Thursday, March 19, 2009



Contax G

In 1994, Contax introduced an apparent oddity: a new line of interchangeable-lens rangefinder cameras that did not use the established Leica-M or Leica-screw lens mounts.

The new camera, the Contax G1, used the "G"-mount, an electronic autofocus mount. Critics were quick to accuse the camera of not being a "true" (mechanical) rangefinder, since it used autofocus and electronically-linked mechanisms. But the AF mechanism in the G1, and later the G2 (introduced in 1996), does indeed use a twin-window system much like that of the older mechanical rangefinders—only in electronic form.

The lenses made by Zeiss for the G-series quickly established it as a camera of worth: the original 45mm f/2 Planar was joined by a 28mm f/2.8 Biogon and a 90mm f/2.8 Sonnar; a 21 f/2.8 Biogon, 16mm f/8 Hologon and a 35mm f/2 Planar were added later. The 45mm Planar in particular gained renown as the sharpest 35mm camera lens ever tested by the Swedish test site Photodo — outclassing even the illustrious Leica50mm Summicron.

With its titanium clad body, sophisticated electronic rangefinder and superb lenses, the G system has not been equalled in the years since its introduction. To its fans, the Contax G2 is the finest 35mm camera ever produced.

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