Travel / Ready Camera: Contax G2

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Robert Meyers, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. Hello all,

    I was wondering about any thoughts on the following. I am considering
    picking up a Contax G2 so I have a smaller camera I can stick on my belt, or
    backpack without taking up the room required by either my EOS 3 or Elan 7E
    (EOS 33).

    I want a fast camera which puts out good picks. I live in the desert so
    during the day a fast shutter is helpful, though I want fairly fast glass to
    use around dusk or indors without a flash.

    Thoughts, suggestions, comments?

    Thanks all.
     
    Robert Meyers, Jan 2, 2004
    #1
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  2. I have one and like it. Everyone who has used one is bowled over by the
    quality of the lenses. It is however fair to say that opinion is more
    divided on the body. Some people foam at the mouth with criticism. Some
    of them are of course people for whom foaming at the mouth is a way of
    life, or who gave up on the camera after a brief experience.

    It's fair to point out that no rangefinder system can be as versatile as
    an SLR system (useless for macro, no lenses above 90mm etc.), that the
    G2 body is much more automated than, say, a Leica RF body (though there
    is still enough user control to do anything you need), and that it takes
    a little getting used to - mainly to ensure you put the AF sensor on the
    right spot, and use the focus lock if required. I found it quite easy to
    get used to, and get excellent results from it.

    There are numerous reports on various web sites - do a search - and I
    strongly recommend you should have a good look at one in a shop before
    you buy.

    The size of a complete G2 outfit is not trivial. If you don't need the
    interchangeable lenses, try a good compact. The Ricoh GR 1v is the best
    I have used - tiny size (genuine shirt-pocket option!), good optics,
    good control, but fixed 35mm lens.
     
    David Littlewood, Jan 2, 2004
    #2
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  3. Robert Meyers

    Meryl Arbing Guest

    The advantage of the G2 is the size of the lenses. While there are a wider
    range of lenses available for an SLR, one SLR lens probably weighs as much
    as the standard 28, 45, 90 set for the G2. Of course, the Zeiss primes for
    the G2 are excellent.

    The camera itself, is basically an aperture priority but it can be operated
    fully manually...including manual focus. For street use, it is easy to set
    the lens to its hyperfocal distance and not have to use the AF at all. I
    haven't had any problem with the AF in any case.

    I carry the whole G2 (body, 3 lenses and TLA200 flash) in a LowePro Camera
    Pocket case. It makes a great travel camera.
     
    Meryl Arbing, Jan 2, 2004
    #3
  4. I was wondering about any thoughts on the following. I am considering
    I think you will find that a G2 is too big to stick on your belt.

    If you want a very-high-quality compact camera with a fast lens, you might
    consider a Leica CM, which has a 40mm f/2.4 lens, and which is less
    expensive than a Contax G2. The disadvantage is that the lens isn't
    interchangeable, and is slightly slower than the f/2 lenses for the G2, but
    it will fit on your belt.
     
    Andrew Koenig, Jan 3, 2004
    #4
  5. Will try and find one to check out. Thanks.

     
    Robert Meyers, Jan 3, 2004
    #5
  6. Robert Meyers

    Roger Guest

    Robert,

    You might consider an Olympus Stylus Epic P&S if you really want
    compact. The camera is also weather proof and I find it to be a great
    camera for travel and hiking. I've recently "upgraded" to a Contax T3
    which has an exceptional lens and control features to my liking. I'm
    making 10x15 enlargements for my walls with this camera. I also see
    that B&H has a great price on the Rollei RFM(?) P&S with a non-zoom
    lens that also has good reviews. I also use a 1970s range finder
    camera that I dug out of the back of my closet (mine happens to be a
    Minolta 7sII). There were many great cameras of this vintage (see
    http://www.cameraquest.com). Lots of possibilities, but for very
    compact, exceptional lens and some manual overrides, I still recommend
    the Contax T3.

    Regards,
    Roger
     
    Roger, Jan 5, 2004
    #6
  7. Robert Meyers

    Gregg Guest

    I can highly recommend the Contax G2, but you need to understand that for
    the Contax G system to be useful, you should really need to carry the camera
    w/ one lens attached, plus at least two more lenses. Typical minimum three
    lens system would be 28 mm + 45 mm + 90 mm. When you add film, spare
    batteries and filters (if you're shooting B&W, you're going to need a small
    shoulder bag, or large fanny back to carry everything. If you just want a
    small compact high quality P&S w/ zoom, go with the T2, T3, or Leica
    equivalent ..... or you might wait for the Leica Digilux / Panasonic digital
    w/ 28 - 90 mm lens to hit the market this spring.

    Happy shooting.
     
    Gregg, Jan 5, 2004
    #7
  8. Robert Meyers

    DKFletcher Guest

    I carry the G2 with the 35mm lens on it almost everywhere I go and its perfect.
    The lens is sharper then my Nikkors, the meter is very good with Velvia. The
    results will amaze you, the sharpness is almost unreal. If you can shoot one
    before buying it it will sell itself. Forget about the Stylus (I did buy one
    for my wife and it is quite good but no match for the G2)

    Dirk
     
    DKFletcher, Jan 7, 2004
    #8
  9. Robert Meyers

    T P Guest


    You must have been very lucky when you purchased that lens. It is
    usually an unimpressive performer, easily beaten for sharpness by the
    less-than-stellar 35mm f/2 Nikkors.
     
