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80mm lens for Contax 645 impossible to find
Old 08-10-2016   #1
2wenty
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80mm lens for Contax 645 impossible to find

Thanks wedding photographers for screwing up the market for the Contax 645. Apparently the lens is so good you dont even have to be a good photographer to take great photos with it.

From what Ive seen these lenses aren't that rare. I just think people are scooping them up to combine with the camera to make the setup worth more and wont sell them separate.

I looked on eBay, forums, adorama, bh, samys, keh, smaller camera stores, craigslist, had someone check places in japan, etc. And nothing. Granted theres one on eBay but I'm not paying $2k.

This has got to be up there with one of the most rare pieces of photo equipment at the moment.

Does anyone know where it might be possible to find one?
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Old 08-10-2016   #2
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The value of them is pretty much between $1.6-2k. If you want one, that's just something you'll have to accept. Anyone who sells one for less than that is giving it away.
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Old 08-10-2016   #3
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People sell kits between $3000-$4000 and I see the bodies sell for $1500 with a back so with a little basic math that brings you to $1500-$2500. Not many people are adapting these lenses onto other bodies and the Contax 645 body alone is more difficult to sell so it only make sense.
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Old 08-10-2016   #4
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I doubt that that is the matter - there are relatively few 80/2's around in Germany as well, where there is no similar cult of wedding photography and the latter is pretty generally executed by some seedy guy with a mid range Canon and zoom.

The lens is relatively rare, as a unusually fast medium format lens (besides it there is only the Hasselblad equivalent and the Mamiya f/1.9), from the most rare recent 645/6x6 system - all fast MF lenses seem to be in high demand among the East Asian "bokeh cult" crowd. And few of the pros that originally bought a Contax 645 did so for its low light press capabilities, so that it may have been outnumbered by the higher resolution and more studio-ready 120mm Macro to start with. These days, with 645 pretty much dead as a regular pro tool, desirability seems to have reversed...
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Old 08-10-2016   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaveKodak View Post
The value of them is pretty much between $1.6-2k. If you want one, that's just something you'll have to accept. Anyone who sells one for less than that is giving it away.
The other day there was a 645 with an 80mm going for $1500 on eBay. It was local so I went to look at it since the listing didn't say anything. I only had 5 min to look at it before the listed ended. I got caught up in looking at it and lost the listing. It went for $1625. It seemed to be working and the lens was clean.

But there was another one complete that was working with a 140mm that I bought for $1400
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Old 08-10-2016   #6
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It's like anything semi-rare. You'll find the magic one with patience. Just check ebay every day. There is also a Contax 645 user group on facebook where they are quite regularly traded, but don't go in there looking for screaming deals. Those people paid a pretty penny for their Contax kits and know what they're worth.

The real tragedy is that Contax stopped making them, and stopped servicing them. I'd take a reliable Contax 645 over any H2 or Mamiya AF body.
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Old 08-10-2016   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaveKodak View Post
It's like anything semi-rare. You'll find the magic one with patience. Just check ebay every day. There is also a Contax 645 user group on facebook where they are quite regularly traded, but don't go in there looking for screaming deals. Those people paid a pretty penny for their Contax kits and know what they're worth.

The real tragedy is that Contax stopped making them, and stopped servicing them. I'd take a reliable Contax 645 over any H2 or Mamiya AF body.
There is a place in NY that bought the rest of the stuff from TOCAD to still service Contax.

Thanks for the heads up on the group. Just tried to join, apparently its private. Looks like its mostly wedding photographers, lol.
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Old 08-10-2016   #8
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The Contax 645 AF lenses autofocus on the Leica S cameras with the Leica made Contax 645-Leica S adapter. That is likely driving prices up.

I have two, and paid less than $400 for each. The trend may pass, but given that the 70mm Summarit for the Leica S is $4.4k, half a stop slower and arguably only about as good, it probably won't.

Marty
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Old 08-10-2016   #9
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Yes, it is a great lens, but it makes a lot more sense to use it on the body it was designed around. I've used the lens where it was designed to be used, on the 645, and I've used it "adapted" to a 35mm full frame, where it is , frankly, wasted. Adapting it to a Leica S2 with one of their dedicated adapters makes more sense, but it is still cropped and compromised. I know people do that and are happy, but that says more about what people are willing to settle for than anything else.
Get the lens, get the body, and use it the way it was designed to be used instead of kludging it onto a frankencamera and thinking you are getting anything close to everything out of the lens.
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Old 08-10-2016   #10
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It gets thrashed. I take a lot of photos of children, and it is about perfect.

I have two because I fear I will wear the first one out, and I am not joking.

In the gap between the digital takeover and the analogue restoration, this sort of stuff went for close to nothing.

Marty
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Old 08-10-2016   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wenty View Post
There is a place in NY that bought the rest of the stuff from TOCAD to still service Contax.

Thanks for the heads up on the group. Just tried to join, apparently its private. Looks like its mostly wedding photographers, lol.
Tocad ceased servicing Contax equipment on April 1st 2015.
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Old 08-10-2016   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radi(c)al_cam View Post
Item # 172299971466 perhaps? Less than EUR 1k.
Where at? Not seeing it on the US eBay. Thanks
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Old 08-10-2016   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaveKodak View Post
Tocad ceased servicing Contax equipment on April 1st 2015.
I know another company bought it from them. Nippon.
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Old 08-10-2016   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radi(c)al_cam View Post
Oops, my bad
Can you post a link to it, would make it a lot easier. Thanks
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Old 08-10-2016   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wenty View Post
Can you post a link to it, would make it a lot easier. Thanks
http://m.ebay.de/itm/Carl-Zeiss-Plan...%257Ciid%253A1

Maybe try to write to him about shipping or try to find someone to forward package to you...
All the best
Zbigniew
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Old 08-10-2016   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zozur View Post
http://m.ebay.de/itm/Carl-Zeiss-Plan...%257Ciid%253A1

Maybe try to write to him about shipping or try to find someone to forward package to you...
All the best
Zbigniew
Thanks so much. Just messaged him. Someone is probably gonna see it on here now and buy it. lol
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Old 08-10-2016   #17
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Good luck.
If he doesn't ship it to US I can forward it to you (I live in Poland) if you'll pay him for it and shipping.
But I hope that he will send it to you.
All the best.
Zbigniew
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Old 08-10-2016   #18
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That's the main Camerastore of Denmark (or so it is my impression). Passed by during my visit but kept away of the insides. Hope the best.

The hype around the Contax 645 and mainly the planar is interesting and it is curious to see the thread. Didn't think too much about it,as they are pretty expensive. I can tell you I'm not grabing that one unless the lotto hits.
Given the prices, and if they were to dry up and rise, it may make sense to manufacture a similar camera again!
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Old 08-11-2016   #19
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Haha. They wont sell it to me. They said too many shipping problems to the US. Great.
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Old 08-11-2016   #20
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Looks like this thread was useful to someone. Sold.
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Old 08-11-2016   #21
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Looks like this thread was useful to someone. Sold.
Be patient, that was hardly a once in a lifetime opportunity.
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Old 08-12-2016   #22
sevo
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Originally Posted by 2wenty View Post
Haha. They wont sell it to me. They said too many shipping problems to the US. Great.
They have a point there. The loss risk on uninsured shipments through the rude and negligent US postal service and customs is high, insured (courier) shipment is outrageously expensive, and in case of a free return (which dealers are required to accept by EU law) they are either facing twice the loss risk or have to pay there and back via courier...
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