Contax G1: "Collectable Modern Classic" or just over priced?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by zemzem, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. zemzem

    zemzem Member

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    I have been the lucky owner of a G1 since it was fresh out of the box all those years ago. It came with a case, strap, flash 35mm and 90mm lenses. And it was either a steal or a fabulous deal because the used prices seem to be creeping up to close to the new prices. Now I am in the market for a 28mm lens and perhaps an extra body. So what gives with the prices? A couple of years ago they were nowhere near what they are now. Did someone write an article? Is it because the Leicas and the new Zeiss Ikons are out of the price range of most folks? The G1 and G2 never got the real celebrity endorsement thing going. I know Juergen Teller uses a G2, but that's only one "famous" guy. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Stewart Skelt

    Stewart Skelt Member

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    I'm a happy G1 user too. I really like the lenses. My guess is that the prices are due to the fact there is nothing quite like it - the AF, the lens quality and build quality and at the price - on the market. I had a Bessa-R for a while and which I eventually sold because I preferred the Contax.
     
  3. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I think that they are now recognised as the quality equipment that they are, whereas when they were marketed they were perceived as very expensive; which they were. My only concern is with the durability of the electronics, however I expect any problems in that area are many years away.
     
  4. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I'm another very happy G1 owner, although I will at some point upgrade to a G2, because of the faster autofocus and higher top shutter speed, and the ability to use all the lenses equally well (the original spec G1 doesn't always work well with the 90, and it can't handle the 35, 21 or the zoom).
     
  5. maxbloom

    maxbloom Member

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    Can anyone comment on how it compares to the AX?
     
  6. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The AX is an SLR and the G is a viewfinder camera. I don't think you can easily compare the two. Aside from the fact that they both were made by Kyocera, there's not much else you can add.

    The lenses aren't interchangeable between the two cameras. They both are autofocus. The AX achieved this by moving the film plane backward and forward. The G uses the more-common method of having the lens handle the focusing.

    Regarding prices, factor in inflation as well. Plus, camera lenses with the Zeiss name attached to them seem to hold their value better than their counterparts (except for Leica, which is in its own category).
     
  7. zemzem

    zemzem Member

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    Interesting. I also should factor in the "Microsoft Effect" considering the part of the world I live in. Prices tend to skew toward those in the more money then sense club out this way. My G1 has worked well with all my 90 lens. It's taken many head shots and traveled to Mexico with me last year. Thanks for all the input, I'll keep looking!
     
  8. nicolai

    nicolai Member

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    Very expensive is relative... the lens performance is neck-in-neck with Leica (though often a stop or so slower) from one stop down and on, at a small fraction of the price.
     
  9. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    Yes, I have noticed the prices on the bay. I started looking into an extra body after a less-than-stellar service experience with Contax on the east coast.
     
  10. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    The weak dollar could well be a factor.
     
  11. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    I hadn't noticed about the prices -- but I think that's good news since these were undervalued for quite a while. Coming out not long before digital, and at about the time APS came in, and added to that the fact they got orphaned by Kyocera, meant that the resale values of these have taken a beating. But they are really fine pieces of equipment, and the lenses are comparable to anyone's.
     
  12. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

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  13. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    At one point, Zorkendorfor, would adapt, the CV 12 & 15 mm lenses to Contax G mount. This was before CV brought out a camera with aperture priority. I was even told by Contax reps, that there was a Contax Gdigital, in the works.
    I wish, Cosina, would pick-up the Contax line. Now that Fuji, has lost Nikon has a supplier for their S5, maybe they should start producing Contax's under the Fuji name.
     
  14. elekm

    elekm Member

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    It's not quite as simple as that. Apart from the tooling, if the lens line, mount and electronics are to be continued, there's also the bigger issue of the Contax name, which is owned by Carl Zeiss AG.

    Just like you can't make cars and call them Ford or Chevrolet or Honda, you can't use the Contax name freely.

    The Zeiss agreement with Kyocera has expired by now, but little has been said about any future line of cameras. Zeiss has its own rangefinder system (produced by Cosina). But it hasn't publicly said whether the Contax name will be revived with a new line of gear.

    Given the current global economy, it's probably not the best time to launch a new camera system. To be fair, most systems are in the works well before they're publicly announced. So it's possible that Zeiss is waiting for an improvement in the economy. Or it's equally possible that the Contax name will be put to rest for now.

    An FAQ about the Contax brand.

    Note that Zeiss isn't ruling out anything.
     
  15. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    I did say, I wish. But, in the same way that Sony,
    went & picked-up Minolta's camera & lens designs &
    Kenko, went & picked-up Minolta's Meter's, it could happen. One of the things about Capitalism is that a
    good design, seldom gets neglected. Just because
    the company holding it, is gone, doesn't mean that
    the designs can't be resurrected.

    As far as the N camera system is concerned, the only
    mistake that Contax made, was that the camera
    didn't control the variable aperture zoom lens, like the Canon's do.

    In other words, given an f 3.5 - 5.6 zoom lens, when you set the lens at f 5.6, no matter where you zoom, the camera keeps the lens set at f 5.6.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2009
  16. gerryyaum

    gerryyaum Subscriber

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    looking for another G2 body as well, I did a series of photos in completely dark rooms where I could not see to focus, the G2 with the various lens did the job!! great little camera.
     
  17. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The original price drop happened after the G2 was introduced & Contax couldn't give the G1 away. The camera was then offered with a "free" lens, flash or combo package.
     
  18. erikg

    erikg Member

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    I had a G2 for a good while but eventually the noise got to me and I couldn't take it anymore. Great lenses and the AF worked very well. It was a unique system with a solid feel, and very sexy in black, although I owned the other version. Always seemed to me that they were undervalued.
     
  19. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Well, actually it was Kyocera that "couldn't give the G1 away." Contax is simply a brand name (licensed from Carl Zeiss AG) and not a company.

    Even if Cosina (or Sony) wanted to revive the Contax name, it would have to do so in concert with Zeiss. Zeiss would have the final say and not Cosina (or another manufacturer), if Cosina wanted to make a Contax-branded camera.
     
  20. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Kyocera, Contax, it's the same product and it boils down to wrong product, wrong time.
     
  21. digitalintrigue

    digitalintrigue Member

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    Great product, right now. I need a G2. :smile: