Contax G1 or G2

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Woody63, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. Woody63

    Woody63 Member

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    I have been considering buying a rangefinder camera. Leica's are a complete no no, because of price, so i have been thinking about a Contax, either a G1 or aG2, i think i would prefer a G2 though.


    What are your thoughts on these cameras, are they reliable, can they be repaired in the UK easily, as i have heard, it is hard to find someone to repair them.


    Help & advice please
     
  2. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    I'd say they were autofocus cameras and not rangefinders. Only the G2 offers much control on what the camera focus to.

    If you want a rangefinder cheaper than a Leica then

    Cosina Voightlander (CV) Bessa (various) or
    Canon VI, P or 7

    are system rangefinders with options of CV LTM lenses or Canon LTM lens from '50-'70 or CV Ms as applicable.

    A user Leica M2, M4-2 etc. is only a little dearer, but some people prefer a Cosina or Canon ignoring the <<$.

    There is also the question of fit to your hands if the (controls) are too small or too large...

    If you dont want a system rangefinder then there is a large range of even cheaper solutions.

    Noel
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2014
  3. giannisg2004

    giannisg2004 Member

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    I prefer the G1 because it's smaller and lighter.
    Being much less expensive is a nice bonus.
    Te autofocus is just as accurate, except in very low light where the G2 wins hands down, due to the active autofocus.
     
  4. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    I have both. The G1 is a lot nicer to carry around because of its size, but I prefer th G2 because of the focus lock button on the back. I also love my 35-70 zoom for slides, which only works on the G2.
     
  5. imokruok

    imokruok Member

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    I had a complete G2 kit for a couple of years. It is an amazing piece of work, and when you use it, hold it, etc. it will make you sad that people don't make cameras like that any more.

    The images that it captures the best resolving in any 35mm I've ever shot. That said, it does have a tricky autofocus that takes some getting used to, and you'll muck up some shots until you get the hang of it.

    For service, it's still available in the USA through ToCAD America (tocad.com). Worst case, I suppose it could be shipped over the pond.
     
  6. damonff

    damonff Member

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    I use the G2 most of the time. The 28mm is amazing. Once you get the hang of the focus you never miss a shot. Also the exposure lock switch is easy to use. I disagree with Xmas because it is a rangefinder, the camera just does the work. Yes, it is autofocus but you can use (and I do) the manual focus function which, again, once you get used to it it is great. I use slrs and have a Nikon F2, 3, and 6. All are great but the G2 is in a different class. The 21mm is the best lens I have ever used.
     
  7. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    The 21 is the best 21 out there. (see Ken Rockwell)
     
  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Another fan of the G-series. I have both, and I prefer the G2 because of the faster, more precise, more accurate in low light autofocus, the faster motor wind (not that I shoot sports action with it, but sometimes you want to do a series of shots of things like street performers) and the higher top shutter speed lets me keep using large apertures even in bright daylight. And I wholeheartedly agree, the 21mm is perhaps the best lens in that focal length range ever made. It's sharp enough that shot wide open and focused just a little this side of infinity, you can tell that infinity is not actually in focus.
     
  9. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    I have the G2 and an M2. Very different beasts. The lenses for the G system are terrific but very sharp and contrasty. Great for slide not always what you might want for B&W. You can get user M2/M3 for great prices and with recent CLA (Google Youxin Ye) and the lens selection for Leica mount and screw mount are almost endless. And some real bargains to be had in older Leica glass, Russian glass, Canon and newer VC glass too. That said I love my G2. The G1 is smaller and lighter but many people complain about the AF being tough to use. That said people also complain about the G2 focus that I find spot on once you know how to "place" a focus spot and use the back AF button.
     
  10. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    ok I use the G1 and 28mm with lump of bluetack on focus knob.

    I use instinctive point and prefocus to 5 foot. I don't like the focus lag in manual

    YMMV

    The good news it stops me buying an x100.
     
  11. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    I would have thought something like a Leica M4-P along with a CV 35mm Skopar (or whatever) would be around the same sort of price as a good Contax G2 and lens. That said the Contax G2 is the camera I always regret selling most, quirky, irritating at times, but he negatives were something else! But with all the high quality cheap lenses around now for a Leica M mount camera I wouldn't recommend a G2 to a beginner as it would most probably give the wrong impression of rangefinders generally. Better stick to a Bessa or Leica body and do the experience properly.

    Steve
     
  12. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    I use my left eye, and shooting w/a Leica is no treat. The Contaxes have the eyepiece more toward the middle, like a SLR.
     
  13. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    With a M3 or CanonP or VI you shoot with both eyes open using the right eye in finder. With practice you can do this with M2 or Canon 7.

    In my school you had to write with right hand...
     
  14. Woody63

    Woody63 Member

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    Well, an update to this now. I have bought a Contax G2 Millenium kit. It is in black, complete with 45mm,28mm, 90mm lenses, flash, filters, lens hoods, strap and case, all in near mint condition, the only thing missing is, the original user manual.

    I will now download a user manual and try it out, so far over the moon with it
     
  15. MrclSchprs

    MrclSchprs Subscriber

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    Well done! Hope you like it. Not included in the manual but definitely worth to look at: the fastest thumb in the West.
     
  16. Woody63

    Woody63 Member

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    Thank you, that is really worth knowing. Will certainly be trying that.

    Thanks again :smile:
     
  17. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Awesome! Enjoy! Have patience, once you get the knack you'll find it a great camera to work with.
     
  18. Woody63

    Woody63 Member

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    Thank you Richard. I have ordered a ready printed user manual, which should arrive tomorrow. Then i will certainly be seeing what it can do. It has a very nice feel, superb engineering, very impressed with it. :smile:
     
  19. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    After my first and only experience dealing with ToCAD, I bought a G1 green label as a back-up. (G1 that takes the 21mm.) Judging from the time and expense it took to simply replace a dented lens hood, I can only speculate that a serious service or repair on my G2, which will be needed at some point, will cost far more than buying a G1 back-up.

    This system is all about the lenses. You will want the 21mm, can't remember the last time I took it off. Have fun finding and affording a black one, though.

    Heads up on the batteries. Yes, there is a warning that the juice is low . . .then count one potato, two potato, and the camera is dead.
     
  20. zanxion72

    zanxion72 Member

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    A quick question on G1, is it possible to use other than G mount lenses via adapters? Say, would there be a chance of using an M42 lens on it?
     
  21. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Not that I've heard of. But at the relative prices of the G-series lenses, why would you want to? The lenses are the reason you buy that system.