Eric L. Woods

I’ll admit it. I do not get products sometimes.

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Today I was reading a review of the Funleader Contax 35mm f/2 G. The short version is that this is a re-housing of the lens elements of an AF Contax G 35mm f/2 lens into a Funleader M Mount MF rangefinder lens body. Cool.

I was impressed by the review and the lens.

  • A great review. Well written with great samples. It makes a good case for the lens.
  • A good looking lens once complete.
  • I really like M Mount lenses.
  • The 35mm f/2 G is a fine lens. An excellent choice of optic.
  • You cannot go wrong with Zeiss optics. Especially vintage Zeiss optics. They render with an almost perfect imperfection.
  • There is a uniqueness to the proposition and I get it.
  • The process is reversible also if I follow.

I cannot emphasize this enough. Great article. Great product. I have nothing against either.

Ok. Now back to Eric-ville. Where the Woods family crest is emblazoned with the battle cry, “Never pay retail!” So here is the thing. Or things.

  • There are no inaccuracies in the review. I agree with everything stated. But there are a few things the review does not touch upon. Like…
  • You know what else is a good looking lens? Any of the Contax G lenses as is. And I could never imagine myself disassembling one or purchasing a reconstituted one.
Contax T2
Photos from a prior Contax bender. Had a G2, a 45mm, and the zoom back then. I toned it down a bit this time around w/a G1 and two lenses.
  • While I do really like M Mount lenses (Exhibits a, b, and c), I also really like Contax G lenses.
  • The 35mm f/2 G is a great lens, but I have not owned it. I currently chose instead to pick up the 28mm f/2.8 and 90mm f/2.8. If I were to get a faster f/2 G prime it would be the 45mm instead of the 35mm. Purely personal preference. Regardless it is not an option for conversion yet.
Contax G2 w/ Agfa Vista 200
I love the way the 45mm lens renders.
  • You cannot go wrong with Zeiss optics. Especially vintage Zeiss optics. They render with an almost perfect imperfection.
Contax
Of course I kept the T2… and added a 137 MA Quartz.
  • There is a uniqueness to the proposition and I get it. But that alone is not enough.
  • The process is reversible, but there is another way.

None of those bullets are the real reason why the Funleader is not my cup of tea, even though it is a fascinating cup.

  • I still shoot film using a Contax G1 (28mm and 90mm specifically). If I were to convert these lenses that would no longer be an option.
Contax G1
The current repurchased G set up that is here to stay.
Leica M3
Photo evidence of my brief dance with Leica M3 ownership.
  • While they are different animals entirely, Contax G and Leica M, they are contemporaries in my universe. I owned and sold them both. Contax is the only brand of the two that I missed enough to buy back into. The prospect of doing away with autofocus and auto exposure offered by Contax G to manual focus the same optics on film bodies is not an attractive one to me personally. Your mileage may vary.
  • $1,200. I fully acknowledge that this is not a lot of money for an M Mount Zeiss lens. But add in the cost of this lens conversion with the prerequisite cost of a Leica M body and you are going through a lot of trouble and spending far more money to shoot with the same optics. For around the same amount I could re-purchase the three M Mount lenses I currently have brand new. I am not saying it is not worth the price. It is. This is just more than I am willing to pay.
  • I noticed that the author tested adapted to a Leica SL2-s body. A rangefinder-less mirrorless. The author mentions that they hope that Funleader makes this for even more mounts like Sony E. But you could adapt this M Mount conversion lens to Sony as is with an adapter. Heck, you could even get AF if you throw in a TECHART M adapter. But what if we pass by the M conversion all together and adapt the glass directly to mirrorless?…
  • For $29.95 I can buy a Fotodiox Contax G to Sony E adapter and have the best of both worlds for me. AF film shooting natively with a G body and MF digital shooting with Sony E.
Sony A7c w/ Contax G Zeiss 28mm f/2.8

…$29.95.

But does it work? Yes. Shots below taken with a Contax G 28mm f/2.8…

Contax G1

…and Sony E using the Fotodiox MF adapter.

Contax G Biogon 28mm f/2.8
Contax G Biogon 28mm f/2.8
Contax G Biogon 28mm f/2.8
Contax G Biogon 28mm f/2.8

And then there is film shooting w/ the Contax G1.

Film - 20200101 Durham Photo Walk - Lomography 400
Film - 20200101 Durham Photo Walk
Fujifilm X-Tra w/ Contax G1
Contax G1 - Rollei RPX 400

And while not a Leica experience it does make great use of these G lenses while retaining AF and AE for far less than what all manual film, AE film, or digital M Mount cameras will cost you. Another perk is that with the Fotodiox adapter you do not have to wait for a lens conversion release to adapt all of your G lenses. So another Contax G favorite of mine, the 90mm f/2.8,…

Contax G1

…can be used for film…

Rollei RPX400 w/ Contax G1
Cinestill Df96 / Rollei RPX 400
Contax G Zeiss Sonnar 90mm f/2.8

…or digital also.

Techart Contax G to Sony A7 Adapter
Contax G Zeiss Sonnar 90mm f/2.8

There is another issue for me personally. If I were shopping for an M Mount 35mm f/2 lens this lens exists.

Leica CL 50 JAHRE
Photo evidence of my longer than M3 dance with a Leica CL. Had a Voigtlander Bessa R2 for a time also but went back to a Contax G1 in the end.

Definitely not a Zeiss lens but it shares the Contax G lenses focal length and aperture spec, costs considerably less, and renders a lovely image itself on digital…

7Artisans 35mm f/2
7Artisans 35mm f/2
7Artisans 35mm f/2

…or film.

Leica CL / 7Artisans 35mm f/2

Lastly there is my biggest issue. Re-housing Contax G lenses.

  • There are only so many of these lenses.
  • If this catches on I imagine it will impact/inflate used Contax G lens prices.
  • I really like the G lenses as is. I have a hard time signing on to dismantling a perfectly good Contax G lens even if the process is reversible.

So the re-housed Contax G lens recap:

  • Great review.
  • Impressive product.
  • I will keep my Contax G1 and $29.95 adapter.
Sony A7c w/ Contax G Zeiss 28mm f/2.8
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