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G2 Newbies Observations


Active Member
Excuse the indulgence of this thread but I just received my G2 in the mail last night and wanted to do a quick thread on initial early user observations. Hopefully, this will help those others that are thinking about getting a G2. I encourage other relatively fresh users to join in.

Quick backround: I have been a Contax SLR owner for 20+ years. I am NOT a professional photographer but can identify one by his/her work when I see one. My own work is lacking in many dimensions which is the reason that I find this forum excellent. People seem (for the most part) to go out of their way to offer solid help and confirmation to problems that others are observing. I also have a digital camera (a much loved Sony for those instant feedback needs.....yup, I bought it because it had a Zeiss lens and it has not disappointed me).

I purchased the G2 for several reasons: 1)I wanted a new challenge. I've heard that this camera is a different animal with a learning curve. I want to learn a new tool. To be blunt, G2 owners seem to be a pretty passionate bunch and that stands on its own to me. 2)I want to spend less time thinking about a pile of gear and how to get it from point A to B without sacrificing negative quality that I've come to expect. 3) Value for the money. Just to be crass, the rebates that Contax are offering are too good to pass up. The value proposition (I hate using that term but its accurate in this case) of this camera relative to other rangefinders/P&S's is too good.

I am a manual focus fan so getting this camera was quite the departure for me. Mid-life crisis (my rebellious nature) or maturity about being open mindeded....not sure yet.

Onto the thread:
- Received the G2/45/200 last night.
- The camera drips quality. I'm an engineer and understand the subtle aspects of exhaustive design. This camera team did an excellent job. The fit,finish and form are a cut above what you see these days. Control layout looks okay but more comments after a roll or two. First impressions substantiate what others have said about camera being solid. The RX/RTSIII are built like small tanks, the design team for the G2 built what looks to be a different type of tank. Again first impressions.

The lens (and I'm sure that I'll get the 90 next) is what I was expecting. Excellent design. Again, after a roll or two, I'll offer more substantial comments. One observation about how stupid I am....open the lens and the f stop positioning was all off until I mated it onto the camera. It through me for a loop for a moment.

The manual is where I'm at right now. All the talk that I've seen about going through the manual carefully is right on target. A couple of the sequences or when focus occurs and what happens after a shot has occurred are very important. I'm starting to see where the learning curve exists on this camera. It seems that the CH/CL and AF options are all key to understand. Also, the suggestions and limits of the AF (such as repeating patterns, not using a horizontal horizon for AF, or beware of high glare points) are really key as well. These limits look okay (limitations exist for any camera). The quality of the manual is pretty good but again, I'm reading it very carefully before I start. This is pretty atypical for me....I usually one of those guys who gets a motherboard, puts a computer together, and spends a couple of hours (or more) trying to trace the subtlety of where I went wrong. READ THE MANUAL.

Okay, slide film is in the camera. Off to take a couple of shots to understand this AF thing. I'll be taking a lot of pics of walls, sticks in fields, bracketing, etc. I'm quite interested in learning what the weighting is on the meter.

Enjoy the camera. Provia 100F is a delight to use with this camera. I have the 45/2 and 90/2.8 lenses for my street photography and couldn't be happier.
I just bought a "almost NIB" 167MT on Ebay for $215! I want to thank the digital camera buyers in the world for driving down prices on film cameras. Thanks, thanks, thanks.

I've been looking at one of these things for years, and since my FR II died (and I still have several lenses) I've been looking for this body at a good price.

So, now I've got my G1 with 35, 45 and 90mm lenses, and a Contax body (assuming it arrives in good shape) for my Yashica 28mm, 50mm and telephoto lens.

Wooo hoo! Bounce bounce bounce.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2963908644&category== 4 8550&rd=1
> It looks like I made the mistake this time.

Anyway, are we G2, etc., film users just stubborn or misguided? I intend to buy a digital camera at some point, but I am puzzled at the way amateurs and the camera companies have abandoned film.

Film yields perfectly acceptable images.

My wife has actually decided that she prefers her film p&s camera for general use, compared to the digital, which she saves for pictures she knows in advance that she intends to email. She is very up to date on computers, and spends a good deal of time working on one, and I know that among other reasons is her lack of desire to spend her spare time in front of a monitor.

