Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

  1. #1
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3,848
    Post Thanks / Like

    Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    For those of you that have done this, what have you found with regards to manual focusing?

    I have tried a 5D with an EE-S screen, but my hit rate is very low. For this to be a viable setup, I need to be able to focus accurately thru the viewfinder. I know the 5D II with live view will provide accurate focus, but this is only practical for tripod shoots.

    My goal is to get a 90%+ hit rate; i.e., it needs to be nearly as reliable as using a film body. Chimping doesn't really work well on the 5D as the LCD is not good outdoors.

    Am I asking too much?

    I have one unchipped and one chipped adapter (of unknown origin.) The chipped adapter will indicate focus, but it's not accurate either. Perhaps getting a known current revision chip might help?

    Also, anyone who has used a 5D with ZE lenses...how accurate do you find the focus confirmation and are you using an alternative focusing screen?

    I've tried a Nikon FE and a Contax focusing screen, both need trimming/shimming. This may be the best route, but it's a lot of trial and error...

    Thanks in advance for your comments.

    Robert

  2. #2
    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    454
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    7

    Re: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    Have you shimmed the 5D focusing screen? The consensus among the Alt users at FredMiranda seems to be that most 5Ds will require shimming. When I bought a number of Leica R and Contax C/Y lenses, I borrowed a friend's 5D for an extensive period and could not get accurate focus until I'd shimmed the screen. I use HappyPageHK Optix 5+ chipped adapters for both mounts and still didn't find the focus confirmation totally reliable. But there are plenty of FMers who get great results with all kinds of MF lenses on the 5D.

    My solution was to buy a 1Ds Mark II. My hit rate soared. I was initially apprehensive about the weight and bulk of the camera but that turned out to be a plus because the additional stability of the heavier body led to discernibly sharper pictures. The 1Ds II and the Contax 35/1.4 is an almost perfect combination. (I have to admit though that I am tempted by the Sony A900 + Leitax mount solution.)

    I realize that a 1 Ds series camera is probably not the way you want to go so IMHO shimming the 5D should be your first priority. Doing that will greatly increase the proportion of your in-focus shots.

    No experience with any Canon ZE lenses but the 5D + CV 40/2 is a sweet combination.

  3. #3
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3,848
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    Hi Jonathan, no I haven't shimmed it yet, they are cheap so it's worth a shot.

    With regards to the 1Ds, did you use the stock screen? To what would you attribute the soaring hit rate?

  4. #4
    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    454
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    7

    Re: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Hi Jonathan, no I haven't shimmed it yet, they are cheap so it's worth a shot.

    With regards to the 1Ds, did you use the stock screen? To what would you attribute the soaring hit rate?
    I forgot to mention that, because I was having difficulty focusing the 5D, I borrowed another friend's 1Ds, again for an extended period (it was the backup for the 1Ds Mark III he uses all the time). As soon as I mounted on the 1Ds the same lenses I was having problems with on the 5D, I was amazed at the difference. Focus confirmation with the 1Ds was both easier and more accurate -- I assume that it's because the 1D and 1Ds series are built to much higher tolerances. I was just using the stock screen in the 1Ds and had no difficulty focusing a variety of Leica R and Contax C/Y lenses with apertures ranging from 1.4 to 2.8.

    So it was a no-brainer for me to look for a 1Ds Mark II and, happily, I found one locally at a reasonable price. Another reason for moving up to a 1Ds series camera is that there is quite a degree of variation in the mirror boxes of the 5D and 5D Mark II cameras, which means that the same lens will clear the mirror on one 5D series camera but not another. FMers commonly describe an 5D with mirror clearance issues as "unforgiving".

    That issue doesn't arise with the 1Ds bodies -- unless of course it's a lens with a rear element that protrudes too far (such as the Elmarit-R 19/2.8 or the Summilux-R 35/1.4). That's one of the main reasons I've been thinking about an A900. But, if/when Canon start shipping the 1Ds Mark IV, I may decide to move up to a 1Ds Mark III. I've grown used to the heft of the professional bodies and the A900 might feel too light. I guess I should look at one in a store.

  5. #5
    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    454
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    7

    Re: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    It's just occurred to me that I may have given the wrong impression about being able to focus a 5D accurately. I think that you could get the 90% hit rate you are after if you shim the 5D properly.

