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Author Topic: Contax 645 Role Call  (Read 5200 times)
Williamson Images
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« on: November 02, 2009, 08:52:52 PM »
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Even though the Contax has been out of production for some time, it is still a bulletproof solution for many and one of the easiest MF cameras to use with fantastic optics.  I will take a guess that it is still being used by many, many pros with a digital back - especially on this site - given the other good posts supporting it.  I'm sure that many photographers would like to know who is still using it and with what backs since there is no recent dedicated forum.  If you can, add your website with some info and upload a favorite image.  

Here goes.

Robb
www.williamsonimages.com

Shooting aviation, architecture, and people on location with the Contax and Aptus II 10.



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Robb Williamson
www.williamsonimages.com
bdp
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2009, 09:24:44 PM »
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Ben

Contax 645 with Sinar eMotion 75LV

Mostly food, some people

[attachment=17683:Drink.jpg]


www.bendearnleyphotography.com
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 06:02:34 PM by bdp » Logged
evgeny
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2009, 01:00:35 AM »
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Contax 645 with Aptus 65 and Sinar 54H.

I shoot mostly in studio, people and still life.



PS: one of my mint Contax 645 with 140mm lens is for sale, contact me, if you are interested.
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2009, 06:48:14 PM »
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There is something special about the Contax system. It doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but then again, it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles.  we have several customers using it. If you're using a Phase One Back you can take advantage of the lens corrections in Capture One 4 or Capture One 5 for the 35mm, 45mm, 55mm, 80mm, and 140mm (the 120mm was so good there is no need for any correction). This does a great job of correcting distortion on the wide angles and chromatic abberation at wide apertures.

Doug Peterson
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D_Clear
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2009, 07:10:56 AM »
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I'm using a full Contax system paired with a P45+ as my medium format setup, it handles almost one hundred percent of my work.

I'm very pleased with the combination, with several backup bodies and extra shutter assemblies onhand I'm not concerned about it's discontinued status for the time being.

Dermot Cleary

[attachment=17679:Cleary_G...ditorial.jpg]
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baudolino
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2009, 04:08:45 PM »
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Contax 645 with Sinar eMotion 75LV. Landscape, people, travel, regattas.

[attachment=17682:holidaygreeting.jpg]
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carstenw
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2009, 09:05:55 AM »
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Contax 645 AF with 35/3.5, 80/2, 120/4 Macro and a couple of adapted lenses: FE110/2, Hartblei 45/3.5 SR, Arsat 30mm Fisheye.

B&W film (Adox CHS 25) and Sinar eMotion 54LV.

I used the 35 and 120 almost excusively, with the 110 occasionally, for people. I shoot mostly details, both technical and natural.
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vgogolak
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2009, 06:14:31 PM »
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Contax 645 and all lenses. Actually just about everything (including bellows!)
Two bodies, prism and WLF.
P65+

Mostly travel and wildlife, some sports.

One of the BIG advantages, besides the great Contax lenses, is the hasselblad V lenses, including 250 and 350mm SA.

regards
Victor[attachment=17761:CF000810...pWP_1900.jpg]
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vgogolak
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2009, 10:14:06 PM »
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one of the lenses that did not impress (esp with the 'sharper' 350) is the 210mm. Well this Sat I put the 350 in my trunk with a tripod aqnd gimbol mount, and would up using my wife's car so I grabbed the 210mm (and Contax 645 with P65+)

I tried AF and MF and with 'swarm soccer' it is not easy  :-)

Anyway, There were a few surprises; This isnt a great shot but the 100% crop from the 210mm from a af shot (i think) was pretty good. About what you can expect from a 60MP 100% that is 2-4x what you see in 10-22MP cameras, so pretty demanding on lenses.

Victor
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carstenw
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2009, 03:29:42 AM »
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Quote from: vgogolak
one of the lenses that did not impress (esp with the 'sharper' 350) is the 210mm. Well this Sat I put the 350 in my trunk with a tripod aqnd gimbol mount, and would up using my wife's car so I grabbed the 210mm (and Contax 645 with P65+)

I tried AF and MF and with 'swarm soccer' it is not easy  :-)

Anyway, There were a few surprises; This isnt a great shot but the 100% crop from the 210mm from a af shot (i think) was pretty good. About what you can expect from a 60MP 100% that is 2-4x what you see in 10-22MP cameras, so pretty demanding on lenses.

I am considering picking up one of these in the next month or two, and am a little confused by your post. It didn't impress you, but now it does?
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 03:30:37 AM by carstenw » Logged

vgogolak
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2009, 06:45:13 AM »
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Quote from: carstenw
I am considering picking up one of these in the next month or two, and am a little confused by your post. It didn't impress you, but now it does?

