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Thread: contax 645

  1. #1
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    contax 645

    Well I am getting my kit together a 35 and a 80 and a 140 now paid 400 for the 35 plus 275 in repairs 610 for the 140 with hood both very clean and a grand for the 645 with 80 in excellent user shape . I really want a 55 next but will wait for a deal. I cannot wait for a 39 mp back for 7 grand. I know a year or two but it will happen. contax stuff has gotten cheap btu you still have to wait for a deal I just grabbed the vertical battery grip for 200 bucks in excellent condition.
    Last edited by dseelig; 22nd April 2009 at 22:39.

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    Re: contax 645

    That's an amazing price for the 35! I paid $1400 for mine, which at the time seemed quite a good deal. It is perfect, however, and includes bag etc., so I got something for my money at least. No macro for you?
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    Re: contax 645

    NO macro yet 55 is next for me If I can find one, at a decent price. I took a chance on the 35 400 for it knowing it needed work. When I got it it did not change f stops so the seller said he would take it back if the work was too expensive . I knew it did not autofocus I figured something that wide who cares. Now anyone got a 55 cheap. I am a photographer, in other words broke. David

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    Re: contax 645

    The 55mm is hard to find, and when it appears, it is often pricy, meaning around 800 Euro, but probably cheaper in the States. I have been looking for the right deal for months, but haven't found it yet. I am in no hurry though...
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: contax 645

    And people tell me I get good deals! Those are amazing prices--definitely less than I paid for mine as well.

    You definitely know what you're doing--good luck on the 55mm! I'll let you know if I come across anything cheap.

    Best,
    -Brad

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    Re: contax 645

    I'm going to have to wait for what I want. Sad really. However thought I'd show what I found...
    A 55 for $1900 Canadian, about US$1560.
    A 350 F4 $6000 " ,about US$4900
    The last 350 I found was 4500, so not too bad...

    http://www.aperturecamera.com/contax645.htm
    Never heard of this place, however...

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    Re: contax 645

    Quote Originally Posted by waynelake View Post
    I'm going to have to wait for what I want. Sad really. However thought I'd show what I found...
    A 55 for $1900 Canadian, about US$1560.
    A 350 F4 $6000 " ,about US$4900
    The last 350 I found was 4500, so not too bad...

    http://www.aperturecamera.com/contax645.htm
    Never heard of this place, however...
    Just get the Hasselblad 350/FE for about 1K less than $4,900. It's the same optics, but lighter weight due to no AF motor. Yes, the Contax is AF but trust me the AF is so slow and hunts so much you'll just MF it anyway

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    Re: contax 645

    Well I found my 55 for $900 I am waiting for its arrival. I also got the aa battery pack mp 1 for vertical holding for $200 in excellent shape. How does this work for the digital backs? I read I think it will not work with leaf but does with a phase back? what about other brands?
    So I got my contax and 80mm with a film back for $950 the 35mm after repairs for $700 the 140 for $620. The funny thing is I sold my first contax system with a 45 80 and 140 for more then this system has cost me. next year hopefully I can afford a digital back for now this is a B&W film system.

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    Re: contax 645

    Dseelig,

    Congratulations on your "NEW" 55mm. Those prices you paid are a LOT Lower then one or Two year. I paid roughly 25 to 35% more. My 35mm came with a lenshood for $1000, but required minor repair to the helicoid due to hard bang against the side. Otherside, just my original 656 kit had to be adjusted for the body AF and the 80mm AF motor. Both covered under Calumet Photo Used Photo sales.

    The 55mm along with the 45-90mm zoom and 350mm has NOT drop in its high price.
    The 35mm with lenshood is also a bit high. Your 35mm is CHEAP. I guess that i have to look harder for the 55mm. Presently I'm using the Hasselblad 50mmF2.8 F.

    Evan

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    Re: contax 645

    Long live the Contax 645! Sounds like the camera to have these days...

  11. #11
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    Re: contax 645

    I just ordered a 'like new' 120 macro from a dealer in Wuppertal Germany, for 1500 euro. I have seen cheaper on Ebay, but this lens looks like it has never been out of it's box. I will recieve it next week, needless to say I can't wait :-)

    The more I continue to build this system, the less I can believe that Kyocera made the decision to discontinue it. If they (or another manufacturer, Cosina perhaps) was to start producing it again, even without any modifications, it would be a very powerful player on the market. Hasselblad and Mamiya would be very worried. Mamiya in particular, as their prices are approaching those of the Contax system when it was alive.

    Perhaps we can start a petition to Zeiss/Kyocera and show them how many users current and potential are out there. Perhaps the petition should include a wishlist for improvements. I believe that in order to revive the system they should probably introduce a 'new' model, although I'd be hard pressed to think of anything I'd like improved.

