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Leica M7II or Contax G2


Hello All,

I am enjoying reading the posts on this group. I have learned a lot already. I love sharp optics and can develop my own e6 and bw, then scan. I am wanting a camera to take on trips mostly for scenery. I used to a Canon 10d and digital, they are ok but for rich big prints it doesn't cut it.

Anyway, I handled a g2 with lens and it is quite beefy. I am wondering for those of you who may have both cameras, would you suggest either camera? Of course the f2 speed of the g2 is great and ocsasionally I do low light. I am really interested in the 21 2.8 and the 90 as my set to begin with. Oh yeah one more, how is the 35-70 zoom?
thank you
Hi Brian
I have a Canon D60 with a tone of lenses and a G2. For the past year or so I have done mostly digital but lately have gone back to using the G2 on a daily basis. I just can't seem to put that camera down. Maybe because my first camera was a 35 RF (Argus C3). With the G2 I just feel more like a photographer and am less selfcouncious in public.
I would consider what it is you intend to use the camera for before purchasing. I have used it for scenics but mainly for people and street photography. I have the three lens kit, 28, 45 and 90 and tend to use the 28 and 45 mostly.
I still use digital but only when I want the different look that it provides. Going around in public with a D60 and large zoom draws the kind of attention I'm trying to avoid. Dave
> Brian

I have both the G2 and the Mamiya 7II. I have the 28, 35, 45, and 90 for the Contax and I have the 65 for the Mamiya. I had the 43mm, but I just did not use it very much and every time I looked at it I saw money I could use for something else.

The cameras are very different, as you might imagine. The G2 is very quick to use and is a wonderful 35mm system. If the lenses are not the best there are, they are certainly so close that the argument soon becomes one of personal preferences. However, the camera is not a true rangefinder and it is not a point and shoot. It does not handle like a rangefinder in focusing. The flash system is primative. On the other hand the focusing is very fast and accurate. The exposure system is very good.

It is difficult to use as a manual camera.

The Mamiya has automatic exposure, and it is accurate, but it is a true rangefinder. The lenses are stiff to turn and focus. You will likely miss the decisive moment. It is not set up for portaits, as it does not focus close.

However, there are few things as beautiful as a 6x7 transparency that is perfectly exposed and focused. A landscape shot with the Mamiya is all about detail, and tone. It is simply impossible to get that much detail and tone on a 35mm piece of film. (Yes I know that the lenses for 35 resolve more lines per mm than the 6x7, but that is also a function of the coverage of the projected image, etc.) There is no grain when you make an enlargement.

The Mamiya is not that much bigger than the Contax.

However, when I go out I find that I take the Contax, and not the Mamiya.

The comarison for me would be between the size of the camera's and the advantages and disadvantages to both. MF is MF. With 4x the negative, enlargements are usually better. But as a previous poster said, do you want the added bulk that is quit noticable? I myself own an RZ. So I know what bulk means to the full extent. I always find myself taking my G2 along for descrete use. Some questions are hard to answer becasue no answer gives a finite conclusion.
Thanks to all of you guys who responded. I think the low light possibilities of the G2 outweigh the larger negs of the M7II for me. I really do not do many big enlargements so I am really leaning toward the G, especially since the rebates are on. I think I am going to handle an m7 before I commit. thank you again Brian >
I also owned the M7II and the G2...and yes, there isn't much to compare with(incl. the top DSLRs)a 6x7 negative or slide. But unless you have a use for displaying/selling/enlarging those big negatives, and you say you do not intend to do that, the M7II is best used by the working landscape pro, in my opinion. I wound up selling the M7II because it wound up getting very little use from me, though it is a superb camera when care is taken with the rangefinder.
> Thanks Charles. You are right, i get all jazzed up by big negs or > chromes on the light table but then end up scanning them and emailing > them o a few friends or just print a couple of them at 8x10 or > smaller. The G2 is such a good deal now, I am thinking Contax must be > coming out with a replacement. Is there any chance a g3 or the g2 > replacement would be digital and be able to use the G2 lenses? wow > would that be the end all.
A lot of wishful(hopeful?)talk about a G3 or digital G has been pretty equally mixed with those concerned that Contax would be abandoning the G system. Me, I think that no matter what new gizmo comes along, the G2 is and always will be capable of producing stunning images. I now work with a D100 for a lot of my model work, but the G2 still remains my favorite film camera. I don't think you'd ever regret buying one, especially since the rebates make it a tremendous deal.
My biggest complaint with the G2 is the small/dim viewfinder. With the autofocus, it's something I can live with, and it's better than the TVS which is really bad...but it is something that I'm surprised was acceptible to Contax...given how superb the rest of the camera is, especially the lenses.

How is the viewfinder on the M7II?