Dear Carsten
I was referring to the reputation at the time. I also used the mutar with it and of course there was some degradation.  So I didn't use that much. However in sport, where the 120mm equivalent is a nice compromise, I find it very useful. All lenses are compromises as some point. I am very pleased with it for a bit of telephoto in 'walk around mode' Likely one of the best for this.

By comparison for 'sharpness' here is a betterbeamer flash 350mm SA shot. The 210mm I think compare favorably. I would buy it today.

best regards
Victor
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carstenw
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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2009, 02:50:15 PM »
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Quote from: vgogolak
Dear Carsten
I was referring to the reputation at the time. I also used the mutar with it and of course there was some degradation.  So I didn't use that much. However in sport, where the 120mm equivalent is a nice compromise, I find it very useful. All lenses are compromises as some point. I am very pleased with it for a bit of telephoto in 'walk around mode' Likely one of the best for this.

By comparison for 'sharpness' here is a betterbeamer flash 350mm SA shot. The 210mm I think compare favorably. I would buy it today.

Gah, am I glad I am not a bird!

Thanks for the help, I will look for a nice 210mm with a good price.
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Khun_K
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« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2009, 04:23:34 AM »
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Still im my mind one of the best camera ever made, every control on this camera is right, and all the design goes into this camera is right, all the lens, and I have each of them, is great, right size, right weight and all ecellent optics, and the built quality and finsih is so good that you wondered why lens made 10 years later cannot match these Contax lenses?  Contax 645 body has the eingeer plastic sheel, but feels, and in deed it is as solid as some camera try to build to look like a tank, and perhoas more reliable. I don't know other medium format has less problem than Contax 645.  Several generations of back on my Contax 645, P25, P45 and P45+ and Sinar eMotion 75LV, for virtually every shots.  Many studio works, many landscape works, from snow to desert, it just works.  Contax 645 + P45+ and Carl Zeiss TPP 300/2.8 field work. http://cruising-xinjiang.blogspot.com/2009...n-at-xiata.html

Regards, K
« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 04:28:15 AM by Khun_K » Logged
ThierryH
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2009, 04:51:37 AM »
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Quote from: Khun_K
Still im my mind one of the best camera ever made, every control on this camera is right, and all the design goes into this camera is right, all the lens, and I have each of them, is great, right size, right weight and all ecellent optics, and the built quality and finsih is so good that you wondered why lens made 10 years later cannot match these Contax lenses?  Contax 645 body has the eingeer plastic sheel, but feels, and in deed it is as solid as some camera try to build to look like a tank, and perhoas more reliable. I don't know other medium format has less problem than Contax 645.  Several generations of back on my Contax 645, P25, P45 and P45+ and Sinar eMotion 75LV, for virtually every shots.  Many studio works, many landscape works, from snow to desert, it just works.  Contax 645 + P45+ and Carl Zeiss TPP 300/2.8 field work. http://cruising-xinjiang.blogspot.com/2009...n-at-xiata.html

Regards, K

hi K, how are you?

Since you own the Contax 645, the Hassi H3 as well as the Sinar Hy6, I was thinking that you would be the best placed in this "room" to speak about:

1. Shutter lag compared on the 3 camera bodies

2. Mirror vibrations / blur due to the mirror slap compared on the 3 bodies

How do you experience these?

Kindest regards,
Thierry
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Khun_K
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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2009, 05:53:21 AM »
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Quote from: ThierryH
hi K, how are you?

Since you own the Contax 645, the Hassi H3 as well as the Sinar Hy6, I was thinking that you would be the best placed in this "room" to speak about:

1. Shutter lag compared on the 3 camera bodies

2. Mirror vibrations / blur due to the mirror slap compared on the 3 bodies

How do you experience these?

Kindest regards,
Thierry
Hi Thierry, I am very well.  And to be very very honest, I don't have the probem with any of the cameras mentioned for mirror vibration, may be it is due to what I shoot and how I shoot.  But let me try to reply the question in my own opinion;

Shutter lag + mirror vibration - this is a combination question to answer to me and to comment this we must say we are pressing the shutter directly on the camera, I sometimes found the release cable is not as responsive, and certainly not from the computer.  Since I am not a scientist capable of staging the comparison shot and all the measurement (OK, it is not my job anyway), so many of what I comment may be phycological biased.  I think it is fair to say all three camera that I use, I don't have such issue, and I shot quite a few fashion works, quite a few action shots.

Of all, Contax seemed to be the most smooth, the mirror is well dampped, so when you make shot by shot - not as fast as the Canon or Nikon of course, you feel the camera is responsive to your command.  I think today a lot of user has the smaller DSLR and knew and flet such rapid firing frame rate, you got what you want easier with rapid sequence, because the smaller DSLR has smaller mirror and can advance faster. But I don't apply that to medium format to be fair.  In reality one may missed more shot or action with medium format not necessary becasue medium format has longer shutter lag - or may be it is, but to me some of the factors has to do with the frame rate.

Coming back to the point, I don't feel the shutter lag a particular problem for me, one need to know his camera and how it works and eventually you control your camera to get what you want, not rely on camera to help to get the shot. But to speak of what I felt, Contax is best among the three, and Hy6 very similar feel as Contax and may be as good, the miror is softer and the motor advance with a nice rhythm, not quite a music, but close. H3D for this matter, is like knocking the door.  I think all the three camera has similar frame rate, but they act differently, repeat again, I don't get bothered by any of these camera for shutter lag, but how the camera works, especially the H, is somewhat distracting, at least it is to me.  May be I am not a big fan of H, but I am a user still.

And it is hard to say whether or not becuase H mirror has more vibration, yes, I felt so, but no scientific number to proof, but as a user I don't have to, may be part of the camera design needs to make the photographer feels good.  The mirror vibration is one thing, and noise is another. So if I were to take a more imtimate shot, I will not use H, because it is quite noisy and distracting. For look book and fashion, yes.  Both H and Hy6 has nice mirror function, so as Contax but since I use the L plate, the location of mirror up control on Contax is not possible, especially in vertical mode, this is a problem for me to use the Contax when constant mirror lock is required. But locking the mirror is probably only useful in still and landscape work, in stuio shooting protrait and fashion with the constant mirror up, firing, framing, it is not working for me.

Sorry for a long post, but truthfully, I wish the camera can be improved, but as they are, I have no porblem with them, because I need to work with my camera to get work done, and I don't complain camera. Coming back to the camera again, it seemed Contax has more universal appeal and love, Hy6 unfortunately too few shooter to make enough voice, and H is more polarized. H system is more polarized because I think it has more polarized policy behind it.  A close integraton indeed has many advantages, convenient, fast, and H might have the best and accuracy in AF but there are people hate the concept because they were locked out.  If I were to pick an issue with integrated system, is the back can't work independently without extra accessory, unless tethered to a computer.  But otherwise, the final image is the sole responsibility of the photogrpaher, not the camera.

Regrds, K
« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 06:25:23 AM by Khun_K » Logged
BJNY
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« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2009, 06:05:02 AM »
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Thank you Thierry for asking
and Khun for answering.
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Guillermo
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« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2009, 06:10:22 AM »
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Quote from: Khun_K
Hi.... And to be very very honest, I don't have the probem with any of the cameras mentioned for mirror vibration, may be it is due to what I shoot and how I shoot.  But let me try to reply the question in my own opinion;

....  But otherwise, the final image is the sole responsibility of the photogrpaher, not the camera.

Regrds, K

Thanks K,

Eventually, that's all that matters, the point of view from a shooter/photographer, the practical experience in situ, not numbers or flawed lab tests.

Thanks for that,
Thierry
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dwdmguy
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« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2009, 04:26:52 PM »
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Quote from: ThierryH
Thanks K,

Eventually, that's all that matters, the point of view from a shooter/photographer, the practical experience in situ, not numbers or flawed lab tests.

Thanks for that,
Thierry

Holy cow, someone finally has got "it".

You are a rare breed indeed sire.
Main reason why a dumped a 28meg (DL28) and the P65 backs and went back 100 pct to film.... No cute little test could even come close to convience me that the digi back was even in the running.
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revaaron
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« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2009, 06:06:07 PM »
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mostly 120 film with 120mm, 80mm, 45mm. I'm still waiting for a dirt cheap DB since film is cheap.
Most of my personal stuff is film with the contax.
edit: I can't get rid of the repeated images.... sorry.
re-edit: did that do it?
« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 06:07:58 PM by revaaron » Logged

dougster_ling
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« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2009, 05:03:44 PM »
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Quote from: revaaron
mostly 120 film with 120mm, 80mm, 45mm. I'm still waiting for a dirt cheap DB since film is cheap.
Most of my personal stuff is film with the contax.
edit: I can't get rid of the repeated images.... sorry.
re-edit: did that do it?


I have gone back to the Contax 645 and only shoot film with it. As with others who mentioned film I to love what film gives me and I am drawn back to it for those reasons. I use the 120mm, 80mm and the Hartblei 45mm shift and shoot usually with the 80mm most of the time. I am thinking about a back for it and am waiting for the P45+ to drop below the 10k mark which should be in about 8 months from now.

The 5d mark ll is the camera that I use for my digital commercial work exclusively.

Douglas Sterling
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