Contax G2 is it good enough ?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by pquser, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. pquser

    pquser Member

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    Hi Everybody

    I'm new to this site so bear with me if I don't know the rules yet

    I'm having a real look at changing from a hasselblad outfit over to
    35mm rangefinder as the Blad / lenses and Manfrotto are getting too
    much of a load for my old bones.

    I have looked at what seems to be the two front runners namely Leica M
    and Contax G and Like the look of both. BUT the cost of the Leica is intimidatingly high for such a small bit of metal.

    The G2 reads as if it's got everthing I want but is the image quality good
    enough to knock out exhibition quality 16 x 12 monochromes ?

    Ok I know I won't get Blad graduation and freedom from grain and I won't
    be making 20 x 16's either but what do you guys who have these camera really have to say on this.

    Love the humour of the threads especially from down under.

    If Amy's dad in melbourne reads this then I say Hi from Andrea's grand-dad.

    pq:smile:user...rochdale uk
     
  2. karl

    karl Subscriber

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    Well, the lenses certainly are and the build quality of the G2 body is wonderful. I had one and a bunch of lenses for a few years. The 2 main reasons I got rid of the system was the fairly dim viewfinder and the autofocus returning to infinity position after every shot. Just drove me crazy. I did love the aperture priority metering and autowind/rewind. I say keep the Hasselblad and pick up a clean used M body and a few lenses.
     
  3. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    The Contax G2 is plenty good enough, if you are. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Enjoy the machine.
     
  4. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    For a nice, slow fine-grained film it should be okay, but going up to 16 x 12 would be pushing it a bit. Some claim that 12 x 16 is about the limit before the grain starts getting intrusive for 35mm.
     
  5. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    I think the Zeiss Ikon rangefinder would be a better investment
    Mark
     
  6. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    Have you considered a medium format rangefinder?
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    The G2 is a very fine piece. Note that you can sometimes find a G2-converted G1 at lower cost.

    I don't see how to compare the ZI or the Leica M series to the G2. Totally different tools. On what basis can you compare them, resale value? No camera worth buying has any resale value after you use it as much as it was intended to be used. Lenses? On that point the G2 wins hands down, in terms of bang for buck. So then what other complaint is there... the G2 AF system hunts more than the AF system on a ZI or Leica M? :smile: If you want manual focus then look at a ZI or Leica M or bessa or old CLE or hexar. But for AF, you have to compare apples to apples... compare the G2 to the konica hexar AF for example.

    Yes, 35mm will deliver high quality 16x12 prints, no question. But if that is really a concern then see for yourself, don't ask online because we'll all have to suffer through all the familiar speeches. Look, if you decide that 35mm isn't for you but you still want a lighter body than your hassie, then consider the Mamiya 6/6MF/7/7ii RFs, or an older folder, or join the vigil for the new Fuji folder!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2008
  8. Peter Williams

    Peter Williams Member

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    I have had both the Leica M6 and the Contax G2. I personally made better photographs with the Contax, I enjoyed using the M more and both made really small negatives. I'm just not good enough to make decent prints from tiny negatives. For me, the Mamiya 6 is as small as I will go. I agree with Robert about the MF rangefinder. I'd also add that a good condition Rolleiflex might fit the bill for portability as well (not to mention retaining the wonderful Zeiss lens qualities that you are already accustomed to). Good luck.
     
  9. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    The Contax G2 is a fantastic camera - I've loved my G1, and drooled over getting a G2 as an upgrade. Some of the best color photos I've ever shot have come from that camera. Dim viewfinder??? I don't know what you're talking about. May not be as bright as a Leica M, but it's brighter than just about any SLR you'll ever use, and the auto-masking for parallax compensation is nothing short of brilliant. Same with the viewfinder zooming.
     
  10. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    I have a Contax G2 and it is a fantastic camera.

    However, I also have 2 Mamiya 7 II 6x7 rangefinders. My G2 mostly sits in its case unused.

    The Mamiya 7 II 6x7s are the easy-to-carry cameras that I actually use (one for Color, one for Black and White).

    My other heavily used camera is my Wehman 8x10 Field Camera.
     
  11. Mike Richards

    Mike Richards Member

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    Sold my G2

    I switched from the G2 system to Leica M's, and sold my G2 to someone much younger than I. He appears to be quite happy with it. It has a lot of nice features not commonly found on RF cameras, plus outstanding Zeiss lenses. My gripes:
    - viewfinder quite small, especially for older eyes.
    - poor autofocus -- operates on straight lines only.
    - manual focus with knob on front and tiny display in viewfinder. Doesn't work well for me.
    - flimsy shutter. If you're a klutz, chances are you'll poke a finger through it sometime (as I did) -- a $350 repair job.
    I eventually supplemented my Ms with a Leica CM Zoom (now discontinued, I understand). Very solid and well-built. For the autowind, autofocus tasks, I like it better than the G2.


    BTW, please let me know if you're selling Hassy equipment.
     
  12. pquser

    pquser Member

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    wow and thanks you all !!!

    Totally zapped with your responses many many thanks.

    I found the comments really usefull.

