Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Contax 645  (Read 13178 times)
bjornaagedk
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 129


« on: December 26, 2005, 01:55:05 PM »
ReplyReply

I am looking for a complete medium format system for my PhaseOne P45 back.

Mamiya 645: No, to much plastic!
Hasselblad H2: Maybe
Contax 645: Interesting, but is it discontinued?

What is the situation so far?
Logged
mikeseb
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 482



WWW
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2005, 02:25:55 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
I am looking for a complete medium format system for my PhaseOne P45 back.

Mamiya 645: No, to much plastic!
Hasselblad H2: Maybe
Contax 645: Interesting, but is it discontinued?

What is the situation so far?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54338\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Interesting question, especially for those of us who have invested heavily in Contax gear, starting just before it was discontinued back in the spring.

I bought the C645 with the idea that I'd migrate to digital when I could afford a back. I just hope that back-makers keep making backs to fit it, and that prices of either new or used backs eventually reach my affordability point. I figure that it's going to take one or two more generations of new backs for the Contax before I can pick up a P20 or P25 on the used market. I just hope those newer generations will include the Contax.

In the meantime I have fallen in love with the camera, so now all reason has fled. Great camera--by far the best I've ever used.

Michael did an extensive piece on his own decision tree when he took up the C645 a few years ago. Don't have the link but you should be able to find it easily enough. To summarize, he liked the ergonomics and build quality of the Contax, and was heavily influenced by the quality of the lenses. He found the H to be a good camera but not as good a value as the Contax. Don't recall exactly what put paid to his considering the Mamiya.

Contax bodies, prism finders, film backs, battery grips, and most lenses (other than the 350) are pretty available thru used dealers or on eBay. Some of the accessories, like lens hoods, waist-level finder, and various caps, are darn near impossible to find affordably. Supposedly Kyocera or its successor organization (?ToCAD?) will service the camera for ten years--assuming parts are still available. I have enough faith in this that I just bought an under-warranty demo body as a backup.

Wonder if Michael is reading this, if any other info is available about the future for Contax? Michael, are you still as enamored of the Contax/Phase combo as before, or are you increasingly turning to your Canon gear? Did  you decide to upgrade to the P45?
Logged

michael sebastian
Website  |  Blog
eleanorbrown
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 632


WWW
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2005, 02:43:10 PM »
ReplyReply

In the last Video Journal the CEO of Phase said he'd put his money on the continuation of the Hasselblad line and the Contax "concept"  ( am assuming he means the Contax Zeiss lenses and the Contax mount--but this is just my take on this).  I work with a Contax 645 and P25 back as this seems to be the best combination of portability and fine image quality.  I plan on staying with this set up.  I traded my Canon 1Ds camera and and couple of lenses for the 5D body.  The 5D is a superb camera and I will be using it with my 90mm Canon TS lens mostly for some of the water abstracts I enjoy doing.  But I just don't think any 12 bit 35mm camera can match a 16 bit medium format back.  The difference in dynamic range micro detail is definitely noticable.  My Contax lenses are excellent with this back and I really would recommend Contax highly.  I too invested in a second camera body  (a demo one I found at B&H).  Agree with Michael S. that things like lens hoods can be difficult to  find......

 I've heard that phase will continue to support Contax.  Maybe Michael R. has some more up to date info.  Good luck, Eleanor

Quote
I am looking for a complete medium format system for my PhaseOne P45 back.

Mamiya 645: No, to much plastic!
Hasselblad H2: Maybe
Contax 645: Interesting, but is it discontinued?

What is the situation so far?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54338\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Logged

Let Biogons be Biogons
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 161


WWW
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2005, 10:11:14 AM »
ReplyReply

Actually, all the manufacturers of medium format backs plan to continue to provide support and products for the Contax 645.  

It has a future, as well as great lenses and great handling, even if Kyocera never makes another one.
Logged
michael
Administrator
Sr. Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 4916



« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2005, 10:24:27 AM »
ReplyReply

While there was hope for a Contax resurection during the second half of 2005, it now looks like the game is over. The best information I have is that the Contax 645 line is dead. Kaput.

