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Author Topic: Contax 645 system woes  (Read 5348 times)
ddolde
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« on: August 11, 2005, 01:24:43 PM »
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&^%$##&*
« Last Edit: November 27, 2005, 11:00:45 PM by ddolde » Logged
eleanorbrown
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2005, 09:17:38 PM »
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thanks for the suggestion about the super glue Michael. I tried epoxy and then the minute i rotated the hood on my lens the glued ring snapped loose again. I have ordered a hood meant for the 45mm and will either use that hood on my 80mm or take the ring off and put it on my broken lens hood. I haven't really worried about the contax situation too much, but i must admit when i started looking around and i found out just how scarce both the lenses and accessories are, i found the situation a bit intimidating. I used to shoot with Hasselblad years ago and those wonderful manuel focus lenses that, as I understand it, were then made by Zeiss. When i bought the Contax lenses they immediately reminded me of those old Hassy lenses--in resolution, contrast and fabulous bokeh! eleanor

"I have had the same problem with two of the lens hoods. I was able to salvage mine, while I search for replacements, by unscrewing the plastic ring that engages the front of the lens, repairing it with "Plastic Surgery" (a super-glue-like adhesive designed for all types of plastics), then reassembling the hood. It sounds like this won't work for you. "
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2005, 05:19:10 PM »
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No conflict, just another perspective based on new experience.

My H1 test of a few years ago showed that the camera's Fuji lenses were excellent. My side by side with the Zeiss lens on a Contax recently showed it to be somewhat less excellent than that comparable lens.

Not so hard to understand, is it?

Michael
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David Mantripp
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2005, 03:40:06 PM »
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Not so hard to understand, is it?

Sorry Michael, but "Fuji is excellent, Zeiss is excellent, by Zeiss is more excellent than Fuji" sounds a bit Orwellian to be frank.

I think the gist of the argument was that people felt the H1 was not a "real Hasselblad" and that it should have Zeiss lenses. This was the attitude you told them to "get over", but now it really does sound like you're agreeing that the H1 would be better with Zeiss.

There's nothing wrong with changing your mind, and even if you haven't, I don't understand why you can't spend a little more time explaining the apparent change of heart.

I know its your website and you reserve the right to write whatever you want, but many people, including me, take a recommendation from you as extremely reliable. I was considering buying an H1 - but based on what you appear to be saying - that it isn't worth the money - I may well back off.
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David Mantripp
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2005, 03:06:45 PM »
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Life has no absolutes. Life is change. Life is risk. Enjoy the freedom.

Very true, but when you're as indecisive as I am by the time you've decided whatever you've decided on has changed... as indeed you might have noticed from my rapidity at deciding what to photograph... :-)

Actually, I'm a bit put off the H1 by the snail's pace at which new lenses have been produced, and by Fuji's apparent total withdrawl from the MF market. The Hasselblad deal must be very small fry to them...
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2005, 10:54:18 AM »
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Well my worst fears are coming to fruition. My contax metal lens hood for my 645 80 f2 lens has broken and cannot be fixed. i have searched the US, Canada and UK (incl. ebay and Amazon) for a replacement to no avail. I have a lot invested in Contax 645 as it is my system for my Phase P25 back. Does anyone have any information about who or what company may have these kinds of items available? These Zeiss lenses are incredible--i hate to see this system die. Eleanor
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2005, 01:01:37 PM »
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Thanks Michael. just called harry's pro shop and my call was the second he's had today for that item and he's had about 10 requests this week for same. I have ordered the hood for the 45mm and will either use that one or take the metal attachment ring and screws out of it and try to use it on my GB72 hood.

Don't guess you have any more information about the viability of the Contax/Zeiss 645 line of equipment and whether anyone will be able to resurrect it? eleanor
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2005, 01:40:52 PM »
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Switching to the H1 would entrail a huge cost to me and the lenses are not as good as the zeiss lenses.  the phase backs will show up any weaknesses in the lenses. eleanor
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mikeseb
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2005, 07:24:23 PM »
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Eleanor, I share your frustration. I absolutely love the Contax 645 system and hate that it's on life support--more like "code Blue" it seems. I originally bought it last fall hoping that an affordable digital back for it would eventually become available. It's heartening to see that the upcoming backs from Phase, Aptus, and Megavision will all support it. Let's just hope someone will support the camera as well!

Helix Camera in Chicago has Contax 645 accessories from time to time, but it's irregular and unpredictable.

I have had the same problem with two of the lens hoods. I was able to salvage mine, while I search for replacements, by unscrewing the plastic ring that engages the front of the lens, repairing it with "Plastic Surgery" (a super-glue-like adhesive designed for all types of plastics), then reassembling the hood. It sounds like this won't work for you.

At first glance this design seems flawed--the plastic ring is a single point of failure and receives all the stresses placed upon the metal hood. But I guess it serves to absorb some of those stresses, preventing damage to lens or body.

Good luck.
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michael sebastian
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2005, 07:57:55 AM »
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I have had the same problem with two of the lens hoods. I was able to salvage mine, while I search for replacements, by unscrewing the plastic ring that engages the front of the lens, repairing it with "Plastic Surgery" (a super-glue-like adhesive designed for all types of plastics), then reassembling the hood. It sounds like this won't work for you.

I haven't heard of this type of glue, but I did want to add one caution for 'regular' super glue, like 'Krazy glue'.  Cyanoacrylate glues work great for some things (they were designed for metals) - until they freeze, at which point they will release.  So if you're outside in winter, those glues won't work.

Mike.
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mikeseb
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2005, 11:13:26 AM »
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The glue I used is SureHold Plastic Surgery; it contains cyanoacrylate esters so that means it may not be any good once it gets cold, as per Mike's email. It is supposedly formulated for plastics only; I have contacted the manufacturer for more info on temp stability, and I'll pass on what I learn.
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michael sebastian
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2005, 01:46:34 PM »
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The manufacturer of Plastic Surgery adhesive sent me the MSDS on it. After reading it I'm no clearer about its temp stability. Drop me an email if you're interested in it and I'll send it on.
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michael sebastian
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« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2005, 07:59:12 PM »
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David,

I think you know me well enough (you've been on one of my workshops) that you know I don't bullshit. (At least not much).

The reality is that the differences between excellent products is very small. Is a Mercedes better than a BMW. How about a Lexus, or a high end Audi?

I've owned all of them, and at the moment I drive a VW. Buying decisions are based on so many varaibles, and products change, needs change, and attitudes change. Also, one always doesn't have the opportunity to compare things side by side under matching circumstances.

If all I had was an H1 with Fuji lenses I could live quite happily ever after. But, I find that the Contax 645 suites me better and that at least a couple of the Zeiss lenses that I've compared to their Fuji equivalents are slightly superior.

Would anyone ever see the difference unless exacting comparisons were done side-by side. Likely not.

Is Contax out of busines? Yes. Is Hasselblad still in business. Yes. Will Contax come back. Maybe, but no one knows for certain.

Life has no absolutes. Life is change. Life is risk. Enjoy the freedom.

Michael
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2005, 11:28:02 AM »
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Try contacting Brian Lewington at Harrysproshop.com. He's always been my source for Contax equipment.

Michael
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« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2005, 06:04:50 PM »
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I have to agree with Eleanor.

Every time I've compared the Contax's Zeiss lenses to the Fuji lenses on the H1, the difference are immediately visible. Not just subtle, but obvious.

There are discussions ongoing to ressurect the Contax 645 line, but nothing definitive at the moment to report.

My solution was to buy a second Contax body and meter prism on Ebay. I have no intention of switching, or abandoning the Contax, even if the line is gone forever. The H1 doesn't tempt me at all.

Michael
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2005, 10:27:56 PM »
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I used all three TS Canon lenses with the 1Ds and did a lot of stitching with really good results. one warning...in my case, the 45mm TS lens (at least the one i had) was not as good in resolution and contrast as the others. I found the 90 TS to be the sharpest. Be sure and test the 45mm before you decide to keep it. I went on a trip to Death Valley and shot most of my images using the 45 T/S, making three shots per scene for later stitching. I got home and was disappointed in the files from that lens in my distant shots that required good resolution. (again, maybe it was just my particular lens...don't know for sure). eleanor
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jcarlin
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« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2005, 01:41:42 AM »
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I think if you're considering an investment in a camera system, particularly a medium format system, you should at the very least see if you can take a few shots each with each camera and take some time to compare them.  Ideally one would be able to rent both systems for a weekend and try them out.  Buying several thousand dollars worth of camera equipment based on the comments of one person whom you don't know is a bit rash.  (Michael this isn't intended to get you to stop witting equipment review, just to put them in perspective)

Furthermore Zeiss has a reputation second to none among MF lens makers.  No one gets to upset about a Canon L not being quite as nice as a Leica, we just don't expect it to be.  Does this mean that no one should buy a Canon?
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David Mantripp
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« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2005, 01:08:32 PM »
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I know there are a lot of reviews other than Michael's, but so far I haven't found anybody else who puts the priority on photography rather than technology. I guess I'm too lazy to look...but then again, so many websites, so little time. Michael's is the only online source I find both valuable and reliable. Otherwise it's generally print. In French.
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