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Thread: Contax 645 and Hartblei ...not the lenses, guys, the WLF

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    Contax 645 and Hartblei ...not the lenses, guys, the WLF

    I’m on a little mission…specifically, I’m trying to garner interest from Contax 645 users on a few medium format forum sites who like/prefer the waist level viewing experience.
    Before letting go of the Hasselblad 503 not so long ago in favour of the Contax (for about the 3rd time over the years) I had been using it with the Hartblei adjustable 52x52mm 4x waist level finder. It has such a nice way of drawing me into the image that once I mounted it, it stayed.
    Back to the Contax 645. I was fiddling with the Hartblei wlf on it recently and...what a difference! The extra magnification and resulting clarity compared to the native prism and waist finders is just immense. C645 users know that its viewfinder brightness and magnification are not it’s strongest suit, but this was like looking through the ‘Blad again.
    The Hartblei finder will need some reworking though, to get the distance from the focusing screen right as well as the step up shape to fit over the front display readout.
    Here’s where Hartblei may come to the party...I contacted them and received a couple of replies from their guy Vitaliy, stating that there is a realistic possibility that they may produce the viewfinder to fit the Contax 645. He is happy for me to open forum discussion and provided a link to post for anyone wishing to contact him about this idea.

    Contact US - Hartblei Tilt-Shift Super-Rotator Lenses and Adapters

    I would think that the Contax version would probably cost a little more than the $150-odd I paid for the ‘blad version, but heck, in the past the Contax wlf has sold for up to 4 times that. Nevertheless, I will be counting myself in on one of these.

    I have just one more thing to say…

    Go Contax, go!! There’s another breath of life in you yet…

    Cheers, Martin

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    Re: Contax 645 and Hartblei ...not the lenses, guys, the WLF

    I understand where you are coming from. I also love my Contax 645 and am now on my third digital back. I do have my favorites as far as lenses go (35mm, 55mm, 120mm Makro). The 45-90mm is a really versatile and outstanding performer, even at 60 megapixels, but quite heavy to carry. Unfortunately, although I do have the WLF, I have never (!) used it. This gives me new impetus to mount it in the near future. Best wishes for your project!

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    Re: Contax 645 and Hartblei ...not the lenses, guys, the WLF

    I like the fact that the Hartblei finder appears to be enclosed. My worry with the Contax WLF always was the exposure of the focusing screen to dust and the elements.

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