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  1. #71

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    Mike, thank you. It is really hard to resist this camera :-)

    Have you ever used any of the lenses with a teleconverter? I might be interested to get a longer reach than the 140 or 210 lenses offer the the price of the 350/4 makes it unreachable. Would the 210/4 + 1.4x convertor be a viable (albeit slower) solution?

    As you are now using the Mamiya 7 (existence of which makes the choice much harder, so to say), and apart from the obvious differences, how do you find the hand holding usage? On one hand the Contax is heavier, has mirror slap, but has faster lenses, on the other the Mamiya is lighter with leaf shutters but slower lenses.

    I am attracted towards the Mamiya by the lower weight and large negative, on the other hand a 645 SLR offers wider usage. As the only MF camera I have used is Rolleiflex T I have hard time to get the feeling of the difference in final print (size 12x16" or even 16x20").

    I am still waiting for somebody (apart from my wife - she has completely different opinion ) to tell me that I am a snobbish fool and I should go with Mamiya 645 Pro or Pentax 645N instead. I know. But the Contax looks great (not a right criterion - I know), people rave about the interface and lenses ...

  2. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSeb View Post
    I love my Contax, and I've sold it with more than a trace of regret. (JP, I hope you're enjoying it!)
    I'm overjoyed with your ex-contax, really, it's that good!!!
    There isn't any perfect system, but having an rb67 system for slow work and cheap tlr for playing, my contax fields the gap for serious and fast work perfectly.
    But after some time with it and few rolls i have found that contax 645 has some drawbacks.
    First, it's a bulky camera, it's as big as rb67 but lighter, so i wouldn't use it as allday walk around camera. I don't really mind it, but the people i shoot, they seem to care sometimes (big things in front of their noses).
    The viewfinder, it's big, it's nice, it has quite information on it, but to me it lacks iso info, and sometimes i feel that it has some sort of tunnel effect (like with small dslr viewfinder if you know what i mean), and well, it's not the brightest out there.
    The backs system, the mechanism to attach backs to the body works just pressing to it making sure you have it in place, it looks rather simple, but i feel it's not at the same level as overall camera, if you need to work fast it's easier to change film inserts.
    The battery issue, it's not that bad, and i guess that if designers were chose an easier battery than 2cr5 like AAs it would not be mentioned (i know that grip can fix this, but it adds weight also).
    Shooting with 80mm lens at f.2 is quite difficult, it's obvious that you have to nail focus quite precisely, but here af doesnt help much (as a canon can do it) and you have to do it manual. And yes 80mm have some serious barrel distortion, quite common with lens that opens that much though.
    But the worst thing to me is the lens cap!!!, if you have attached the hood you can't take out the lens cap, you need to remove the hood and then you can take off the lens cap, silliest design ever. I know its easy to fix, buying a different 72mm lens cap.
    I'm being really picky, and any of these "problems" change my mind that contax 645 is one of the best systems if not the best MF Af.
    Being honest the difference on price (x2) with a mamiya/pentax 645 doesnt mean that contax is double the good. So if you want to pay premium because one of the strongest points of contax really appeal to you it's a good buy, if not mamiya/pentax seem to have nice cameras also.
    Last edited by peri24; 04-23-2010 at 07:23 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #73
    lxdude's Avatar
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    The Contax seems like a pretty darn awesome machine in many ways. Its drawbacks, speaking as one who has never used one, are its initial cost, relative scarcity of accessories, cost of accessories, and its discontinuance. It's a damn shame Kyocera wouldn't sell its camera manufacturing business instead of shutting it down.
    The Luminous Landscape has an interesting comparison between the Contax, Mamiya and Pentax 645's.

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...s/645nii.shtml

    There's also comparison of the different generations of Pentax 645.

    BTW, I have the same gripe about the hood and lens cap for the ETR-Si's 75mm 2.8 MC and PE lenses. But the hood bayonets on and off, so it doesn't really slow me down too much.
    Last edited by lxdude; 04-23-2010 at 10:45 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #74

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    I have just seen an angle finder for Mamiya 645 - are there angle finders for Contax 645 or Pentax 645N too? Maybe I am too much used to my Rolleiflex T, but sometimes low angle is what is needed and angle finder could be better solution than a waist level finder (I know - Pentax has fixed prism).

    Do I understand correctly that the Mamiya 645 Pro TL does not offer exposure data imprinting on the film?

  5. #75
    MikeSeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slnce-z-gsi View Post

    Have you ever used any of the lenses with a teleconverter? .... Would the 210/4 + 1.4x convertor be a viable (albeit slower) solution?
    Yes. I have the 1.4x Mutar, and used with the 140 or 210 it works quite well, at the cost of a stop of speed. Not as good as the 350, but a lot cheaper.

    As you are now using the Mamiya 7 (existence of which makes the choice much harder, so to say), and apart from the obvious differences, how do you find the hand holding usage?
    The Mamiya 7 is the perfect handholding camera. I can handhold reasonably well down to 1/8 or 1/15 if I'm braced against something. No mirror slap, soft shutter release make it possible.
    Michael Sebastian
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  6. #76

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    knowing that an slr is harder to work at lower speeds than a rangefinder, i'm quite impressed with the damped mirror of the contax 645.
    A tight 1/45 is quite sharp.

  7. #77

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    Data imprinting question (Pentax 645N, 645NII and Contax 645) - when using a zoom lens - which focal length is imprinted on the film?

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by slnce-z-gsi View Post
    I am still looking for the weight of Bronica ETRSi, Mamiya 645 Pro (Pro TL) and mybe Bronica SQAi. The main problem for putting together the weights is to find out the weights of:
    - waist level finder
    - AE prism
    - motor winder / grip
    as the producer usually say the weight of the lightest package: body, 120 mag, WLF and a lens.
    Post #26 of this thread:

    Body + AEIII prism + 120 back (no film) + Speed Grip = 3 lb 3 oz.
    40mm lens = 1 lb 2 0z.

  9. #79
    lxdude's Avatar
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    You can get an angle finder for the Pentax 645, I know.

  10. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by slnce-z-gsi View Post

    Do I understand correctly that the Mamiya 645 Pro TL does not offer exposure data imprinting on the film?
    No, it does not. That feature is a bit of a rarity in the camera world, but Contax was really into it. The 645 Pro is a great camera, though, and it's a bargain for what you get. Most other medium format systems will run you at least a couple of times more for an equivalent kit.

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