    Some of the things that are frequently pointed out are:
    - AF speed, although slightly slower than Hasselblads, I found it more precise (less hunting).
    - Sleepmode, that the camera falls alseep and needs to be woken up. I was concerned about it before I started using the system, but in real life it's a non issue, I haven't thought about it for a second in a shooting situation.

    Perhaps I'd like a slightly larger hand grip (I have large hands). Some people might like multiple focus points, but I don't feel a need for it.

    Any suggestions?

    Anders Hald

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    Re: contax 645

    I need:
    - faster 1/250 flash sync speed for action and backlight situations
    - good autofocus in low light, my Hensel modeling bulbs are expensive and live only 150 hours
    - longer battery to not slowdown in the middle of photo session

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: contax 645

    Quote Originally Posted by evgeny View Post
    - good autofocus in low light, my Hensel modeling bulbs are expensive and live only 150 hours
    There are likely to be generic bulbs. My profoto modelling bulbs are $40 at BH or $2 for the very same part sourced elsewhere. Have a close look at one and you might see the brand and model stamped somewhere.

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    Re: contax 645

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Just get the Hasselblad 350/FE for about 1K less than $4,900. It's the same optics...
    Are you sure it's the same optics? The Contax is Apochromatic (Tele-ApoTessar), but I thought the Hassy version wasn't (Tele-Tessar).

    Does anyone know?

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    Re: contax 645

    Quote Originally Posted by andershald View Post
    Any suggestions?

    Anders Hald
    I'm also getting used to mine. Sadly, this is my 5th switch over the past 2 years looking for the right medium format system for me.

    The Contax' ergonomics and handling are wonderful--just great.

    I, too, would love a larger grip, and my hands aren't particularly large, and finer control of shutter speeds--1/3 would be great but even 1/2 would do.

    I'd like it to be a lot less power hungry, mostly because I go into the field where I can't access a lot of batteries, and it is a hassle to carry a lot of them (already need to do so for the back).

    In particular with the 350, I've noticed signficant shutter vibration. To the point where telephoto shots are not critically sharp at intermediate shutter speeds like 1/15. (The vibration is pretty huge, actually. I wouldn't sell any of the shots undampened shots I've made as a large print, for example.) This is actually the biggest issue I have with the setup at the moment; I've been testing for a couple of days now to try to learn how to eliminate this. I've tried a lot of things, and weighting my tripod with my backpack has yielded the best results so far, but still not 100% consistently eliminating the problem. So I'd add a much lower vibration shutter mechanism to my hypothetical wish list.

    AF has actually impressed me. Ok, it's crazy slow--I don't think of it as AF so much as a 'cheat' for MF. It's still faster than my doing it myself (but not by a lot). So, if it's so slow, why has it impressed me? It's accuracy. Wow--dead-on balls accurate. No other system I've ever owned (small or medium format) was this accurate. I did a studio shoot the other week where I focused on the model's eyes (and had to focus & recompose, due to the central AF sensor). Not a missed focus shot in the entire session (much better than I can do focusing manually) and the shots consistently put the plane of focus on the model's eye--peak focus was consistently where here eyelashes exit her eyelid--that is just ridiculous. Crazy good.

    I'd appreciate any tips folks might have on dampening vibration for telephoto work--that situation is a bit ugly for me at the moment. I'm assuming for the moment that this is solvable.

    Other than that (I can't believe I'm saying this) I don't think I'd change a thing!

    -Brad

    P.S. Aha! Just found something serious to complain about: the shutter button is a mushy--the point between 1/2 press and full press isn't very distinct. So there, Kyocera!

    P.P.S. Like many shooters, I move my AF to the rear button. It would be nice to have the AF mode (single vs continuous) independent of the location (shutter button vs rear button). The way Contax 'overloads' the control, you can put single or continuous on the shutter button, or single on the rear. Still, I tend to use single shot AF almost exclusively, and that's what the Contax provides, so I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel here...

    P.P.P.S. Props to Kyocera for their hood system. Petal-shaped bayonet hoods with a strong detent. Even mounting and reverse mounting them can be done in a single fluid movement, if you do it from "behind" the camera. Nice not needing an extra hand or having to do a flip of the gear in the field. Usually when I'm doing a lens change I could use about four extra hands. This is a nice little touch.
    Last edited by BradleyGibson; 2nd May 2009 at 06:44.

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    Re: contax 645

    Brad,
    Really Right Stuff has a basic tutorial on Tack Sharp Images. Probably nothing there you don't know but can't hurt to read as a refresher.

    http://archive.constantcontact.com/f...490955798.html

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    Re: contax 645

    Thanks, David, I just took a look--thank you.