I currently have two 645 bodies complete with prisms and battery grips, and six lenses, plus all the major accessories. For me personally, this will be the medium format system that I use for the foreseable future. I have a Phase One P25 back, and this in combination with the superb Zeiss lenses makes for an unsurpassed system. I expect that I'll trade up to the P45 in the new year.

The face of medium format is about to change. I can't go into too much detail (my crystal ball needs polishing) but I think its safe to say that the era of medium format cameras with interchangable backs is now almost behind us.

Bronica is gone, the Hasselblad V serieswill soon bite the dust, and I expect Mamiya's current line (except possibly for the ZD body) will be gone soon. Contax of course is history.

That just leaves Hasselblad with the H2. A nice system, but you can expect the body and back to merge soon. That leaves back makers Phase One and Leaf. What happens to them and the relationships that they forge will unfold in 2006.

Pentax? We'll see.

It's going to be a brutal year in the camera industry.

Michael
Logged
eleanorbrown
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 632


WWW
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2005, 12:34:01 PM »
ReplyReply

Michael, is the implication here that the new camera/back as one unit of the future will not support our current Zeiss (contax) lenses?  Does your crystal ball go that far?  thanks, eleanor

Quote
While there was hope for a Contax resurection during the second half of 2005, it now looks like the game is over. The best information I have is that the Contax 645 line is dead. Kaput.

I currently have two 645 bodies complete with prisms and battery grips, and six lenses, plus all the major accessories. For me personally, this will be the medium format system that I use for the foreseable future. I have a Phase One P25 back, and this in combination with the superb Zeiss lenses makes for an unsurpassed system. I expect that I'll trade up to the P45 in the new year.

The face of medium format is about to change. I can't go into too much detail (my crystal ball needs polishing) but I think its safe to say that the era of medium format cameras with interchangable backs is now almost behind us.

Bronica is gone, the Hasselblad V serieswill soon bite the dust, and I expect Mamiya's current line (except possibly for the ZD body) will be gone soon. Contax of course is history.

That just leaves Hasselblad with the H2. A nice system, but you can expect the body and back to merge soon. That leaves back makers Phase One and Leaf. What happens to them and the relationships that they forge will unfold in 2006.

Pentax? We'll see.

It's going to be a brutal year in the camera industry.

Michael
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54408\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Logged

Let Biogons be Biogons
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 161


WWW
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2005, 12:42:44 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
While there was hope for a Contax resurection during the second half of 2005, it now looks like the game is over. The best information I have is that the Contax 645 line is dead. Kaput.


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54408\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What has lead you to this conclusion?  Is:
1) Kyocera stubbornly asking for too much money for designs, toolings, tech, and license rights (potentially winding up with nothing rather than something)?, or
2) Phase One getting cold feet?

A ZD-style camera that takes Contax 645 lenses made by Phase One seems to me would sell nicely.  I would certainly open my wallet for one.

Are we possibly going to be left with only 2 players in the MF digital market (Imacon and Mamiya), much like the Canon-Nikon duopoly we have in the small format DSLR market? Neither is in the interests of the consumer/photographer.
Logged
michael
Administrator
Sr. Member
*****
Online Online

Posts: 4916



« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2005, 02:34:15 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Michael, is the implication here that the new camera/back as one unit of the future will not support our current Zeiss (contax) lenses?  Does your crystal ball go that far?  thanks, eleanor
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54430\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't expect anyone to make any new camera bodies that take Contax 645 lenses.

If you're happy with the Contax system and Zeiss lenses, as I am, you might want to consider buying a second body now, while prices are low and availability is good. They're only going to go up.

Michael
Logged
eleanorbrown
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 632


WWW
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2005, 08:05:17 PM »
ReplyReply

This (below) is sounds to me like the current "new" Phase backs (ie: P45, 30, etc etc) will be the last interchangable backs they make.  am I reading this correctly?  I find this a bit unsettling to say the least.  Eleanor


Quote
but I think its safe to say that the era of medium format cameras with interchangable backs is now almost behind us.

 That leaves back makers Phase One and Leaf. What happens to them and the relationships that they forge will unfold in 2006.


