Contax G2 – Review & Samples

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 Introduction

Contax G2 was produced from 1996 to 2005 by Kyocera, under the Contax brand. As the title  sugests, this is the best autofocus rangefider analog camera your money can buy,and you’ll se why.

Contax G2 body
Contax G2

When I received the camera I had only 2 hours to test it, so I just loaded the film and went out for a shoot.

Mount

Contax G2 share the same autofocus mont as Contax G1 – the Contax G mount

The Body

There is no compromise in this body, everything feels just right.  Contax G2 body is made of titanium, so is made for endurance. The camera feels very comfortable, and the weight/size ratio is just perfect.

On top of the camera you can find the shutter speed dial, exposure compensation dial, main switch, shutter release, hot shoe mount, iso button, display panel and drive mode dial. I chose to shoot ilford fp4 plus in this cold winter day, so i set the camera on auto exposure and the exposure compensation dial to +1.

I was not 100% percent sure the Contax G2 is weather sealed, but i had to go out and shoot. This was a chance I had to take. After one hour shooting in snowy conditions, and in almost minus 5 degrees celsius, the Contax G2 is still working properly.

I could not find any information online about this aspect, so i would not recommend using it in the rain, mud or when it’s snowing. Do it at your own risk, just as i did.

Another concern i had, was regarding the batteries. They say batteries will drain faster, or will stop working in the cold, but this G2 worked just fine till the end.

Contax G2 Lenses

All lenses designed for Contax G2 are state of the art Carl Zeiss auto focus. I had the Planar 45mm f2.0, and never missed a shot. The lenses has no focus motor, so they rely on the Af motor in the body.

Autofocus 

The autofocus is fast and accurate. I find it a little noisy, but not very disturbing. You can choose to autofocus, or to manualy focus.

Viewfinder

The G2’s viewfinder is as fine as you can get. It’s self adjusting  to compensate parallax error as you focus, and it’s self adjusting as you change the lens. As far as i’m concerned, it’s just perfect.

Film loading and advancing

Contax G2 back view
Contax G2 back view

Film loding the Cotax G2 is very intuitive, and advancing after each shot is automatic. After the roll is done, the camera stops focusing, as a warning to unload or change the film. You can set the Iso value manually, or you can set the camera to read Dx coding.

Exposure

You can set exposure manualy from 4sec to 1/4000 and bulb, or up to 1/6000 in auto mode. Exposure compensation can be set up to +/-2 stops  in 1/3 steps.

Contax G2 Batteries

Contax G2 uses 2x CR2 batteries

Final thoghts

Contax G2 is a truly state of the art rangefinder, and this comes with a price. I had no issues with this camera, even shooting in extreme conditions. The image it delivers is outstanding, so if you really want the best, you’ll have to spend some money. If you already have one, don’t tell your wife the true price, as you might end up eating fries for the rest of your life.

Photo Samples

Ilford Fp4 Plus 125 , overexposed one stop and developed in Rodinal 1/50 for 15 min. Epson V500 scan.

Ilford Fp4 Plus 125

Black and White
G2
G2 sample
Ilford Fp4 Plus 125
 G2
G2
G2 sample
Seagulls – Ilford Fp4
G2 sample
Winter in Bucharest
G2 sample
G2 sample
Contax G2 sample
Seagulls G2 sample
Contax G2 sample
G2 sample
Contax G2 sample
Winter in Bucharest G2 sample
 G2 sample
G2 sample
 G2 sample
Contax G2 sample

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