Contax G1

35mm AF film rangefinder camera

Specification

Production details
Announced:1994
System: Contax G (1994)
Imaging plane
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Contax G [28.95mm]
Imaging plane:36 × 24mm film
Shutter
Type:Focal-plane
Model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:16 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Rangefinder and Viewfinder
Rangefinder:Built-in, combined with viewfinder
Viewfinder:Built-in, combined with rangefinder
Finder magnification:0.57x
Bright-line frames:-
Parallax compensation:Yes
Physical characteristics
Weight:460g
Dimensions:133x77x42mm

Manufacturer description #1

"I was caught by an irresistable impulse to possess this camera." It is unusual for a camera to honestly impress a photographer at first sight. The CONTAX G1 is an interchangeable lens, rangefinder AF system that continues the design concept established by the CONTAX RTSIII and reminds the user of the elegance and simplicity of the CONTAX T2. A rangefinder allows lens designers freedom to design more high performance optics without the compromises found in the SLR lens designs. Carl Zeiss has developed four new lenses of the highest quality perfectly matched for the CONTAX G1. The CONTAX G1 is ready and waiting for that "decisive moment". Once in your hands, you will be captivated by the elegant charm of the CONTAX G1, it is surely, the essence of perfection.

Two, Easy-To-Use Exposure Modes - Aperture Priority Or Manual Exposure.

Metering is accomplished via a TTL light metering system that employs a Silicon Photo Diode (SPD) in the upper central area of the camera body. Precise metering is achieved over a wide range of exposure values from EV1 to EV19. When using the Carl Zeiss Hologon T* 16mm lens the camera automatically switches to external metering.

The CONTAX G1 provides the two most popular metering methods preferred by advanced amateurs and professional photographers - aperture priority automation and manual exposure modes. The exposure is checked by a half-way depression of the shutter release button. AE Lock may be set by switching the main power lever to the AE Lock position. Manual exposures are set in the traditional manner by rotating the f-stop ring on the lens or changing the shutter speed on the camera body.

A Newly Developed Passive AF System With Extended Base Length For The Ultimate In Focusing Accuracy.

The CONTAX G1 employs a passive auto focus system which has an elongated base length (the distance between the two focusing windows) for the ultimate in focusing accuracy. The base length is the overriding factor that determines the accuracy of a rangefinder. The CONTAX G1 provides smooth, stepless focusing with extremely high accuracy. Focus information is transmitted to the high performance CPU which controls the built-in ultra-accurate motor in the camera body. An AF supplementary light is supplied in the camera body to assist focusing under low light and low contrast situations.

Manual Focusing Is Easy.

The focusing dial located in the top right corner of the camera allows super fast and easy manual focusing. Simply turn the focusing dial while pushing the focusing dial release button to enter the manual focus mode. A check of the focus indicator in the viewfinder or distance scale on the manual focus dial will immediately inform the user of focus distance. The outer scale of the focusing dial is used for both the 28mm and the 45mm lens while the inner scale is used for the 90mm. The distance is set directly on the focusing ring when using the Hologon T* 16mm lens.

A variable finder coupled to the taking lenses-bright, Real Image Viewfinder.

The finder of the CONTAX G1 is a highly accurate, bright real image viewfinder with a magnification of 0.57 and 90% field of view (at infinity with the 45mm lens mounted). Parallax correction is steplessly adjusted for each interchangeable lens fitted on the CONTAX G1. A wide range of diopter adjustments from +0.3 D to-2D can be set with the built-in diopter adjuster.

Large LCD Viewfinder Indicators.

Information such as shutter speed, exposure warning, flash ready signal, exposure compensation and an AF scale are clearly displayed in the viewfinder.

An Ultra Precision, High Durability Dual Motor System for Film Advance/Rewind & Shutter Operation.

The shutter is an electronically controlled focal plane shutter with speeds from 16 seconds to 1/2000 second in automatic mode and 1 second to 1/2000 second in manual exposure mode. The X Synch shutter speed is 1/100 second or slower and Bulb exposures are easily accommodated. Two high performance DC motors work independently to charge the shutter and advance/ rewind the film. The CONTAX G1 is of extremely high durability and provides smooth, almost noiseless operation because of the elimination of the mirror shock occuring in SLR type cameras.

A Wide Range Of Flash Functions Are Enabled.

The new CONTAX TLA-140 electronic flash was developed especially to accompany the CONTAX G1. This flash is small enough to fit into a shirt pocket but offers TTL flash capability on the CONTAX G1. Slow shutter synchronization and daylight fill-in flash may be accomplished easily by use of the AE Lock function. The CONTAX G1 can also utilize the TLA-280, TLA-360 and TLA-480 flashes routinely even with second curtain synchronization.

A TOOL OF PERFECT BEAUTY, TITANIUM BODY COVER. Titanium is used as a tough body covering on the CONTAX G1 camera body. Titanium is chosen for its light weight, high strength, shock and corrosion resistance as well as its beautiful finish. The surface of the camera body has been superbly finished, smooth and lustrous. The CONTAX G1 is a beautiful tool that will be a highly reliable partner for many years to come.

