This Old Camera/Scanner Files: The mighty little Contax T2

Being smitten with the Contax G Boys I wanted more, but less. More of that Contax/Zeiss goodness, but in a smaller package. Decided on the T range. Ruled out the Contax T since it was MF only and the flash was not built in (Personal preference. Don’t come at me T fans.). Went for the Contax T2. Why not the Contax T3? Because I did not see a great gain for the extra cost and I was not as enamored with the aesthetics as the T2 (Again. Personal preference. Don’t come at me T3 fans.). Plus neither has a slidey door thing that I have already lost minutes potentially wearing out.

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As always Google the camera and plenty of great websites will tell you the backstory. Evidently this model gained attention recently due to being featured on the Late Show with Jimmy by a rhymes with Carb-dash-ian so the prices picked up after that. Ian Wong does a great review which highlights this.

Don’t watch TV much so I found out about this new found fame after I had already made my decision. Got my copy bargain grade from KEH.com. Cost more than it used to because of this newfound fame, but I figured it was still worth it if it performed anywhere near as well as the G twins.

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And it does. A more detailed write up will follow either here or for KEH.com. The short version is that it does provide all the wonderfulness of the Gs while being very small, having fantastic AF and AE, very well done manual overrides, and doing quite well with the built-in flash. The only thing that I found lacking was that the top shutter speed was less at 1/500s as compared to the other two. Combined with no ability to use ND filters that meant no access to mid-day bokeh. No big really. Once I saw what this camera can do that concern melted away for me. So nearly as capable, but in a smaller and lighter package. Mission accomplished.

As usual for now here is an ongoing gallery and below are some samples from my first three rolls in near as many days.

Happy shooting.

-ELW

Zeiss Ikon Teleskop 1.7x Adapter

This post is all out of order, but I am impressed by a peculiar piece of hardware I picked up recently. More specifically a peculiar piece of camera hardware for a peculiar camera. The camera in question? The (deep breath) Zeiss Ikon Contaflex II.

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A camera that I had no idea ever existed not that long ago. Stunning fixed lens SLR camera released in 1954 that is magnificent in its own right and I intend to write a full post on it for KEH.com soon. The hardware? The (deep breath) Zeiss Ikon Teleskop 1.7x Adapter made just for this camera and its predecessor, the non-light metered Contaflex. Pictures cannot possibly do the build quality and feel in hand justice on both pieces. Just what you would expect from German engineering and manufacture. And beautiful. If a fine vintage watch could morph into a camera this would be the result.

What is more amazing is that both the camera and the teleskop adapter each cost less than $60 each. Both a screaming bargain by any measure.

In this humble Industrial Engineer’s opinion, this may be the most beautiful piece of camera equipment I own. And I own some beauties. Add to that the fact that this camera has a feel in hand that no other camera I have owned or held can match… Ok. Enough about the camera. The camera itself provides remarkable IQ (duh, Zeiss) so I was curious whether or not the adapter would add or detract from the experience.

It adds.

Aesthetics:

This adapter makes an already amazing looking camera even more amazing looking.

Build:

Amazingly this 2 piece (slide on bracket and screw on lens) feels like all of one when mounted on to the camera. No wiggles. No flexing. No sliding. It even feels a bit more balanced since the built in lens sits so flush on the front of the camera.

Installation:

Set the built in lens to infinity. Slide on the bracket. Screw in the lens. Focus now moved to the easier to find by feel focus ring on the adapter and shutter speed and aperture control on the front of the camera is retained.

Removal:

Add step of depressing release button at the bottom of the bracket and then simply reverse the steps above.

Use:

Just like normal and even the exposure needs no adjustments as it is compensated for with the lens design. Now instead of a 45mm f/2.8 you have a 76.5mm f/2.8.

IQ:

The native lens is nothing short of amazing and after getting the first test roll back the adapter only enhances the flexibility of an already stellar lens with only a slight drop in sharpness. There is even an interesting almost Helios 44-2 swirliness to the bokeh under certain conditions.

I close here. Here is an online gallery for this adapter and below are samples from the first roll.

Happy shooting.

-ELW

Scanner Files: Rolls 3 and 4 through the Canon Canonet QL17 GIII w/ Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400

My first post with this camera had a preamble if you are so inclined. Suffice it to say the fact that I have already run 4 rolls through this camera and I am currently working on the 5th I really, really like this camera. Not only has this camera cut into my analog time with other film cameras it has also greatly reduced digital saddle time as well. Currently I am using this for day to day and digital for jobs and personal projects. It is that consistent. It is that good.

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Continue reading “Scanner Files: Rolls 3 and 4 through the Canon Canonet QL17 GIII w/ Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400”

Scanner Files: My first 2 rolls through the Canon Canonet QL17 (quite the name, huh) GIII w/ Fujifilm 200

Usually I plow straight through to showing the scans, but with this camera I must pause for a moment.

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The Canon Canonet QL17 GIII is nearly the perfect all around film camera for me. I found it searching broadly for a 35mm rangefinder on KEH. Why? Dunno. Decided I needed one. A more detailed post is due here or at KEH but, in short, it is a nice mix of all the best virtues of my favorite 35mm film cameras. Have also seen it called a “Poor Person’s Leica”. Nah. I would dub it a VW. Since childhood I really like Audis, but by the time I started earning Audi money I could not justify the added expense over the same manufacturer family, top end VW Passat (currently on my 3rd Passat, 4th VW w/ no Audi in sight). Do the top tier Audis have more power, name cred, and features? Of course. Yes. Will those added features add enough to my ownership experience to warrant the added cost in day to day use? No. In both cases if I could bring myself to ignore the mathematical improbability involved to play the lottery and won would I snatch up an Audi or Leica? Perhaps. But back here in reality land the Canonet and VW Passat will do just fine thank you.

Anyhoo. I digress. Wonderful camera that creates wonderful images.

Ongoing gallery here and samples after the jump.

Continue reading “Scanner Files: My first 2 rolls through the Canon Canonet QL17 (quite the name, huh) GIII w/ Fujifilm 200”