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Thread: Considering the H3DII-31 - The Conclusion!

  1. #1
    andershald
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    Considering the H3DII-31 - The Conclusion!

    Hi Everyone.

    The decision has finally been made, after much deliberation and lots of valuable input from you guys, I have decided to buy a P30+ on a Contax 645.

    It was a really close race between the various systems as they all produce great results, the dealers offer excellent service and the quality of the various backs is undeniable.

    The reasons for going with the P30+ is that the files will fit straight into the workflow I have now Iview Media (Expression Media) for reviewing on the shoot and ACR for processing. As an owner of the previous Capture One Pro I will get a free upgrade to the new version, so that is an option. I believe this version of the software will contain Digital Apo Correction-like functions for most of the Contax lenses.

    I decided against the Leaf system because I was slightly worried about the issue of freezing on the A75s. I decided against the Hasselblad because the system is moving towards a DSLR 'feel' which it does very well, but that is something that I wanted to move away from. When the Nordic sales manager told me about the huge market share they have and how everyone is buying Hasselblads, that actually also pushed me away from the system. I feel that I need to differentiate myself a bit from the competion. With the Canons for a while everyone were using the 1dsII and the same 3 or 4 lenses, no wonder there is a 'sameness' to the images.

    Both Leaf and Hasselblad are fine systems, I chose based on a gut feeling and what I felt was right for my type of work.

    The Contax system was love at first sight. I know it is no longer made, I know servicing will be slow, I know it is not perfect and the AF is slow, but I intend to manual focus most of the time, which works very well with those lenses. I love the lenses, the feel of the lenses AND the price of these wonderful Zeiss lenses on the second hand market.

    I am buying a near new Contax kit from Phase One with the P30+ back, the rest of the stuff I will start looking for second hand. I have found most of the lenses I need here in Copenhagen, and also a spare body in good condition. I plan on getting the 45, 55, 80 and either the 120 or the 140.

    Can any of the Contax users/experts here tell me weather I should go for the 120 or the 140? I used to have the 120 macro for the V system so I know the optical quality is great, but how does it compare to the 140. From looking at images it looks like the barrel extends by pulling it out, or is that just the barrel extension from turning the focus ring? The lens would be a portrait lens, more than a macro lens, I like low depth of field so perhaps the 140 is a better choice for me. Suggestions welcome...

    I think the news from Photokina about the alliance between Phase One and Leica are very interesting and shows good signs for the Phase One camera system in the future, but I need a system now. The Contax and P30+ is not at the very highest end in terms of price and should I decide to stick with the P30+ and switch to the Phase system in a few years time, I can have the mount changed...I guess.

    So, now it is just some paper work, and then wait for delivery.

    Thanks for all the input and suggestions and really valuable insights I have been given from this great forum. I'll stick around and return the favor.

    Best regards,
    Anders

  2. #2
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    Re: Considering the H3DII-31 - The Conclusion!

    Anders,
    I thought for certain you were going to go with the Hasselblad but to hear your reasons for choosing the Contax 645 confirms my suspicions that you are a tortured soul bound by being a perfectionist!

    You love quality and have found it in the past. One day I hope a manufacture pleases you (and myself) but I do say be careful with your desires so that they don't leave you so disappointed with everything in life.

    The choice you have made will please you image wise and the Contax gamble is a safe one I would think.

  3. #3
    Subscriber gogopix's Avatar
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    Re: Considering the H3DII-31 - The Conclusion!

    Dear Anders

    Welcome to the Contax 645 club. Now, just enjoy. If you have any questions there are many people with significant knowledge. They have helped me (a serious amateur) over the years.

    And don't forget the wonderful opportunity to use Hassey V glass. Although the Contax 80, 35 and 45 are terrific, the 180mm H V has a look all its own. The 40mm and 110mm Hassey also fit nicely between the Contax glass.

    So far, I have P45+ and have not seen the glass as a limit.

    best regards
    Victor

    PS on the 120 vs 140 different beasts. the makro is great but the speed and AF of the 140 you may find a lot more useful

    PPS As you may have noticed, after several months of agonizing over the H6y vs HeD I decided to stick with the Contax. AFter a trip to Wales and a review of the files, I just could not be happier. During these trips what I want is to FORGET about equipment and just SHOOT!
    That happened, so I said; why change...it's working
    Last edited by gogopix; 30th September 2008 at 09:28.

  4. #4
    andershald
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    Re: Considering the H3DII-31 - The Conclusion!

    Quote Originally Posted by pcunite View Post
    Anders,
    I thought for certain you were going to go with the Hasselblad but to hear your reasons for choosing the Contax 645 confirms my suspicions that you are a tortured soul bound by being a perfectionist!

    You love quality and have found it in the past. One day I hope a manufacture pleases you (and myself) but I do say be careful with your desires so that they don't leave you so disappointed with everything in life.

