Flare & Ghosting
Nikon 35mm f2.8 PC-Nikkor
At f8, the Nikon’s 9-bladed aperture renders an attractive star, well controlled halation and the merest trace of internal reflection. An excellent performance.
Olympus Zuiko Shift 1:2.8 f=35mm (Single Coated)
Both the Olympus and the Zeiss disappointingly use relatively crude curved 6-blade apertures that render in focus point light sources as an unappealing mush. In terms of flare resistance, the performance isn’t too bad, but expect serious blob invasion if you fail to track down a multi-coated sample. Later experimentation with an MC sample proved enlightening: this was the worst I could provoke:
Olympus Zuiko Shift 35mm 1:2.8 (Multi Coated)
Not exactly class-leading, but a big improvement that makes the MC variant at least better suited to night photography. Note the nice big pale impression of the hexagonal aperture in the foreground.
Contax Zeiss 35mm PC-Distagon f2.8
Apart from the concentric ‘orbital ring’ halation evident, the Zeiss Distagon displays well-mannered handling of point light sources, and keeps internal reflection to a minimum. Shame about the aperture blades however: no stars at f8. On balance, I think we’d have to give joint honours in round one to the Nikon and the Contax.