    I did look at rangefinder MF but decided against it ; had a brief encounter with a mamya 7 [ not mine ] and it's not my kind of machine.The bronica 645Rf is good but most of my stuff is landscape format so the camera is the wrong way up for me.

    Yes the Leica M gear is fabulous but at a price I cannot reach so the G2 is still in the frame.

    Sorry but Iv'e already got a buyer for the Blad stuff if I decide to take the plunge.

    I do have a very nice Ziess Ikon super Ikonta that I will still use so the loss of those lovely square negs will not be too painfull.

    Many many thanks to all of you.

    BOB ROBERTSON ROCHDALE UK.
     
  13. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    One more point of view.
    I think the G2 was one of the nicest designed cameras of all time (except for manual focus) and the lens quality was outstanding.
    I look at a lot of photos for my job. I've seen some great photographs taken with 35mm and have taken some poor snapshots with 8x10. Since I tend to shoot mostly 8x10 negs myself I feel free to say this... a great photo has little to do with quality and a lot to do with the emotion that you feel from looking at it. So of course 35mm will "hold up" to whatever size you want to go... it just won't be grainless like a larger negative.
    So if you're willing to give up a drop of quality but willing to gain... low light shooting because of fast lenses... quicker reactions because the camera sets up faster... lighter gear that you might actually bring along.... the bokeh you get from a F1.4 lens... and all the other advantages that the 35mm brings to the table... go for it.
    I know that I would rather look at some interesting photographs taken with 35mm or smaller for that matter, than a bunch of flawless snaps with no grain and endless midtones that had nothing to say.
    I've always loved the free-er look that 35mm brings.
    And if I ever get a great shot on 35mm I'm going to blow it up as large as i can.
    -rob
     
  14. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    One of my personal favorites is the 20x30 inch color print that hangs on my bedroom wall. It is a shot of a Southern Arizona Mesa - lit by the rising sun -.
    I made the original transparency in December, 1985, on 35mm Fuji Velvia 50 - with my M3 Leica and my Visoflex with my 65mm 3.5 Leitz Canada Elmar.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2008
  15. CarlRadford

    CarlRadford Member

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    The G2 system is a great choice - poor manual focus notwithstanding - I have made some of my personal favourite images using it. There will always be a trade off in size/quality. Whilst I do not consider myself old just yet I do wear glasses and didn't find the small-ish viewfinder an issue, it is something you just need to work with - like all tools!
     
  16. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Have you considered a Voigtlander Bessa R series? They seem like very good cameras and they allow the use of all the Leitz/Leica lenses. No autofocus but a range of viewfinder choices that make them very appealing.

    Just a thought.
     
  17. pquser

    pquser Member

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    three more helpfull comments

    Hi.

    thanks for your points of view.
    Particularly Rob who's got it right.
    why worry about the format or size it is the image itself that matters

    I beleived going back to 35mm is the right thing for me to do right now
    and with the buget I have to work to the Contax is a pretty good choice.
    O.K there will be things that are more difficult and perhaps not as good
    but some of the work I like doing will be easier.

    I guess a good 10 x 8 is just as interesting as a 16 x 12
    I read in another forum that a smaller prints make the viwer take more time
    to look at it so that could become an important factor as well.

    regards to you all BOB.
     
  18. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    Being a man of not-unlimited-means, I chose a used G2 over the M and I could not be happier. A friend of mine who happens to be of nearly-unlimited-means gave me (and I am not making this up) two Leica bodies and a mess of lenses, cases, filters, books. I have to lie to him from time to time about how much I use them, because I don't. I am terrified to. I will probably auction them for charity when he passes. I couldn't walk around with six grand hanging around my neck. Or stick it out the window of a train, or wade up to me neck in the lake. Just couldn't do it.

    Serviceability might be an issue in the future with the G2. My one and only episode with Contax USA was unpleasant and expensive.
     
  19. DanielOB

    DanielOB Member

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    Zeiss Icon is the best choice today. Super lenses and reliable camera. Get it and ignore what is offered around.

    Leica camera M used to be good, but "new and improved" M are garbage. Today more than ever is valid **the value of Leica camera is that it can fit Leica lens**. However and lenses they make now as Summarit are nothing better than Rusian Zorki. If You like Leica M get M3, but today Zeiss lenses are masters for Leica. Hope you got me.
     
  20. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Is there a republished manual for the zorki Russian or English is ok.
    Thanks
     
  21. pquser

    pquser Member

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    G2 Iv'e decided !

    Hello everyone.

    Well Iv'e done it, the G2 is on order and you are to blame

    How could I buy anything else when most of you are delighted
    and so positive about the camera.

    There are always alternatives but the contax is the best compromise for me.

    I couldn't afford an M anyway if if I had pushed myself to get one
    there would have been little chance of getting other optics.

    With the G2 that's definatly possible.

    Many thanks to all who reponded, I will let you know how it works out.


    Bob. :smile:
     
  22. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    Tocad of America has hired all of the Contax repair
    personnel. They have taken responsibility for maintaining Contax G2's 645's & the last SLR's.

    www.TocadUSA.com