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Thread: Contax Distagon 35mm/3.5 aperture

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    Member francesconyc's Avatar
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    Contax Distagon 35mm/3.5 aperture

    Hi, Iím interested in a Contax Distagon 35mm/3.5
    for my fujifilm GFX system. I read somewhere that contax lenses need an external device or camera to set the aperture but all the Distagon I see on ebay have regular manual aperture... so why some people mention this lens as a fixed aperture lens? And why Cambo say the same about the Actar35?
    Am I missing something? Are we talking about the same lens?

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    Re: Contax Distagon 35mm/3.5 aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by francesconyc View Post
    Hi, Iím interested in a Contax Distagon 35mm/3.5
    for my fujifilm GFX system. I read somewhere that contax lenses need an external device or camera to set the aperture but all the Distagon I see on ebay have regular manual aperture... so why some people mention this lens as a fixed aperture lens? And why Cambo say the same about the Actar35?
    Am I missing something? Are we talking about the same lens?
    Contax 645 lenses require electric power to operate the aperture settings. Without proper electronic contact, the lenses will remain wide open, as the aperture ring doesn't work manually. To be able to use the Contax Distagon 35mm/3.5 on GFX bodies, you will need a Fringer adapter (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fringer-aut...UAAOSwGf5d0isV). I have this adapter and it works properly with all my Contax 645 lenses including AF. BTW, the Contax Distagon 35mm/3.5 is a wonderful lens on GFX system, as you may already know.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Contax Distagon 35mm/3.5 aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by francesconyc View Post
    Am I missing something? Are we talking about the same lens?
    Yes, you are. And No, we're not...

    There have been several different families of lenses labeled "Contax" over the years. The 35/f3.5 lens you reference is part of the Contax 645 family and it was designed to be used with their (still wonderful after all these years) Contax 645 body.

    Unfortunately, similar to the Contax N lens family, it uses electronic aperture control, hence the need for the various smart adapters and/or workaround methods to change the aperture when it's used as an adapted lens with other camera bodies.

    Cambo offers a modification service that replaces the electronic aperture control mechanism with a mechanical one and remounts the optical elements into a new body that is attached to a dedicated Cambo Actus lens panel.

    Unless you replace the Actus lens panel with a Contax 645 bayonet, this means it can only be used with a Cambo Actus or Ultima camera.

    Cambo calls this modified lens the "Actar 35." Their modification service costs $1,075 and the buyer must also provide a donor lens: https://www.cambo.com/en/actus-serie...r-35-retrofit/

    I have no first-hand experience with the Cambo modifications, but I do have a Contax 645 35/f3.5 lens and have used it with both my Contax 645/P30+ outfit, as well as an adapted lens on my various FrankenKameras, with great results. Although the cost of having Cambo modify it is not inexpensive, it's not unreasonably high, either.

    If I was in the position of needing a 35 mm lens to use with a GFX body and a Cambo Actus or Ultima camera, I would seriously consider having mine modified accordingly.
    Last edited by Audii-Dudii; 5 Days Ago at 08:01.
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    Member francesconyc's Avatar
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    Re: Contax Distagon 35mm/3.5 aperture

    oohhhh...
    so you are saying that this lens despite the aperture ring in the photo it doesn't work without electronic control... oh boy...
    I was interested in using this Contax with a shift adapter... but at this point I may still to my Pentax 645 35mm/3.5

    do I have to have a Contax body to change the aperture I suppose?



    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Contax-Carl...8AAOSwygFedWDc

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    Re: Contax Distagon 35mm/3.5 aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by francesconyc View Post
    do I have to have a Contax body to change the aperture I suppose?
    See Ocean's reply above. You can use a smart adapter on a GFX or other appropriate body/adapter to set the aperture.

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    Re: Contax Distagon 35mm/3.5 aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    See Ocean's reply above. You can use a smart adapter on a GFX or other appropriate body/adapter to set the aperture.
    As one data point, the least expensive setup I've found for changing the aperture of C645 lenses is probably a Contax NX body with a Contax 645 NAM-1 adapter, which allows the use of C645 lenses on a Contax N-series body.

    With a bit of patience and luck, you should be able to buy a used body and adapter for less than $300 total and perhaps even as little as $225-ish.

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    Re: Contax Distagon 35mm/3.5 aperture

    I wonder what a Leica S and Contax adapter costs these days ? That will set the aperture.

    Matt

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    Re: Contax Distagon 35mm/3.5 aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    I wonder what a Leica S and Contax adapter costs these days ? That will set the aperture.
    Whatever those amounts are, I'm fairly certain this will be the most expensive option and by a wide margin ... lol.

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    Re: Contax Distagon 35mm/3.5 aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by francesconyc View Post
    oohhhh...
    so you are saying that this lens despite the aperture ring in the photo it doesn't work without electronic control... oh boy...
    I was interested in using this Contax with a shift adapter... but at this point I may still to my Pentax 645 35mm/3.5

    do I have to have a Contax body to change the aperture I suppose?



    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Contax-Carl...8AAOSwygFedWDc
    If you're willing to pay that price, you're most of the way to a Pentax D-FA 35mm, which is supposed to be really good (better than the A version I use). It has an aperture ring. A recent post provided some RAW files you can play with.
    Last edited by rdeloe; 5 Days Ago at 15:48.

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    Re: Contax Distagon 35mm/3.5 aperture

    as people said before, the smart adapter from fringer and steelsring(i own this one) do stop the lens down on actuation, on the steelsring you have a additional button to set the aperture through the lens's aperture ring or by the cameras F-stop setting
    i think you cant do anything wrong with either of those two adapters

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    Re: Contax Distagon 35mm/3.5 aperture

    Quote Originally Posted by francesconyc View Post
    oohhhh...
    so you are saying that this lens despite the aperture ring in the photo it doesn't work without electronic control... oh boy...
    I was interested in using this Contax with a shift adapter... but at this point I may still to my Pentax 645 35mm/3.5

    do I have to have a Contax body to change the aperture I suppose?
    Old, and doesn't include Contax, but informative.

    http://www.16-9.net/lens_tests/pentax645_fa35mm.html

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