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Which Contax System suits best to your needs


Thanks, that was a quick response. Also a brief answer to a long question (no bad thing). I use a Minolta 5400 scanner and this gives me the equivalent of a 39 MegaPixel image from 35mm slides and negs.

I use Contax and Zeiss because I don't want my equipment to be the reason I take poor pictures. Don't know too much about Canon except my perception is a bit plasticky (maybe true or not) and heavily reliant on button pushing (which I hate), nevertheless Canon have good reputation when it comes to performance and can take my Zeiss lenses.

I would be looking for full frame DSLR, I'm more interested in wide than tele and wouldn't want to lose angle of view of my wide lenses. Also looking for high MegaPixel count as I'm used to same from Minolta scanner (yes I accept there are losses from capture on film, through processing and then scanning, but 20 MegaPixels is about as low as I would go).

As you can see, I've spent too much already and would probably use the sale of either C/Y or N system to pay for DSLR. But this means that I don't have unlimited resources, so I'm looking at 20 MegaPixel minimum, full frame and hopefully, comfortably under £2,000. (Don't mind secondhand at all, most of my gear was purchased secondhand).

Will have to look into mirror issue on 5D MkII as I know this raised certain issues with Bo Ming's N mount Conurus conversions. I understand however, that these were all resolved.

As far as C/Y mount on 5D MkII, is this an issue dependant on which lens you use, or is the type of adapter an issue?

The main question is, bearing in mind what I might like to do in the future, which of the above kit would you keep if you were me?

Regards, Piginho
I have no experience with the N system, I have a 5d Mk1, and have been very unimpressed with the adapters I have tried, the technology just seems a bit bodged. I couldn't get AV mode to work, they support only a limited range of apetures, and I have found the lack of a manual focus screen to be a problem. I gather that the 1ds has a working option for AV mode. I don't think the 5d models are a goer myself, but that is just from my experience. My understanding is that the choice of adapter, lens and indeed version of the lens can all affect the mirror problem. I would want reliable information that it was going to work on a 5dmk2 myself.

Again thanks for the reply. I get the feeling that there are, or were many different manufacturers of C/Y to Canon adaptors and that quality was variable, to say the least. Add to this the loss of open aperture metering and no split screen focusing aid and I agree that using 5D MkI or MkII, with C/Y lenses doesn't sound too appealing.

With regard to N mount to Canon, there is only one supplier (Conurus) and they do not offer an adaptor, but a complete change of lens mount, removing the N mount and replacing with Canon. Due to some very clever reverse engineering they have managed to make N mount lenses operate as native Canon, c/w autofocus and open aperture metering and mostly accurate exif information. They have also got around mirror problems with the Canon 5D.

With your kind input therefore, I am rapidly moving away from using C/Y lenses in future with Canon, but may still consider getting my N mounts adapted.

I saw your gallery this time as I logged on and noticed that you used Contax 645 for some of your images. I particularly liked the bridge by the canal. I don't know whether you still have and use your 645, but am very interested to know whether, after using such a fine piece of kit, that you are now entirely satisfied with what digital can give you?

Also, looking at your steam engine images, I wonder if I'm trying to live in the past by continuing to use film?

Regards, Piginho
I am still mainly using film. Yes I do still use the 645, and a great toy it is too. All of my stuff on this site was taken using film on Contax kit. I gave up on the EOS 5d with the contax lenses and carried on using the contax bodies.
I'm using both the 50mm F1.4 and the 85mm F1.4 lenses on my EOS 5D MK11 via the EMF adapter and have no problems with the mirror. These lenses are in reality my primes for my ST and are "amusement value" only on the 5D. But they do look good!

Conversely, my CONUS modified N24-85mm with autofocus ability is a dream combination on my 5D MK11 and vastly superior in sharpness, color and contrast to the Canon 24-70 L which has now been sold!

Processing RAW images from this lens via Capture One Pro is so simple requiring minimal adjustment.

