SONNAR 210 for CONTAX 645

Review and photo examples of Kyocera/Contax medium format/telephoto lens, SONNAR 210mm

Table of contents


  • Photo example from LEICA S Typ007


The Sonnar 210mm is a telephoto lens with a focal length of 210mm released by Kyocera for the medium format camera Contax 645.
It is the same as the Sonnar 140mm, and although the lens name is Sonnar, it does not have the features of the original 50mm Sonnar lens, and is a borrowed lens from the brand. I have a feeling that Zeiss believes that long focal length lenses and zoom lenses should be labeled with the Sonnar brand.

When used with the Leica S series, it becomes a 170mm equivalent lens, which is 0.8x when converted to a 35mm version. The original Contax 645 film camera has a 0.6x increase to 126mm.
Since the aperture is modest at F4, we can confirm that it has sufficient resolution even from the maximum aperture. The blur in the front and back is also beautiful.

One of the features of this lens is its short minimum focusing distance of 1.4m, which is comparable to the next focal length of the CONTAX 645 lens line, Sonnar 140mm (1.3m), and comparable to the focal length of 210mm. The camera allows you to get very close to the subject.
The autofocus (AF) focus speed is almost the same as the Sonnar 140mm, and the focusing accuracy is also not as good. If the subject is close up or the contrast of the subject is low, the focus may go back and forth past the focus position, so it is less stressful to interrupt with manual focus (MF) or use MF from the beginning.

The Sonnar 210mm has similar specs to Hasselblad’s HC 210mm, so I compared it.
The lens construction of the Sonnar 210mm is simpler, with 7 elements in 4 groups compared to the Hasselblad HC210’s 9 elements in 6 groups. The outer diameter and weight are about 10% smaller and lighter than the HC210mm, but as you can see in the comparison photo, the Sonnar 210mm has a longer lens barrel than the HC210mm.
When attaching the Sonnar 210mm to the LEICA S Typ007 via the LEICA S adapter-C adapter, it weighs approximately 2.7kg and feels quite heavy. When using with the LEICA S series, you can also use the teleconverter Mutar T* III 1.4x, but when Mutar is installed, an additional 510g is added, making the total over 3kg.
When using Mutar, the focal length is 294mm (35mm equivalent: 235mm), with an aperture of F5.6.
The HC210mm feels larger due to its thickness, and since it includes a shutter unit, the system weight is heavier than the Sonnar.

Used prices for the Sonnar 210mm have fallen at an alarming rate, and if you’re looking for a high-performance telephoto lens, you can probably get it cheap even with the mount adapter included. For SONY E, there is also an AF compatible adapter with a built-in focal reducer (0.7x), allowing you to enjoy an angle of view close to the original with a 35mm sensor.
A special lens hood (GB-74) is available.


Focal length(mm)210211.1
Max. aperture44
Min. aperture4545
Lens Construction7elements in 4group10elements in 6group
Min. distance(m)1.41.8
Lens length(mm)177168
Max. diameter(mm)8186
Filter Size(mm)7277
Release year1999 later
Price(Japanese Yen)¥250,000-
2023 Used prices range from ¥30,000 to
2023 Used prices range from ¥100,000 to

Reference links

Update history

  • 2024.2.11:Update
  • 2022.05.11:First draft

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