View Full Version : G1/G2 Noise
The last Contax I shot a great deal was quite a bit older than these new G1/G2 models. ;)
I don't know anything about the new Contax cameras but I like what I have been reading.
I do have one question though and that concerns the audible noise while shooting. I don't expect a motor-driven camera to be as quiet as a Leica, but I would be curious to know just how loud the G1/G2 series is. If any of you present Contax shooters could shed some light on this issue for me I would appreciate it.
The Contax G cameras are not particularly loud. Much quieter than a Pentax 67. Much quieter than the deliberate noise-maker in the shutter release of the Fuji GS645S. The Bronica RF645 also makes a soft buzzy noise in the shutter but is way quieter than the Contax. The Contax is buzzy in a high-pitched way, as it has four electric motors; the focus and wind motors are most audible, and the shutter tripping, and all these three sounds seem about the same sound level to me. My older Pentax 35mm SLRs are louder due to the mirror but don't have the motor noises.
I don't know how noticeable the Contax sounds are to others, but I have the feeling it's not very intrustive. Probably the best way for you to judge how much sound carries to nearby people is to be one of those nearby people yourself and listen to someone operating various cameras. That could be interesting.
That would be neat except I would have a difficult time assembling folks with a Bessa, Contax, Hexar and Leica all at the same time to compare. :D
I do not have a Contax, but a friend has. I have a too big assortment of other cameras ... :)
I have not compared them side by side, but leaf shutters like in a Mamiya 7 or an old TLR are very quiet, just a short muffled small snick. Next comes the Leica that has a friendly but more noticable snick. The Contax G2 is about the same as a Hexar RF I think (I have not compared them side by side) and they both make more noise than a Leica, but the Contax makes noise while focusing too.
A Bessa T has a different sound, but is in the same league as the Hexar RF/Contax in my view. I think this might be judged differently by different people, a matter of taste.
None of the listed cameras are particulary noisy, but anything more than a Leica and at least I think we are entering cameras that sound a little bit too much in sensitive situations. Generally, it seldom matters, as people know you are taking pictures anyway.
Having a digital cameras with horrible blinking green aid light for their focusing is a very unpleasant experience, I know, I was the victim.
SLRs tend to be a bit clunky in their sound and may look a bit daunting, especially if you mount a big lens and vertical grip to it.
If you want to go quiet, go for a Hexar AF and put it in silent mode.
I think G2/G1 are good for those situations that there're slight background noise/sound; that means they can be used in concert or stage performaning. It's not suitable during praying session.
The G2 is not particularly noisy, as ddai wrote it is OK if you have background noise.
If you need something really quiet, I guess nothing can beat an Hexar AF with silent mode (even a Leica), except maybe for a Minox...as long as you take only one picture without using the film forward lever after.
If any Leica owner starts about the noise of the G1/G2, just whisper these words..
"leica & minilux"
Now, there's a camera that's noisy.. (though the summarit 40 is a gem of a lens ;) ) .. the AF wakens the dead!
My Contax G2 is somewhat louder then my M4, but much, much quieter then my Bessa. I always find the tripping of the shutter, and sound, when talking photographs , to be very satisfying for some reason.
Until I got my G2 I had never used an electronic/auto anything camera. My idea of auto was having a coupled light meter. I too was very concerned about noise levels.Anyway, I think the comments about the noise of the g2 are greatly overstated. Yes, it does make noise, but is really not intrusive to any large degree. More than made up for by other qualities of the camera. They really are superb pieces, and within the limits of a rangefinder type camera as good as anything out there.
Per Doug's post, the main noises coming out of a G2 (I've never used a G1) are the focus & motor drive mechanisms. Neither is particularly loud (motor drive is the same loudness as the Hexar RF or any other modern motorized point & shoot), but are of course louder than cameras that lack any motor, e.g. Leica M. The shutter is not loud @ all--IME, the same as the Hexar RF & about the same intensity as a Leica M, just a different pitch/type of sound (both the Hexar RF & G2 are relatively heavy & well-dampened bodies, which minimizes noise & vibration).
A few weeks ago a friend & I were out visiting galleries in Paris. He had a M6, me the G2. The gallery assistant heard my G2 on the second shot, he managed to get about 10 shots on the Leica.
In normal situations there is no problem with the noise of the G2. As said above the issues are focussing and motor drive. The only part I don't like is the film rewind which always seems to start in very quiet places.
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