    T P, Jan 8, 2004
    #9
  10. Robert Meyers

    DKFletcher Guest

    Unimpressive performer?? Do you know this from personal experience or what you
    have heard on the net? I too have seen the rub on this lens and while it may
    be the weakest lens in the G lineup is a solid performer under any condition.
    I would be interested in seeing your comparison to the Nikkor you refer to.
     
    DKFletcher, Jan 8, 2004
    #10
  11. Robert Meyers

    adelphia Guest

    adelphia, Jan 8, 2004
    #11
  12. TP Proclaimed a Contax G lens an unimpressive performer against a Nikon
    SLR lens?!

    Re: Travel / Ready Camera: Contax G2

    Group: rec.photo.equipment.35mm Date: Thu, Jan 8, 2004, 12:44pm (CST+6)
    From: (DKFletcher)

    Unimpressive performer?? Do you know this from personal experience or
    what you have heard on the net? I too have seen the rub on this lens and
    while it may be the weakest lens in the G lineup is a solid performer
    under any condition. I would be interested in seeing your comparison to
    the Nikkor you refer to.
    ==================================

    Me too.

    Cody HoustonĀ®

    http://www.johnshephard.com/image_gallery/image_gallery_australia/AU35105.htm
     
    AnOvercomer02, Jan 8, 2004
    #12
  13. Robert Meyers

    T P Guest


    Personal experience. It was so soft compared to the other G Series
    lenses, which are outstanding performers, that I returned it to the
    shop. The second example I tried was exactly the same. I tried a
    third example - from a different batch - and it was equally soft.

    I suppose they were at least consistent ...

    As for it being a "solid performer", it might be solid, but it's soft.

    The 28mm and 45mm G lenses are stunningly sharp and, like all the
    other Carl Zeiss lenses for Contax G, appear to me to have no optical
    weaknesses whatsoever. Trouble is, my favourite focal length is 35mm,
    and the 28mm and 45mm are of little use to me.

    As to the Nikkor 35mm f/2, it is not (in my opinion) one of Nikon's
    best lenses, but both versions I have used (AIS and AF-D) were much
    sharper than the 35mm f/2 for the Contax G2.

    However, if you are shooting hand held, using consumer print film, and
    having it developed to 4 x 6 inch prints at the local mall, you would
    probably never know the difference. And perhaps we should not
    complain, because the lens we are discussing is not expensive.

    The best 35mm f/2 SLR lens I have used is the SMC Pentax (K mount).
    The best 35mm f/2 lens for 35mm format that I have used is the Leica
    Summicron M. These two are the lenses I use most for my work, and
    they are both outstanding performers.
     
    T P, Jan 9, 2004
    #13
  14. Robert Meyers

    T P Guest


    On Photodo, anything is possible, because of the profoundly misleading
    way lenses are tested and the results reported. Some of the high
    ratings given to lenses known to be poor performers simply beggar
    belief, and lenses known to be stellar performers are reported to be
    mediocre.

    This is not about splitting hairs; the basic unreliability of Photodo
    results means that the site is no more than a sick joke.

    Just my $0.02.
     
    T P, Jan 9, 2004
    #14
  15. Robert Meyers

    DKFletcher Guest

    <<However, if you are shooting hand held, using consumer print film, and
    having it developed to 4 x 6 inch prints at the local mall, you would
    probably never know the difference. And perhaps we should not
    complain, because the lens we are discussing is not expensive.>>

    If you missed the original post or just decided to attempt a trite response for
    no apparent reason, I mentioned the lens look great with Velvia. Sorry you
    have had such bad luck with this lens, Karma perhaps?
     
    DKFletcher, Jan 9, 2004
    #15
  16. Robert Meyers

    T. P. Guest

    It's not bad luck. The Zeiss lenses for Contax are pretty consistent
    between samples. Zeiss Japan haven't yet made any 35mm f/2 lenses for
    Contax G that are as sharp as the 28mm and 45mm.

    Still, if you're happy with yours, that's all that matters.
     
    T. P., Jan 10, 2004
    #16
  17. As an odd note, today I think I found my happy medium, and I bought it: G1 +
    35/f2 + 90/f2.8 +tla200. Now it all goes into seperate pouches, and the G1
    +35/f2 goes into one pouch and will fit on a belt nicely (hell, the TLA200
    will go on a belt and be unnoticed). The G1 is just that little bit
    smaller, enogh to make it workable.

    I will see what I think of it, and post accordingly. I was realy interested
    in the 90mm, but could not justify it in the end... but in this I picked it
    all up for less than the G2 body. So, I am a happy camper. Have to see how
    it works, and will see how soft the 35mm is.

    Thanks all!

    Rob.
     
    Robert Meyers, Jan 11, 2004
    #17
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