Contax G2

35mm AF film rangefinder camera

Production details

Production details
Announced:September 1996
Production type:Mass production
System: Contax G (1994)

Specification

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 - 1/6000 + 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:560g
Dimensions:139x80x45mm

Manufacturer description #1

CONTAX Intoduces the G2

New, Feature-Packed Rangefinder is an Addition to the Contax G Series of Professional AF Cameras

September 3, 1996

SOMERSET, NJ -- Contax is adding to its much heralded G Series of professional cameras with the new G2, a feature-packed rangefinder that will become the flagship of the line. In addition to the many features the G2 shares with its sister camera, the legendary G1, this new camera offers a four frame per second integrated motor drive, top shutter speeds of up to 1/6000 second, X sync at 1/200 second and an extended baseline autofocus system.

"Our Contax G1, which has been so successful since its launch in 1994, has inspired us to now offer photographers even more features with the new G2," said Lee R. Middleton, Marketing Director, Contax North America.

The Contax G2 is capable of working with any of six interchangeable Carl Zeiss T* lenses. Two are new, the Biogon 21mm f2.8 and the Planar 35mm f2.0. The other four lenses in the G series include the Hologon 16mm f8, Biogon 28mm f2.8, Planar 45mm f2.0 and Sonnar 90mm f2.8.

The titanium clad G2 features a large, True Image Zoom Viewfinder that displays shutter speed, manual metering pointers, flash ready, exposure compensation and AF focusing distance. The viewfinder automatically adjusts to the mounted lens and will correct for parallax.

Additional features of the G2 include a sophisticated auto focus system that offers external passive auto focus plus an active infrared AF focusing system, a TTL center-weighted average light metering system, flash synchronization and AF lock.

A selection of custom functions are available to those using the G2, which include AE lock operation, Automatic Bracketing order, film leader status, focus operation in manual setting, multiple exposure ISO setting, focusing distance, battery check and frame counter.

There is an optional data back available for the G2, the Contax GD-2, which makes it possible to record technical information about each photo directly onto negatives in several different ways. A new G Series flash unit, the TLA200, is also being introduced with the G2.

The G2 body, which comes with a three-year limited warranty, will be available this Fall for a list price of $2,250.

Manufacturer description #2

The Revolution Continues

CONTAX G2

Contax continues the direction set in 1994 by adding another revolutionary camera to its professional AF rangefinder line. The G2 becomes the flagship camera in a professional line that continues to grow. The G2 raises the standard for rangefinder cameras with a four frame per second integrated motor drive, top shutter speeds of up to 1/6000 second, X sync at 1/200 second and adds an extended baseline autofocus system.

The Carl Zeiss T* lenses line is now enhanced with the addition of the Carl Zeiss T* Biogon 21mm f2.8 and the Planar 35mm f2.0. These lenses are wide angle formulas achieving the lowest distortion and highest optical quality. The new GD-2 Multi-Function Data Back has a special feature that allows printing all technical details used throughout the roll on the first or first and second frames of the roll. Optionally, this same data may be printed between frames or turned off. Contax has also added the Contax TLA200 electronic TTL flash to the G series line. The TLA200 adds flash power and a zoom head for more versatile electronic flash photography.

The Contax G2 Features:

  • Elegant, yet extremely durable titanium body
  • Six optional interchangeable Carl Zeiss T* lenses
  • Shutter speeds: AV: 16 sec. to 1/6000 second, Manual: 4 seconds to 1/4000 sec.
  • Direct X synchro contact at 1/200 second
  • Large, true image zoom viewfinder
  • Four frames per second motor drive built-in
  • External passive AF plus active infrared autofocus system
  • New optional GD-2 Multi-Function Databack
  • Three Year Limited USA Warranty

New Lenses - Accessories

NEW

The Biogon is a legendary lens formula which is used in the 28mm f2.8. We now introduce a second Biogon, the Carl Zeiss T* Biogon 21mm f2.8. The name Biogon assures users that performance will be truly awesome!

