Contax G2 Film Camera Review: A Love Letter
Attention all film photography enthusiasts! Are you tired of lugging around a heavy, clunky camera? Are you sick of blurry, misfocused shots? Well, have I got the camera for you – the Contax G2!
Released in 1996 by Kyocera, the G2 quickly became a favorite among professional photographers thanks to its impressive specs and build quality. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at everything the G2 has to offer, from its history and specs to its lens lineup and pros and cons. We’ll also compare it to its predecessor, the G1.
So grab your film, load up your G2, and get ready to take some seriously stunning photos. This is going to be a wild ride, folks. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Contax G2 History
The Contax G2 was released by Kyocera in 1996, following the success of its predecessor, the G1. Both cameras were part of the G series, which were designed to be small, lightweight, and easy to use.
The G2 was a significant improvement over the G1 in many ways. It featured a faster and more accurate autofocus system, improved metering, and a higher-resolution viewfinder. It also had a more durable build, with a metal body and weather-resistant sealing.
Contax G2 Specs
The Contax G2 is a 35mm film camera with a rangefinder design, meaning it has a separate viewfinder and rangefinder window for focusing. It has a top shutter speed of 1/4000th of a second, and a continuous shooting rate of 2.5 frames per second. The camera is powered by two CR123A lithium batteries, which are known for their long lifespan.
One of the standout features of the Contax G2 is its autofocus system, which is fast and accurate even in low light. It uses a passive autofocus system, which relies on contrast detection rather than the more common phase detection method. This means that the camera can focus on a wider range of subjects and is less prone to focus hunting.
Here are the main specs for the Contax G2 film camera:
- 35mm film camera with rangefinder design
- Top shutter speed of 1/4000th of a second
- Continuous shooting rate of 2.5 frames per second
- Passive autofocus system using contrast detection
- Uses G-mount lenses
- Powered by two CR123A lithium batteries
- Titanium body
- Viewfinder with built-in diopter correction and LED display
- Multiple metering modes, including center-weighted, spot, and multi-zone
- Multiple exposure mode
- Hot shoe and PC sync terminal for flash use
- Dimensions: 138mm x 75mm x 46mm
- Weight: approximately 550g (with batteries)
Contax G Lenses Lineup
One of the main attractions of the Contax G series is its small but incredibly good lenses lineup. The G2 is compatible with G-mount lenses, which are specifically designed for the G series.
There are several G-mount lenses available for the G2, including a super rare 16mm Hologon, a 21mm, 28mm f/2.8, 35mm, a 35-70mm zoom (the only zoom), a 45mm f/2, and a 90mm f/2.8. These lenses are known for their unmatched image quality.
Contax G2 Pros & Cons
Like any camera, the Contax G2 has its share of pros and cons. Some of the main pros of the G2 include its fast and accurate autofocus, durable build, and wide range of compatible lenses. It is also known for its high image quality and excellent low-light performance.
- Fast and accurate autofocus system
- Durable build
- Wide range of compatible lenses
- High image quality
- Hard to repair
- Heavier and bulkier than the G1
- Is the Contax G2 a good camera for beginners? The Contax G2 is a high-end camera that may be more suitable for experienced photographers. It has a rangefinder design, which can be more challenging to use for those who are new to film photography. However, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to learn how to use the camera, it can certainly be a great choice for beginners.
- Is the G2 better than the G1? In many ways, the G2 is an improvement over the G1. It has a faster and more accurate autofocus system, improved metering, and a higher-resolution viewfinder. However, the G1 is still a highly regarded camera and may be a better choice for those who prefer a more traditional rangefinder experience.
- Can I use digital lenses on the G2? No, the Contax G2 is a film camera and is not compatible with digital lenses. It is designed to be used with Contax G-mount lenses, which are specifically made for this camera.
Contax G2 Common Issues
- Autofocus problems: Some users have reported issues with the G2’s autofocus system, including focus hunting and difficulty focusing on low-contrast subjects.
- Battery issues: The G2 uses two CR123A lithium batteries, which can be difficult to find in some regions. Some users have also reported issues with the battery compartment not closing properly.
- Light leaks: Some G2 users have reported light leaks in the camera’s film chamber, which can result in overexposed photos.
Contax G2 comparison with the G1
As mentioned earlier, the G2 is an improvement over the G1 in many ways. It has a faster and more accurate autofocus system, improved metering, and a higher-resolution viewfinder. It is also more durable, with a metal body and weather-resistant sealing. However, the G1 is still a highly regarded camera and may be a better choice for those who prefer a more affordable camera.
Contax G2 Special Editions
There were a few special editions of the Contax G2 released during its production run. These included the Contax G2 Titanium, which had a sleek black titanium body and was released in a limited edition of 1000 units.
Well, there you have it – a comprehensive guide to the Contax G2 film camera. Whether you’re a seasoned film photographer or just starting out, I hope this guide has given you a good understanding of what the G2 has to offer.
In my humble opinion, the G2 is a true gem of a camera. It’s fast, it’s accurate, and it takes beautiful photos. Plus, its use of the G-mount means you have access to some of the sharpest Zeiss lenses ever made. Sure, it might be a bit expensive, and you might have to hunt for film in some parts of the world, but trust me – it’s worth it.
So if you’re in the market for a new film camera, don’t sleep on the Contax G2. It might just be the one you’ve been waiting for. Happy shooting!
Hi, I’m Vincent Moschetti! I love shooting film and talking about it 📸