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Zeiss Contax Forum for the classic Zeiss Contax I, II, III, IIa, IIIa , G series, and if you want to push it, the nice Contax point and shoots. Some spill over from the Kievs, the Soviet copy of the Contax II/III can also be expected. Plus the ONLY production camera ever made in classic Zeiss Contax Rangefinder mount WITH TTL metering ... the Voigtlander Bessa R2C.

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Contax G1
Old 11-22-2008   #1
ranger
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Contax G1

Just arrived from Shueido camera (Taiwan I think) Oh my God, what a beautiful specimen. This thing is immaculate. Has the Planar 45/2 on it. I just ran a roll through her for a test run. I like the way it handles. Don't mind the 'focus' noise. Viewfinder is small but no problem. I'll see how the pictures come out. Not a plastic feeling camera. It has heft to it.
Fun Fun Fun!
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Old 11-22-2008   #2
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Watch out Ranger - I started with just one lens and a body in the G system....but they get ya! Such incredible value these days....

Enjoy it and the wonderful Zeiss 45mm.
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Old 11-22-2008   #3
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I had to send mine back to KEH but should have a new one Wednesday. Beautiful camera--one of my favorites, in terms of appearance, ever made.

I did shoot a couple of rolls with the 45 Planar before the camera went back, and WOW, that lens is sharp as hell.
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Hmmmm
Old 11-22-2008   #4
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Hmmmm

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmilkins View Post
Watch out Ranger - I started with just one lens and a body in the G system....but they get ya! Such incredible value these days....

Enjoy it and the wonderful Zeiss 45mm.
I started the same way, too. Now I have the three original lens for the G1 plus a couple of flashes, several filters, well just a lot of gadgets to make my pictures better (yea right!). Everything fits in a Tamrac backpack that goes with me whenever I am out and about. It is a real shame that this fine camera and lens system was not accepted by the public. It gives credence to the saying that the consumer public is fickle at best. Quality of the product certainly did not count for much in the G1's case.
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Old 11-22-2008   #5
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I wish you much enjoyment, but the shortcomings must be mentioned... I owned the G1 and G2 kit. Very well made system and fine performance EXCEPT for the 90mm lens being unable to quickly focus, and a lot of times was not able to focus at all. Very frustrating. Not good considering the original cost. I lost confidence and interest in the system. Not a real rangefinder experience after all, it amounts to basically a very expensive interchangable lens point and shoot. [flame suit ON]
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Old 11-22-2008   #6
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Papa Smurf, mine is a G2 w/4 lenses in a med Tamrac B/P and it is my goto camera with Fuji Velvia 100F film when I absolutely want the best IQ I can get.

As I have stated many times the Contax G's IMO are the most undervalued high quality camera system out there.
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Old 11-22-2008   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George S. View Post
Not a real rangefinder experience after all, it amounts to basically a very expensive interchangable lens point and shoot. [flame suit ON]
No, that's exactly right. Except it isn't expensive anymore.
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Old 11-22-2008   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George S. View Post
... basically a very expensive interchangable lens point and shoot. [flame suit ON]
Isn't a DSLR on Auto the same thing?

I have no problem focusing with the 90mm...




And it IS FUN FUN FUN.


The reason for non-acceptance of the G system was mostly psychological...(no verification of correct focus)

But that's fine by me because low demand means low price!

Last edited by Semushkin : 11-22-2008 at 14:44.
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Old 11-22-2008   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabelsound View Post
I had to send mine back to KEH ...
May I ask why?
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Old 11-22-2008   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semushkin View Post
May I ask why?
Sure, it was a G1...sold as EX, but the shutter stuck and was visible in about 20% of frames. I think it was only sticking at high speeds. Also, every half dozen or so shots, it would advance an extra frame, which is a new one, to me.

I've had focus frustrations, too, and sold my first G1 kit many months ago. But it didn't take long to want it back.
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Old 11-22-2008   #11
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everyone has a right to their opinions but mine varies greatly from the above I have had my G2, 90, 45, 28, and recently purchased 21mm for several years and any focus issue I have experienced (which are extremely few) were my fault not equipment. True, it does not function like a true rangefinder but it handles and delivers IQ on par with the perceived BEST of the rangefinders.

I have read others who have had focus issues with 90mm and the G1 so I have been very aware to this issue but for 100's of roles of film I have yet to experience this issue.

