contax G2 any good?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by bogeyes, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. bogeyes

    bogeyes Member

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    So I,m laid up in bed with a spot of back trouble at the moment and my eyes keep looking at Contax G2 kits on ebay at reasonable prices. Beautiful looking compact cameras with interchangable lenses. I know that the last thing I need is another camera but I can't help wondering, what are the G2s like to use and own? Have you any sample photographs to show produced with a G2 using B&W film? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. weasel

    weasel Member

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    I have one, and all I can say is that the lenses are as good as anything out there; I doubt there are any better, maybe different, but not better.
     
  3. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Not to be a complete idiot or anything like that again, but what does the camera body have to do with the images captured? The lenses do most of the important work, all the body does is keep the dark in and hold the film flat.

    More seriously, if you have a twin or doppelgaenger that has one, ask it about the camera's ergonomics. And the twin or doppelgaenger has to look through the viewfinder window with the eye (left or right) that you use. No one whose hands and face aren't much like yours can give you an answer that will be useful for you.
     
  4. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Lovely cameras with lovely lenses - I've owned G2s for several years plus all the available lenses and the G2 combination data back/intervalometer.

    The first one of this Zeiss Contax G series cameras that I bought was a G1 and I still use it.

    I usually load one of these with E6 or C41 film and the other one with B&W film. I've had no problems with any of them - I've found the autofocus to be slow on the G1 - faster on the G2s.
     
  5. bogeyes

    bogeyes Member

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    Point taken about the importance of quality glass, the feel,size and weight of a camera is also important to me, as well as the placement of the controls. Some camera bodies fit well into your hands and pick up to the eye better than others. Some bodies have brighter viewfinders, sharper focusing and a host of electronics to aid the photographer. If a camera body also looks asthetically pleasing to the eye, credit to the designer. I disgree that the body just holds the film flat and keeps the dark in, have you only ever used a box camera?
     
  6. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    The G1 and G2 were hot hot hot for a while. Many shooters were leaving their Leicas at home to use the Contax. Now I almost never see them 'cause of digital.

    If you have a Leica M system, you really don't need a G2.
     
  7. wilsonneal

    wilsonneal Member

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  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I've got a G1, and I have shot a fair bit with a G2 as well. They're tempting enough to make me consider ditching all my Contax SLR gear, they're that good. Brilliant ergonomics and control layout. Everything falls to hand almost intuitively. I'll second the notion on getting a G2 over a G1. It is faster and more precise in focusing, and it has a higher flash sync speed, very useful with fill flash out of doors. It is bigger and a little heavier, but with my beefy meathooks, that would actually be a good thing, as my G1 feels a little petite at times. Right now I only have two lenses for it - the 45 and the 28. You can't ask for better glass than those. Take a look in my gallery for some color neg work done with the G1 - the color shots from Argentina were done with the G1. Also look at

    www.theflyingcamera.com/argentina.htm
     
  9. reub2000

    reub2000 Member

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    I once held one, and I wasn't too impressed. The focus seemed slow, and the manual focus is fly-by-wire. There is no rangefinder or ground glass to confirm your focus.
     
  10. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Hi Reub,
    Do you use a RF? It's a better at AF than MF, I think that's what it was truly meant to do
    The G2 is a very well balanced, handling camera, very smooth. Manual focus takes a little getting used to, I vaguely recall that it had a focus confirmation in the VF. Comparing the two is a little like apples 'n those orange things. The G1 is a little less sophisticated, but a great pocket camera.
     
  11. reub2000

    reub2000 Member

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    Yes I have. I have a Yashica Electro 35 GSN. I love the camera. Focus conformation is seeing the superimposed image line up with the rest of the viewfinder.

    I also use AF SLRs, and these things can do very well at autofocusing. AF is fast and silent when using a lens with a USM motor. Plus I can fall back on the manual focus, something that come is very handy when I'm doing closeups.
     
  12. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    "I held one once" shouldn't be the metric by which to judge, jeez.