Hope this helps

Contax SLR and G are my systems which I use. Which one is better? Well, this depends on what I want to do. For travelling, I use my G, when I want to work with ultra wide angel lenses or with filters (Cokin), I'm using the SLR.
As I said, it depends... None is better or worse ...

Cheers, Alexander
Compact camera with contax lens simple Portrait


I am planning a portrait-series on a person, which I would like to find the right system for. Starting with the camera on the way to the picture-aesthetic I am looking for: Clear, soft colours. On a tight budget I though about compact DSLR combined with a contax/Zeiss lens. I am fond of how Wolfgang Tilmans does the Pictures, he uses Contax T3 occasionaly. You might know him or want to have look on it. The lighting comes additionaly. Maybe you know something about it and want to include this into an answer. Will be happy to keep you up to date and hear from you for now.

Sincerely, Philip B.
which equipment to choose? switch from contax t2 to digital

it came to several interesting themes during the several last threads. Still I am in search for the right equipment.
my standard ist has been contax t2. i will need to switch to a camera which comes very close to the technical aspects of this camera and the lens but which is digital. please enter this thread if you can relate to the optical workings of the Contax T2. Please no general and only quite serious answers. I am doing research on a most perfectly euivalent to this camera since quite a while and am very sincere about it. Still, I am a beginner and haven't yet found the right solution.
please also have a look at new pictures as for example these three by the photographer Wolfgang Tillmans who has switched from analogue Contax to a Digital Camera in his new series :


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I know this is an old topic but it still enjoys relevance to any Contax user. Although I still use all my old 35mm gear acquired since the mid-1970s, the one which suits most of my needs is the Contax 645. This has become even more useful to me since discovery of the Zork Adapter which permits Mamiya 645 (the old manual focus system) lenses to be used on the C645. More importantly for me as a BIG macro addict, I can use the Mamiya Auto Bellows N with a 55mm Sekor lens to give me tilt/shift and swing movements for perspective correction at a fraction of the cost the Contax 645 Auto Bellows (if you can even find one). Also, for portraiture, I love the Sekor C 145mm f4 Soft Focus lens.

Mamiya 145 SF lens C645 via Zork adapter

My typical lens selection for landscape work is the 35mm, 45-90mm (on camera) and the 210mm. I rarely use the 350mm as it's too heavy to cart around along with a sturdy tripod though on the odd occasion I need a really long lens with soft bokeh, I will use it with the 1.4x Mutar which gives me a 490mm lens. However, my preference is to use the uber-rare Hartblei 500mm f5.6 with a C645 Adapted mount as it's less cumbersome although you have to live with risks of a mirror lens' bokeh.

Although I still use film a lot I do enjoy using the 645 with both an old Phase One H10 for tethered work indoors and more usefully, a Hasselblad Ixpress digital back, for both studio and outdoor work though the file sizes of the 2 Ixpress backs can be massive - up to 384Mb per image using the smaller 16Mp back in 16 shot mode. The only drawback is that the digital backs limit your fastest shutter speed to 1:1000s which is a pity on a MF camera that can shoot 1:4000s; that said, I can't recall the last time I used the C645 needing a faster shutter speed than 1:1000s!

I recognise that the C645 is a risky investment as spares are no longer available and so you need to buy a few bodies to play safe but the Zeiss glass, superb shutter and ergonomics, plus the ability to use additional non-Zeiss glass to plus the gaps in the system makes it a fun system to use.
I m crazy about Contax. I have most of their rangefinders from Contax I to Contax IIIa. As Reflex Contax AX - 2- Contax RX a special coloured one from Japan and the big one with the pressure plate - heavy but - 2, Contax S2 anniversary. Contax G2. A beautiful Kiev II.I had some ikoflex but sold them and kept 6 Rolleiflex. I could ad the Contarex. The Contax N1. The N digital but dead captor ... sniffff. Crazy.