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Contax 645 Firing issues

killjoybokchoi

New Member
Hi all, hope you're well. I would deeply appreciate any insight into this issue below.

On a location shoot last week, I was using my contax 645 with a Godox flash (I am used to Profoto in London, but this time in Hong Kong, my assistants opted for their familiar Godox). It had been firing fine a month ago (without flash and under natural light) and also few months ago in London during location shoots with Profoto air remotes and flashes.

This day, I would click the shutter-release but it would not fire. And throughout the day, I had figured if that happens, I could tilt the camera 90 degrees down towards the floor, somehow it would usually do the trick of firing on the next try. I had changed the batteries more frequent than usual to test (Panasonic, brand new) and the same issue remains.

Could the problem ever be related to the hotshoe and flash remote connection?

Would love to know if any of you have had such a problem.


Thank you in advance.
 

biggles3

CI-Supporter
Hi,
Have you tried using a Contax TLA flash to check whether the hot shoe contacts are working OK? I've not come across your problem before; once the camera's set to shoot on 'X', it should work OK unless the hot shoe contacts are damaged or one of them is dirty. I was not aware that studio remote triggers or a Godox flash have been made for dedicated use with the Contax 645. I have a Godox V1-F (for Fuji use) somewhere; if I can find it, I can see if it might sync with a C645 set for flash use. It sounds like the hot shoe may be your problem but it would be helpful to test it with a Contax TLA360 or TLA480. They will test all the contacts - a more basic test using fewer contacts could be run using any of the early TLA series (you can buy a TLA20 or 30 for next to nothing), or any old flash with a single contact will at least show whether the X-sync functions.

I'm assuming you are using your camera with a film back and not one of the digital backs as some backs need the flash to connect directly to them rather than the camera.
 

biggles3

CI-Supporter
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Hi.

Further to my reply to you from yesterday, I found the Godox V1-F and attached it to a Contax 645, set it to Automatic mode and even though it's made for the Fuji-X/GFX cameras, it worked perfectly on the Contax. I suspect that there is a loose connection from the hot-shoe (because tilting the camera can get the flash to work) - it may be a simple case of replacing some solder which would be a cheap repair.

While you will lose the TTL capability of using top portable flash or studio units with your camera, you could use something like Hama's Hotshoe PC Sync Adapter (#6950) so that the flash or remote trigger could be fired via the Contax's PC-Sync socket. This would be a last resort option but if you have a light-meter that can work with flash units, perfect exposures will not be a problem.

I hope this helps.

Graham

 

pfharrison

Well-Known Member
You try a different prism finder if you have one, there is also a hot shoe on the optional hand grip if you have one. So far as I am aware the only Contax flash that uses all of the pins on the 645 hot shoe is the TLA360.
 

biggles3

CI-Supporter
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That's a very good recommendation. If you don't have the MSB-1 Flash Bracket, it may prove difficult to find at a sensible price. Although I use mine as intended with the WLF, it also works very well with the prism finder attached, especially if you are using the larger lenses hand-held.

pfharrison is also right in saying the TLA360 is the only Contax flash that utilises all the pins on the hot shoe; the more powerful TLA480 lacks the power-zoom facility and so is missing that extra contact, even though it was produced with the Contax 645 in mind but Kyocera cut costs and went for a straight re-brand of the National PE-480SG instead of adding the power zoom option. Both the TLA360+PS220 and TLA480 became popular C645 options for wedding photographers in the USA and Japan.
 
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