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Contax 645 to E-Mount adapter

drevil

Well-known member
Dear all,

since my recently ordered A7RII will arrive in the next two days, i would really like to continue to use my current lineup of C645 lenses.
i know it works with a Contax G and NAM-1 adapter, but I would prefer a single adapter solution.

are there any products on the market that offers this yet?

best regards

Mirko
 

hiepphotog

New member
I have the Fringer 2 adapter and the Contax NAM-1. A straight adapter (there is none right now) might seem preferable, but I can tell you that the two adapters I have are rock-solid. They fit like gloves. I'm amazed by the build of the Fringer 2, no play at all on my A7RII. And the Contax NAM-1 is definitely an adapter of the old day which quality is much higher than most stuff nowadays.
 

yashima

New member
For this much flange distance, I'm really hoping for a tilt shift adapter with auto diaphragm. And then we wont have to waste the image circle of Contax 645 lenses on A7x sensor
 
Hi Mirko,
When you say that it works with a "Contax G and Nam-1 adapter", as far as I am aware the only options are to use it with the Fringer Contax-N adapter combined with a Nam-1 adapter...

Or, Steel Chen makes a Contax 645 - Canon Eos adapter, which I believe will work with a Metabones (in place of a Eos body)..

There is no straight adapter solution that I am aware of..... Although i would love to be proven incorrect :)

For those of talking about having shift ability of the Contax 645 lenses, there is this post that discusses a future adapter of Steel Chen..

http://www.getdpi.com/forum/sony/55879-contax-645-shift-adapter.html

In my discussions with him, he said he was open to the possibilities of doing a straight Contax 645 to Sony E-mount that would enable three movements.. rise/fall, shift and tilt.. That would be awesome!

I am surprised that nobody has come out with a Canon Eos - Sony E-mount adapter that enables some movements on it (with full electronic aperture control) and then a second adapter with movements that enables the use of Contax 645 glass... The different electronic protocols are there in various forms at the moment...

There is the Hcam Master/Mirex adapters but these do not allow electronic aperture control.. Maybe a shift only adapter with the extra room being used for the electronics for aperture control...

There is also the Cambo Actus and Arca Swiss Universalis but at this stage, neither of these have lens boards that offer aperture control of Canon TS-E lenses... Although both seem to be promising these in the near future..
 

thomas

New member
My Fringer MK3 has been shipped yesterday. As mentioned above by "hiepphotog" me I also think the adapter is very well machined. It’s also nicely finished with flocked paper inside the adapter (avoiding internal reflections).

The MK3 version now features a Mini-USB port to load future firmware updates.

AF performance with the 645 lenses is remarkably good! They focus very fast to approximate distance and then … tick-tick-tick … lock quite quickly when the subject shows enough contrast.
PDAF will hunt on low contrast scenes… of course.

You can use full manual mode or auto aperture mode. Auto aperture mode renders the f-stops on the lens useless - you have to set the aperture on the camera body. In this mode you can toggle AF/MF. In full manual mode you can use the f-stops on the lens but AF is disabled.

The camera/adapter can utilize 1/3 f-stops (in auto aperture mode)!
Too, all the relevant EXIF-Info of the lens is available in the files (lens info, focal length, aperture used). As the focal length is recognized you should set Steady Shot to "Auto".


645 lenses on A7R2:

All my lenses are sharp at the image center at all apertures (up to f8 … at f11 sharpness decreases on the high res sensor of the A7R2, of course) but depending on the focal length edge performance varies.

So as far as above said idea of a shift adapter goes here are some short notes on the lens performance (center + edges. Didn’t test the very corners yet…) based on initial impressions. If at all, I would say the longer lenses could be suited for limited movements… the shorter lenses certainly not.


3.5/35 Distagon
center:
f3.5: ok
f4: good / very good
f5.6: excellent
f8: excellent

edges:
edges stay soft even at f8

This lens wouldn’t be suited for movements


3.5/55 Distagon
center:
f3.5: good
f4 and smaller: excellent

edges:
f3.5: soft
f4: soft
f5.6: usable
f8: usable-ok (when cropped top 4:3 image format it should do fine)

This lens wouldn’t be suited for movements.
It’s certainly a nice "effect lens" due to the great performance in the center… "only" f3.5, though


2.0/80 Planar
center:
f2.0: good
f2.8: very good
f4 and smaller: excellent

edges:
f2.0: soft
f2.8: very well usable
f4 and smaller: very good to excellent

This lens is most likely well suited for limited movements at f8.
Will be a very nice portrait lens in my case!


