View Full Version : Help with G2 & color films
I have a question for any of you G2 users. I just bought a G2 with 28,45,90 lenses but am struggling.
The color balance of images with the Kodak films is not correct. It is lacking in cyan and blue. This really shows in light colors and skin tones, while light blue skys tend to show a purple tint.
Have you noticed this or overcome it in anyway.
I like how the camera draws in B&W, but just have not been able to accept color from it yet.
Checking pictures on the ContaxG pages, gives me the same impression of lacking cyan & blue.
Your comments would be appreciated.
Is this happening with print or transparency film?
I think you just hit on what many of us love about the G2 lenses: warmth! Shoot some Velvia in late afternoon light and WOW what warmth! I've got to say after shooting (and loving) the Zeiss lenses for a couple years when I picked up a Leica and some Lietz glass I couldn't deal with how blue the chromes were! I guess it comes down to personal taste.
One thing you didn't mention was if you were shooting with a filter. One sure way to get some cyan in your images is to add some haze (remove the UV filter) though that's not the best for your image resolution. And of course film choice has a lot to do with color rendition. Pro films then to be cooler (or should I say color neutral) than the consumer films.
I was shooting the old (non-red label) Portra 160 VC and 400 NC Kodak negative films, without any filters.
I am very used to the look of my Leica glass with these films.
How do other color negative films (I don't shoot positive.) work with these Zeiss lenses? Which ones shift the color balance more towards the Portra VC with the Leica glass.
I do really like how the G2 handles and how the Zeiss glass renders, except for the color balance issue.
I normally agree with what you are saying.
However, I have seen the same thing from rolls developed at local "pro" labs and a mini-lab at CVS.
The issue showed up in both the prints from the labs and when I scanned the negatives on my Nikon scanner.
Any recommendations on a non-super saturated, mid contrast, color film that reacts differently with these lenses?
Relative to being tired of the Lab Monkeys and the results, you don't know how much I agree. That is one of the reasons that I starting shooting more digital. I was tired of the scratches, finger prints, or muddy tones on the negs from these guys. I had basically switched to the M8 & Nikon D200 for color. For B&W, I do seem to prefer film more. I have recently purchased what I need to develop my own B&W for scanning & printing myself. (No wet printing, but rather the Epson 3800.)
The ContaxG2 has always intrigued me, and I really liked the B&W stuff that I saw from the Zeiss lenses.
I'm just not sure if it will be a color camera for me, unless I get a different color balance.
Here is a link to another member's post that shows the same thing which I am seeing relative to color balance. (My monitor is calibrated with an Eye One Pro Spectro - Eye One Match Software.)
It is no consolation to know that at least two other members have suffered as much as I have from the cruel way in which films and prints are messed up at labs.
The reason I had asked is that in print film, the process of making a print leaves open a lot of variables.
I've gotten my best prints back from a pro lab. The consumer labs do an adequate job of processing negative film but the prints often leave a lot to be desired.
I've been using Dan's Camera City for several years via mail order, and I've been very impressed with their work. They cost a bit more, but the results have been superior to most walk-in places, so I don't mind paying extra.
They have called me on several occasions to review what I had sent them and to go over special requests.
You might try sending the film to a pro lab and see if the results are any better.
I'm sorry, but I am still trying to grasp the concept of Contax G2 lenses effecting color balance. The 45mm, especially, cannot begin to contribute to this condition. Let us know the result from a transparency. In every case (negative and positive) my results have been perfect (at least color and exposure :) ).
Zeissfan - They were developed by two different pro-labs.
f2eyelevel - It has been a long time since I shot Fuji, but a trial a couple rolls to see how it performs.
Ray, don't give up, I am sure there is a logical explanation to this.
I think you'd need to make a comparison with slide film between the Contax-G lenses and others to verify a true difference. I do see different color balance from my pro-lab scans, and attribute it to the lab rather than to lenses. I have not noticed anything consistent and noticeable with lenses from Zeiss, Leica, Voigtlander, Pentax, etc... What I see in the scans is a mild effect that's easy to edit in software anyway.
I do not really get this post: all printing machines have a dial, actually 4, to adjust yellow, magenta and cyan, plus density. Similarly with scanning. So anyone can make a printed picture look brownish or greenish or blueish etc ...
Of course we humans see the light always a bit differently than film does. Our "curves" differ. The culprit is the film and not the lens. AND the lab operator, all PLUS our personal taste/recall of what color there actually was.
Dissing a set of lenses whether Nikon, Canon or Zeiss is the wrong and fruitless approach here, Hamsr, I am afraid.
Dissing a car for its seat position comes to mind and never having found/used the adjustments provided, come to my mind here. Simply learn to understand the whole color gamut and communicate to your lab what is wrong. This will set you free.
I second the fuji nps 160 suggestion.
Also you can pretty much forget blaming the zeiss glass on the color shift, of all optics in the world, one of the safest if not the safest to assume as a solid reference is zeiss T*. In other words, consider the T* as rock solid and correct, something else is to blame, such as the minilab scanner, minilab operator, minilab setting, chemical temperature, lamp age, printing paper got too hot, some profile is off, wrong colorspace selected etc etc..
The T* is about the only thing in the chain that it's safe to assume is correct.
Nearly every minilab seems to be using fuji crystal paper now.. I too was sort of disappointed by kodak portra printed by costco's noritsu on the fuji, but nps looked better. The kodak portra scans looked great though, also from the nortisu..
all using contax G glass, so I'm blaming the printer settings..
When I took a roll of the portra to a different more professional lab, well- Motophoto- the resulting prints looked great, scans from the machine the same but the prints had much better color. The motophoto place uses the same paper, but they claim to have way more profiles than other places..
I took rolls of film from the same contax g using the 90 on it, porta from the same pack to three different minilabs on the same project and the prints were so different in color balance you'd think I used a different film for each.
That's why I think slides rule now!
Is this on lacking cyan and blue? 28mm with fuji superia 400
This photo is not lacking in Cyan , although I do not see much blue in this sky,
Have to politely disagree here...
I haven't shot slides for years...all negative film these days. With a good scanner and software to get the most out of the film then the old arguments about neg film don't really apply. Neg film gives me greater dynamic range, is easy to process in the office and scan very well. All my News and Media clients want digital files, they no longer accept slides.
The Fuji pro films - 400H, 800Z, 160S - are excellent and I've used the results in newspapers and magazines as well as online and large form advertising.
I appreciate that everyone has their own opinions and experiences...just my point of view...
You have a point here. I realized that I had suddenly got old-fashioned at the same time I wrote my previous post.
Only the National Geographic wants slides and slides only, AFAIK. Still true ?
Sorry didn't mean to make a sweeping statement ;) - was referring just to my clients - though I'm guessing most news now revolves around digital cameras and JPG's.
Don't know about the NG magazine chaps, I work with TV&Film, different group altogether.
Anyway, in a few years (months ?) this will be all over I'm afraid. We can compare CMOS rendition with CCD or Foveon one only then.
The best thing to do now is what you said : good shooting with the photo equipment we like, to get results that please us.
I won't mind providing they sort out some better dynamic range on the damn things. I really don't know why it's so bad...I can shoot almost 13 stops with my HD TV camera which is just 3 ccd chips at the end of the day.
Hm, I see differences in films and labs and came to the answer that Kodak films print best on Kodak paper and Fuji film on Fuji paper :-)
From my strict amateur background I recommend slide film for the Contax G, too. IMHO that's what it's made for. I use printfilm when I need a bit more latitude and B/W is not an option.
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