support but I did notice in your video that you aren’t taking the lens off the adapted before running the update. That may be part of the problem?

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  18. I would love to see you do a video with the updated firmware. Is the sound of the lens too much for doing video? Wouldn’t mind seeing a sample vid too. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Chad,
      Attached is a video I’ve recorded of the attempted: firmware 2.1.0 installation. Excuse the terrible commentary, the poor video, and horrific voice. Never done this before so… https://www.dropbox.com/s/8xkmei53e1bj2wk/IMG_6691.MOV?dl=0

      Thanks for your help,
      Rick

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      1. Rick, you missed a step. You need to remove the lens from the adapter before you run the update.

        4. Take a picture
        5. Turn off the camera and remove the lens from the adapter

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      2. Update: Perfect! Firmware update success on iOS 8.3 (using iPad!).
        Tips: Unable to update with 9.0.2. Apple recently released 9.1 but have not tried. So use an older iOS. Otherwise, the adapter runs fast, zippy in all focus modes. Very pleased.

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  19. Buyer Beware. Looks interesting in the video, proved to be exercise in frustration and $35 to ship this product back to China. I had a really awful experience with this product. It took me a few days to get it to work, then it worked, then it didn’t work. I struggled trying to make it work. I googled and googled only to find that lots of other people have problems trying to get this adapter to work. Most can’t even seem to get the update to apply either. Not sure I could ever recommend this product to anyone.

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    1. Annabel,

      Yes, unfortunately there is not great support from the manufacturer which is one of the reasons I have shared what worked for me. Sorry to hear it didn’t work for you. I have been showing the setup to people at Photo Plus this week and they have been impressed by how well it works even on the show floor. AF is so fast.

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  20. Hi Chad, Looks like you have become a resource for those of us who have and used this adapter. I have been using it under ver 1.0 on my A7 with very good results on the 90 and 45. I now have a A7RII and would love to use it with this adapter. My problem has been getting my iPhone to see the adapter’s bluetooth. I have followed the procedure precisely many time but to no avail (I even tried the manual focus before removing the lens) The only thing that occurs to me is that the adapters blue tooth circuit is defective. As I have never updated it, it seems like it could be a possibility. I was wondering if anyone has reported this to you or if you have any workarounds
    Thanks

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    1. Hey Bill. What version of the adapter do you have (not the firmware but the actual adapter). You need to have Ver III Golden Eagle to work with this firmware. Other than that, I don’t have any words of wisdom for you. Sorry.

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      1. Hey Chad,

        Thanks for the recommendation to remove the lens, I did it before and don’t know why I forgot in the video. Tried again and no go. Hmm, maybe I just have a bad copy.

        Thanks for looking into it at least, I appreciate it!

        Rick

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  21. Hi Chad
    Do you know if the contax 21mm lens will have good IQ on the A7r ii with this adapter ?

    I an afraid it won’t …,

    Rgs

    Christian

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    1. Hi Christian. I have not tried that lens and I believe you actually have to shave the plastic rear wings to make it fit. As I understand it you will see significant corner smearing and color shifts with that lens on the alpha 7 series. I would stick with the new 21mm Loxia which is wonderful.

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      1. Hi Chad – Thanks for your reply – The Loxia is the more sensible choice. I love my Batis 25mm by the way. Great colour and sharpness. Soon I will receive the Contax Adapter and test it with a 45 and 90. I am really curious – also about the character of the lenses ! rgs Christian

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  22. Hi Chad, Thank you for the review. I bought this adapter to use with my a6000. I have some questions to their customer support related to the focus adjustment and PDAF but web form doesn’t seem to be a releable way to communicate to them… No response to a lot of messages. You mentioned that you had recived some response from someone (An individual named Lau). Could you please share a direct e-mail address? Thank you in advance. Sergei.

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  23. is it possible to focus using the centre focus point with this adapter?

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    1. Hey Dan. Yes. I use flexible spot setting and you can move the AF point around the frame but it works best in the center.

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      1. many thanks Chad…i have just ordered one as i have 28/45/90 black contax Gs already and cant wait to use them on my a7r2..yay!

