Contax G Newbie Questions

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by craigclu, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

    Messages:
    869
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    NW Wisconsin
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I picked up a G-1 a month or so back after missing my Hexar AF. I've bought a 28 and 45 from separate parties and have only received the 28 just today. I downloaded a manual from Michael Butkus and feel pretty good about the functions, etc. I was curious about the play in the front section of the lens. I assumed that it was normal and part of the free moving AF assembly behavior. Is this correct?

    Are there any obvious pitfalls or mistakes to avoid for a new user? I'm very pleased with the fit and finish of the equipment. If the optical performance is as good as I hope, I can likely see a 90 and G2 companion someday. Perhaps when the 45 arrives, I'll find I don't miss the 90 with this type of camera anyway.... I use MF RF's and don't seem to ever have the longer lenses on for the duty I'm normally up to.
     
  2. bobby novatron

    bobby novatron Member

    Messages:
    27
    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have owned both the G1 and the G2. They are both excellent cameras.

    I would suggest spending a bit of time to get used to the idiosyncrasies of your particular G1 ... maybe shoot a roll or two of cheap drugstore C-41 film and try out both your lenses under different shooting conditions.

    In my case, I found that the AF on my G1 was a little picky, and sometimes I would unintentionally get out-of-focus shots. There seemed to be a sweet spot where the AF would focus just fine ... sort of like an invisible line-of-sight in the center of the frame. If my subject was off a bit, or I was at the wrong angle, I'd get a blurry photo.

    The G1 is known for having a somewhat less-exact AF system than the G2, but this doesn't mean that it's not a great camera in its own right. Good luck and have fun!

    p.s. That 28mm Biogon is a killer lens. It's legendary. :smile:
     
  3. jscott

    jscott Member

    Messages:
    95
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Location:
    PNW
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes you have to learn how to use the autofocus properly to avoid a lot of out of focus shots. Holding the button down will lock the focus, then reframe and shoot. Takes some practice but worth it. Excellent lenses on this camera.
     
  4. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,325
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
    G1 and G2 have a focus indicator in the viewfinder, so that you can know, when in doubt, if the AF locked on the intermediate subject or on the background. It is something that should be on all AF cameras.

    I have only one AF camera, my small and dependable Yashica T-3. One presses the shutter release half-way, a green light in the viewfinder goes on and you know the AF is locked, but where is it locked?

    Beware some lens (the 35-70 IIRC) is not compatible with the G1, only with the G2.

    The only advice I would give is to read the link below for occasions when you need some extended DoF. I used to autofocus somewhere in the middle of the scene, but not at infinite, when I wanted some nearer detail acceptably in focus.

    http://www.trenholm.org/hmmerk/DOFR.html

    The juice is that in many instances you are better off focusing at infinite and having an acceptable blur in the foreground, than focusing "smart" and having nothing perfectly in focus.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2011
  5. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

    Messages:
    869
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    NW Wisconsin
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Anyone comment on the wobbly front assembly on my 28mm Biogon? I'm new in all ways to the G series equipment and don't know if this is normal?
     
  6. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,962
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This should NOT be the case. Might be an issue. Is it returnable?
     
  7. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,045
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Agree, something is not right with the lens. Find a Contax guy in your area, see what they have to say before too much water is under the bridge.

    I was looking at a G1 as a back-up, but the 21mm lens won't work. And G2 bodies have gone up in price on the bay since I bought mine in '05. Go figure.
     
  8. awwsheeet

    awwsheeet Member

    Messages:
    61
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    mines not wobbly. take a roll and make sure everything is in ok and not broken.

    the marker for the aperture doesnt sit on the actual aperture when the lens is off the camera.
     
  9. twinsfan

    twinsfan Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    The 21 and 35 WILL work on the G1 if the firmware has been updated, or purchased after the update. Look for the green sticker in the film compartment. If it's green, it's updated, if silver, it won't run the 35 or 21.
     
  10. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Both my 28 and my 45 have 'wobbly' fronts. I wouldn't worry about it if your images are fine.
     
  11. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,962
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Really? Mine don't.
     
  12. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

    Messages:
    769
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Leiden, Neth
    Shooter:
    35mm
    'Wobbly' may be hard to quantify. In any case, the inner tube of my Contax G lenses (45 & 28) can be moved (laterally) slightly within the outer barrel. Not Leica, Zeiss or even Canon L build quality, but nothing to the detriment of the image quality either.

    It's quite subtle though, this wobble.
     
  13. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

    Messages:
    869
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    NW Wisconsin
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've now been able to wring out my equipment quite thoroughly and am convinced it's working as it should. Both lenses are very sharp (45 & 28) and the body functions well. For the duty I intend, I imagine the G-1 will serve me well but the G-2 beckons, too!

    Thanks for the sharing of your experiences.... I likely was being too much an alarmist at the play in the lens. The 28 has more motion than the 45 but it seems to function perfectly. I took some shots side by side with some known, sharp optics and they held up well in comparison. They seemed to squeeze everything that Acros in Xtol could deliver so that's enough for me! It should be a good little buddy for ease and portability.
     
  14. mesh

    mesh Subscriber

    Messages:
    272
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Location:
    Adelois
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Just checked my 28 and there's no movement at all. I did have a little movement in my 45 (that I have since sold - stupidly) but it made no difference to the image quality. For what it's worth, I love the 28 Biogon G - easily the best wide I've ever used. The 21 is incredible too - a very special lens.
     
  15. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,521
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I started out with a G-1 and the 45 and 28 lenses as a very compact adjunct travel kit. I've since fallen so in love with the outfit that I'm now using it as a primary camera when traveling, and have grown the set to include every lens except the 16 and the 35-70 zoom, plus a G2 body. The 21 is my absolute favorite lens hands down, with the 28 a close second. The only uninspiring lens in the kit is the 35. If you do get a 90, do be aware that it has some focusing issues on the G1, so pick up a G2 to go with it. You'll thank yourself. I suppose that this was in part due to the fact that it was Barcelona, which is teeming with photographic opportunities, but in 10 days in Barcelona, I put somewhere on the order of 21 rolls of film through the kit. In two days in Puerto Rico, I was averaging 3-4 rolls a day with it. Brilliant system.