    Even though most Canon users would agree that the 1D series focusing system is superior to that in the 5D models, the (tens of) thousands of sharp 5D series pictures posted on the FM Alt Gear and Lenses forum prove that one can definitely get excellent results with a good MF lens and a shimmed 5D or 5D Mark II.

    I was offered an absolutely mint 5D Mark II at a good price about a month ago and I tested it with my Leica R and Contax C/Y lenses to ensure there were no mirror clearance problems. The camera was fine (i.e. "forgiving"). But I decided that the ergonomics and build quality of the 1Ds II are too important to me -- even though it lacks the more modern features of the 5D II -- so I passed on the 5D II and have no regrets.

    Shimming the 5D is straightforward and, as you say, the shims are cheap. Let me know if you'd like me to post some links about the shimming procedure.

  6. #6
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3,848
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    Thanks Jonathon, I ordered the shims today. My preference is to have a split image focusing screen so I'm going to try the Nikon FE screen first, and see if the shims work with it. I ordered all 11 sizes.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Chonburi Thailand
    Posts
    581
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    Currently I'm shooting a Contax Zeiss 85mm f1.4 on my Canon 5D MKII and EG-D screen using the EMF adapter with AF confirm. No shimming or mods needed.

    My hit rate is 100%.

    Basically, half depress the shutter whilst focusing, AF lights and beeps and that's it!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,008
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    Robert, I tried a variety of CZ lenses on my 5D, and used ground glass, split screen, and magnifiers to try to get accurate focus wide open. I couldn't do it. Focus confirmation was no help, either. I also believe it is a matter of loose tolerances on the 5D. Now using WA stopped down, that of course is a different matter. I loved the 35PC shift lens on my 5D but always shot stopped down. Maybe the 5D2 is better?

  9. #9
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3,848
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    Thanks ReeRay...I was hoping to get full-frame on the cheap, but I bet the 5D II images with the 85 are great.

    Tom, I have a sneaking suspicion I will have the same issue, but it may not be due to the 5D tolerance -- perhaps it's the tolerances in my own eye. I had lasik in my right, so it's a bit sharper than my left, but I haven't been able to retrain for right-eyed shooting.

    The shims should be here tomorrow and I'll spend some time on the weekend with the Nikon FE screen and the Canon EE-S, and see what happens...

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    N.S. Canada
    Posts
    2,010
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    I've use(d) Leica, CY, CV, Nikon, M645, Hassy glass on 5D, 1D2, 1Ds1 and now (until I shift to Nikon) 1Ds2.

    The 5D (and 5D2) focus screen sits within a much higher tolerance range than the 1 series. Accepted wisdom is that it's down to a wider range of tolerances in moldings used for the 5D body. One 5D will front focus, your buddy's will back focus and the next guy's will be spot on with the same lens. Same as the mirror placement and the resulting strike issue on the rear of some wider lenses - one 5D will have no issue with a lens, the next (with the same lens) will and need to be cut-down (the mirror that is).

    My 5D had no issues with mirror strikes but manual focus was a joke - stock screen or Ee-S, etc. Focus confirmation is also a 'rough range' and with most bodies faster than F2.8 at close range.

    Once I moved to the 1 series, focus hit rate via the VF went WAY up - and I've never heard of anyone having to shim a 1 series screen. However, unlike the Ee-S for the 5D, the consensus (and I agree) is that the Ec-S screen for the 1D Mark1 & 2 series sucks (no idea on version for 1D/S3).

    The best compromise screen I've found so far for the 1DS2 (or any 1D Mk1-2) has been the Ec-CIV screen for the 1D3 - pops right in and is nice compromise between brightness and prism 'pop'. Of course the sharper the lens is wide open (or at the aperture you focus at - I usually focus at my shooting aperture if light allows), the better the 'pop' in the VF.

    For shims, you can buy them from Canon parts, use scotch tape or metallic duct tape - apparently the latter is 0.001" thick. Adapting a Nikon DK-17M (IIRC) eyepiece magnifier to fit a spare Canon eyepiece (the Canon one sucks big time) can help but is narrows the angle of view in the VF and mine was so screwed-up from coating issues on the eye side that it was clearer without it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Chonburi Thailand
    Posts
    581
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Thanks ReeRay...I was hoping to get full-frame on the cheap, but I bet the 5D II images with the 85 are great.
    Right there Robert. Sharpness is unbelievable and the color and contrast is to die for. Now, if I can only find an adapter to fit the CZ 50mm f1.4 and clear the mirror!

