CI Photocommunity

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

Contax 645 tilt shift thingy


New Member
does anyone have any info regarding contact accesory for tilt and shift? as an architectural photographer, i am frustrated by the lack of shift/tilt lenses i heard about the accesory which is very pricey, however i need t know if it allows the use of wide lenses as well and also were do you find this accesory?


Well-Known Member
With the Hasselblad to Contax 645 adapter, the Mutar shift "thingy" works quite well. But you have to use Hassey lenses and the Mutar has a 1.4X factor which makes wide angle lenses less wide. Someone makes a Contax 645 mount tilt / shift lens, but I just can't recall who (sorry).


Well-Known Member
Don't have any experience with it,but was quite impressed when I first saw it at Photokina 2000


New Member

I just looked at this item today for architectural shots as well. With the 645 lenses, it doesn't focus past a few feet. It is constructed wonderfully, but it seems to only work for Macro work. Marc's suggestion sounds like it would work, but the 645 bellow + a Hassey lens + Mutar would be enough money to buy a view camera, which is the conclusion I drew today.

One other option is the Zork adapters (
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
), which I'm still looking in to. I think the only limitation is price and the amount of movement.


New Member
>I think for arhitecture best solution is tilt and shift lens, for ex&le Hartblei super rotator 45/3.5 or 65/3.5. Unfortunately Contax does not manufacture tilt,shift lenses. I have Hartblei 45/3.5, this lens of course is manual lens and aperture also must be adjusted manualy, but this is not a big problem, because Contax 645 adjust a shutter automaticaly. Andijs.


Are the Hartblei lenses decent as far as optical quality?

I'd really like a T/S lens around 120mm for small products like shoes. I use the 120mm Makro stopped down to f32 or f45 to get enough depth of field, but sometimes it still isn't quite enough. Then I have to dig out the Arca Swiss 4x5 with a roll film holder. It's just a much slower process with the Arca, I'd rather work with the Contax 645.
I looked at the Hartblei lens but the maximum movement was only about 11mm, in the horizontal format you'd get something similar by just cropping a 645 neg from a 6x6 camera. In fact I get more than 11mm of movement on my Canon Tilt & Shift 35mm lenses. Bottom line is that for demanding architectural work the Hartblei just isn't flexible enough.


Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
gave me this info on Contax 645 Tilt shift:

We can supply you tilt and shift option for you Contax 645. I would
recommend that you consider our ProShift Adapter for ZM (Zork Mount)
product. This provides a threaded front mount for either our Mini Makro
Mount (this would give you shift only with an enlarger or large format
lens of the focal length range you indicated) or our Multi Focus System
(this would add tilt). For the combination of shift adapter and Multi
Focus System, the shortest focal length would be in the 135-150 range.
For shift only, you should be able to use a 120-135mm lens. The Multi
Focus System, for tilt only, can use an enlarger lens as short as 105 on
the C645. Pricing for the various options are in our Product Guide.

A word about how we sell in North America. Typically, our customers have
the kinds of in-depth questions that most dealers are unable to answer
either for lack of sufficient background knowledge of view camera
principles or time to spend with customers. Also, our products are quite
versatile and offer many different options, which may require in-depth
explanation. We find that educating the customer is an important aspect
of our role. Hence, we currently sell direct to end-users in order to
provide a consistently high level of service and accurate product

To place an order, simply let us know which products you wish to
purchase. Once we receive payment, we will process your order. Most
orders have a 2-3 week lead time, unless we have stock here in Oregon,
in which case we can ship within 2 business days. US customers pay no
shipping (or duty). Special orders or lens conversions may take 4-6
weeks, and may have additional shipping charges. Credit card payment
options include Paypal (
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
), C2IT (
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
) or use a
cashier's check, money order, personal check (with 10 days clearance

Once your order arrives here in Oregon, it is inspected and tested, then
reshipped to you. Standard UPS shipping and insurance from Oregon to
most locations in the US is typically about $16.50 ($10.00 for mount
adapters without lens) and $32 for priority / next day ($21.00 for
adapters without lens). Internationally, shipping is based on specific
location and method of shipment. An expedite service for orders shipping
from Germany is also available for an additional $65. Economy shipping
is available through the USPS. We can provide an exact quote, if you
prefer, for any shipping options.

Please let me know if I can assist you with an order or answer other
questions. And, please let us know how you heard about us!