Michael
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54408\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Logged

BJL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5171


« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2005, 02:18:40 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Bronica is gone, the Hasselblad V serieswill soon bite the dust, and I expect Mamiya's current line (except possibly for the ZD body) will be gone soon. Contax of course is history.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54408\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Is that comment about the Hasselblad V series based in insider information, or just a well-informed guess?

I understand that many low volume, high end products (like the former Canon 50/1 and Nikon F5) go out of production but then stay available for some years as warehouse stocks are slowly run down. I can believe that Hasselblad stopped making camera bodies after they made a run of the updated 555 body (with databus connections), so that only the H series bodies are being manufactured now, and them by Fuji, not Hasselblad. Maybe the Mamiya 645AFDII is also in this situation?

Go Pentax! we need a less expensive digital MF option!
Logged
bjornaagedk
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 129


« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2005, 04:38:29 PM »
ReplyReply

My guess:

In a few years we will end up with 2 or 3 manufacturers of medium format digital equipment:

1: Phase One - with their own line of integrated digital MF cameras (not backs!) with a complete line of new "digital" top lenses, maybe in cooperation with Zeiss, Schneider or Rodenstock.

2: Hasselblad - With their H2D and H3D(?).. integrated digital MF camera with more lenses added to the existing line. The V-system ??  Dead!  Hasselblad Digital backs?  Dead!

3: Mamiya. If there is a place for a third manufacturer, then Mamiya - with their line of digital MF cameras like the ZD and a new developed line of lenses for digital use.
Logged
Let Biogons be Biogons
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 161


WWW
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2005, 08:20:09 PM »
ReplyReply

What happens to Leaf (who, with the Leaf Aptus, currently make some very popular digital backs), and Sinar/Jenoptic (check out the Sinar M)?


Quote
My guess:

In a few years we will end up with 2 or 3 manufacturers of medium format digital equipment:

1: Phase One - with their own line of integrated digital MF cameras (not backs!) with a complete line of new "digital" top lenses, maybe in cooperation with Zeiss, Schneider or Rodenstock.

2: Hasselblad - With their H2D and H3D(?).. integrated digital MF camera with more lenses added to the existing line. The V-system ??  Dead!  Hasselblad Digital backs?  Dead!

3: Mamiya. If there is a place for a third manufacturer, then Mamiya - with their line of digital MF cameras like the ZD and a new developed line of lenses for digital use.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54541\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Logged
hcubell
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 731


WWW
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2005, 07:29:35 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
My guess:

In a few years we will end up with 2 or 3 manufacturers of medium format digital equipment:

1: Phase One - with their own line of integrated digital MF cameras (not backs!) with a complete line of new "digital" top lenses, maybe in cooperation with Zeiss, Schneider or Rodenstock.

2: Hasselblad - With their H2D and H3D(?).. integrated digital MF camera with more lenses added to the existing line. The V-system ??  Dead!  Hasselblad Digital backs?  Dead!

3: Mamiya. If there is a place for a third manufacturer, then Mamiya - with their line of digital MF cameras like the ZD and a new developed line of lenses for digital use.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54541\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

How does Phase One move to being the "manufacturer" of a camera system?
Logged

eleanorbrown
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 632


WWW
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2005, 09:39:19 AM »
ReplyReply

And what about all those photographers who shoot with view cameras?  they are still going to need a back.  I personally am not happy about the idea of Phase moving away from manufacture of backs, especially since I am invested in a Contax/P25 system.  There is a point one gets to when the constant quest for "more resolution and sharper lenses, bigger computers" becomes counter productive and somehow "making images" begins to take a back seat to compulsive pixel peeping.  Just my two cents.  Eleanor


Quote
How does Phase One move to being the "manufacturer" of a camera system?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54593\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Logged

BJL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5171


« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2005, 04:22:31 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
My guess:
...
1: Phase One - with their own line of integrated digital MF cameras (not backs!) with a complete line of new "digital" top lenses, maybe in cooperation with Zeiss, Schneider or Rodenstock.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54541\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Like others, this is the one I cannot buy: I do not expect anyone to make the huge investment of creating an entire new SLR lens systems in medium format. In fact, I do not expect any new SLR lens systems, not even in the far more profitable DSLR mainstream. Note that the coming wave of new DSLR makers Panasonic, Samsung and Sony are following Fuji and Kodak in using existing lens systems.

