Contax G1 before G2

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by guille_zoom, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I've wanted a contax G2 for a long while but I never seem to have the budget for it. It's going for at least £250 for body only.
    So I was thinking of maybe buy a G1 for a cheap price (£50) and start buying the lenses which I can then use once I get a G2. Is this a
    good plan or will I hate the G1? Are they really that much different?


  2. I had a G1 before the G2. I was practically shocked at the difference once getting the G2. I was left with the thought, why? or how could they, or would they even release the G1, if the G2 was in the pipeline? I say this presuming the G2 was in the pipeline since they were so close in release dates. Yes! The G2 is far the superior platform for the awesome lenses to go with it. So in relativity terms, if budget is an issue, put the G1 off for a G2, you'll be ahead. Or, try them side by side if possible, and see the difference.
  3. I would hold out for a G2. I think there are two reasons, one more important than the other.
    • The important reason: the AF on the G2 is adequate (once you understand that it is a rangefinder and focusses on the rangefinder patch only, so you need to do the rangefinder focus-and-recompose thing), while I think the AF on the G1 is probably not adequate. Neither is really usable with MF (no focus ring on the lenses), so this matters.
    • The other reason: I think the G1 will not work with the whole lens family. This does not matter for me as I only use or want the 45mm lens, but it might for you.
    Additionally I think the G2 just is a better camera (some might claim it is the best 35mm camera in fact) as Don Bright has said.
    Disclaimer: I own a G2 but have only ever played with a G1 briefly (decided not to buy it!), and I'm very much a one-focal-length person so I don't worry about which lenses will work with the body I have if the one I want does.
  4. Thanks for your replies!
    It kind of summarizes what i was thinking but I just can resist to have one of them with me! I only need one of the lenses (35mm which only works on the G1 if you have the one with the green sticker) or maybe two myself so that wouldn't be a problem.
    However the AF is the very reason why I always have second thoughts about buying either of these two cameras, the quality of the lenses on the other side it's amazing!
    Maybe it's worth the wait for the G2 then.....
  5. I have the G2 with three lenses. I simply sold my G1 when I upgraded. The G1 works OK but you can't beat the focusing precision of the G2. If you get a G1 get the "green label" on the inside that allows use of the full lens line. G1's are plentiful and inexpensive...why wait? You can sell it or keep it for a nice backup when you get your G2. I don't care what the internet says, the G2 and Zeiss G lenses are tops!
  6. I had both at different times and really can't remember much difference other than the G1 more classic/better looking.
  7. I've used both, and thought they were both good. Main difference, and a good one is the G2 is just faster AF. You have to slow down a bit with the G1. Both are good cameras.
  8. I can't resist regarding focusing with the G2, as I have also read G2s have had some focusing issues with the 90mm Sonnar. I have to say I have Not had this issue, but its useful to remember that, as I have found...Keep the lens peg contacts clean with isopropyl alcohol. This could be the reason why I have not had the issue with the G2. Other than that, the G2 is amazing.
  9. I would get the G1. I have two G2s and a G1 and in general there is no real issue with the G1. The AF is not as good as on the G2s but this is only really noticeable in certain light situations and mainly with the 90 mm lens. The second AF capability on the G2 and moving the AF onto the button on the back do help but unless you shoot a lot in poor light or at very close distance it is not the big deal the internet makes out. The G1 cannot take the zoom and can only take the 21 and 35 if you have one with the green sticker in the film area. The advantage of the G1 is that it is smaller and handier - the MF button is better placed - should you ever use it. I think you will find the G1 fine and it is good to get in the habit of looking at the range the AF says it is using before you shoot when you get used to the camera. Both bodies have AF issues but most of this can be solved with practice - in either case do not expect DSLR AF capabilities but they are great cameras.
  10. Agree with Philip basically though I found the G2 much faster.
  11. Thanks everyone.

    I just bought the G1, £65 green sticker and it seems to be mint condition. For that kind of price there's not much to lose
    and I can start appreciating what this famous glass can do until I can afford the G2! Now I just need to go buy a lens, i
    think maybe the 35mm or the 45mm we'll see what prices are like!

  12. Barry. I agree the G2 is a better
    camera but they sell for 4 to 5 times as
    much as a G1. I still like the G1 and
    think it a good way to try the system. If
    you like it add a G2 and you have a
    spare body. If not you have not spent
    that much.

    You will either like the system or hate it.
    It is different to Leica with AF and
    smaller viewfinders. That said just like
    Leica the bodies feel great in the hand
  13. How is the G1 for zone focusing with the 28 and standard viewfinder, or ultra wide and accessory finder? I'm sorta tempted for candid street and event snaps. Are any more affordable third party lenses like the Voigtlanders, Samyangs, etc., compatible, with or without adapaters?
  14. Guille, the 35mm is a good one but the 45mm will stop you in your tracks with it's staggering sharpness and creamy bokeh. The electronic cable release is a nice accessory if you can find one. Enjoy that smooth titanium G1 feel!
  15. lex the G2 is not suitable for zone focusing as the lenses refocus to infinity. Manual focus is only manual control of the motorized system.
    The lenses are excellent - up to Leica standards but there are no 3rd party options. Both the 21mm and 28mm are superb but the 21
    needs the accessory finder. While it sounds strange the G system makes a great street system as you can shot from the hip. Use the AF
    which is quite a wide area and look at the distance displayed on the camera top LCD.

    In terms of lenses - while the 35 is not the best lens in the system (that is probably the 90 or 45) it is a remarkably good lens. Don't let
    some of the internet posts on the G1 or the 35 mm lens put you off. As ever I suspect many of these people have never even used the
    camera or lens. The real thing with the G system is the handling and AF. It is very different from a Leica (I shoot both systems) and the
    viewfinder is smaller. It is a system you either like or hate - if you don't like the G1 you won't like the G2
  16. A form of zone focusing is possible with the G2. Via the focus lock on the back, thereby lock on to an object, or pertinent object in the scene forward in the frame, then compose, then take the shot. I've done this many times to avoid out of focus surprises in the foreground, but accompanied by stopping down to F8 and above. It works.
  17. I bought two G1 cameras (for less than one G2). This camera works well if you know how to use its focusing system.
    I then bought a custom modified Zeiss 45/2 from G mount to leica M mount. It is an awesome lens with the digital M9.
  18. Again, I have to agree with everything Phillip said in the posts above. I only own and use the 35, but that's my favorite length. I've heard the 45 is amazing, but I find the 35 very good. G2 not greatest for zone focusing. But I suppose Don's technique would work fine if there is sufficient light to have a deep DOF and fast shutter speed.
  19. Here's a pic taken with the 35mm Contax [​IMG]
  20. I have never used the 35mm lens for the G1/G2. I have the 28-45-90 trio which came with the G1 when I bought the set used for $675. It was a very good deal.
  21. How do you like the 45 Raid if may ask?
  22. Hi Barry,
    It is one of my all time favorite normal lenses, Barry, and I have many excellent normal lenses to choose from.
  23. The 45/2 Planar is an extremely sharp lens with excellent lens coating to resist flare. The color images come out incredibly nice looking with this lens.Some people have compared the 45/2 with the ZM 50/2, and they found it to be sharper.

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