Help with Contax G lens decision?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by craigclu, May 19, 2011.

  1. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    Regretting letting my Hexar AF go last year and stumbled into a clean, green-label G1 body at a decent price recently. I really don't anticipate or intend to build a full system but just wanted another solid walk-around rig. I'm deciding between a 35mm and 45mm as a lens to search for. The focal length is a coin-toss decision and I thought that I would go with the lens that's regarded more highly. Some limited net snooping just now didn't find any clear information other than a comment on APUG about the 35 not being quite as good wide-open as some other G glass.

    Can anyone with some knowledge on these clue me in a bit? Any good links/resources that you can direct me to? Any other focal length (28?) that is obviously superior and warrants consideration as a lone optic? Thanks!
     
  2. Pgeobc

    Pgeobc Member

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    Well, since the 35mm is the classic walk-around lens and the Green Label G1 can handle it, why not that one? Almost everyone who reviews lenses, however, prefers the Biogon-C 28mm and there is only a 5mm difference. My 45mm is a winner, for sure, and it's only 10mm in the other direction.
     
  3. Franswa

    Franswa Member

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    The 45 is supposedly a better performer wide open. My copy was insanely sharp. What I've read about the 35 is not all that great.
     
  4. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Haven't used them myself, but several reviews I've seen say the 45mm is optically more impressive.

    That said, at least for me, 35mm is a far more useful FL (useful enough to put up with closing down an extra stop or so for comparable quality)...
     
  5. jawarden

    jawarden Member

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    The 45 is a better lens than the 35, so if you're basing your decision on image quality go with the 45. If you prefer something wider than the 45, go with the 28, which is a very nice lens.
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Ditto the comments about the 45 vs 35. The 45 is a much better lens, with nicer rendition of out-of-focus areas and when it's sharp, it's sharper than the 35. The only reason I have the 35 for my system is that I got it cheap, and I doubt I could sell it for enough to make it worth unloading. Get either the 45 or the 28, both of which are brilliant, and pass on the 35. Or go really nuts and hunt around for the 21. I took my G1/G2 rig with me to Barcelona, and in the end the lens I used the most was the 21. The 90 saw a little use, and I was glad to have it for the shots I did use it for, but it's fussy on the G1.
     
  7. garysamson

    garysamson Subscriber

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    +1
     
  8. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    Forget the G1 - GET THE G2 !
    I can't emphasize that enough. The difference in AF is
    significant & impressive.

    The G2 has both an active & a passive AF system. It can
    focus in the dark, the G1 can't.

    Don't get me wrong, the AF, doesn't always work, not
    locking on to the side of a painted car & only having 1
    focus point, can be annoying.

    Finally, you must remember that the camera uses an
    averaging meter pattern. In this day, A Matrix metering
    system would be much more advantageous.
    As it is, you have to center your subject, in the finder with the subject to get an accurate reading, use the AE
    lock, than re-compose & shoot.

    Even with these drawbacks the G2, is phenomenal.
    Unlike anything else out there & beyond anything Leica,
    has ever produced.
     
  9. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    The Late, Lamented & Phenomenal, Contax G2.

    Forget the G1 - GET THE G2 !
    I can't emphasize that enough. The difference in AF is
    significant & impressive.

    The G2 has both an active & a passive AF system. It can
    focus in the dark, the G1 can't.

    Don't get me wrong, the AF, doesn't always work, not
    locking on to the side of a painted car & only having 1
    focus point, can be annoying.

    Finally, you must remember that the camera uses an
    averaging meter pattern. In this day, A Matrix metering
    system would be much more advantageous.
    As it is, you have to center your subject, in the finder with the subject
    to get an accurate reading, use the AE lock, than re-compose & shoot.

    Even with these drawbacks the G2, is phenomenal.
    Unlike anything else out there & beyond anything Leica,
    has ever produced.

    As for lenses, the 28 mm & 21 mm Biogons are unique in the way
    they record an image. Get the 28 & 45 mm lens combination,
    FORGET THE 35 mm !

    You won't be sorry.
     
  10. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    The 21, 28, 45 and 90 G lenses are simply AMAZING. The 35 good but not stunning or anything special like others. The 35 is the only G lenses I've bought and then sold again. I've owned my G2 for over 12 years now and love it. Also, yes, forgo the G1 and get the G2.
     
  11. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    Thought I'd drop a follow-up to this thread that I started.... I enjoyed the G1 with a 45 and 28 that I picked up early on. I noticed the focus issues that I had read about but for the most part, had good luck and nice negatives to show for it. It wasn't quite in the league of my old Hexar for auto-focus speed, quiet or accuracy, though and I ended up adding a G2 body and also a 90. It may be that familiarity in time will have me preferring over the Hexar?

