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Thread: Experiences with Contax 645 and Phase One IQ backs?

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    Experiences with Contax 645 and Phase One IQ backs?

    The Contax 645 is my main camera and I'm very interested in the Phase One IQ series as a first digital back. I've read all the official documentation, but I'm curious to hear about your real-world experiences with this combo. Anything that surprised you? Weird quirks? A particular lens that looks better than it did on film? Buyer's remorse? Seller's remorse? Anything!

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    Re: Experiences with Contax 645 and Phase One IQ backs?

    Quote Originally Posted by jstn View Post
    The Contax 645 is my main camera and I'm very interested in the Phase One IQ series as a first digital back. I've read all the official documentation, but I'm curious to hear about your real-world experiences with this combo. Anything that surprised you? Weird quirks? A particular lens that looks better than it did on film? Buyer's remorse? Seller's remorse? Anything!
    Actually the biggest news here is that there really isn't any news.

    Shooting a Contax with an IQ is like shooting film but with an iPhone on the back of the camera.

    If you're using the IQ140 there is a crop from the full frame which does effect the look and DOF characteristics of each lens.

    You'll also have significantly more detail than with film (especially with the IQ160/260/180/280). You don't HAVE to get 100% sharp images with every shutter release (if you have a bit of camera shake for instance you might only get as much actual detail as you did with film), but if that's a goal of yours (e.g. you want to print big and get the most out of the resolution of the system) then you'll need a bit tighter technique than with film (e.g. bit faster shutter speeds when handholding).

    And of course you'll have very robust raw files instantly. Beats the hell out of scanning IMO.

    As far as camera operation goes, the Contax is one of the least-changed cameras to shoot with when you put a digital back on it. You could literally put gaffe tape over the LCD, disable the "beep" ready-sound on the digital back and you'd be hard pressed to find any difference to shooting film other than you don't run out of film every 16 shots.
    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: Experiences with Contax 645 and Phase One IQ backs?

    Quote Originally Posted by jstn View Post
    The Contax 645 is my main camera and I'm very interested in the Phase One IQ series as a first digital back. I've read all the official documentation, but I'm curious to hear about your real-world experiences with this combo. Anything that surprised you? Weird quirks? A particular lens that looks better than it did on film? Buyer's remorse? Seller's remorse? Anything!
    Just recently I've tested an IQ180 on my Contax. The integration of the Contax 645 camera and Phase One backs (in general) is absolutely trouble-free.
    I do use the 3.5/35, 3.5/55, 2.0/80, 4/120 macro, 2.8/140 and the 4.5/45-90 Vario Zoom. Regarding resoltuion/sharpness they all perform surprisingly well even with the 80MP back (well, at least I was surprised since the Contax lens designs are pretty old). With a 39MP, 40MP or 60MP back you won't see chromatic aberation (except wide open, of course). But with an 80MP back you will see it at all apertures with the lenses in the range from 35mm to 80mm (easily and pretty much losslessy corrected in Capture One ... but still I think it should be noted).

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