NEW

The new Carl Zeiss T* Planar 35mm f2.0 wide angle lens for available light photography. As with all Carl Zeiss T* lenses, distortion is very well controlled while contrast and color saturation remain exceedingly high.

Hologon T* 16mm f8 extreme wide angle lens. The Hologon is famous for its ability to record an extremely wide angle of view (106 degrees) with no distortion.

Carl Zeiss T* Biogon 28mm f2.8. An awesome high quality true wide-angle performer with very low distortion and outstanding contrast and saturation.

Carl Zeiss T* Planar 45mm f2.0. A fast normal lens for the G series system, the 45mm Planar offers extremely high resolution along with excellent contrast.

Carl Zeiss T* Sonnar 90mm f2.8. The Sonnar is a very sharp, high contrast tele lens. The finest medium telephoto lens ever produced for 35mm photography.

NEW

Contax System Flash for the Contax G2 - The Contax TLA200.

NEW

Contax Multi-Function Data Back GD-2

Manufacturer description #3

High-speed shutter attains a stunning 1/6000 second

Of primary concern to the designers was overall response. For ths purpose, an electronically controlled, vertically running, focal plane shutter was developed to achieve this high shutter speed, the functional equivalent of a CONTAX SLR. This shutter offers improved accuracy along with an enhanced capability for sports and action photography. The X sync shutter speed has been increased to a very useful 1/200 second for more versatile and efficient fill flash photography.

High performance four motor design

Four motors, each independently activated, are incorporated into the compact camera body. DC coreless motors for winding, rewinding, and shutter movement, a DC motor for lens drive, plus a pulse motor for parallax compensation offer fast, efficient movement of the jewel-like internal components of the G2. The CPU allows high speed frame rates of up to approximately four frames per second in the Continuous High (CH) mode.

Shutter response is greatly enhanced

While the G2 has succeeded in enhancing AF response time, shutter response time has been reduced even in the manual (MF) mode. This modification is precisely what the professional photographer has wanted. The G2 offers a focusing system that performs with little or no delay. The focus lock is set at the desired position in advance. When the shutter is tripped in manual, the lens is driven at high speed to the pre-determined focus position. Response is much quicker.

Overall dampening of operational noise

A requirement in many kinds of photography calls for the photographer to be an unobtrusive observer. In the G2 special attention has been paid to the suppression of noise. All materials must conform to strict standards for noise dampening. CONTAX has developed a new type of winding mechanism for the G2 that utilizes a winder belt for quiet operation. When you operate the CONTAX G2, you'll feel high quality pervading all aspects of the design, a silky and silent experience to be sure.

Precise center-weighted average metering

Light metering is achieved with a center-weighted average metering system (through-the-lens, with the aperture stopped down). The silicon photo diode (SPD, light metering sensor) offers precise metering over a wide EV1 to EV19 range. When the Hologon T* 16mm f8 lens is used, metering automatically switches to an external metering system.

More advanced, accurate autofousing is achieved by combining passive AF with an extended baselength, and an externally metering active AF system

Improved shutter response inevitably requires an upgrade in the autofocusing mechanism. To ensure precision focusing while speeding up the response time, the engineering team developed a two-chip CPU configuration that combines active AF with traditional passive AF technology.

The G2 initially rough focuses the subject using the ultra high speed active AF system. Then, the extremely accurate passive AF system takes over and hones the point of focus to perfection.

Two simple means of precise exposure control; aperture priority or manual

Aperture Priority or Manual exposure control are easily selected on the shutter speed dial. AE Lock is set simply by turning the main power switch to the AE-L position. A quick check of the selected shutter speed is available by pressing the shutter release button halfway.