    Just tonight, I was doing some film/developer tests and had reason to photograph the same things with both bodies and in practice, the results are quite equal but I think that I'll be more often reaching for the G2 as it gives a more confident feeling about the focus and has additional controls that will be nice to have at hand.

    I'm having fun getting back into 35mm more and enjoying the portable equipment. I think I'm getting lazier or at least, less enthusiastic about carrying heavy gear and pods and I think that I'll actually have a camera with me more often. Whenever I use 35mm, I always re-surprise myself at what it's capable of but paranoia about results keeps the MF and LF exercised the most anyway.
     
  12. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    45 mm G Lens Over 35 mm G Lens Any Day.

    Start with Ken Rockwell. But here's what I know.

    First, if your G-1 doesn't have a Green Label in the
    film chamber, it's not been updated to G-2 specs to
    use a 35 mm lens.

    Second, the 45 mm lens is by far the sharper of the
    2. According to tests it's the second sharpest lens,
    ever produced. They never say what's first, but it's
    not the 35 mm. In fact the 35 mm - 70 mm zoom
    lens, was said to be sharper than the 35 mm prime
    lens. But it requires a Green Label, also.

    Third, the G-1 sometimes has problems focusing as
    it did not have the combined contrast / infrared
    focusing of the G-2. I've seen mine focus in Total darkness.
    I personally own a Black Contax G-2.

    If you want to see what I say about it all, then go here;
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum65/95605-bessa-users-unite-2.html
     
  13. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    The 28 mm is a Biogon Design.

    The 28 mm is a Biogon design as is the 21 mm
    & the 35 mm - 70 mm zoom lens. They are both
    amazing. See my other post to reference my listing
    on another forum to see my opinions of those 2
    lenses.

    The 35 mm is not. It may be a Planar, but it
    doesn't work as well as the 45 mm, not by a
    long shot.

    Well every system has to have a dog, But the
    level of excellence is so high, that the 35 mm
    get's looked upon as the dog of the series.
     
  14. alexfoto

    alexfoto Member

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    -I have in the past both of them, the 45mm is the sharpest lens in 35mm and maybe in all format from all the lens i have, leitz, zeis, nikon and what ever. I remember when i focus the negative in the carrier the sharpness in hair is finish in a single grain of emulsion!! first time i so something like this..
    -I like also more the g1 because is small and with the 45mm you can have always with you, i have the g2 but is bulkier and any way the only downside for me its the small finder, the exposure and focus work perfect.
    GET THE 45mm EVEN IF YOU DON'T USE MUCH YOU HAVE THE BEST LENS EVER MADE THE PLANET EARTH!! PERIOD--
     
  15. coigach

    coigach Subscriber

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    I'de second this advice. I've got both the 28mm and 45mm, both are brilliant. Have used the 35 but don't own it - wasn't impressed with it.
     
  16. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    The site is misbehaving and it hasn't let me past the first page of this thread that I started... I'm posting an additional message to see if that trips anything that's hanging it up. A note to the moderators a few days ago didn't get it working. Strange; I've never had this sort of issue with APUG before.
     
  17. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    45mm hands down. I've owned the G2 for years and the 21, 28, 45 and 90 are simply amazing. A sharpness and a character of an almost 3-D look that's appreciated only once seen. The 35mm is good, very good. It's sharp and on paper is impressive. In real life it pales to the rest of the G lens line. It's the only one I bought and then sold.
     
  18. awwsheeet

    awwsheeet Member

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    i have a contax g 35mm f2 if anyones interested. face to face nyc is ok!

    i love it. perfect focal length. perfect contrast and super sharp from 2.8 and up. people who balk at MTF graphs and post on forums often have never used the lens nor are users. they are collectors.

    sure this isnt as razor sharp as the 45 but does it matter if you dont blow up your prints or even ifyou get the shot at all?
     
  19. Pgeobc

    Pgeobc Member

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    >In fact the 35 mm - 70 mm zoom
    lens, was said to be sharper than the 35 mm prime
    lens. But it requires a Green Label, also.<

    IIRC, the zoom will never work with a G1, even with a green tag mod. Only works with G2
     
  20. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    I have 30x40cm/12x16" prints from the 35mm, 28, 45 & 90. They all have the same 'fingerprint' (rendering, tonality, contrast, shadow detail, etc.). The two prints that I like best were taken with the 35, coincidentally or not. This lens may be 'soft' in the extreme corners wide open and not super-duper sharp overall stopped down, but this you won't see in a 30x40cm print, not me at least.

    Sander