    Using G2 Focus Correctly

    I sat in a Ferrari once. It was too low and you had to shift manually. I wasn't too impressed.
     
  13. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Of course I've used a box camera. My first camera was a Brownie Hawkeye. It held the film flat and kept the dark in, did both very well. Its self-cocking shutter was a menace, fired on the down stroke and again on the up. Got some surprisingly nice double exposures before I learned how it worked.

    These days I shoot advanced box cameras. On 35 mm still, mainly Nikon SLRs. On 2x3, Graphics. They all keep the dark in. The Nikons hold the film flat enough. The Graphics themselves don't even hold the film, with them roll holders and sheet film holders are attachments.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
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  15. Jean Noire

    Jean Noire Member

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    I have used a G1 for years. Never had a problem with it and has, still is, a delight to use. Only used a standard lens (45 mm f2 planar) that I have found to be absolutely suberb. "Focus is slow" - never found this to be a problem with street photography/candids as long as you use it correctly. Also, even after years of fairly hard use, show little signs of wear.
    Never used a G2 but they are supposed to be an improvement over the G1, I have found that I have needed no improvements.
    Regards
    John
     
  16. reub2000

    reub2000 Member

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    Sorry, just posting my impression of the camera. Not a complete review.

    The OP may like the like the camera.
     
  17. Peter Williams

    Peter Williams Member

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    I had the G2 for about a year before I sold it in favor of a 4x5 kit. The camera itself is wonderful - heavy and solid and beautiful to look at. The lenses are fantastic and I have some great shots taken with it. The article linked above on focusing the G2 is spot on and that is the way I used the camera. The camera is not as good for close up photography as an SLR, but I did manage to get some good close up shots with it.
     
  18. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    The lenses are second to none, but I'd far rather have Leicas. I had a G2 for a year, with 35 and 90 lenses. Like all autofocus, the focus was not totally reliable (hunting, not focusing on occasion) but the thing I found worst was that in humid/sweaty conditions (including carrying the thing under my coat on a cold day) the eyepiece would steam us, as it does with a Leica, but because it was so deep-set, it was a swine to clean.

    Looking at my 'rangefinder' book (details on www.rogerandfrances.com) I note that there isn't a single pic in there taken with the G2, and there aren't many in other books of mine or on the web-site.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  19. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Roger, looks like you need to go back to bjorke's post in this thread and review:

    Using G2 Focus Correctly
     
  20. bogeyes

    bogeyes Member

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    Shhh! some camera bodies DONT EVEN NEED FILM IN THEM and you can even make phone calls on 'em honest, no kidding.
     
  21. bogeyes

    bogeyes Member

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    Roger which Leica with a 28mm, 45mm and 90mm lens could I buy for less than a grand (£1000)
     
  22. alien

    alien Member

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    I have 2 G2 bodies, and I love them.

    The article about 'how to use the G2 correctly' is spot on - I find the G2 very well thought through, you just have to understand it.

    I don't agree with what someone said before - the camera is just a box holding darkness in and the film flat.
    I went through a lot of cameras until I finally found the ones I was most comfortable with. I found it in my G2 and the RTS III, which have improved my photography because I use them much more intuitively than any camera before.
    This of course is only my opinion and my experience!

    Ansgar
     
  23. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Tom,

    Not really. When you're used to cameras that focus how and when you want, e.g. Leica M-series, there's limited incentive to piddle about doing what the camera wants you to, the way it wants you to. Besides, the finder will still steam up.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  24. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Roger, you are too passionate.
     
  25. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    None. Maybe this tells you which system is worth more, to more people. And I don't believe it's just snob value.

    I'd far rather have a Voigtlander Bessa than a Contax G2.

    Of course everyone's opinions vary. But you did ask...

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  26. bogeyes

    bogeyes Member

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    Now that you are living the La Dolce Vita in France I thought you may have an old leica or two you would let go really cheap, you know, just to give you some more cupboard space.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2007