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Thread: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

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    Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Leica Camera is pleased to introduce the Leica S-Adapter C which will be
    available from this June. With this adapter, Contax 645 lenses can be used with
    the Leica S (Typ 007), Leica S2 and Leica S2-P cameras. The adapter enables
    owners of the Contax 645 system to switch effortlessly to the Leica S System.
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    You're kidding, right? :-) Great news!

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S


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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S


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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Obviously typo with the 80/2 Planar

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Hmmmmmmmmmm

    Okay now my radar is up. Whats a new Leica S2P body cost. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    So, can anyone advise on the lenses? Which lenses can you recommend? How is the Apo-Makro-Planar 120/4?

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Wow.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    The lenses are all fantastic. Considering the price of the 70mm f/2.5, the 80/2 Planar + adapter is a no brainer. Heck, all the lenses are no brainers.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Have to say this opens up the S2 even more and from a Pro seat that is damned exciting. We actually have systems thats plural folks of lenses to use on the S2. Thats a freaking great option to have.

    I wonder if AF is actually faster on the S2 than it was with the old Contax 645 body??? Thats something for us to ponder
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    One can get an entire set of 645 lenses for less than one Leica lens, and with AF and lens corrections, what's not to like?
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    I could actually almost pull this off. I better duck I'm feeling a baseball bat floating over my head. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Quote Originally Posted by peterv View Post
    So, can anyone advise on the lenses? Which lenses can you recommend? How is the Apo-Makro-Planar 120/4?
    the Apo-Makro Planar 4/120 is outstanding (see for istance here: Contax 645 ... scroll down).

    Today I've started testing an IQ180 in Contax mount with these lenses:
    4.5/45-90
    3.5/35
    3.5/55
    2.0/80
    4.0/120 (Makro)
    2.8/140
    They work all great (wide open of course only in the image center but the 2.0/80 is sharp to the egdes from f5.6). The Vario Zoom is weak at 90mm (but it's the same on my P45). Just did some first quick tests but things look really good. And when they work fine on an IQ180 they should also look good on a Leica S2.
    I would say the 3.5/35 and the 4/120 are probably the best Contax 645 lenses... closely followed by the 3.5/55 and the 2.0/80. By now I haven't seen a really good copy of the 2.8/45 (very sharp in the center but not so great at the edges). The Zoom is super sharp in the range from 55-80 (but of course it's only f4.5 ... and it's heavy). Since I don't know the lenses longer than 140mm I can't comment and these ...
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I wonder if AF is actually faster on the S2 than it was with the old Contax 645 body??? Thats something for us to ponder
    Well, the photographer quoted in the press release seems to think so. I wish Phase one would make an adapter like this, autofocus and aperture control is very impressive. Then again, it's $1950.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Exactly what I was thinking since I believe it's the cam itself driving the AF and the Contax was slow
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    One can get an entire set of 645 lenses for less than one Leica lens, and with AF and lens corrections, what's not to like?
    Not for long ...

    At one time I had almost everything they made for the C645 ... including the ill fated electronic viewfinder

    IMO, the 35 has to much distortion ... hope Leica LR DAC type corrections can correct it like with the Hasselblad H lenses.

    The 120/4 is great, but be aware it is MF.

    The 80/2 is loaded with character .... it'll be interesting to see how it renders on the S2

    The sleeper of the lot is the 55mm ... one of the few lenses that has beautiful OOF rendering front and back. Not many 55s made as it was one of the last lenses offered before Kyocera flipped the off button.

    I'll believe the AF is faster when I see it with my own eyes ... it is pretty old AF motor technology, and the C645 couldn't find it own rear end with both hands ... but maybe the more modern AF sensors in the S2/S will improve on it ... no big deal as the S2 has focus confirmation.

    Damned, wish I had kept my 350/4 ... best long lens I ever used.

    You know that Contax made a T/S bellows for the C645? My buddy has one.