To catagorize it as an expensive P&S with it's exceptional IQ and build Quality is obsurd. I agree it's not a traditional RF but IMO it is better with all of a RF's handling and quality issues with none of their short comings. I have owned and sold several Leica's but they will have to pry my G2 out of my cold dead hands

As I stated we all are entitled to our opinions and I can afford any camera I want ... I shoot a G2 and that say's plenty.
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Old 11-22-2008   #12
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They are great cameras... I sold mine, however, when I got my Leicas. Felt bad having such a great camera system (just two lenses, a 35 and a 45) on the shelf, not getting any use. Mind you, I don't miss them... but I won't badmouth the system either. In short, VERY good stuff!
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Old 11-23-2008   #13
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Even Ken Rockwell likes the G system (mostly)


kenrockwell.com/contax/g-system.htm
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Old 11-23-2008   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semushkin View Post
Even Ken Rockwell likes the G system (mostly)


kenrockwell.com/contax/g-system.htm
"
The 45mm has a tiny bit of barrel distortion. That's too bad, because this should have been a great lens."

Ay caramba!


Last edited by squirrel$$$bandit : 11-23-2008 at 14:49.
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Old 11-23-2008   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George S. View Post
Not a real rangefinder experience after all, it amounts to basically a very expensive interchangable lens point and shoot. [flame suit ON]
Yeah! And what a point and shoot! I took snapshots in bars which are as good as others portrait sessions , only it took me two or three seconds to get the shot and the others need hours to set up lighting.

How I love the TTL flash and the AF
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Old 11-23-2008   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semushkin View Post
Even Ken Rockwell likes the G system (mostly)


kenrockwell.com/contax/g-system.htm
Whoa! The G2 first appeared in 1996. Ken must really have a large queue of cameras to test, with his exhaustive review of Oct. '08.
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Old 11-23-2008   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabelsound View Post


"
The 45mm has a tiny bit of barrel distortion. That's too bad, because this should have been a great lens."

Ay caramba!

Yes, Ken is too much sometimes, contradicts himself at others, but is fun to read occasionally. Politically incorrect too, which is good!
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Old 11-23-2008   #18
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Ya, well. It was color film I ran through so I'll get it processed tomorrow and scan some (boring test) images to see what kind of IQ it produces. I already know the first few are blown cause I thought the DX mode reads the ASA (but you have to set it to auto DX mode first!) Should have some images for you tomorrow.
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Old 11-26-2008   #19
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Where, in EU, can these cameras be serviced and repaired?

The prices are very attractive, and the system is tempting.
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Old 11-26-2008   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaremontPhoto View Post
Where, in EU, can these cameras be serviced and repaired?
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...49&postcount=2

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Old 11-26-2008   #21
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These cameras are high on my list. How does G2 differs from G1? how do both differ from M6 in size and ergonomics?
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Old 11-26-2008   #22
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Quote:
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[url]http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=463949&postcount=2
Joaquim: Many thanks for that.
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Old 11-26-2008   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruvy View Post
These cameras are high on my list. How does G2 differs from G1? how do both differ from M6 in size and ergonomics?
http://contaxg.com/contaxuser/

More info than you need for starters.
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Old 11-26-2008   #24
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You're confusing facts with your opinion. I didn't badmouth anything about it other than the 90mm focus failure isue that I and apparently hundreds of others have had with the sysytem. Reread my comment- : "Very well made system and fine performance except..." The "except" is the aforementioned 90mm lens focus failures. Those failures are a fact. It's a good thing that you and others have not experienced those failures, but don't kill me for stating my experience with the system. And I resent you calling my opinion absurd. It basically IS a point and shoot with interchangable lenses. It is NOT a true rangefinder in the usual sense of the word.

And tell us all, why does YOUR choice of what you choose to shoot with say plenty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DEcevR View Post
everyone has a right to their opinions but mine varies greatly from the above I have had my G2, 90, 45, 28, and recently purchased 21mm for several years and any focus issue I have experienced (which are extremely few) were my fault not equipment. True, it does not function like a true rangefinder but it handles and delivers IQ on par with the perceived BEST of the rangefinders.

I have read others who have had focus issues with 90mm and the G1 so I have been very aware to this issue but for 100's of roles of film I have yet to experience this issue.