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  24. Hello Chad! First off, great job at Photoplus on your concert shooting master class last week. I waited to chat with you after but the guy with the backpack and shaved head was monopolising you. Thanks for this useful article, too. Do you happen to have any experience adapting the 21/2.8 Biogon T? I’m reading in the ebay vendor link that for that lens “please be noted that the rear lens flange has to be cut”. That was the main lens I was interested in adapting but am not sure I’m up to sawing off a part of a vintage piece of glass.

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    1. Sorry, I just saw that you answered this question a few days ago. Do you know what the cause of the corner smearing and colour shifts would be on an A7Rii?

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      1. Sure. The issue isn’t specific to the a7RII. Most if not all digital sensors for mirrorless have issues with vintage wide angle lenses made for rangefinders. The original lens designs of those small optics were optimized for film which is has a thiner substrate than a digital sensor so light hitting the film at severe angles is handled much better than a thicker digital sensor. Most modern sensors on mirrorless cameras have micro lenses that help correct for the issue and native wide angle lenses will be designed to correct as well. For example, the new Zeiss 21mm Loxia f/2.8 will be sharp to the edges with no smearing or color shift.

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      2. For what it’s worth, the Contax G 21mm f/2.8 Biogon has rough corners on unmasked A7 series cameras. The corner cast is a lot better in the A7s and A7RII, the latter because of of back-lit nature of the sensor, IIRC.

        On a modded A7, the 21mm and 28mm Biogons are both improved a ton. I’ve seen some surprisingly nice photos wide open on the 21mm, on a modded A7.

        Modification of the cover glass improves corner sharpness, field curvature, and astigmatism, but it doesn’t change vignetting or color cast. For that reason, the best cameras for the Contax G Biogons would be the A7s or A7RII with the Kolari sensor modification.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you and sorry we didn’t have enough time!

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      1. Thank you for that detailed response and background, Chad! It’s a rare treat to learn technical aspects of these lens issues in such clear and digestible explanations. On the same topic, have you by chance heard of piccure+? It’s a lens correction software I read up on today. Apparently a retired journalist used it to process images from the A7Rii and the 21/2.8 and found it redeems the lens to a substantial degree on the digital sensor: http://www.the.me/21mm-the-zuikos-and-other-lenses-from-the-past-on-the-sony-a7rii/

        The relevant paragraph is buried deep toward the bottom: “At F8 it is razor sharp for more than 2/3 of the frame, and at F16 and F22 on the α7RII and processed by piccure+, the Biogon 21mm is more than a respectable lens even at the edges, showing some of its quality when it was used for 35mm film.” The piccureplus.com website seems to have a 30 day trial. Could be something to look into, for this and other vintage wide angles.

        P.S. I’ll look forward to your next speaking gig or perhaps when I finally make it to ACL or SXSW. P.P.S. Loved the story about Wilco remembering you and your son tag-teaming in the photo pit.

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  25. P.P.S.S. In the meantime, I will check out the Loxia 21 — thanks for the tip!

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    1. Thanks for the info on piccure+ I’m going to check it out right now…

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    2. Ok, I checked it out. Without actually using it, I’m still confident based on the description that it is not a solution for the 21mm G. Correcting for some minor aberrations is one thing, but fixing corner smearing is another. You would also need a specific tool, like Cornerfix to correct the color shifting.
      Some have had luck with a physical mod to the sensor – http://kolarivision.com/product/sony-a7-series-thin-filter-legacy-lens-upgrade/ but at that price you are also risking performance with native FE lenses so not worth it for me.

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      1. I’m probably going to use the wide angle more for video anyway — just added an A7Sii to the arsenal — so in all ways it makes sense to stick to native mount glass that won’t require time-consuming processing in post. Thanks again for your input and followup!

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  26. hi chad i have tried the steps to update this adapter on the a7r2 and it just keeps saying the adapter isnt found..must have tried about 25 times?? not sure what to do

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    1. Sorry Dan, all I know is that I followed the steps listed above. You aren’t removing the adapter from the camera are you? Is Bluetooth turned on in your phone?