    - Marc

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    IMO, the 35 has to much distortion ... hope Leica LR DAC type corrections can correct it like with the Hasselblad H lenses
    Alpa Lens Corrector supports all Contax 645 lenses (Photoshop plugin, though).
    Since the 3.5/35 is so sharp at the edges distortion correction works perfectly well.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    re AF speed...

    Here's an old but still informative article about the Contax 645: Contax 645 - photo.net

    WRT AF this quote is interessting:
    The Contax system uses in-lens motors and rear/inner focusing whenever possible. So why is AF not blazingly fast?

    First of all the Zeiss lenses are heavy. The Zeiss lenses for the Contax don't weigh any less than those for the Hasselblad and have the same manual focus feel. They all have stainless steel barrels and very solid construction, which , in the case of the Contax, come at the expense of AF speed.

    The second reason, according to Contax in an interview with Asahi Camera magazine of Japan, has to do with AF precision. Contax has made a firm commitment to take precedence in image quality, and this commitment prompted them to produce an AF system that optimizes precision rather than speed.

    According to Contax, they have optimized AF precision on three levels. Most AF SLRs on the market use a small number of linear or cross-type AF sensors, usually in a horizontal formation. Each sensor is made up of a few hundred pixels. The Contax 645 is the first AF SLR to use a 1/4 MILLION-pixel CCD for its AF system. The result is a true area sensor (i.e. no gap) with supposedly much higher AF measurement accuracy. Secondly, the AF motor in each lens is optimized for precision with extremely fine movement rather then speed. Lastly, in the case of 220 type films, the vacuum filmback ensures higher film flatness.

    How much better is the resulting AF precision is not known without some testing, but there are indeed some compromises as a result. The AF motors being optimized for precision, comes short in speed as I said. Also, the choice of 1/4 million-pixel CCD, which means a lot more information needs to be processed, slows down AF a little more and adds to battery consumption. (This has been verified by Asahi Camera.)

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Pragmatic and very smart move by Leica. Offering an integrated digital upgrade path for Contax owners will most likely tempt many to grab the opportunity, and there's little chance that they'll change back to the dead brand.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    Alpa Lens Corrector supports all Contax 645 lenses (Photoshop plugin, though).
    Since the 3.5/35 is so sharp at the edges distortion correction works perfectly well.
    Well, how the edges are doesn't really matter. The Leica S chip is 30x45mm, so it will never see the edges of any of these lenses.

    The 35 becomes a 43 (x1.25)

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    No, the 35 mm will stay 35 mm. It will be less wide than on the C645 because that camera uses the entire image circle of this lens. On the S the 35 mm will be a 28 mm eq. (In 135, so called FF terms)

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Quote Originally Posted by peterv View Post
    No, the 35 mm will stay 35 mm. It will be less wide than on the C645 because that camera uses the entire image circle of this lens. On the S the 35 mm will be a 28 mm eq. (In 135, so called FF terms)
    exactly.
    On the long side of the sensor it will be pretty much the same field of view as on a 1.3-cropped MF sensor (P30, P40 etc.).

    My reading of Marc's post is he has been referring to the 3.5/35mm in general... regardless of the particular sensor size.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Corners should be very good most likely with any lens as it was for me with my P40plus even with the phase 28mm which is known for soft corners on a FF sensor.
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Now given these adapters are not exactly cheap, a person maybe only able to get one system. Hassy has a 28mm , Contax widest is the 35. Might be a little hard to decide this going in without any lenses in hand already in your stash.
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Awesome!

    May be there will be some aftermarket knock offs coming soon. They aren't difficult to replicate. Afterall, Leica themselves are now into this hackery business.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Now given these adapters are not exactly cheap, a person maybe only able to get one system. Hassy has a 28mm , Contax widest is the 35. Might be a little hard to decide this going in without any lenses in hand already in your stash.
    FYI, Hasselblad's widest lens is a HCD 24mm.

    - Marc

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Thanks Marc
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ................Damned, wish I had kept my 350/4 ... best long lens I ever used...........


