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G2 general questions

D

dork

> "FWIW, my G2 is currently being serviced by Contax for focusing > problems that developed after I dropped the camera from a height of > five feet (ouch). This is the second time that I have required such > service in the past 3 years." > This goes back to one of my original apprehensions about buying a G2, especially for travel. If you're on the road shooting dozens of rolls and the camera develops focusing problems, and you do not develop the film until you get home, you could be in for a horrible surprise. Maybe unlikely, but makes me nervous.

-Doug
 

wilsonlaidlaw

Well-Known Member
Robert, I hope the following does not sound insufferably smug but when I was first allowed by my father at the age of about 6 or 7 to take a picture with either his 111c or Super Ikonta (Zeiss indoctrination started at an early age in our family) in place of my Kodak Brownie, the first thing he always said was "put the strap round your neck". It has now become automatic, with my father's ghost sitting on my shoulder, that the first thing I do when I pick up a camera is to put the strap round my neck or wrap it round my wrist if it is a neck strap or put my hand through if it is a wrist strap. I can honestly say as a result I have never dropped a camera in 50+ years. Wilson
 

tomasjpn

Well-Known Member
Hi Doug,

I think that basically, with any all-electronic camera, auto-focus SLRs included, if damage does occur unbeknownst to the owner, a focusing problem won't be apparent until after the photos are developed. And I suppose the same could be said for manual rangefinders ala Voigtlander and Leica - if something is out of whack, you won't know it until after the fact.

Just my two cents worth.

Mark Edwards
 

luke

Member
Hi there

I'm planning to buy a second hand G2 with the classic lenses trio (28 - 45 - 90) Could you suggest me what should i check in the body or the lenses, I mean, except the standard checks use to do in a normal srl, there is something special, a particular part or piece that needs more attention or whatelse ??

Thanks Luca
 

magnolia70123

Active Member
I use an M3/50,2.0DR kit for a lot of my photography.Very often I consider getting a G-2 but...so many horror stories. I've read about poor focusing. Read about poor metering. Read about poor quality control in general. What's the synopsis of all this. MDLR
 
J

jgban

Manuel,
I have never heard about poor metering with the G2. I have heard about problem focusing. My experience with focusing is that is is excellent as long as you use it following the instructions (if you forget that the camera focuses on a tiny rectangle in the middle of the viewfinder image, you may get your subjet out of focus: photographer's fault).
My personal experience with the G2 is that it is a superbly made and reliable camera. With limitations, like any camera, but an incredible value for money.
It seems bigger than the M3, but in use it is much faster-- a different experience altogether that you may prefer or detest.
Good luck

Juan
 

derekstanton

Well-Known Member
Manuel,
To address some of your concerns, it might be interesting to know why you'd want to switch from the M3. If you'd like a bit more exposure automation, consider the M7, although you can't use a DR lens with it....

But, with the G2, you do get AF; a significantly higher shutter speed, so that you can shoot with maximum bokeh even in bright lighting situations, faster film loading, and film advance. The focusing 'issues' are, indeed, significant, even though the advice from advocates will tend toward: "make sure the rectangle is on what you want to focus on...." But, still, as someone who felt i understood how to operate the camera, i still had more than a few frames that weren't focused exactly where i intended. I'm not talking about having a person out of focus, and the wall 10 meters behind In focus.... I like to shoot wide-open/with shallow depth of field, especially with people. With the G2, i would sometimes get slight shifts in focus because i was re-composing to non-centered composition after locking focus. Of course, with a Leica, the same can happen if you don't adjust the axis of the camera to compensate for the focus shift, but in practice this never happened with the M7. The truth is, you're never as sure with the G2 of what will be focused. In practice, this is seldom a problem. I don't consider the G2 to have focusing "problems." Perhaps it can be considered a "quirk," but as it is said, focus problems are usually the operator's fault. That said, i would still, always, prefer a system that shows me in the viewfinder what will be in focus. And, with that admission, i would still consider buying (again) a G2, because i understand the 'limitations' of that system.

About focus speed - yes the lens racks to infinity after every exposure. But, still, it focuses faster than i ever could with a Leica. I don't consider it ideal for fast-moving subject matter, but then that really has never been the domain of rangefinder(-ish) cameras. Use an SLR for that. But, the G2 is probably better for shooting children, for ex&le. I was never very good at shooting children with the Leica, unless i was satisfied with keeping them in the center of the frame, and expanding the depth of field....

I've never heard horror stories or any bad comments about the G2 metering. I consider it accurate. And, quality control? No issues with any Contax or Kyocera product. Customer service, though, may be another discussion. In the US, it's not good. I've read recently that in Japan, it's excellent.

Well, that's my "synopsis." Hope it helps, but don't take any of it as 'truth.' Just my impressions, having worked with both systems.

Good luck
Derek
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D

dork

> As a newbie to this forum, and as someone who has no experience (yet) with > rangefinder type cameras (or maybe this is a general term), wondering if > someone can define the term "bokeh" for me?? > Thanks, Doug
 

derekstanton

Well-Known Member
The term refers to the characteristics of the out of focus areas in an image.

Different lenses render these areas differently. It's not something that can be quantified, and preferences are purely subjective, but there are some qualitative descriptions that have come to be 'accepted' as common. The discussion of bokeh usually concerns lenses in the 35 to 100mm range, as longer lenses by their nature can easily blur a background beautifully. And very wide lenses have so much depth of field that it becomes almost irrelevant.

