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Honu-Hugger
09-17-2004, 11:59
Hello Listmembers,
Fortunately, I came across this list from a referral on the Nikon MF site. I have a small collection of Contax cameras (I, II, and IIa) that I consider my main rangefinders. I also shoot with a Super Ikonta and a Rollei 35SE, although technically not a rangefinder.

I bought my first Contax about five years ago and had the good fortune to stumble upon the fine technical work of Henry Scherer to overhaul the camera. Since that first pleasant experience everything I buy goes to Henry first and I have yet to be anything but extremely pleased with his service, it is a business relationship that I treasure as much as a friendship.

A turning point for me occurred a few years back when I was preparing to leave on vacation and was packing the usual three Pelican cases with Nikon SLR and Rollei MF gear. The night before we left I just thought it through and decided it was crazy to lug all this gear around. At that point I actually had to look for a small camera bag and threw together a Contax IIa with a 21mm, another with a 50/1.5, took a lightmeter, a monopod, and a few filter, etc. and off I went. That vacation really cemented the worth of the Contax cameras into my consciousness -- I never felt that I missed a shot and in fact I may have taken some that I wouldn't have, just because it was so easy to travel with. I've been very committed to really using the cameras a lot since that experience.

I look forward to being a member on this list and hope to have worthwhile contributions from time to time. Thank you for having me as a member (I also think of Groucho Marx's comment when I write that).

Cheers,


Doug

back alley
09-17-2004, 12:15
...cause i wouldn't want to be a member of a club that would have me as a member...

welcome to the forum doug.

we have some contax users here so you are not alone.

joe

peter_n
09-17-2004, 12:21
Welcome Doug from another newbie. One of the great things about this forum is that the members are not fanatics about a particular brand of camera or lens. Really refreshing!!

You will like it here. :)

jdos2
09-17-2004, 12:27
Welcome!

What Joe and Peter said.

This has to be one of the most respectful forums with which I've had the pleasure to be a part.

Here, it is very much, the more you offer or ask, the more there is for everyone.

JD

rover
09-17-2004, 12:52
Originally posted by peter_n
Welcome Doug from another newbie. One of the great things about this forum is that the members are not fanatics about a particular brand of camera or lens. Really refreshing!!

You will like it here. :)

I am a fanatic, I want a Contax IIa something baaaaad.

Welcome Doug.:cool:

peter_n
09-17-2004, 13:09
Yeah but do you think (and truly believe) that the Contax body is totally superior to every other camera body that has ever been made, and that Zeiss glass has the sharpest resolution, the best bokeh, the smoothest focusing, and the least flare of any other brand lens in creation?

And if someone has the temerity to disagree, do you then deliver a stream of invective to that unfortunate individual?

I have to say I haven't seen that kind of behavior on this forum in the (short) time I've been here, TG. :)

rover
09-17-2004, 13:10
Well ummm, I don't know.

But it is really really pretty.

back alley
09-17-2004, 13:16
yes rover it is very pretty and as soon as i win the lotto i'm gonna buy one too!

and peter, i hope we never see that kind of situation here and i hope i never have to deal with it either.
this is a great place with damn nice people!

joe

Biber
09-17-2004, 13:18
Welcome. :)

Rover: :D

peter_n
09-17-2004, 13:34
Originally posted by rover
Well ummm, I don't know.

But it is really really pretty.

:)

Originally posted by backalley photo
yes rover it is very pretty and as soon as i win the lotto i'm gonna buy one too!

and peter, i hope we never see that kind of situation here and i hope i never have to deal with it either.
this is a great place with damn nice people!

joe
Agreed, Joe. But as I'm sure you know it does happen on one or two forums that are brand specific. This is a great place to hang out, as I'm sure Doug will find out for himself! :D

Brian Sweeney
09-17-2004, 13:54
"Zeiss glass has the sharpest resolution, the best bokeh, the smoothest focusing, and the least flare of any other brand lens in creation?"

I have a Contax IIIa; even the meter is accurate. With my glasses I have a hard time with the "smallish" finder. The Nikon RF's with the 1x and Leica M3 with the 0.91x are easier for me to focus.

So I modified one of my Nikon S2's by changing out the helical Shims to accommodate the 52.3mm Focal Length.That Zeiss Sonnar Opton 5cm f1.5 of mine does pretty good.

Sonnar 5cm F1.5 on Nikon S2.

Peter
09-17-2004, 14:40
Hello Doug and welcome to the RF family! :)

Honu-Hugger
09-17-2004, 16:30
Thank you everyone for extending such a warm welcome. It seems very nice to be in the company of other RF users without a lot of empahasis being place on what is being used.

I mentioned using the old Contax cameras by way of introduction, but I would never proclaim them to be better than this or that -- I bought them for the very worst reason: my entire family (grandfather, father, and brothers) shoots with Leica! Remember the old Janis Joplin song? "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz? My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends..." There was no way I was going to buy a Leica -- I haven't matured that much yet!

Seriously, I just like to pick something and get to know it well. I'm grateful that the Contax's feel very intuitive now and that's a nice feeling to have with any peice of equipment. Within this short time I have already seen some very beautiful shots on this site: Brian's above, the ones with the signatures to the side and others. Thank you once again to everyone!

Warm regards,

Doug

peter_n
09-17-2004, 17:08
Originally posted by Honu-Hugger
I mentioned using the old Contax cameras by way of introduction, but I would never proclaim them to be better than this or that...
Doug, that's exactly the philosophy here, so you'll be right at home. :)

I was actually only using Contax as an example because that's the brand we were talking about. But since you mention it, the forums I was actually talking about are Leica forums... :eek:

Wayne R. Scott
09-17-2004, 17:18
Welcome,

I'm glad to see another Contax user. I have some that must vistit Henry. I was feeling like a 2nd class citizen 'cause I don't own a Lecia. (Just kidding of course)

Wayne

Wayne R. Scott
09-17-2004, 17:22
Ok,

Here is a Contax photo that I was trying to add to my post.

Wayne

Honu-Hugger
09-17-2004, 19:22
Wayne,
What a beautiful little girl and a lovely picture! It is just so perfect, really nicely done. Hard to argue with the color, sharpness and contrast -- the lens seems to compare quite favorably with anything produced in this century, doesn't it?

I stepped away for about ten minutes and I just keep going back to your photo to have another look. It is such a nice shot -- okay, I'll leave it at that or otherwise you might begin to doubt my sincerity if I keep carrying on! Thank you for posting it.

Doug

Pherdinand
09-18-2004, 08:03
The Contax IS truly superior to everything else!
(I heard so! But i'm happy with my yashica GSN ;) )

Bubba
09-18-2004, 08:17
Welcome Doug. I am an absolute newbee to the world of rangefinders and am loving it. The people on this forum are really super. I haven't read a single disparaging comment here. There is even proof that people can disagree and still be civil and cordial. I don't know anything about the Contax cameras, but my new Bessa R is a blast to use. My poor Canon SLR is collecting dust. I don't even have a roll of film in it. That has never happened before.

Bubba

peter_n
09-18-2004, 08:26
Bubba, same with my Nikon SLR. :) When I got my first rangfinder a year ago I promised myself that I would never sell my F3hp. Now I am beginning to weaken, what's the point of the camera sitting there collecting dust?

The one good thing is that I've got my youngest kid started on photography with a Nikon FM2, so she can have my 3 Nikkors...

Honu-Hugger
09-18-2004, 08:51
Bubba and Peter,
Similar story with Nikons. Started at age 13 with an Alpa from my Dad, by the time I started college I developed a bit of a conscience about mooching his lenses, so bought my first Nikon then. The system grew and things got bigger and heavier and it was after seriously using a RF a few years ago that I came back to my senses about what's really required to take pictures.