Joshua Daniels
Director Sales & Marketing
Zörk US
tel. / fax. 541-687-5969
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


What would be the best tilt & shift lens for the Contax 645 for architectural photography?

It would be great to be able to have auto focus and automatic controls with a tilt & shift lens on the Contax 645. I cannot find any lenses that would accommodate the automatic controls but if someone knows of a possible combination of adapter and lens that could offer tilt & shift with automatic controls and auto focus it would be great.

I am currently looking at the Hartblei 3.5/45 Super-Rotator, which tilts 8 degree and shift or possibly the Hartblei 3.5/45 which tilts 6 degree and Shift.

Does anyone have experience with these lenses combined with the Contax 645? Could it work for architectural photography?

Does anyone have experience with these lenses combined with the Contax 645 and a digital back like the DCS Pro Back 645C?

There is also the Zork Pro Shift adapter but I am not sure this would work for architectural photography.

Digital perspective correction is always a possibility but you are loosing some resolution since you are stretching and compressing pixels.
Daniel, the Hartblei's okay for landscape tilt but not really up to architectural demands for shift range, it's only about 11 or 12mm when what you'll need is something that shifts 35-45% of the long side of your negative, say 20mm of shift. If you're serious about architectural work you'd be better off with a second hand view camera.

I can't see the benefit of auto focus with T&S lenses, you're working at a snail's pace and you need to be very, very precise with depth of field.

It's a shame that a more comprehensive Contax lens line isn't available, I run Leica, Canon, Contax, and Linhof systems and if I want perspective control without weight I go for the Canon with three great T&S optics, however the Contax would be a more logical alternative if the lenses were there.



Thank you for the answer regarding the limitations of the Hartblei lenses. Like everyone else, I am looking for good image resolution with minimum weight and size; this is why I am not inclined to go with a view camera and stay with the 645 format. I love the image quality of my Contax 645 on film and also with the Kodak DCS Pro Back 645C, the only thing I am missing is T&S.

Have you tried the Canon T&S lenses on the Canon 1Ds? This could be a possible alternative to get reasonable image resolution while using a relatively “small” camera.

I agree with you that the auto focus is absolutely not a necessity and kind of useless with a T&S lens. I was just wondering if someone had made a lens or adapter that would carry all controls from the camera to a T&S lens.
Daniel, yes I use the 1Ds with the 24, 45 and 90mm T&S lenses. As far as "small" goes however it's anything but, throw in a spare battery, flash and a few more lenses and it really is getting close to the all up weight of a Linhof 4x5 outfit!

However the 1Ds quality's great up to about A3 or say 11" x 14", maybe more depending on how you're outputting.

What I'd like (we can all daydream!) is for Contax to develop the 645 system and for Canon to shrink the 1Ds, so that I could reduce down to just those two cameras...and maybe a battered Leica for an occasional stroll down memory lane!


Well-Known Member
I have seen the ad from Calument that it offers a mini view camera for the Canon and Nikon dSLR body. It seems to be a very interesting options for product and architectural work in the digital domain.


I shoot with a 645 and an Arca Swiss 4x5. I am getting a digital back for my Contax and was going to get an adapter for my 4x5 so I can shoot still life with perspective control. There is one disadvantage however in using the back on a 4x5 and that is image quality. By having the same image size with both the 645 and the 4x5 we no longer have the advantage of the greatly larger image size for enlarging. I use Rodenstock lenses on my 4x5 which are great but not as great as my 645 glass. They are definitely softer. If I use PS for perspective control I end up losing some valuable image size.

I know about the Hartblei tilt shift lens but I don't think it is as good as Zeiss and probably not as good as my Rodenstock lenses. The Kiev solution I also think doesn't live up to Zeiss qualtiy. What about Zork + Pentax? How is the quality of Pentax glass in comparison to Zeiss and Rodenstock?

Does anybody have any solutions to get better image quality using a T/S lens on my 645 than my Rodenstock lenses? The adapter costs over $2,000 so I don't mind paying good money for a solution.

My work is for high end commercial going to offset press. My clients expect really high quality. I don't like the idea of losing much of an 11 meg or 16 meg image size when doing perspective control in PS.

Thanks for your comments.




You can find an interesting review of the Hartblei 45mm f/3.5 Super-Rotator tilt and shift lens used with the Contax 645 and in combination with the Kodak DCS Pro Back

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!