  12. #12
    krb
    Guest

    Re: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    What adapter are you using?

    I have 3 adapters from Fotodiox, one is a black "pro" series with focus confirm and the other two are their cheaper version. Using the black pro version everthing is fine but on the cheaper adapters the lever that actuates the aperture drags against the inside of the camera near the electrical connections so the aperture stays open no matter what teh ring is set to. This on a 1Ds mk II with both the C/Y 50/1.4 and C/Y 35/2.8.

  13. #13
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3,848
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    krb, I haven't had any issues with adapters...just focus. I received the shims on Saturday, and tried 3 different screens, I wasn't able to get anything consistent. So the project will be abandoned, I'll just use a NEX with live view, and continue with film for full frame. Thanks everyone for the comments!

  14. #14
    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    454
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    7

    Re: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    krb, I haven't had any issues with adapters...just focus. I received the shims on Saturday, and tried 3 different screens, I wasn't able to get anything consistent. So the project will be abandoned, I'll just use a NEX with live view, and continue with film for full frame. Thanks everyone for the comments!
    There could be another issue in play here, unrelated to shimming the 5D, which is that there was a recall of early model Canon 5d cameras because a design flaw could lead to the mirror coming off entirely.

    I didn't mention this in my previous posts because it seemed that you were successfully focusing some shots, just not as many as you'd hoped for. But, with the 5D I'd borrowed from a friend, I initially could not get a single image of the sharpness I was used to with other cameras. When I borrowed the other friend's 1Ds and was immediately able to get properly focused pictures, I sent the 5D to Canon and they fixed it. I was then able to get sharp pictures with the 5D, but not at the consistent high rate I was getting from the 1Ds. So I bought a 1Ds Mark II.

    Before abandoning your 5D + Contax (C/Y) project, it might be worth asking a technician to take a look at the 5D's mirror. The Contax 35/1.4 and 85/1.4 are amongst my absolute favorite lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    The best compromise screen I've found so far for the 1DS2 (or any 1D Mk1-2) has been the Ec-CIV screen for the 1D3 - pops right in and is nice compromise between brightness and prism 'pop'. Of course the sharper the lens is wide open (or at the aperture you focus at - I usually focus at my shooting aperture if light allows), the better the 'pop' in the VF.
    Thanks for this tip. I was underwhelmed by the Ec-S screen on both the 1Ds Mark I and Mark II and have been using the stock screen on my 1Ds2. But as soon as I read your post this morning I placed an order for an Ec-CIV screen.

  15. #15
    krb
    Guest

    Re: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    krb, I haven't had any issues with adapters...just focus.
    Sorry, was replying the post immediately above mine, where ReeRay said he was having trouble with issues with his 50/1.4.

  16. #16
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3,848
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    Jonathon,

    Was the problem on the 5D just the mirror? I'm wondering how this could effect focus.

    In any case, I've already passed on the 5D, if I end up going further in this direction I will try a 1ds of some variety.

    Thanks again.

    Robert

  17. #17
    Subscriber Member Jonathon Delacour's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    454
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    7

    Re: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Was the problem on the 5D just the mirror? I'm wondering how this could effect focus.

    In any case, I've already passed on the 5D, if I end up going further in this direction I will try a 1ds of some variety.
    I only realized the extent of the problem when I compared the 5D and the 1Ds using a Canon 24-70/2.8. At close distances, the 1Ds yielded noticeably sharper results even with auto-focus. That's when I decided to send the 5D to Canon (along with a CD of my test pictures). When it came back, I was then able to shim it accurately and get sharp results with the MF lenses. So perhaps the mirror box was misaligned too.

    I know that lots of people have no trouble getting great results with 5D and 5D Mk II bodies but, once I'd used my other friend's 1Ds for a couple of days, I knew I'd never be happy with a 5D series camera. I couldn't afford a 1Ds3 so the 1Ds2 turned out to be an excellent choice for me.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Chonburi Thailand
    Posts
    581
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Adapting Contax (C/Y) Lenses to Canon

    Quote Originally Posted by krb View Post
    Sorry, was replying the post immediately above mine, where ReeRay said he was having trouble with issues with his 50/1.4.
    Thanks for the tip re Fotodiox. Black Pro version now on order.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •