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Thread: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

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    Senior Member Lazzaros's Avatar
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    Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    Hello all.

    I'm starting my career as fashion photographer and I did a great deal with a NEW Contax 645 kit.

    I bought it all new, in the box for 600.


    Now I'm looking for new lenses and a digital back.

    I know all of this is pretty expensive but I have to start looking about it to know how much money I can spend on this equipment.


    About digital back I don't need 40+ Mp for now. I'd be glad with 16Mp...


    Wich one do you suggest?


    Many thanks,
    Ivo

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    New Member footoograaf's Avatar
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    P21, I will sell you mine for 3000€

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    Senior Member Lazzaros's Avatar
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    It could be a good idea but for now I haven't got enough cash.

    I have to think very well about this. Hope you understand.

    If you can send me some pictures and more details I'll appreciate.

    [email protected]

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    For fashion you will need a certain framerate, right?
    If you don't care that much about resolution the P21+ is a great back. Really fast (comparatively). Too, the P21+ is discontinued in the product line of Phase One. You might get a good deal now, especially for one with Contax mount.
    But you should look for a Leaf Aptus 17 as well. Or for a Aptus 22 or a Sinar eMotion 54LV.
    You should consider the crop of the backs as well. With the P21+ and the Aptus 17 you have a "lens factor" of 1.3, with the Aptus 22 and the eM54LV it's 1.1.
    Last edited by thomas; 14th July 2009 at 02:33.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    I use a Leaf 65 for people. The 65 is a bit slow and can sleep while moving images from full buffer to memory card, but I don't shoot fast in studio.
    The 65 is less expensive than faster and unlimited 65s, image quality is same.

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    Senior Member Lazzaros's Avatar
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    Thanks for your suggestions. I have to read more about that digibacks and their features.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    Buy Guy Mancuso's Phase P30+ ----the Phase P30 is the perfect MFDB for fashion.

    I'm placing bets Guy will have it for sale soon to get his Phase P40+..... (if he hasn't already!)


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    Senior Member Lazzaros's Avatar
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    Hehe, I'll be glad if I could buy it

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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    For fashion you will need a certain framerate, right?
    If you don't care that much about resolution the P21+ is a great back. Really fast (comparatively). Too, the P21+ is discontinued in the product line of Phase One. You might get a good deal now, especially for one with Contax mount.
    But you should look for a Leaf Aptus 17 as well. Or for a Aptus 22 or a Sinar eMotion 54LV.
    You should consider the crop of the backs as well. With the P21+ and the Aptus 17 you have a "lens factor" of 1.3, with the Aptus 22 and the eM54LV it's 1.1.
    The P21+ is still a current product and not discontinued. Doesn't mean there aren't any deals out there, but you can still buy a never used, brand new one!


    Steve Hendrix
    Phase One

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Hendrix/Phase One View Post
    The P21+ is still a current product and not discontinued. Doesn't mean there aren't any deals out there, but you can still buy a never used, brand new one!
    Steve, yes, I know... that's what I did some weeks ago :-)
    Maybe my writing was misleading: discontinued in the sense that it is not produced anymore and is not presented in your new marketing brochures anymore (on the website it is of course). The last brochure I saw was only with P30+, P40+, P25+, P45+ and P65+ (see also the specs PDF of the P65+).

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    Senior Member Lazzaros's Avatar
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    The problem is it price New!

    For now, till Christmas I think I could get something like 3000€. So if I could get one for that price (or lower) it would be answome.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazzaros View Post
    The problem is it price New!

    For now, till Christmas I think I could get something like 3000. So if I could get one for that price (or lower) it would be answome.
    why don't you take the P21 of "footoograaf"?

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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    Steve, yes, I know... that's what I did some weeks ago :-)
    Maybe my writing was misleading: discontinued in the sense that it is not produced anymore and is not presented in your new marketing brochures anymore (on the website it is of course). The last brochure I saw was only with P30+, P40+, P25+, P45+ and P65+ (see also the specs PDF of the P65+).

    Yes, I think the case is that we are not emphasizing or featuring the P20+/21+ solutions, but they are still available as new products. I believe it is a case where with the addition of the new P40+/65+, we don't want to present too many options, although those options still exist. Due to our relationships with chip providers and our buying power (we buy in quantity), we often offer chipped products that have been thought to be discontinued.


    Steve Hendrix
    Phase One

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Hendrix/Phase One View Post
    I believe it is a case where with the addition of the new P40+/65+, we don't want to present too many options, although those options still exist.
    makes sense!

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    Senior Member Lazzaros's Avatar
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    I can't afforf it now. I have to get more money


    And about P21+ and P20+ new? How much they would be?

    Just to know.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazzaros View Post
    And about P21+ and P20+ new? How much they would be?

    Just to know.
    here the P21+ under the Mamiya brand (named "M18") sells officially for 8K.