I slowly started geting rid of Nikons until I was down to one body and a couple favorite lenses, even those were not getting used much. Then this summer my Dad gave me his Alpas and I decided I didn't have the interest in owning two sets of SLR gear so the last of the Nikon stuff finally went.

I really commend Nikon for the loyalty that they have shown their customers throughout all the years and model changes by keeping even the earliest "F" mount lenses viable with even the newest models. With some models there have been some compromises, but in one form or another you could always use old glass on new cameras. With this week's announcement of the D2X and F6 they have made even more improvement in backwards compatibility.

However, I have no regrets: I am very content using these 50-70 year old relics. Afterall, I'm a 50 year old relic myself. Thank you for the welcome, I really like this site a lot. I went through some of the galleries and there is some incredible work posted here, really nice stuff!

Doug

Doug
09-18-2004, 22:39
Peter, you just need to wrap up your unused gear to protect it from the accumulation of dust, for the day you'll dig it back out from the back of your closet to give it another try! Well, that's what I've done with some of mine... :-)

Doug, I've welcomed you in another thread, so I'll just echo your appreciation of backward compatibility, and add that Pentax has been very good on this issue too. Further, glad to hear you've reformed, and no longer pack three big trunks full of gear to take on vacation. How about limiting it to just one camera & lens? <grins>

'nother Doug

Honu-Hugger
09-19-2004, 07:40
Hi Doug,
That's a scary thought -- but I'm often up to challenges! I could see it happening. No question what it would be if I did: Contax IIa with 50/1.5 Sonnar.

I doubt that this was your intent, but you've got me thinking: I might just discipline myself and spend some time with just that camera and lens -- nothing else, not even a lightmeter. It would probably be a very worthwhile exercise. Hmmmm.....something to consider while I sip the morning coffee. Thanks, Doug. Even though I noted the <grins> attached your suggestion has real merit.

Doug Jr. (I defer to the Seasoned Member)

taffer
09-19-2004, 09:36
Welcome Doug !!! I'm a classic Contax lover as well (in fact I wonder if there's a classic camera which I don't like :rolleyes: ), and a user of their Ukranian sisters, the Kievs.

Best part of owning and using different equipment is that's sort of 'refreshing' and helps you know which tool suits better for a specific job, so Peter, Bubba, remember to let your SLRs have fun from time to time ;)

Oscar

Doug
09-19-2004, 13:55
Originally posted by Honu-Hugger
I doubt that this was your intent, but you've got me thinking: I might just discipline myself and spend some time with just that camera and lens -- nothing else, not even a lightmeter. It would probably be a very worthwhile exercise. Hmmmm.....something to consider while I sip the morning coffee. Thanks, Doug. Even though I noted the <grins> attached your suggestion has real merit. Thanks Doug, but that's pretty much what I was suggesting, and it's an exercise that's been discussed here before. It definitely can be a learning experience, building on and capitalizing on understanding light and what-all can be accomplished with just one lens.

I had my Dad's old Petri 7S cleaned up and adjusted, and when I took it out for a walk I found the selenium-cell meter was flaky, so I just went on "sunny-16" for that and subsequent walks until I finished the roll. Came out fine, but I think it was an advantage to have commonly used a hand-held meter. If one only uses AE cameras, especially in Program mode, I wonder if one falls out of the habit of even thinking of exposure details.

When we went to Oahu and Maui for 3 weeks a couple of years ago, I took only a Fuji GS645S purchased used 6 mo earlier, with its fixed 60mm f/4, and metered manual exposure. The RF was a bit sticky, so I did a lot of guessing on focus, the meter was accurate in daylight, but gave progressively more underexposure as the light dimmed... and unknown to me then there were broken parts in the lens mount. Well, the photos came out fine anyway thanks to the intervention on my part, and I wouldn't hesitate to do that again!

I suspect most of us could take out one camera body and one lens of almost any focal length, and then see appropriate photo opportunities. I'm reminded of the wonderful series of photos all shot with 21mm by Alan Soon on a visit to Istanbul... http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=322503