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Contax G2 AF for kid pics


I'm new to the forum and have been reading all the posts trying to educate myself. The site and info are great - thanks to everyone out there. Now my dilemma...

I've been using a leica m7 with 50 f/1.4 along with a Canon Elan7 with vaious prime and "L" lenses - once I got hooked on the leica optics I had to upgrade the canon gear to "L". I mainly take pics of my kids (toddlers). I enjoy available light, pj style photographs. I love the leica but now that my kids are so mobile I have a heck of a time manual focusing. So, recently I have been using my canon; however, i like the RF style and size much more esp. when traveling. Last thing I want to do with kids on vacation is lug around an SLR with an L-zoom lens or even a prime. Also, as good as the canon lenses are there is something about those leicas - from what I understande the zeiss is its equal.

How fast is the G2 autofocus? I have tried it in the store but that never seems to serve as a great real-word demo. I realize that it won't be AI focus/servo but will it be fast enough?

I'm also liking the idea of upto 1/6000 shutter speed. The leica is quite limiting with only 1/1000 for outdoor portraits with blurred backgrounds. It kind of defeats the purpose of obtaining great bokeh if I can't shoot wide open.

I think it's fine for this kind of shooting when used with the 35. I don't have much use for the 1/6000 because I shoot mainly 100 speed film. I love the G2/35 combo. But note that the 35 has unpleasant bokeh. The 90 has beautiful bokeh, but I don't know about any of the others. You may find that the G2 has a little trouble locking focus on moving objects, like animals and children. Usually, prefocusing solves this, but you could do that with the M7 as well.

If it's a vacation camera you're after, how about a Yashica T4?

My children are all furry and walk on all fours, but I've found the G2 plenty fast for chasing the
three of them around the lawn. It's easier than
hauling my Nikon stuff when we go hiking and while
I have little experience with Leica (only a Minilux) the Zeiss lenses are quite wonderful.

Since the lenses are slower than some of my Nikkors and I too enjoy working with AL....I've started experimenting with some of the new lower grain, faster films....though I haven't found the perfect one yet.

Thanks for the replies so far...

Neil, I understand your point about moving subjects and focus lock, however, I'm not trying to catch them running, playing sports, etc. Just trying to focus while they are having a pensive moment or posing, They don't sit still while they are posing!

Steven, I'm still searching for that fast, fine grain film too. I've liked Kodak 400UC from my limited experience. Reala is my favorite. That's good to hear about no problem with your focus needs!

Thanks again.
For AF speed, best tactile feedback and best overall pictures (of my whirling dervish 2 year old grandson), I use a Konica Hexar with fixed mounting 35/f2 lens and Kodak Supra 400 film. The camera is limited to 1/250 sec but it's not been a problem and he moves fast!

You can read about it here: http://www.cameraquest.com/konhex.htm

The camera was discontinued several years ago, but is still available in unused and used condition quite frequently on e-Bay. It's sometimes listed as a Hexar AF, although Konica never used that expression. There are a number of different versions available, including "Classic", "Silver" and others.
Fast focus and an automatic parallax correcting bright viewfinder, coupled with the nice heft of a Leica sold me on using it for grandson pictures. I also experimented with a Nikon N80, Contax G1 and G2, Ricoh GR1s, Leica Minilux, Hexar RF and others in my gaggle of equipment before settling on the Hexar.

When I need flash, I use a small L-bracket and a Sunpak 444D.

...[I'm not trying to catch them running, playing sports, etc. Just trying to focus while they are having a pensive moment or posing.]

Oh, well absolutely no problem. It's a fantastic camera. I bought it specifically because it would give me autofocus with outstanding lenses, and I've been very happy with it.
I have my best luck chasing my 2 YO using the 28 or the 35 and the camera in CAF mode. The G2 is definitely up to the task.


I presume that you have tried pre-focusing and zone focusing with your M7. These techniques may be tricky if you are literally chasing a small child around the room. Also, with large apertures, the shallow depth of focus may be limiting.

The G2 should easily serve your purpose, and the Zeiss lenses will not disappoint you. Don't be put off by negative comments about the bokeh of the 35/2G. It is an outstanding lens, very similar to the 35/2M non-ashperical, which I have personally used on a limited basis.

You've presumed correctly. My main lens the 50 'lux (f/1.4) doesn't zone focus as well/easy as the wide-angles. Plus the 1.4, 1.8 apertures are not very forgiving if there's any movemnet in or out of the focus field. When outdoors and literally chasing them I usually use my canon with its AI focus or servo which works much better than trying to manual focus - unless I'm using my 28mm on the M7 which can be zone focued much easier - much larger depth of field for given aperture as compared to the 50mm.

Anyways, I appreciate everyone's input.

I bit the bullet and ordered the G2 Titanium kit from B&H and should be receiving it today. I'll let everyone know what I think after I run some film thru it. It is incredible that I got a body, lens and flash for 1/2 the price of the M7 body alone!!! If this camera and lens live up to its reputation (which I expect!) then I'm going to regretting the Leica plunge i took 1.5 years ago!