    Mamiya M18
    Art.-Nr. 70 01 20
    Preis: EUR 7.995,- zzgl. MwSt.
    http://photoscala.de/Artikel/Mamiya-...s-31-Megapixel

    I'd ask a local dealer. And ask for "refurbished" backs as well.
    You'll find a dealer in your country on the phaseone.com website.

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    ...I have to say that if you have trouble with the €3000 for a used P21, then I am not sure that this is the best place to invest money. There must be easier ways to improve your results than jumping into MF at great cost. The back won't be the end of it. There will be more lenses (the 80 is neat, but not the best in the lineup by far), tripods, flashes, strobes, whatever, all at great cost. Take things one step at a time. Maybe stepping up to a 50D makes more sense, given your existing equipment.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    ...I have to say that if you have trouble with the 3000 for a used P21, then I am not sure that this is the best place to invest money. There must be easier ways to improve your results than jumping into MF at great cost. The back won't be the end of it. There will be more lenses (the 80 is neat, but not the best in the lineup by far), tripods, flashes, strobes, whatever, all at great cost. Take things one step at a time. Maybe stepping up to a 50D makes more sense, given your existing equipment.
    I would agree with this. 3000 is a great price for a used back. I actually think he should list that 50% higher, but I don't know the local market conditions there or the condition of the back (I assume it has no warranty remaining).

    A P21+ Refurbished back with 1-year international warranty and brand new accessories has a list price of $8,990.

    A P20 non-plus Refurbished back with 1-year international warranty and brand new accessories has a list price of $5,990.

    As you can see there are some great deals for these backs with factory re-certification and a warranty and dealer support (very important, especially since you're new to medium format digital). However, the deals don't even come close to 3000, and as Carsten points out the digital back, body, and 80mm are just the beginning of Dante's inferno. Once you see the quality (not just resolution) of the images and the tactile shooting experience you'll desperately want other lenses, filters and other accessories.

    I would stay away from medium format digital until you can budget at least twice that. Depending on your shooting style (mainly how many frames and whether you NEED instant feedback or would just like instant feedback) and proximity to a lab film may be a viable option. Or as Carsten suggests a low-to-mid tier dSLR.

    Nearly everyone on this forum agrees that the look and quality of medium format is well worth the money and slower workflow when shooting things conducive to medium format (e.g. not sports), but you do need the money. dSLRs may not be the same experience or quality, but they are DARNED good and at your budget you're probably better off.

    Part of my advice here comes from my experience with many first-time medium format buyers who jump onto a "deal" - generally by buying used from a private individual - without 1) the budget for the total cost 2) understanding the system they are buying 3) understanding that they will need a dealer to help them with all of their questions and an occasional problem or two. These users often get very disgruntled.

    Just last month we had a gentlemen who ended up very mad at US after he bought a used back from a seller in Miami. The orientation sensor in the back was busted and the CCD had a line-error (similar to a dead pixel on a monitor); he got the back for what he assumed was a "steal" (based on looking at the price of a used back with warranty from a dealer the price he negotiated with the seller was about half). The back had no warranty, and the price of repairs to bring the back was about as much as he paid for the system. Furthermore he had absolutely no clue about software and was doing a shoot on location in South America when he started getting corrupted images. Turns out he was using a VERY early version of the software (the one that comes on the CD sold years ago) with an incompatible version of the OS. In the end he shelved the medium format back and left my office with many swear words saying that medium format was useless trash. If he had purchased the same back from us (assuming he could have made the budget) I know he would have had a positive experience because he would have done training with me in advance of his first shoot and I would have made sure he wasn't using such deprecated software/OS combination. That sort of thing personally pains me.

    By the way this is NOT a digg at footoograaf with whom I have no experience positive or negative.

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    Senior Member Lazzaros's Avatar
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    Re: Contax 645 Lenses + Digital Back

    I agree with all your words. I'm new in the medium format, in fact I'm new in photography.

    I end my photography course and I'm assisting one of the best portuguese fashion photographers. I use Canon 5D a lot and I'd like to buy the new Canon 5D Mark II for me.

    I only use MF lenses as Leica and Carl Zeiss (my boss doesn't believe how I can do that but I do) and I love Medium Format.

    This Contax is new, and I only did one roll with it but I had one Pentax 645 and Mamiya RB67 before. I really liked them but Contax is AMAZING.

    I'd like to invest that money in parts, and the digi back it would be the first part because I know I can do some works only with this begginers kit. Then I'll start to get some new lenses and other acessories.

    I'm patiente and I have time to do that...

    I know we're talking about many money but I'm getting good returns for now... I hope I can improve and get better working with Medium Format. For me is not only the sensor size and the quality, is the way I use it. I pay much attention and I don't want to fail any shoot...


    I think you understand me.

    I'll appreciate your help in that case of combination software/OS. I have one dealer in Portugal and I think it would be cool to get more info with him. I'm sad because portuguese market is SO EXPENSIVE! :S

    3000€ is an amazing price for that back. I know I'll get it soon, but I can't afford it before the end of Summer for sure...

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