To catagorize it as an expensive P&S with it's exceptional IQ and build Quality is obsurd. I agree it's not a traditional RF but IMO it is better with all of a RF's handling and quality issues with none of their short comings. I have owned and sold several Leica's but they will have to pry my G2 out of my cold dead hands

As I stated we all are entitled to our opinions and I can afford any camera I want ... I shoot a G2 and that say's plenty.
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Old 11-26-2008   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joachim View Post
http://contaxg.com/contaxuser/

More info than you need for starters.
Thanks - I'll read it
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Old 11-26-2008   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George S. View Post
You're confusing facts with your opinion. I didn't badmouth anything about it other than the 90mm focus failure isue that I and apparently hundreds of others have had with the sysytem.
On my G1 the 90 is a bit problematic, but I still haven't had my G1 upgraded with the newer ROM. So yes, the G1 may have had some problems focusing a 90 at f2.8.

Quote:
And I resent you calling my opinion absurd. It basically IS a point and shoot with interchangable lenses. It is NOT a true rangefinder in the usual sense of the word.
This depends a bit on your native language. A rangefinder is a device to measure distances, isn't it? I had a rangefinder on my 100mm guns back then when I was in the navy.
In Germany we call cameras with one window for framing, focusing and, possibly, lightmeter "Messsucherkameras", roughly translated measuring finder cameras. A Barnak is not a Messsucherkamera but a Contax G is.

The Contax G focuses by triangulation like a Contax II did, with the difference that the image is not evaluated by a human eye but by a phase detection sensor. This can be more accurate and it can be faster, but it must not in all circumstances.

One can call the Contax G a P&S since you can point it and shoot, and why not? I don't think this is prejorative, the camera does not come in your way, you concentrate on framing or the "decisive moment" or whatever, not on which direction to turn the focus ring, which direction to turn the aperture ring and you don't have to take the camera from your eye to change the shutterspeed.

For perfect focus on the tip of the third eyelash from the left, I'd take a Viewcamera and a 4x loupe :-)
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Old 11-26-2008   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaremontPhoto View Post
Where, in EU, can these cameras be serviced and repaired?

The prices are very attractive, and the system is tempting.
Tritec in Germany http://www.tritec-service.de/
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I just ordered a backup G1
Old 11-26-2008   #28
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I just ordered a backup G1

I've been hemming and hawwing about getting a backup G1 for a while. I've got the 28/45/90 set, so I've been keeping an eye on KEH's silver label prices. Last night I noticed they had dropped the EX grade from $225 to $199, and decided that was my cue to go for it. Must have been the last one, cuz it's not listed now . Just hope it doesn't have any problems like the one mabelsound returned.
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Old 11-26-2008   #29
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here are a couple of shots from my new G1
I don't find the AF an issue at all. I can plant the [ ] right where I want the focus to land and no problem.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg contax1.jpg (116.2 KB, 31 views)
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Old 11-26-2008   #30
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My replacement G1 from KEH came today, and it's MUCH nicer than the broken one I sent back. I'm very excited. An RFFer sold me a 45 and a 90 for a knock-down price, and I'm delighted to have my old rig back in action.

Honestly, this camera IS a point and shoot. I mean, almost EVERY film point and shoot is a rangefinder, technically speaking. This just happens to be perhaps the finest point and shoot camera ever made. When I think "rangefinder," I think of a camera with a rangefinder on it, that you can actually use. Here, all the rangefinding is going on without you. But it is an undeniably amazing camera.

I love to look at the G1...a beautiful piece of technology.
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Old 11-26-2008   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Thirsty View Post
I've been hemming and hawwing about getting a backup G1 for a while. I've got the 28/45/90 set, so I've been keeping an eye on KEH's silver label prices. Last night I noticed they had dropped the EX grade from $225 to $199, and decided that was my cue to go for it. Must have been the last one, cuz it's not listed now . Just hope it doesn't have any problems like the one mabelsound returned.
I hope it ISN'T the one mabelsound returned!
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Old 11-26-2008   #32
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Congrats, mabelsound, on getting the nicer replacement G1! These are indeed lovely cameras, and priced so very attractively now. I also bought one from KEH a few years ago, essentially as a way to use the 21mm Biogon... which I figured was the least expensive route to a fast high-quality 21 lens.

And mine too had mechanical troubles, film winding issues, so it went back. But I liked the system well enough by that point I paid a bit extra and got the G2 instead of a replacement G1. I do prefer the G2 controls, and use the focus lock button a lot.

And, yeah, additional lenses inevitably arrived, and a "backup" G2 body too... Hooked! I see some similarity in usage between this system and the Fuji GA645, both very automated but with extremely high quality.
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Old 11-26-2008   #33
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The G1 is a fine camera. Much underrated in my opinion.
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Old 11-26-2008   #34
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Quote:
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I hope it ISN'T the one mabelsound returned!
I hope so too. But at least I know what to watch out for. Was the return a silver label too, not green label?
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