I can see instead Phase One partnering with an existing medium format system maker on integrated digital bodies, but who is left? Are they left with the view camera and legacy MF body market?
Logged
johnkohl
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3


« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2006, 10:29:26 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi!

I just found your forum, and I'm a Contax 645 owner with the 45mm, 80mm, and 120mm lens.

I think everybody whom has responded in regards to the demise of the Contax 645 should read the current Zeiss website in response.  It states we had not seen the end of the Contax 645 system.  It will probably be a different manufacturer, but the same build quality will bear the Contax name in the future.  It states Zeiss is in talks with someone to continue the Contax 645, and what has already been stated by someone eles a digital back.

johnkohl
Logged
Let Biogons be Biogons
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 161


WWW
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2006, 12:19:07 AM »
ReplyReply

Yes, that's been the line for some time.  We are still waiting...


Quote
Hi!

I just found your forum, and I'm a Contax 645 owner with the 45mm, 80mm, and 120mm lens.

I think everybody whom has responded in regards to the demise of the Contax 645 should read the current Zeiss website in response.  It states we had not seen the end of the Contax 645 system.  It will probably be a different manufacturer, but the same build quality will bear the Contax name in the future.  It states Zeiss is in talks with someone to continue the Contax 645, and what has already been stated by someone eles a digital back.

johnkohl
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=56471\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Logged
johnkohl
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3


« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2006, 01:32:13 PM »
ReplyReply

I firmly believe that as Zeiss states in their Lens News, 22, that they still have a contract with Kyocera for a few more years, meaning their hands are tied and they can't say anything until the contract runs out, and then we will see a new camera, and additional lens.

I couldn't understand there not being more lens available, but Kyocera didn't want to commit, since their Contax ND had been a loser with their Phillips sensor.  At that point their management starting withdrawing money for the Contax as a whole.  They figured they could make more money elsewhere.  I don't regret seeing Kyocera pulling out of the camera market.

I don't believe the C645 was developed by Kyocera.  I believe it truly was developed by Zeiss, so I don['t believe we have seen the end of the Contax 645.
johnkohl
Logged
eleanorbrown
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 632


WWW
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2006, 06:28:31 PM »
ReplyReply

I hope you are right John.  Michael seems to have other information regarding the death of the contax/zeiss line.  I love my contax 645 and the lenses are superb and i would like nothing more than to see it survive. eleanor brown

Quote
I firmly believe that as Zeiss states in their Lens News, 22, that they still have a contract with Kyocera for a few more years, meaning their hands are tied and they can't say anything until the contract runs out, and then we will see a new camera, and additional lens.

I couldn't understand there not being more lens available, but Kyocera didn't want to commit, since their Contax ND had been a loser with their Phillips sensor.  At that point their management starting withdrawing money for the Contax as a whole.  They figured they could make more money elsewhere.  I don't regret seeing Kyocera pulling out of the camera market.

I don't believe the C645 was developed by Kyocera.  I believe it truly was developed by Zeiss, so I don['t believe we have seen the end of the Contax 645.
johnkohl
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=56583\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Logged

BJL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5171


« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2006, 06:47:50 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
I firmly believe that ... we will see a new camera, and additional lens.

I don't believe the C645 was developed by Kyocera.  I believe it truly was developed by Zeiss...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=56583\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I am sorry, but this is pure wishful thinking and self-deception, as you unconsciously imply by repeated use of the word "believe". It is absolutely clear that the Contax 645 camera was a project of Kyocera, as were all Contax 35mm format cameras for many years. It is almost as clear that teh mediumf format sector has shrunk so that there wil not be any economic rationale or prospect for yet another ne systm from Zeiss or anyone else. The current two active 645 AF systems, Mamiya and Fuji (marketed as Hasselblad outside Japan), are enough, and maybe even more than enough for current and future demand.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad