Review of using the DISTAGON 45mm(Kyocera/CONTAX) with a Leica S digital camera.

Table of contents

Gallery / Photo example from LEICA S Typ007

This lens was released with the CONTAX 645, and when used with the Leica S, it is equivalent to 36mm. When used with the Leica S, it is equivalent to 36mm. With the Contax 645, the angle of view is 28mm, which is the standard angle of view for wide-angle lenses in the past.
The inverted telephoto lens configuration has a thick lens in the center of the front and rear groups, so distortion is not an issue in most situations. It is a good choice for experimenting with wide-angle lenses on medium-format cameras.
Focus speed is not very fast, but not too slow. However, there is a one-tempo lag between power-on and when the camera is actually ready to shoot, which can be more annoying.
The same is true after returning from sleep mode, and it seems to take a little time to establish communication between the camera and the lens.
Fortunately, so far I have not encountered any freezing upon sleep recovery.

Among the lenses I own, the HASSELBLAD XCD45P has the same focal length, but I don’t think it is comparable due to its smaller f-number, smaller image circle (44*33mm), and optimization for mirrorless cameras.
The XCD45P is very compact, with a size that makes it hard to believe that it has a built-in shutter unit, but sometimes I feel that the compactness of the XCD45P makes it a bit overpowered in terms of photographic performance.
The DISTAGON 45mm has a beautiful bokeh at a maximum aperture of 2.8, and I feel that it has more room to handle a large sensor.

As a direct comparison, the “Leica Elmarit S f2.8/45mm ASPH.” (Order no. 11077 | CS: 11078) is applicable, but at a price of nearly 1 million yen, I do not think I can afford it with my personal income. And as of 2023, the product is no longer available.
The desk-top comparison of specifications is shown in the lens specifications, and although the Elmarit S is heavier and larger, it reads as if it incorporates the latest optical design with its luxurious 9-group 12-element lens configuration, aspherical lens, and faster focusing speed with smaller glass rear focus. MTF chart comparison In the chart below, the Leica lens is listed at 27mm and the ZEISS lens is listed up to 35mm, but when comparing the Elmarit S and the Distagon, the graph shows the overwhelming victory of the Elmarit S. It seems that the new release and high price are the only reasons for this lens.

The focal length of 35mm in 35mm format is an easy angle of view to use and is useful for taking snapshots when the purpose is not clear, such as when taking a walk, etc. The HASSELBLAD X2D+XCD45mm weighs only 800g, so it is often used for such purposes.
The Leica S and Distagon 45mm weighs less than 2kg, so it is not light, but it is much better than HC lenses and other lenses.

The Distagon 45mm is also sold at a low price due to the abundant number of spheres in the market, but the price difference in 2023 with the 55mm/F3.5 released as a low-cost lens is a wonder of used lens prices, even though it includes the premium of the low production volume of the 55mm.


It is a standard lens with a focal length of 45mm, and when used with the LEICA S, it is a 35mm wide-angle lens in 35mm format.
Use the dedicated lens hood (GB-71) or bellows hood (GB-B1).
As a comparison, the specifications of the ELMARIT-S 45mm are shown in the table on the right.

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-

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