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Thread: Contax 645 system

  1. #1
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    Contax 645 system

    is the Contax 645 a more desired film MF setup then a Hassy 500?

    was wondering why a Contax 645 w/ 80mm lens goes for around $3000?

    thank you.

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    Re: Contax 645 system

    The Contax 645 system is rarer than a Hasselblad.

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    Re: Contax 645 system

    Contax also has Autofocus. Many users don't care about Autofocus. But many more users DO care about Autofocus.

    We see this with the price for a Mamiya RZ. It's a stellar camera with beautiful lenses, a nice ecosystem of accessories, and some very nice features. But since it does not have autofocus the price for a (still very good) RZ lens is a pittance.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Contax 645 system

    A more relevant comparison would be the Contax vs. the Rolleiflex 6008 AF. Second hand, the Rolleiflex is slightly more expensive than the Contax, but it's 6 x 6 and it's a current model from a manufacturer that is still in the camera business. Although the Contax is a very sexy camera with an equally sexy 80mm lens, the Rolleiflex might be a better investment for the future, and with the Hy6 as a sensible upgrade path.

    The Hasselblad alternative to the Contax is the H1/2. Those are also in that $3,000 area, and can be upgraded to an H4X, which seems to be the last Hasselblad for film.

    As Doug mentions above: AF or not makes a huge difference. My two GX680 bodies with 5 lenses and tons of accessories cost me less than a Contax 645 with an 80mm would. It's a weird world, isn't it?

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    Re: Contax 645 system

    any place to online to rent medium format bodies/lenses?

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    Re: Contax 645 system

    Take a look at Mamiya and Fuji also :-). Just bought a Mamiya c220f with 4 lenses for 700USD.

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    Re: Contax 645 system

    I'm pretty happy with my pentax 645nII. Cheap lenses, great autofocus, uses standard AA batteries. It seems like the Contax 645 setup is popular with wedding photogs because a few famous shooters use it. I"m sure it's a good setup but after researching I felt the Pentax setup had more to offer at a much better price.
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    Re: Contax 645 system

    I had the H-System and the Contax 645. Both deliver great images, but what people drive nuts is the 80mm f2, which gives a quite nice bokeh.

    However, the prices are insane and over there on Facebook, I'm still member of a Contax 645 film group. The only thing that is posted are:

    - weddings
    - senior portraits
    - sale offers for a kit: starting at 3500 USD.

    All these beautiful images have a very specific stlye: the film is pushed by two stops and gives very 'airy' images with lots of light. To my best knowledge, this is possible with every oher film camera also.

    Not to mention the heavy focus shift of the 80 mm when shot wide open...

    S.

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    Re: Contax 645 system

    The price was driven up by both scarcity and as others have said the unique look created by the 80/2. Wedding shooters mostly use them because that lens is beautiful wide open and is also easy on clients because by today's pixel peeping standards it's relatively soft. The system in abstract is an amazing proposition. All the lenses are brilliant, most are AF, and it's technically very advanced and intuitive without being clunky and menu driven like the H system. In practice today though, the AF system is terrible even for medium format, the shutters are dying like snowflakes in June, and the lenses are just not the same on digital as on film. At one time you could find kits for $1500-2000, but once Jose Villa's so called "fine art" wedding photography style (largely based around C645/Fuji 400H over exposed 2 stops) took over the prices skyrocketed. I used to use one, but the Nikon 58mm 1.4G has largely filled my need for what the 80/2 can do. Even better is the ZF/ZF2 Zeiss 50mm 1.4 Planar (now dubbed 'Classic') on an A7II. That combo has nearly the same rendering as the Contax 80/2 and same bokeh style. I get my film kicks with a Rolleiflex now, which will keep working years after all the Contax shutters are dead.
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    Senior Member DougDolde's Avatar
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    Re: Contax 645 system

    -The Contax 645 is great for a digital back. But if I was only shooting film I would want a 6x7 camera probably a Mamiya 7II.

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    Re: Contax 645 system

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan ROX View Post
    I'm still member of a Contax 645 film group. The only thing that is posted are:

    - weddings
    the very reason why i left the group(ok i also deleted my whole account as well)

    the contax is the contax, the 2/80 is the 2/80, when the focus is spot on you know why you bought the system!
    i will keep my system till eternity!
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