    - Marc
    Marc:

    In keeping with the enabling nature of the forum members and Guy in particular, I'll point this out:

    Kyocera Tele Apotessar T 350mm F 4 0 Lens for Contax 645 0067215015106 | eBay

    Tom

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Lol. Tom your so bad. Love ya

    Im Actually going to make a inquiry today. Like to test the new S2
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Been working on an S2 deal since Leica started selling some of their demo stock in early April. Last week, my client said "wouldn't it be great if they came out with a Contax 645 adapter?" We both chuckled a little bit, and then moved on to the next subject.

    He bought Leica's last S2 demo yesterday, about two hours after the Contax announcement.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    Marc:

    In keeping with the enabling nature of the forum members and Guy in particular, I'll point this out:

    Kyocera Tele Apotessar T 350mm F 4 0 Lens for Contax 645 0067215015106 | eBay

    Tom
    Wow, that is a good price. To bad I don't have any money left in the budget ... for the next two years

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    I know that feeling all to well. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Do you guys think there is a chance they might come out with a AF capable Phase One Adapter?

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    If there smart they would. But I doubt Phase would give them the rights to it
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Oh, didnt know they need the right to. Isnt reverse engineering allowed? Did Hasselblad give them the permission to create an adapter. I doubt it, because what would be the business sense behind that? On the other hand, looking at their recent developments - i.e. Lunar, V, H5D "improvements" - such a management move could possibly fit the picture!

    A Leica S2 that accepts all kinds of lenses would be genius. Now they just need to add a:

    - Canon EF adapter (17 TSE, 85 1.2)

    and a

    - Phase One AF (get those P1 fashion photogs, and adventurers who care about handling/weather sealing/ simplicity)

    Now that would make the S2 seriously interesting! The German Army Knife of MF!

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    I think you will find the flange distance would be too short to put a Contax adapter to a Phase camera.

    I think the biggest hurdle for the S is the price. It would be a really expensive Swiss army knife. It would also need to be a more flexible system than just to take old medium-format optics.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    I never understood why they priced the S2 so highly. Ok, its Leica, they dont sell for cheap. But I think at a price point of say 12.9k USD for the body they would sell a lot more lenses - isnt this were the money lies?

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    If they had the body at around 15k it might have wrote its own ticket. Higher than the Pentax by 5k at the time and lower than the Phase P40+ DF say around 5k lower. At least at release time four years ago. My feeling the real money is in the glass for profit.
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Spinnler View Post
    I never understood why they priced the S2 so highly. Ok, its Leica, they dont sell for cheap. But I think at a price point of say 12.9k USD for the body they would sell a lot more lenses - isnt this were the money lies?
    They ain't sellin lenses if everyone starts buying old Contax, Hasslblad, or Pentax optics. The price is what it is. Leica feels that that is what it should be to be profitable--I have no data to doubt them. Although the adapter releases seems to indicate that the S line sales are weak and folks have not been happy about the lens line for one reason or another.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Yea dont get me wrong the lenses are very nice but at 6k that puts a big dent in buying for normal budgets thats 24k just for 4 lenses as a good basic kit. Right there would slow down sales. It still interests me but the pricing has put me off for 4 years now.
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    The price does really limit sales. It is high even for MFD standards if we compare specs. (I won't even bring up the dee ate hun dread.) Professionally, you really need a good influx of revenue to go there and apart from high-end fashion, I am not sure what would support that. There will be individuals that can afford that system, but I would imagine the market is very limited, especially if they are married or want to stay married.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Yea my baseball helmet can only take so many hits until it gives out. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Pricing (as we all know) is a bit of an art form. It seems that Leica is still using a pricing model to recover costs in a limited production run (in the low thousands, perhaps?). Many of us believe that if they priced them more competitively, they would increase their sales significantly, but then again, they are the ones at risk. All that integrated processing hardware/software work isn't cheap.