    The choice you have made will please you image wise and the Contax gamble is a safe one I would think.
    Hi pcunite...well I started out thinking so too. And the Hasselblad system is a very fine system, no doubt about it, and in many ways also the easier solution for a working proffesional. But I just can't resist the Contax. It's a little old school and I like that about it. It seems made for my kind of work.

    Wise words indeed about perfectionism. The most perfect thing about the Contax system is, that "that's it", there will be no more, no new bodies or lenses, no updated gadgets...it's there. I am a camera and three lenses kind of photographer, and I can get the lenses I need, and when I have them, it's all forward taking pictures from there...

    Anders

  5. #5
    andershald
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    Re: Considering the H3DII-31 - The Conclusion!

    Quote Originally Posted by gogopix View Post
    Dear Anders

    Welcome to the Contax 645 club. Now, just enjoy. If you have any questions there are many people with significant knowledge. They have helped me (a serious amateur) over the years.

    And don't forget the wonderful opportunity to use Hassey V glass. Although the Contax 80, 35 and 45 are terrific, the 180mm H V has a look all its own. The 40mm and 110mm Hassey also fit nicely between the Contax glass.

    So far, I have P45+ and have not seen the glass as a limit.

    best regards
    Victor

    PS on the 120 vs 140 different beasts. the makro is great but the speed and AF of the 140 you may find a lot more useful

    PPS As you may have noticed, after several months of agonizing over the H6y vs HeD I decided to stick with the Contax. AFter a trip to Wales and a review of the files, I just could not be happier. During these trips what I want is to FORGET about equipment and just SHOOT!
    That happened, so I said; why change...it's working
    Hi Victor.

    Thanks for welcoming me into the Contax Club, I feel verymuch at home here, and I haven't actually taken delivery of anything yet. I look forward to forgetting about the gear, and shooting images.

    I will be on the slightly cropped sensor P30+, I need the speed for shooting kids and not really the extra resolution, that's why I am thinking the 140 might be too tight for portraits. I have never handled the Contax 120 macro, only the Hassy V version, which is georgous, so I am keen to hear anyones practical experience with the lens. I have found one in Germany that is as new, from a good dealer at a reasonable price (slightly more than a similar 140) and for now I can just get one of them.

    I think down the line I will find it hard to resist getting all the relevant lenses, as opposed to just the necessary ones :-) When I say relevant, it's because the long telephoto lenses are not something that I can imagine using.

    I look forward to sharing my Contax experiences in this forum.

    Best regards,
    Anders

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    Re: Considering the H3DII-31 - The Conclusion!

    Hi Anders, Congratulations on your decision about how you will invest your resources and your learning curve. I too have recently moved to the Contax and the P30+. I have only had the camera/lenses (45, 80, 120, 140) and P30+ for a short time and I am only now beginning to explore what this camera, lenses, and back can do for me. My experiences so far have been mostly good, frustrating sometimes, but overall quite good. When I diligently and wisely do my work the way it should be done, the camera and lenses and P30+ reward me with a terrific file and image. I'm rather pleased by it all. I'm amazed by the quality of the files and what can be done with them. Really wonderful.

    Best of luck to you. Ray

  7. #7
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Considering the H3DII-31 - The Conclusion!

    My conclusion:

    I think Anders was a genius here and give him lot's of credit for trying out all the systems asking the tough questions and this forum helping him along the way in making a decision that HE is comfortable with. We all have our own personal preferences and such but at the end of the day if we can help someone on the path to making a sound purchase for themselves than not only should we give him credit but also the folks that helped him. In the end it saved him the anguish of Oh **** did I buy the right one or not and we all feel good in helping someone. Is this not what it is all about or what. Kudo's to all. Anders the best of luck on your new system , now get out there and post some nice images for us.

    Happy shooting
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  8. #8
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    Re: Considering the H3DII-31 - The Conclusion!

    I like Contax, I have two

  9. #9
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    Re: Considering the H3DII-31 - The Conclusion!

    I'll add my voice to those that praise the Contax system. I've been shooting it for years, first with the Leaf 75, then 75S and now with the Sinar Hy6/e75LV by changing the adapter. As Victor mentioned above shooting some of the outstanding Hasselblad glass via Mam-1 adapter is a treat and something you ought to look into.

  10. #10
    AnthonyR
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    Re: Considering the H3DII-31 - The Conclusion!

    As a former Contax/P30+ shooter I'll put in my two cents.

    You will be very pleased
    Go for the 140. While the 120 is great, great you'll appreciate the speed and the slight extra reach and the lower price. Wide wise, go with the 35 if you want the ultimate, plus, the sensor is slightly cropped and might as well go with as wide as available.

    Let me know if you want to get a backup body with a 140. I just might know where there is one for sale.

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