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Lens Availability in UK

G

Guest

Hi all.

I have just spoken to two dealers and now Kyocera UK. All three say they have never heard of the 55mm Distagon for the 645. I am trying to find out if it is generally available, and if not, when it will be . Can anyone help me?
 
G

Guest

It is listed as "in stock" by B&H Photo in New York. The price is US$1495. You can check it yourself at . I believe that they will ship orders outside the U.S, if you really want to have one.

In any case, this clearly shows that the lens does exist and is available.
 
G

Guest

Whilst I don't own this lens, I have had it on my camera.
Camera World in Oregon has it instock (at least they did when I was there). Also Camera World is the best place, bar none that I have dealt with for mail purchases and that includes B & H who just never seem to have the time to talk. Camera World also has better prices on the stuff I have bought. Last item R/A finder for my 645 arrived in 72 hrs!!!!
Colin
 
G

Guest

> Colin, I'm interested in your comments about Camera World. Do you know what their web address is? I'm trying to figure out the best place to buy when I make my purchase in a few months. (You might have seen my other post asking about ordering direct from Germany...I'm considering all options) Thanks, Lynn
 
G

Guest

Hi John,

I own the lens, it's great. I do not know why you can't get hold of it in UK

Michael
 
G

Guest

Guys.
Thanx for the response. I have just spoken to Frazer Allen from Kyocera Yashica, UK ,and he has cleared it all up. Th elens is listed as a Pro item and is not stocked by all Contax Dealers in the UK. His call has renewed my faith in pre- and after sales service.
 
G

Guest

I'm also a UK user looking for the 55mm, however I'll be working in the USA next week and might take advantage of the lower American Contax prices. Can anyone recommend a Contax dealer in Los Angeles (ideally near the Century City area)who might carry the 55mm as a stock item?
 
G

Guest

Gary,

You are in luck. I live in downtown Los Angeles and there is a very reputable place in West Los Angeles called Samy's Camera. They are on the web at
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and from there you can check driving directions from Century City.

They are a very good, reputable retailer and the pro department is on the 3rd floor. You'll find Contax gear up towards the far end out of the elevator.

Good Luck
 
G

Guest

> Gary,

Bel Air Camera in Westwood village is about 10 mins from Century City. (if traffic is good, can't count on that tho!) They are a Contax dealer. Hope this helps.

Chip >
 
G

Guest

garry try either sammy's or belair but call them up to make sure they got the lens, or u can have it mail order from NY or hk to your hotel in LA!! must arrange before hand
 
G

Guest

Gary
I just picked one up and saved £450 after speaking to Contax UKs Sales Manager.
Not right to mention Dealers names as Dirk has mentioned in the past but if I were you I think its worth a call. or send me a private e-mail if you want the details. Kyocera are on 01189 356300
Bob
 
G

Guest

Gary,

if you go to the Contax US-webpage:
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, there is a dealer section.

You only need the street where you are located on your trip in your hotel and this software gives you all Contax dealers with phone-number etc. at a convenient distance. You decide how far they are allowed to be from your hotel.

I would also check by phone for their stock before driving somewhere.

Dirk
 
G

Guest

Thanks for the advice to visit Samy's in LA, prices were better than in the UK so I picked up the 55mm and the 45-90mm.

There was a special Contax event in the store and I had an interesting conversation with the Contax representative, he said three leaf shutter lenses were due for release in 2003, a wide angle, a "long standard" at about 100mm, and a "long portrait" of about 160-180mm. He also said they would all synch at 1/800 second, just like the Zeiss lenses for Rollei.

He confirmed that the 90-180mm zoom was due in a few months and also recommended the Brightscreen replacement focusing screen, the implication being that a Contax 645 equiped with a Brightscreen and leaf shutter lenses was a match for the Hasselblad H1. He suggested Contax were comfortable that their "auto to manual to auto" focus integration was superior to the H1, I'd agree with that but am still impressed with the speed and assurance of the H1's auto focusing, plus its exceptionaly big, bright screen with plenty of eye relief for spectacle wearers.

He was adamant that a "645 Two" was not on the drawing board. Pity, but a better focusing screen plus leaf shutter lenses would go quite some way to addressing my own personal criticisms of the current system.

Samy's is a great store to have on your doorstep, I've used B&H in New York before and it shares with Samy's a feature that I find lacking in even the biggest European stores, namely having every single item readily in stock and all for hire. Wish they'd open a branch in London!
 
G

Guest

I wasn't aware there was a Brightscreen for the 645. I know there is no Beattie Intenscreen,
Does anyone have the model number or price/availability on this. Are there different styles..I just LOVE my split image screen
Colin
 
G

Guest

Colin, it's listed on the Brightscreen website (
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) and they carry the full Brightscreen range in the Contax 645 format (ie a drop-in focusing screen housed in an original Contax screen holder). At $280 it's not cheap but comparable to the Hasselblad Acu-Matte D range, I think they also share Hasselblad's optical glass/acrylic laminate construction. I've only used a Brightscreen on 5x4 equipment but there it really looks very similar in terms of the brightness/contrast trade off to the Acu-Matte.

I've ordered a Brightscreen "number 5", the version with the extra wide microprism and split rangefinder, for off-centre portrait composition. But as it's a special order item and I live in the UK it'll be a while before it arrives and I can tell you my impressions.

I think Beattie may have gone out of business, many years ago I had one on a Rollieflex SL66 and although ok when first installed after a few years it warped slightly as the stresses induced during the manufacturing process worked themselves out. Screens are very much a matter of personal choice but I found the Beattie also sacrificed too much focusing contrast or "tooth" in favour of out and out brightness.
 
G

Guest

Colin, the Brightscreen came a couple of weeks ago and I've had the chance to use it now under a fairly wide range of circumastances. To be honest it's a specialised purchase and I wouldn't recommend it unreservedly for all users.

On the positive side it's about 1/2 stop brighter compared to the Contax screen (when measured with a remote light-meter head, taking a reading directly from the screen itself), the huge microprism collar is a real bonus for off-centre focusing, and the diagonal rangefinder suits me very well when flipping between vertical and horizontal for portraiture. Most importantly it provides a crisp image with plenty of focusing "tooth".

The major downside is that normally you would dial in an exposure compensation for a brighter screen and then just forget about it. Within the Contax 645's optical chain it's not so simple. Spot metering measurements are taken before the focusing screen within the camera body, but centre-weighted measurements are taken from the screen itself within the AE Prism. What that means is you need to deduct 1/2 stop from a centre-weighted reading, but a spot reading needs no adjustment. Not particularly convenient!

It all comes down to your personal preferences, I guess I'm a little obsessive about focusing screens, and regard the viewfinder experience on the Contax 645 as a weak feature of a generally outstanding system. As a spectacle wearer I'm unable to see all four corners, magnification on the AE prism isn't great, the standard screen, IMO, is a country mile behind the Hasselblad Acu Matte, the limitations of the auto-focus system means I'm often manually focusing while the standard screen is plainly designed for auto-focus, and my own personal style leans towards wider apertures with faster shutter speeds (which is why I want a Zeiss lens equipped system in the first place), so I place a real premium on focusing accuracy.

For my purposes the Brightscreen makes sense, I'll put up with the metering inconvenience for even a marginal viewfinder improvement. However, it's a trade-off that may well be innapropriate for many users, especially if they have younger eyes!
 
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