Review and Photo example of DISTAGON 45mm(Kyocera/CONTAX) with a Leica S digital camera.

Table of contents


  • Photo example from LEICA S Typ007


The Distagon 45mm is a lens released with the CONTAX 645 camera.
When using 645 film with Contax 645, the angle of view is 28mm, which is the standard angle of view for old wide-angle lenses.
When used with the Leica S series, it becomes equivalent to 36mm.

It has an inverted telephoto lens configuration with a thick lens placed in the center of the front and rear groups, so you won’t notice any distortion in most situations. I think it’s a good choice to try out wide-angle lenses on medium format cameras.
Focus speed is not very fast, but not too slow. When using the LEICA S, there is a one-tempo lag between turning on the power and being able to actually shoot, which may be more of a concern.
The same thing happens after returning from sleep, and it seems that it takes a little time to establish communication between the camera and lens.
Fortunately, so far, I have not encountered any freezes when returning from sleep.

Among the lenses I own, the HASSELBLAD XCD45P has the same focal length, but it has a small F value, a small image circle (44*33mm), and is optimized for mirrorless cameras, so I don’t think it’s a good candidate for comparison.
The XCD45P is extremely compact, with a size that makes it difficult to believe that it has a built-in shutter unit, but there are times when I feel that the compactness of the camera makes it look a bit unreasonable.
DISTAGON 45mm has more leeway to accommodate a larger sensor, with beautiful bokeh at a maximum aperture of F2.8. Use a dedicated lens hood (GB-71) or a bellows hood (GB-B1).

As a direct comparison, “Leica Elmarito S f2.8/45mm ASPH. (Order no. 11077 | CS: 11078)” is applicable, but at a price of nearly 1 million yen, I don’t think I can get it with my personal income. . As of 2023, the product is no longer sold.
The desk spec comparison is as shown in the lens specifications.The Elmarito S is heavy and large, but it has a luxurious lens configuration of 12 elements in 9 groups, the adoption of an aspherical lens, and faster focusing speed due to the small rear focusing glass. It looks like it incorporates the latest optical design. Comparing MTF charts, the description and range are different from 27mm for Leica to 35mm for ZEISS, but when comparing Elmarito S and Distagon, the graph shows that Elmarito has an overwhelming victory, and it is only because the release is newer and the price is higher. I think it’s the lens.

The focal length of 36mm in 35mm format is an easy-to-use angle of view, and is useful for taking snapshots with unclear objectives, such as when taking a walk. HASSELBLAD X2D+XCD45mm is lightweight at 800g, so it is often used for such purposes.
The Leica S and Distagon 45mm weigh just under 2kg, so they can’t be called lightweight, but compared to HC lenses and other lenses, I think they’re much better.

Distagon 45mm also has a large number of bulbs on the market and is sold at a low price, but the price difference in 2023 with 55mm/F3.5, which was released as a low-priced lens, will include the premium of the 55mm’s low production volume. However, the prices of used lenses seem strange.



ItemsSpec1Spec 2
Lens nameDistagon 45mmElmarit-S 45mm
Focal length(mm)45.545
Max aperture2.82.8
Min aperture3222
Lens Construction9elements in
12elements in 9groups
Min distance(m)0.50.6
Lens length(mm)
Distance from mount flange
Lens Max dia.(mm)8088
Filter Size(mm)7282
Release date19992013/10/10
Y2023 Uesd price ¥70,000〜
Non shutter ¥847,000-
With shutter ¥979,000-

Reference links

Update history

  • 2024.03.04:update
  • 2023.05.15:First draft

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