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  27. yes i have followed it exactly…hmmm weird maybe i have a faulty one..ill keep trying. the adapter as it is out of the box doesnt work that well with the camera…it is really hard t get focus on anything

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    1. Have you confirmed that you have ver III of the adapter – Golden Eagle?

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  28. yes is the techart TA-GA3 latest version

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  29. only thing im a little confused about is the f90 thing? how can you take a picture at f90? ive read this on lots of websites and it doesnt make sense to me

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  30. ive just worked it out…you set it on the camera

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  31. i thought it was typo and meant to be f9

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    1. there you go…your struggle will undoubtably help someone else.

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  32. thanks Chad and wow its pretty amazing on the A7R2!! my 45 and 28 focus really fast and the 90 is a bit slower….thats in a pretty dark room too..gonna try in the light tmw

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  33. Dear Chad first let me thank you for putting effort in order to help us regarding the use of Contax G lens on the A7 series since there aren´t much reference over the web.
    It is with great satisfaction that I post this news:

    http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sony-will-add-uncomrpessed-raw-on-the-a7ii-via-firmware-updated-coming-on-november-18/

    For us the more significant info about this firmware to the A7II is that it will provide PDAF on adapted lenses just link the A7RII does! So Techart Mark III will benefit from this.

    Hope you find this relevant as I did here in Brazil!!!

    Best regards,

    Rodrigo

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  34. Has anyone tried version 2.2.0 on an A7RII? Installing now…

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    1. Yes, I loaded it up but can’t really tell any improvement. It may be focused on a7II compatibility.

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      1. Yeah, that’s what I found, too. Overall, while I’m excited to be using these Contax lenses on a digital camera, they still have a good way to go on this firmware. In low light the focus performance is much worse than on the G2 itself — which is a real shame given how great the A7RII is in low, natural light situations. I assume it’s just a matter of tweaking the firmware, though, to get it to work properly. It does work well in good light.

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  35. Just received my adapter today for my 90mm 2.8, can’t wait to test it out on my A7ii now that I have updated my A7ii to the new firmware ugrade. Just fell across this post. Well done Chad 🙂

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    1. Thanks. Let us all know how it works with the a7II!

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  36. Johnno57 please share your experience on the a7ii

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  37. I can report that teacart adapter works well with a7ii. I only used it in low light but still managed to lock focus fine. I have the latest firmware on both the adapter and camera. One thing I noticed is that it is pretty noisy, but I am yet to try in good light

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  38. I have just upgraded my firmware to 2.2 for A6000 No issues and work fine.. but have to omit step 4 ie do not switch to any other setting apart from A before you power down. or iOS 9.2 aka Apple will not see the adapter.. Hope that help to answer some missing request.

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  39. I have tried to install the Update from 5 different iPhones (8.1, 8.4, 9.1 & 9.2 systems) and updates (2.1 & 2.2) are continiously crashing around 110000>>0
    It’s becoming ultra frustrating & just don’t know how to get in touch with TechArt management since their site has no contacts what so ever.
    I follow all the above steps completely & still don’t know how to over come the problem 😦
    If anyone has a suggestion – please let me know!

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  40. If iPhone failed to update, use annAndroid phone. Works for me

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  41. First of all thanks a lot for such an in depth review.
    I just received the mark 3 adapter and i’ve been testing it with with various lenses:
    -the 28 biogon, with no luck, anyway I’ve borrowed this sense and I believe it must be damaged, not a problem of the adapter (shows aperture f: – – and only allows manual focusing, but the manual focus wheel doesn’t engage and does not work)
    -the 45 planar works perfectly as it should mechanically but shows huge haze problems when light hits the lens directly, I hope due to the fact that the lens has been through battles with me… I’ll try to cop a new one.
    -the 90 sonnar works beautifully as it’s supposed to, focus is a little slow (faster than on the G2) but accurate everything is real sharp but I also notice certain fringing.

    Could you please specify how are the different contax lenses working for you, The examples you posted look amazing but I don’t really see any of the pics tested on the above situations, like light hitting the sense directly or heavily backlit subjects… I would love to hear other people’s experiences, specially yours Chad, before venturing into the market to cop new copies of this amazing lenses.

    Many thanks in advance.