4/120 Apo Macro Planar
excellent at f4 and to die for from f5.6.
Period :)


2.8/140 Sonnar
center:
f2.8: very good
f4 and smaller: excellent

edges:
f2.8: good
f4: very good
f5.6: excellent

This lens is most likely well suited for limited movements at f4-f11.


The 3.5/55 Distagon and the 2.8/140 Sonnar show obvious chromatic aberrations on high contrast objects at larger apertures. So the lens corrections - if needed - will decrease IQ… especially at the edges.

I have yet to test the 45-90 zoom ... then again I don't think that I would use that bulky lens on the small A7 body...

_____________


Since I want a classical portrait lens with AF and definitely need a Macro lens I was thinking about the Batis 1.8/85 and/or the Sony 2.8/90 G macro. But now I will wait a little before I buy more lenses for the Sony system.
The Contax 645 4/120 Apo Macro is really excellent … a bit long on the A7R2’s sensor but it’s okay for my purposes.
And the AF of the 2/80 Planar works so good that it’s a bit hard to justify a Batis only for its AF. The Batis is sure much better wide open, shows less CAs and AF is certainly faster and more precise… but for "landscape"-style work I also own a Tessar ZM 4/85… which is super sharp across the frame. I have yet to check focus tracking and face recognition with the CZ 2/80 Planar, though. But all in all, being a Contax 645 and A7R2 user, the Fringer adapter is well worth the money for me!
 

drevil

Well-known member
does the mark III still require the NAM adapter in between?
where did you order it?

ok got the answer, too sad
 
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Hi Thomas,
Thanks a lot for your input, much appreciated! I feel that your results with the Contax 645 lenses are at odds with other results with regards to this lens...

https://www.alpa.ch/en/site/tech-info-contax-645-lenses

and also

http://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-...backs/53400-image-circle-contax-645-lens.html


The mere fact that a company as well known as Alpa has decided to put R+D into the development of a Shift adapter for these lenses gives me confidence that they are up to the task of modern MFDB


Others thoughts?
 

thomas

New member
Hi Thomas,
Thanks a lot for your input, much appreciated! I feel that your results with the Contax 645 lenses are at odds with other results with regards to this lens...
I've once tested an IQ180. I was surprised how good the CZ645 lenses performed on this back (tested on my Contax 645, so without movements)... especially the 3.5/35. Only the 3.5/55 was not really sharp at the very edges, even stopped down (very well usable, though).
Now, the A7R2 has a much smaller pixel pitch and I think this is the reason that the lenses show their limitations at the edges (5.2 microns on the IQ180 vs. 4.51 microns on the A7R2).
 

thomas

New member
3.5/35 Distagon
center:
f3.5: ok
f4: good / very good
f5.6: excellent
f8: excellent

edges:
edges stay soft even at f8

This lens wouldn’t be suited for movements
I feel that your results with the Contax 645 lenses are at odds with other results with regards to this lens...
the A7R2 has a much smaller pixel pitch and I think this is the reason that the lenses show their limitations at the edges (5.2 microns on the IQ180 vs. 4.51 microns on the A7R2).
My first impressions on lens performance noted above were based on close distance shots (where many lenses show limitations, especially wide angle lenses). I've tested the Distagon 3.5/35 again at a wider Distance in daylight.
Now... it's very well usable from wide open on the A7R2, stopping down improves the edges so that the lens can be fully utilzed for native print size at 300dpi (or higher, of course). Looks really good! However, when pixel peeping you'll also see that the sensor clearly outresolves the lens at the edges due to the small pixel pitch (the edges look a bit blurred/fuzzy). This is why I think the 3.5/35 will not be suited for shift movements in conjunction with an A7R2 when edge- or even corner sharpness is required. However, the good news is it can be used (to some extend) on the A7R2 without movements.
Cool :)
 
Hi Thomas,
Thanks for retesting, much appreciated... I would be possibly looking to use this lens for architecture/landscape, so all wide shots really..

Am really hoping that "chrismuc" might chime in at some point, as he seems to have extensive knowledge of these lenses and has both a IQ180 as well as a Sony A7R2. I know that he has tested the Canon 17mm TS-E on the A7RII and had very positive results and know that he rates the Contax 645 glass as right up there...

http://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-format-systems-and-digital-backs/55802-iq180-vs-up-res-a7r2.html

Have you tried shooting past f8 to try and sharpen up the corners? I feel that f11-f13 might be somehow more appropriate for this combination, as he has done in his example with the Canon 17mm TS-E..

Any chance you can provide some samples to download?

Thanks again.
 

mandonbossi

New member
Great! Thanks for the post!

Am going to look at getting a Hasselblad 50mm FLE and see how it handles shifts on the A7R2...

