Contax G1 vs. G2

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by simon_gabriel, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. Okay, so I'm pretty certain I'll be getting one of these cameras very soon. The lens I have in mind is the sparklingly sharp 45mm, f2 Planar T* - I'm fairly certain this will be my choice.

    The thing I'm not too sure on is the body itself. G1 or G2. Personally, the G1 looks comfy to me. It's the most welcoming and the features that separate the two aren't swaying me that much. However, what is the actual difference in the eventual picture between the G1 and G2? Would the G2 slightly upgrade me in regards to my picture taking/getting the most out of this lovely lens?

    Can anyone help me out with this?
  2. There was an recent discussion about this here
  3. As I mentioned in the previous thread (referred to by richard a): I think the autofocus on the G2 is significantly better, and given that neither camera is really usable with manual-focus, you may well want to hold out for that.
    The 45mm lens is very nice indeed.
  4. Unless modified, the G1 takes only the 28, 45, and 90mm lenses. The G2 takes these plus the 21 and 35-70. I think there's a 16mm IIRC.
  5. I was just looking at Contax G stuff on eBay yesterday. Lovely system. If only the AF and winder motors were more discrete.
    Anyway, FWIW, I found this two-part review (about 10mins each) of the G1 and the G2:
    The photographer, Mike Thomas, also compares the G cameras to the Leica M4 in another video.
  6. Thanks for the replies, guys! I understand this had been a debate for a long time (as the G1 body is so much cheaper than the G2), so I know it's been covered from time to time.

    I think I'm going to go with a G1 body and a 45mm lens, that way if I feel like the G1 isn't pushing that lens to it's max, or the feel of the camera isn't right for me; I can always get myself a G2 and see if that works.

    It's hard finding a review for this camera that isn't heavily focused on street or discrete photography. To me, a loud camera isn't too big of a deal. I shoot street but tend to enjoy the empty architecture and documentary side of the world. Hiding the sound of my camera isn't top of my priority. The noise thing seems to be one of the biggest arguments when it comes to G1 vs. G2. Autofocus seems to be the other, that's the only shame as I don't know anywhere local that I can try out the G1's autofocus system.
  7. I was all set to buy one way back in the 90's. Went to a dealer and looked through the view finder and was shocked. Tiny and hard to use. No manual focus to speak of. While the glass is exceptional the bodies are not.
    If it ever dies good luck getting it repaired. Parts are very hard if not impossible to get. Are you sure you want to go down this path?
  8. The Contax G bodies have manual focus dials as well as a distance scale in the viewfinder.
  9. I now have the G2, had the G1. The G2s Autofocus is more positive and direct. The Autofocus base on the G2 is wider, providing a more positive triangulation in reading its targets. The G2 is overall the better pick hands down IMO. Motor noise in these forums are greatly exaggerated. There has never been an occasion where the subject, or anyone 4 feet away from the camera, can hear the camera. We the operators can hear it, so we presume everyone else can. I prefer the control layout on the G2 better. As for what the G2 can do for the 45mm planar that the G1 can't do? Nothing. There should be no performance enhancement of lenses used between the two camera's, other than the speed and accuracy of Autofocus.
  10. Ken Rockwell's review:
    User's guide:
    I will probably have a G2 system some day. I know my bro thinks it's a potential paper weight...:)
  11. Everything is a potential paper weight, but ToCad America is still doing CLAs on G2s.
  12. I've owned both. The G1 is maybe the better looking camera of the two for what it's worth but the G2 has useful improvements including a better viewfinder, better AF and includes a AF on button.
    In the know G2 users understand the AF on button is the best way to autofocus. On the G1 that half push often leads to accidental shutter activation.
    My concern with these cameras is the complexity and "who" is going to fix them and "where are they going to get the parts? l already see "dead" G's for sale by well known used sellers. Cool cameras otherwise.
  13. I once owned a G1 with the 45mm lens, and at the time, I don't feel I fully appreciated the camera. The AF was slow, for sure, and in a dim room, it really hunted. I can't complain about the image quality or the ability to shoot a series of bracketed exposures. Having said all that, I never really warmed up to the camera, and sold it long ago.
  14. I've tried both and would definitely go with the G2. It had the better finder, better AF, better controls.
  15. I have both and they are great cameras. As people have said the G2 has better AF and the rear focus button which helps. That said the
    G1 is a very good camera and for me feels better in the hand. Given the price difference I suggest you get a G1 but look for one with the
    green sticker in the film area as you can use the 35 mm lens on this body.

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