Focus lock button ensures more convenient operation

While retaining the G1 focus lock function (by depressing the shutter release half-way), the G2 offers a dedicated focus lock button on the rear of the body. By using this button, the focus is locked at the desired position, even if the subject moves out of the focus frame in the CAF (Continuous Autofocus) mode. Further, when this feature is used in the MF (Manual Focus) mode, the shutter speed indication within the viewfinder LCD changes to a display of the focusing distance.

Manual focus dial enhances manual focus

The CONTAX G2 positions the manual focusing dial on the front of the body to enable the photographer to accomplish smoother, more subtle manual focusing. With the Hologon T* 16mm f8 lens, manual focusing is done with the lens focusing ring, instead of the focusing wheel on the body.

Real image zoom viewfinder for precise framing

The viewfinder is accurate and easy to view. It is a real image zoom type with a magnification of 0.57X and a field of view 90% (at infinity with Planar T* 45mm f2). Parallax distortion caused by different focal lengths and focusing distances are automatically, almost steplessly corrected by means of a newly designed and dedicated pulse motor. This system offers a more accurate parallax adjustment that slides the viewfinder diagonally to provide an enhanced field of view.

Easier-to-see, large LCD viewfinder

Photographic data such as shutter speed, exposure warning, flash ready, exposure compensation and AF distance are indicated on a large LCD panel in the viewfinder. This format allows the photographer to concentrate on the subject while only a glance is necessary to inform the user about vital parameters.

High-quality flash photography under a wide range of photographic conditions

The compact, high perfromance Auto Flash TLA200 unit was developed with 'pocket-ability' in mind. It will cover the focal lengths from 28mm to 90mm using a built-in zoom head. The TLA200 quickly couples to the G2 and provides TTL flash metering, daylight fill flash or slow shutter sync (by using the AE lock). Recycling is also quick at approx. 3.5 second recharge time.

Further, the TLA200 is fully compatible with the CONTAX TLA Flash system. This system provides sophisticated flash techniques, such as second curtain sync with the TLA280, TLA360 and TLA480.

Full range of drive modes and A.B.C. function

With the CONTAX G2, a full range of drive modes is available; S (single), CL (continuous low, approx. 2 frames per second), CH (continuous high, approx. 4 frames per second), self-timer (10 second delay), and multiple exposure. Additionally, the built-in Automatic Bracketing Control (A.B.C.) function (automatic exposure compensation on three consecutive frames) allows the photographer to do an exposure sequence consisting of one frame standard, one over and one under exposed. This can be accomplished in either a 0.5 or 1.0 step increment.

Beautifully finished full titanium body covering for high durability

Because CONTAX owners expect that only the finest materials will be used, lustrous titanium is employed as a body covering over the entire G2. This is an ideal material for a camera body, lightweight, rigid, shock and corrosion resistant. Overall, a perfect container for the inner workings of the G2. Further, the grip section has been rubberized to enhance the feel and comfort of the G2 in the hand.

Rigid copper/silumin aluminum alloy diecast chassis, durable even under harsh conditions

The chassis of the G2 securely supports the lens mount as well as the guide rails at the rear of the camera. Even repeated lens changing has no effect on the chassis/lens mount interface. The copper/silumin chassis is high temperature/high pressure steam annealed to eliminate distortion and add tempering for extra hardness.

Extended dioptric adjustment

The CONTAX G2 viewfinder eyepiece may be adjusted within the range +0.3D to -2.0D by turning the diopter adjuster. To extend this range, three optional diopter lenses GFL (-4), GFL (-2) and GFL (+2) - have been added to the system, providing a range from +3D to -5D.

Custom functions allow customization of many camera functions

The CONTAX G2 is designed to allow the user to change the basic settings of the following functions:

  • AE Lock method
  • A.B.C. bracketing order: standard-over-under (default setting); over-standard-under (optional setting)
  • Film leader upon rewinding: Film fully rewound into the cassette (default setting); leader left out after rewinding (optional setting)
  • The manner of adjusting the focusing distance in manual focus
  • Multiple exposure system
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Contax G system cameras
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Copyright © 2012-2022 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.