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    1. Hi Sergio. I haven’t had any issues with the 45mm but to be honest I haven’t shot directly into the sun too much with it. Can’t say that I have noticed any haze at all – it is simply one of my favorite lenses of all time.

      The 90mm holds up extremely well to today’s lenses and I find it to be as sharp if not sharper than the 85mm Batis. Yes, there is some CA but nothing glaring and no worse than the Batis.

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  42. i got problem on using, 45mm with f2.8 with Techart III updated 2.0 version. The problem is a bright white light circle and dark corners at the photo at a sunny day.

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    1. Turn off your automatic lens compensations in the camera settings. The camera recognizes the adapter as a wide angle and applies aggressive vignetting compensation unless you turn it off.

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  43. Bought the techart adapter 3. Bought Contax G lenses 90mm and 45mm used because they are so much smaller than the Sony lenses. First, nothing happened, no autofocus at all. I updated the adapter via iPhone and now it seems pretty good. Not as fast as the FE55mm but quite fast for an old lens like this. Definitely not worse than my Fuji x100s which is 35mm equiv.

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    1. Tested on Sony a7r II

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  44. Hello Chad! I was really glad to find your article. Two days ago I received a Techart TA-GA3 I bought for my Contax 90mm and Sony A7II. I mounted it to the lens and camera and it worked quite well right away. AF is a bit noisy but as fast and accurate in good light as I expected, a bit slower in low light but not much worse than a Sony A-mount SSM lens with the LA-EA3 adapter.
    Then I unmounted the Techart from the lens to check if the firmware was up to date and ever since I’ve been trying to re-mount it with no success, it stops turning just before the small tongue locks in the bayonet recess it’s supposed to seat! I’ve read some reviews on the web but can’t find an explanation detailed enough to help me.
    Please, I wonder if you could direct me to an instruction text that would ease my dilemma…?
    Sorry to bother, but I’m about to quit!
    Thanks for any help!

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    1. I’m not sure I understand the problem. I assume you are familiar with mounting a g lens to the original Contax G bodies. Make sure the aperture is set at 5.6 when you mount the lens and then only rotate the middle ring on the barrel to the right and it should click into place.

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      1. Thank you so much for the help! My problem is that this is my first Contax lens and I’m not actually familiar with the specific procedures to successfully mount it to a Contax mount! Is there anything else specific I should do besides those two you mention?
        I’ll try those today and let you know what happened.
        Thanks again!

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      2. Ah, yes they are tricky. I suggest searching for a YouTube video showing how to mount a Contax G lens.

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  45. Hi Chad, I am a new comer on your site which I new for quite a while, but as I acquired the last version of the adapter yesterday I now highly appreciate your advices and answers. I use it with the A7RII. I had a few shots with the 35, 45 (28 and 90 did not work properly, need update ?), but before going further into any details I noticed that the adapter is quite a bit hard to fit on the body and I really need to use some force to fit it properly. This is obviously not normal and am afraid to damage the body. How to remedy to this difficulty.
    Regards
    NB: by the way, do you know if the latest version comes automatically updated ?

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  46. Hi Chad, for wide angle g28, g35,which one would you recommended in terms of sharpness and color on A7r2?
    I also heard these lens were designed for film cam but not digital, so there quality are not as good as new zeiss lens on a7 range? Red shift, smear angle, decreased sharpness…. , some even modified the a7r2 sensor filter to improve the adaptation on using these lens. What shall we do simply to retain the lens heritage on a7r2?
    Thanks
    Tony

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    1. The best lenses – in terms of sharpness and corner performance are the Planar 45/2 and Sonnar 90/2.8. The 28/2.8 and 35/2 have some smearing in the corners (no real color shift) but you may enjoy them still if you tend to shoot wide open as they both have wonderful Zeiss rendering. If you are a landscape shooter or demand sharp corners, I would suggest the native Sony Zeiss 35/2.8 and the Sony 28/2.

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  47. Very helpfull review indeed; thanks!

    By the way, have you tried it with face (not “phase” 😉 detection autofocus on the a7Rii?

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  48. What about video recording: Any kind of auto focus or manual (via adapter) only?

    And does face recognition auto focus mode work, as it supposedly does with the techart pro for leica-m?

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