The term "bokeh" is, i believe, the English spelling of a Japanese word that might naturally be spelled "boke." It's a relatively modern term, although, of course, the characteristic has been in existence since the birth of photography....
 

lytton

Well-Known Member
FYI for all of you purists, now any schmo can acheive what we have all striven for with our precious Zeiss lenses; Now Photoshop CS has a "Bokeh" filter that can mimic any lens and its bokeh as well as give the user full control over what is in focus and what is not. Ho-hum. Alas, we will all have the satisfaction that we have a real diamond in our midst and not a cubic zirconia. What makes one valuable and one not is the rarity of a perfect diamond. So too are our photographs, rare, pure, and perfect. -Lytton
 

daleh

Well-Known Member
> I believe digital photography is an art form in and of itself. Capturing an image digitally, then using Photoshop to modify, enhance etc. is just not the same as recording an image on film. Now, as to art: Ansel Adams was one of the great artists in photographic history. Part of his art was in selecting and recording an image but in addition, he was one of the great printers of all time. Kind of similar to Photoshop. I am sure his images are still being printed according to his instructions as to dodging, holding back, and different development techniques. In that respect, his art is quite different from a color photo recorded by a photographer who simply sends it to a lab and asks for a high quality print. What digital has done is to make it easier to apply after shooting "art techniques" to photographs without exposing one's self to chemicals or having to work in the dark. In the end we are all looking for pictures that make people Ooh and Aah. DH
 
T

tvdweert

>poor focusing. Read about poor metering. Read about poor quality >control in general. What's the synopsis of all this.

Synopsis: No;No;No. Cheers
 

luke

Member
> Hi there

I'm planning to buy a second hand G2 with the classic lenses trio (28 - 45 - 90) Could you suggest me what should i check in the body or the lenses, I mean, except the standard checks use to do in a normal srl, there is something special, a particular part or piece that needs more attention or whatelse ??

Thanks
 

tomasjpn

Well-Known Member
Hi Luke,

I'm no expert on this, but I do know that the shutter leaf on the Gs is very thin and fragile. Look at it carefully for any signs that someone has touched it or pushed on it in any way.

I would also carefully look at the camera back hinges for any signs of corrosion - as with most metal cameras, prolonged operation near saltwater spray will corrode those hinge areas first.

When you remove the lens, you can also take a close look at the lens contacts for any signs of abuse or dirt buildup. At least, if dirty, it will give you an indication that the camera may not have been well-cared for. That goes for the surface where the lens contacts the body too. Watch for gouges. These lenses don't mount as quickly/slickly as some SLR lenses, so carelessness or being in a hurry while mounting a lens could cause some gouging/scratching in that area.

If anyone has any other or better suggestions.......!

At least, those are the things I looked closely at when I bought my used G2.

Mark Edwards
 

saspencr

Well-Known Member
Derek, can you explain your comment, "if you don't adjust the axis of the camera to compensate for the focus shift . . . ." to me? I would never have thought that just slightly turning the camera to recompose would have much effect on depth of field, except on macro photography. So I would like to understand what you must do and when the limitations for depth of field require this compensation. Thanks, Scott
 

derekstanton

Well-Known Member
Hi, Scott.

When i made that comment, i was probably thinking more of working with SLRs, and their faster lenses. I don't know that this holds true for the G2. But, with the N1 and a 50mm 1.4 or the 85mm 1.4, if your subject (for me, portraits, not macro) is close and you want to selectively focus on an eye, and have the rest of the face fall out of focus.... If you first focus on that eye, and then change the composition so that the eye no longer is set where the sensor is, you may have changed (very slightly) the distance between the lens and the eye. With just a slight rotation, that distance may change a matter of millimeters or a few centimeters. With an 85mm 1.4, depth of field is not forgiving of those minute changes, so you have to be conscious of keeping those distances equal. With the multiple focus point sensors of some cameras, that's a bit easier. But i don't really like to use all five sensors, as it requires using the joystick to navigate to them and the constant switching keeps me thinking about things other than composition. It's like playing a video game while photographing.... And, the G2 only has a center sensor, right, so you always have to focus lock and then recompose unless you like your subjects always in the middle of the picture....

So, as i said, it's less critical with an f2/45mm lens except at the closest focus ranges, and not at all critical with the 35mm or wider. I'd be careful with a 90/2.8....

These are just measures that can ensure more 'keepers.' It may also be the reason why there's such a thing as focus bracketing in the N1. For ex&les of the extreme with shallow depth of field, check Mark Tucker's site (
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). He now favours a Canon 85mm 1.2 lens, and he shoots everything wide open. Focus is so critical with that lens that he can't even rely on the amazing EOS AF. He works manually, and has to bracket focus.... and that's with everything locked down on a tripod, and stationary subjects....
 

saspencr

Well-Known Member
Derek, thanks for the response. I checked the website, but he doesn't explain the technique. Could you elaborate a little more on it? I'd like to understand enough to use the technique myself as I like to shoot as wide open as possible the majority of the time and, since purchasing the G2 recently am using the 45 and the 90 and will be shooting at 2.0 and 2.8 respectively a lot. Thanks again, Scott
 

afranklin

Well-Known Member
Hi,

What can anyone who has used both the 35 and 45 say about the differences between them. The 45 has a higher rating, (substantially, 4.6 vs 4.1) than the 35...so I'm questioning if getting the 35 is really worth it. Any insight appreciated.

Regards,

Austin
 
J

jgban

Austin,
There was a whole thread on this topic:
Contax User Forum » Contax G-System » G-lenses » G 45 vs.35 etc
I would say it is just a matter of which angle of vision you prefer. Regarding sharpness, I cannot tell the difference in the results (I have only shot B&W with the 35, and I have not tested them side by side). As 35mm lenses go, and according to the Photodo ratings you mention, the Planar G seems to have better ratings than most other 35mm lenses (including Contax 35mm 2.8 for the C/Y mount!). Considering the price, I think it is definitely worth it if you like the focal length.

Juan
 
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