    Contrast this with Linhof's small production runs - Techno production is in the hundreds, not thousands. Its all mechanical work, and doesn't have the complexity of a modern camera. Food for thought.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    The price does really limit sales. It is high even for MFD standards if we compare specs. (I won't even bring up the dee ate hun dread.) Professionally, you really need a good influx of revenue to go there and apart from high-end fashion, I am not sure what would support that. There will be individuals that can afford that system, but I would imagine the market is very limited, especially if they are married or want to stay married.
    I think that's the point of Leica making adapters for existing system lenses ... The S lenses are breathtakingly expensive, and the CS versions even more so. Hard to go all into that without a divorce notice attached to it

    If you only had to buy a body and adapter ... even a used S2, the way in is less frought with baseball bat bumps on the noggin.

    The Contax lenses have one disadvantage in that they are not Leaf shutter like the H system lenses ... which is part of the spec for the S system ... dual shutter. Yet, for some that's no problem.

    - Marc

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Marc, good point about the leaf shutter option with the HC lenses. Since you have used both the Hasselblad and the Contax lenses, how do they compare in your opinion?

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Great news! I will be considering a Distagon 45/2.8 (a focal length presently not covered by Leica) or possibly the 55/3.5 which is a great compact travel lens and one of my favorites when I used to shoot with the Contax (but maybe a bit too close to the Summarit 70 though).

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Near were I live, i.e. near Lake Constance in Germany, I had a talk with the Leica professional store manager (it is a store within a bigger photo store). He told me that they sell half of their Leica stuff to Chinese tourists who come with busses and halt directly in front of the store. He told me the story of a guy who bought a brand-new S2 with all lenses they had in stock - 4 lenses - for I think 40k EUR. No long talk, just briefly tried out the stuff and paid directly with credit card ...

    Whilst he was playing around with the camera the tour guide came up to him, took him aside and asked for a "commission". I.e. something in the area of 10%. The store manager refused and the tour guide became very angry and apparently said that in other stores he would get commission and that he would never again shuttle Chinese tourists to that store.

    Half a year ago in Munich I also talked to the official Leica store manager and asked him why they didnt have summiluxes in stock. He told me that the ones that arent pre-ordered and are free to be sold in the store dont stay there too long (ok, we know that) but he also told me of those Chinese tourists who come into the store and aggressively ask for the Noctilux, Summilux etc. and who spend 20k without long discussions while the bus waits around the corner.

    Why am I telling this? It seems to me that Leica M/S2 sell very well in Asia and I am pretty much sure that Leica sells off every S lens they make pretty quickly. Not in the US/EU but surely to some rich hobbyists from Asia.

    New World Order?

  48. #48
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    I was wondering too that the Munich Leica store had few lenses on stock while the several Guangzhou Leica dealers have all M/S camera and lens models available: That's their main market today.

  49. #49
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    The Contax 35 and 350 mm lenses are wonderful. Enclosed two links for sample pics with the 5um IQ180 back. S/S2 with its 6um crop sensor would be less demanding. The 350 pic is with Contax cam, the 35 pic with FPS and about 10mm upwards shift.
    35f3.5 @ f13:
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...senzano-01.jpg
    350f4 @ f8:
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...angzhou-01.jpg

  50. #50
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses on Leica S

    Peter, I know you asked Marc but I am happy to report a very good experience with the HC 210 on the S2. Perhaps is not as "super surgically bitingly micro contrasty fantastic" as my Leica-S 120 (for example) but it is also a superb lens - sharp, flare resistant, nice bokeh, well corrected for chromatic aberration. Reminds me of the Zeiss/Contax lenses in rendering. And focuses as quickly on the S2 as the native lenses (and has the leaf shutter also). Last but not least, you get dedicated profiles for the HC lenses on the S2 in LR4, exactly like for the native lenses.
    Plus I got it used for 1/4 the price of the new Leica-S 180mm (but of course the adapter is not exactly cheap...). I don't use this FL all that often so saving some money by buying a HC lens with a similar FL seemed a good option to me. Here is one of my first shots taken with the HC 210 on the S2.



    Regards, Martin
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