The CONTAX G1 allows selection of the following functions:

  • Turn the main power switch to the AE Lock position for AE Lock. (Standard Setting)
  • AE Lock is activated by pressing shutter release button halfway or turning main power switch to AEL position. (Custom Function)
  • The order of the A.B.C. Standard/Over/Under Exposure (Standard Setting)
  • Change the order of the A.B.C. to Over/Standard/ Under Exposure (Custom Function)
  • Rewind the leader completely into the film cassette. (Standard Setting)
  • Leave the film leader outside the film cassette after rewinding. (Custom Function)

SLR Functionality

Drive Modes & A.B.C. Function.

The CONTAX G1 provides all the drive modes you would expect to find on any CONTAX SLR such as single or continuous advance, self-timer and multiple exposures. Also, the Automatic Bracketing Control (A.B.C.), three frame continuous automatic exposure compensation system provides exposure bracketing in ±0.5EV and ±1.0EV increments. The A.B.C. system may be used without removing the eye from the viewfinder.

Ultra Strong Aluminum Die-Cast Chassis For Rock Hard Usage.

The lens mount is a newly developed CONTAX G mount of Spigot bayonet type attached securely to a precisely processed copper/silumin die-cast alloy chassis. This chassis is high temperature/high pressure steam annealed to eliminate distortion and provide high strength throughout.

Manufacturer description #2

We didn't just create a camera, we created a whole new class

Select the sophisticated elements from an SLR and add them to the essence of a compact camera... the result is the Contax G1. The G1 is more than a camera, it's a camera system that provides all the elements of control and precision expected from a Contax camera in a small, extremely versatile package.

The G1 system has four newly designed, interchangeable Carl Zeiss T* lenses including: the AF Biogon 28mm f2.8, AF Planar 45mm f2.0, AF Sonnar 90mm f2.8 and Hologon 16mm f8.0. These lenses make up the finest series of Carl Zeiss lenses ever. Additionally, your current T* SLR lenses can be used on the G1 with the GA-1 Mount Adapter.

The new, compact G1 lenses are designed to provide the highest contrast and resolution along with the lowest distortion obtainable. Since the G1 does not require a mirror box or pentaprism, lens designers had more freedom to design for higher optical performance. Further, since there is no mirror, vibration and noise are reduced to unbelievably low levels.

The viewfinder of the G1 zooms to match the installed lens and corrects automatically for parallax and focal distance. Also, coupled to the viewfinder is a +3D to -2D diopter, selectable by the user for easy use without eyeglasses.

The G1 has an advanced passive autofocus system with an extended base length, which is critical to enhanced accuracy compared with conventional compact cameras. Along with AF focusing, the G1 also has a manual focus system to preserve the ability of the photographer to choose.

Automatic Bracketing Control (A.B.C.) is built-in on the G1 and provides an automatic three frame continuous (over/right on/under) exposure system. Further control is possible via the exposure compensation system allowing exposure changes of +2EV to -2EV in 1/3 step increments. A Custom Function system is also built-in on the G1 to allow the photographer to customize various elements of camera performance.

The shutter is a focal plane vertical travel composite material providing lightweight and precision quartz timed shutter speeds. The shutter speed range on the G1 is from 1/2000 second to 16 seconds in automatic AE mode (1/2000 sec. to 1 sec. in manual mode).

Through The Lens (TTL) flash metering is standard on the G1, allowing perfectly exposed flash photographs every time with the new Contax TLA140 flash or other Contax TLA flashes.

Accessories abound in the new Contax G1 system, including filters, lens shades, power packs, accessory strap, deluxe leather system carrying cases, and a special Mount Adapter called the GA-1. It allows the Carl Zeiss T* SLR lenses to be used with the G1.

The Contax G1 is a state-of-the-art camera system that evokes the traditional qualities of Contax while pushing the limits of creative design into the 21st century.

Manufacturer description #3

Type: 35 mm AF range finder camera with focal plane shutter.

Shutter: Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter.

Sync Contacts: Direct X contact (synchronizing speeds 1/100 sec. or slower), provided with sync terminal.

Metering System: TTL actual exposure metering (center-weighted average light metering) / External metering (automatic switchover with the mounted lens).

Focusing: Automatic focusing with focusing dial, switchable to manual focusing.

Viewfinder: Real-image viewfinder (coupling with the mounted lens), 0.57X magnification and 90% field of view (with 45mm lens, infinity and -1D diopter).

Display in viewfinder: Picture area frame (automatic parallax adjustment), focusing frame, focus display, shutter speed, exposure mark, exposure compensation, flash mark.

Accessory shoe: Direct X-contact hot shoe (provided with TLA flash contact).

Power Source: Two 3V lithium batteries (CR2).

Special limited editions (1)

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Contax G system cameras
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Copyright © 2012-2023 Evgenii Artemov. All rights reserved. Translation and/or reproduction of website materials in any form, including the Internet, is prohibited without the express written permission of the website owner.

35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2

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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/ on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.

Teleconverters

Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.