Some time ago I bought a Canon A-1 to have as a basis SLR for when I wanted one. At the time used Contaxes seemed expensive.

The 167 looks like a very handsome (almost new) machine. Congratulations

Richard >
<Anyway, are we G2, etc., film users just stubborn or misguided? I intend to buy a digital camera at some point, but I am puzzled at the way amateurs and the camera companies have abandoned film.>

No, film is excellent format for making photographs. The method I prefer. Others have chosen digital. I hope it doesn’t become an either or proposition. Or worse yet overtake film as VCR did Betamax another favorite of mine. I do fear that digital is here to stay as it offers many diverse applications e.g. business, (film industry) movie making, industry, government, commercial, and personal. I hope there will be enough film users to keep the film companies in business and keep film at an affordable cost. So please do your part and follow the Kodak adage shoot shoot shoot! (I believe it is theirs)


In the face of a virtual hurricane of marketing hype about digital photography, it takes a person who is secure in himself to stand firm and continue using a familiar format that he knows can produce outstanding results. There are fewer such people everyday, but most G users fit that mold. Although digital photography has many wonderful features, its ability to surpass the image quality of high quality film behind Zeiss glass is questionable at this time.
I'm sure I can take good pix with a digicam (and I bought a digicam), it just feels, I dunno, uncomfortable.

I love my film cameras, the digicams are just trying too hard.

> Funny timing this thread. I had a Canon 10D with nice L glass. I > also had a Fuji 645ZI. I took both on a trip to Sedona, AZ. The 4x6 > 645 shots are of course very nice, smooth and sharp. I used Kodak 160 > Portra UC IIRC. The biggest problem with the 10D was blowing out the > white clouds all the time. For grabbing a shot of the kids or a macro > shot the 10D was great. ok next chapter. I sell the 10D to get a > nicer digital camera. BUT get derailed by this Contax G2 and its > lenses. While I wait for Contax days next week at the store in town, > I decide to buy a dig point and shoot, dunno why I guess I thought it > would produce a nice image and be convenient. I have an old 50mm > Nikon and f3, I loaded it with Fuji 800 press and shot the exact same > shots with the point and shoot as Fuji press. WOW. The point and > shoot at iso 50 maybe is as nice as the 800 fuji. And all I did was > drop the film off, pick it up all scanned and printed. Import the > ones I want to see on my computer for later viewing. Oh yeah and I > have rich smooth sharp prints to look at right away. Anyway why am I > writing this? I think it will take an 8-10 megapixel Foveon type full > 35mm frame sensor with large pixels and low noise to get close to > film. If you check out the Sigma cameras on the net and what they > produce noise wise at iso 400 I think it will be a while. just my 2 > centavos.... ;-] thanks for listening. Brian
This has become another digital versus film discussion, hasn't it?

It's peculiar the recent sentiments being expressed here, that film results are better than digital. My experience has been the opposite. I have achieved 'sharper' and more accurate images with digital than with film. Those experiences are relative to a D60 and various 35mm and MF systems, including Pentax 67, Mamiya 67, Rolleiflex and Hasselblad.

Haven't you guys seen the Luminous Landscape shootout?


Seems, on almost every front, the 1Ds image is 'superiour.' And, this is against a 6x7 neg, not a puny 35mm neg. Based on this kind of 'evidence,' i would find it very difficult to justify shooting colour images on film. My problem with digital so far is that there has been no satisfactory means of emulating classic b+w film emulsions/grain patterns. Simply, i still love Tri-X. Which is why i'll be buying a Pentax 67II. But, if Canon comes up with a DSLR with a full-frame sensor for under 5 grand, i'll be there....
Hi Derek,

> I have achieved 'sharper' and more accurate images with digital than > with film.

I agree with sharper (and sharpness does NOT mean accuracy, BTW), but more accurate...what exactly do you mean by "accurate"? A two pixel digital camera is sharp...but has little information, so sharpness is an erroneous measure of "accuracy".

> Haven't you guys seen the Luminous Landscape shootout? > > http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/shootout.shtml

Well, those tests are fraught with "issues", as is quite a bit of the information on that web site. I have attempted to correct some of it, but the owner of it appears to have an agenda, and a very biased agenda at that...I could explain more, but would prefer not to here...but suffice to say, take anything you read on that web site with a large grain of salt.