Think it will be fine... Have heard people say good things about the Contax 645 lenses as well, so may look at trying these...
 

thomas

New member
Have heard people say good things about the Contax 645 lenses as well, so may look at trying these...
I had them all up to 140mm focal length (still have most of them ... only sold the 45mm since edge performance was pretty poor on my P45 and mostly I can replace it with my 35mm). Now, if edge- (+ corner-) performance is important I would say only use the somewhat longer lenses on the A7R2. The 2.0/80 is really great, the 4/120 Apo Macro is a dream and the 2.8/140 is also very, very good. Images are clear and sharp. The wider lenses show limitations at the edges due to the very small pixel pitch of the A7R2's sensor (as you can see in the 35mm sample...).
 

Audii-Dudii

Active member
So as far as above said idea of a shift adapter goes here are some short notes on the lens performance (center + edges. Didn’t test the very corners yet…) based on initial impressions. If at all, I would say the longer lenses could be suited for limited movements… the shorter lenses certainly not.


3.5/35 Distagon
center:
f3.5: ok
f4: good / very good
f5.6: excellent
f8: excellent

edges:
edges stay soft even at f8

This lens wouldn’t be suited for movements


3.5/55 Distagon
center:
f3.5: good
f4 and smaller: excellent

edges:
f3.5: soft
f4: soft
f5.6: usable
f8: usable-ok (when cropped top 4:3 image format it should do fine)

This lens wouldn’t be suited for movements.
It’s certainly a nice "effect lens" due to the great performance in the center… "only" f3.5, though


2.0/80 Planar
center:
f2.0: good
f2.8: very good
f4 and smaller: excellent

edges:
f2.0: soft
f2.8: very well usable
f4 and smaller: very good to excellent

This lens is most likely well suited for limited movements at f8.
Will be a very nice portrait lens in my case!


4/120 Apo Macro Planar
excellent at f4 and to die for from f5.6.
Period :)


2.8/140 Sonnar
center:
f2.8: very good
f4 and smaller: excellent

edges:
f2.8: good
f4: very good
f5.6: excellent

This lens is most likely well suited for limited movements at f4-f11.


The 3.5/55 Distagon and the 2.8/140 Sonnar show obvious chromatic aberrations on high contrast objects at larger apertures. So the lens corrections - if needed - will decrease IQ… especially at the edges.

I have yet to test the 45-90 zoom ... then again I don't think that I would use that bulky lens on the small A7 body...
Based upon my experience using my Contax 645 35-45-55-80 lenses on my A7R via a Toyo VX23D "shift adapter" [see: http://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-format-systems-and-digital-backs/57100-hassy-hcd-lens-image-circle.html#post702203 for more info] and also on a friend's A7RII via a Fringer Mk. 3 adapter, I think thomas' opinion of them is perhaps a bit too harsh.

By no means are any of them perfect, as he noted, but I nevertheless find them perfectly acceptable for my purposes, even when shifted by as much as 10mm in any direction, and in particular, the 35mm and 55mm lenses, which are my favorites of the lot.

Of course, opinions as to what constitutes "acceptable" v. "unacceptable" will vary, as well as how one defines "limited movements," plus there's also sample-to-sample variation to consider -- I've cherry-picked my set of lenses, buying and selling several copies over the years to get the best performers possible -- and even the type of photography being done (for example, with many of my nighttime photos, their corner performance is irrelevant because the corners are black!) But on the whole, I have no significant complaints about the performance of my Contax 645 lenses on the Sony A7R and A7RII bodies.

Do I wish they were even better performers? Absolutely! But for the money, I believe they still offer good value today and IMO, their performance holds up well with the A7R small- and A&RII's even smaller pixel pitch, even when used with movements.

YMMV.

P.S.: Since I wrote this earlier today, I dropped my A7r body and now it doesn't work. This makes not one, but two broken A7r bodies I now own, and with my annual insurance premiums and property tax bills coming due in September and October, respectively, it will be several months yet before I am comfortable spending money to buy a replacement or have this latest broken one repaired, if possible. In the meantime, I'm going to use my Fuji X-Pro 1 body instead -- it's just collecting dust otherwise and something is better than nothing, eh? -- and sp have started work on the adapter / mounting plate for it this afternoon. Because of its 1.5X crop factor, my 645 lenses will now be too long for my taste and preference, so I'm going to focus my attention on the Contax N 17-35/f2.8 for now, as I expect to be able to get by with its effective focal length of 25-52mm. On the positive side, though, the amount of movement available from this lens just increased significantly! (sigh)
 
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DougDolde

Well-known member
All this talk about Contax 645 lenses is making me nostalgic. FWIW I found the 45-90mm Vario much sharper at 45mm than the 45mm prime
 
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