Contax RF... any fast lenses coming?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by WarEaglemtn, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

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    While I enjoy the Leica/Bessa style rangefinders, eyesight has me looking at the Contax AF gear. The big drawback I see is that there are no lenses faster than f/2.
    Sure wish these guys would make some 1.0/1.2/1.4 glass for their system.
     
  2. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Hi, are you asking about glass for the Contax G series cameras? They are my primary "user" rangefinders (G2). The way I use these cameras, I have never found a need for glass faster than f2. Lenses much faster than f2 have to be large and heavy, as well - counter to the G1 - G2 concept. Are you doing "available darkness" stuff?
     
  3. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Don't Count On It

    f/2 is not f/1.4 but it sure seems to me like the 50 'cron is the King of the M lineup, in usefulness if not price. Given that the 45 G planar is slightly sharper than that at a quarter the price, what's not to like?
     
  4. AndrewH

    AndrewH Member

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    From what I hear

    and I follow the Contax pretty closely as I use it a lot, they are more than likely NOT going to be coming up with anything new for the G2. Also, I have heard that due to the AF system, that anything faster would more than likely infringe on the AF windows that are needed for finding the distance via the rangefinder. that being said, I wouldn't trade my G2 gear for Leica for what I shoot, or for quality of lenses!
     
  5. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    Shooting at 1.4 is tricky stuff and rarely needed. I am often an "available darkness" shooter, and until 3-5 days from now (Hurry UPS! Hurry!), shot/shoot mostly on a Nikon ft2 with a 50mm 1.4.

    And let me tell ya, 1.4 is NOT FUN!

    You can pull it off, and sometimes you need it, but the DOF is VERY shallow and usually your shutter speed is very slow, so THAT opens up a can of very blurry worms. As in "opps the subject moved 6 inches after I focused and is now out of focus" or "opps I moved too much and the whole thing is shot to hell."

    Honestly, I am VERY comfortable at 2.8. I WILL use 1.4, but 2.8 on a 50mm is pretty sweet.

    This shot for example was done at 2.8. It would look like hell at 1.4.

    [​IMG]

    At 1.4 I would be loosing so much DOF at that focus that it would really detract from the image (at least in my opinion). Plus, getting that DOF placed "just right" would be a lot harder.
     
  6. pareshpandit

    pareshpandit Member

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    Hi,

    While you people are talking about the new G series and all, I recently acquired a Contax II RF(Pre-War)...
    It has a 50/1.5 Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar...
    This lens @ 1.5 seems fine to me (infact great for expected 1.5 quality)...
    Visit my recently posted photograph here: http://pareshpandit.blogspot.com/2004/09/portrait-from-amravati-visit.html
    Though there is a blur, it is only in the hand movement (at 1/50th); the face is tack sharp...
    The DOF seems good enough for a quick low-light protrait shot like this; what say?
    Would love to hear your comments...

    Regards
    PP
     
  7. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Paresh, good job with the photo. Lots of character in it.

    Carl Zeiss was never interested in developing a super high-speed lens and thought it unnecessary that some manufacturers placed such importance on it. I think they felt that f/1.5 (and later f/1.4) was a very usable maximum aperture.

    While f/2.0 seems limiting, it's really not.
     
  8. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

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    While f/2 may not be limiting to some it for some of the places I photograph. I like to keep the film speed at 1600 max if possible & f.1.4/1.2 allows that. Sure wish the autofocus gems from Contax had a fast 75 available, it would be what I would get.
     
  9. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    I'd heard that the G2 won't support faster lenses in terms of the accuracy of its autofocus system.

    I'd wonder, though, if I'd trust any autofocus system to determine the exact point which I wanted to focus on with an f1.4 lens at normal "portrait" distances. To my mind this requires:
    1. a stationary subject
    2. a manual focus rangefinder with a long effective base length rangefinder. Only a Leica would be suitable for this.

    I also wonder what's going on with Contax. I haven't seen a new product in the 35mm SLR, G series or 645 in a really long time. With my investment in the 645 and 3 lenses, I'm beginning to wonder...
     
  10. jon koss

    jon koss Subscriber

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    Depending on your tolerance for old equipment, you might have good success with a prewar Contax RF. The rangefinder baseline is huge on a II or a III. A one-inch difference in subject difference (say, the end of the nose versus the eye) makes quite a difference in terms of degrees of barrel rotation. I was pretty well shocked at the focussing accuracy of my II when I got back my first test roll.

    Hope this helps,
    Jon