    Yes, no surprises there--pretty straightforward.

    The issue I'm running into is around shutter-induced vibration. I just wrote a nice long reply, then realized I'm hijacking the thread--appropriate apologies to Mr. Seelig, the OP.

    I'll start a new thread to talk about this.

    Thanks,
    -Brad
    Last edited by BradleyGibson; 2nd May 2009 at 07:23.

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    Re: contax 645

    I'm not as most of you folks are. I just like the look of Medium Format images and got hooked courtesy of my uncle at an early age

    In conjunction with my Hasselblad 2000/200 series and 500 series system, I use the optics from that system courtesy of the Contax MAM-1 adapter mount. Reasoning for the Contax 645 was a entry into the world of MF AF. For my heavier lenses that are simply not handheld, I tend to use my Gitzo tripod with a RTS Studioball head with Acra plates.

    For my battery issues, I have the MP-1 Grip with Lenmar CR123 Rechargeable batteries. This in turn is powered by my Quantum Battery 1+. Enough juice to shoot through a day. Next step would be for me to look into a versatile digital back that I can share between my Contax 645 and Hasselblad system.

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    Re: contax 645

    Victor, I hope you are reading this. Since you have the Contax and use the P65+, could you comment on the strength of the 35/3.5, especially wrt. far corners and sharpness? Are there any lenses which don't hold up to the 60MP sensor?
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: contax 645

    I thought others might be interested. Here are shots at f3.5, right edge, center, and upper right corner
    Same at f5.6
    All at iso 100. only C1 standard and exp and color as 'shot'
    then converted to srgb

    the first shot I did AF (the rt edge roof) so the 3.5 and 5.65 COULD be slightly different
    the ceneter and corner were done at infinity focus .
    first shot is FF. all others are 100% crops, that is actual pixels (not resized in PS, which could compress.


    I'm prtty satisfied that
    Last edited by gogopix; 25th January 2015 at 17:23.

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    Re: contax 645

    ok now the f5.6
    Remember these are crops of the P65+, so 1000 pixels is only about 10% of the frame whereas for 22MP or 30MP it is 15-20% of the frame. This is really zoomed in and will show the lens performance.

    Note that the f3.5 were pretty darn good. Here, the first one may be OOF as it may have focused a but farther out (no reson for 5.6 to be less sharp tha 3.5 we are no where near a difraction limit)

    Note too that the upper rt corner at 5.6 seems a bit sharper (both 3.5 and 5.6 shot are at infinity, so, unless the tree walked on me, they should be in the same DOF :-)

    BTW to see in all their glory, you need to ck twice-to get a separate image, then zoom. Better just download
    anybody want the raw I can send via YOUSENDIT
    Dont woryy CR; these ain't gonna make House Beautiful!

    Regards
    Victor

    PS Carsten; Gefaelt Ihnen diese Bildgruppe? SInd Sie eigentlich Englaender oder Amerikaner?

  22. #22
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    Re: contax 645

    ok here they are
    Last edited by gogopix; 25th January 2015 at 17:23.

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    Re: contax 645

    Hi, Victor,

    Wow, that's astonishing corner performance, particularly at near FF with that kind of contrast and fine detail (last photograph).

    That is just superb.

    -Brad
    Last edited by BradleyGibson; 14th May 2009 at 16:51.

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    Re: contax 645

    Wow
    I gotta say this is pretty insane good
    I miss my old Contax 645
    am

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    Re: contax 645

    Not perfect, but as close as possible. I hope my copy is as good. I should find out as soon as I develop the rolls of Adox CHS 25 I shot last weekend.

    Actually, it occurs to me to ask if there was any wind, since some of the twigs in the upper right look sharper than most of the leaves?

    Victor, die Bilder sind perfekt. Ich bin in Schottland geboren, bin aber in Dänemark und Kanada aufgewachsen, also weder noch
    Last edited by carstenw; 14th May 2009 at 23:34.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: contax 645

    Good eyes, Carsten! Yes, a fair wind these last few days (we had a power outage from 'donnerwetter' last night), I waited for local calm, but the tree is about 100m away, and higher sooo, yes even at 180 you are going to get flutter blur.
    BTW since the 100% is 8-10x, even 35mm lens will behave like a 350mm from a blur POV (of course will NOT have the local vibration issue snce it is a short lens.)
    BTW all taken at 2s delay, so almost all mirror slap out. No Manfrotto bar though and camera on a 3 series Gitzo tripod.

    Victor

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    Re: contax 645

    That's even more amazing! I wonder what this lens would do in the corners with a 5-series and no wind? Amazing.
    Carsten - Website

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