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Contax G lens adapter success and failure.


assinder

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I love using my manual M and R lenses with my SL but I have been looking for a solution to allow me to use my fabulous "old" Contax G lenses on a digital body. Adapters for Sony nex cameras work but can be glitchy. Then along comes Kipon with exactly the right adapter (via the usual online auction site)

And it works beautifully on all lenses except the 35-70, which never mates properly with any adapters so best not to try. The odd thing is, while it works flawlessly (so far) on my SL it simply refuses to mount on my CL, with the lenses seeming to hit the lens throat. Obviously I haven't messed about with it too much for fear of damaging something, and I am perfectly content using the lenses on my SL. But I am perplexed as I thought the mounts were the same - forgive my technical ignorance if I have missed the blindingly obvious.

Any observations would be appreciated.

Nick.

Edited by assinder
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15 minutes ago, assinder said:

I love using my manual M and R lenses with my SL but I have been looking for a solution to allow me to use my fabulous "old" Contax G lenses on a digital body. Adapters for Sony nex cameras work but can be glitchy. Then along comes Kipon with exactly the right adapter (via the usual online auction site)

And it works beautifully on all lenses except the 35-70, which never mates properly with any adapters so best not to try. The odd thing is, while it works flawlessly (so far) on my SL it simply refuses to mount on my CL, with the lenses seeming to hit the lens throat. Obviously I haven't messed about with it too much for fear of damaging something, and I am perfectly content using the lenses on my SL. But I am perplexed as I thought the mounts were the same - forgive my technical ignorance if I have missed the blindingly obvious.

Any observations would be appreciated.

Nick.

Nick - Funny I've been looking for an adapter for my Contax G lenses to use on the SL, and came across the Kipon adapter earlier today.

I suspect the reason it won't work on the CL is due to the smaller/narrower and shallower chamber behind the lens mount on the camera.

Based on your comments, I'll go ahead and order one.

Thanks and best,

Mike

 

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Hi Mike.

Yes, I think they have only just produced them as I've been scouring all the usual sources for months. I notice on the ebay listing they say 10+ available and 1 sold - so I may have been the first! They seem to be nicely made and the focus ring is pretty smooth. It is a great combination. I haven't taken enough images yet to really test it in full but I can't see any reason it won't work well in all circumstances. And to have access to all my G lenses alongside my Leica ones is fantastic and gives them a new lease of life.

Thanks for the explanation about the CL which makes sense. It's a shame as the smaller form factor would be good with the G lenses but the SL is a fantastic camera so I have no complaints.

I hope you have as much success with yours if you go ahead and buy one. 

All the best.

Nick.

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1 hour ago, assinder said:

Good luck, I'm sure you will enjoy it. BTW I should have said I found the best way to use it was to mount the adapter onto the camera first. Then mount the lens. 

Nick

Thanks Nick.  BYTW I see eBay now says +10 available & 2 sold = yours 1st & mine 2nd...

Best

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On 1/7/2020 at 10:15 AM, assinder said:

I love using my manual M and R lenses with my SL but I have been looking for a solution to allow me to use my fabulous "old" Contax G lenses on a digital body. Adapters for Sony nex cameras work but can be glitchy. Then along comes Kipon with exactly the right adapter (via the usual online auction site)

And it works beautifully on all lenses except the 35-70, which never mates properly with any adapters so best not to try. The odd thing is, while it works flawlessly (so far) on my SL it simply refuses to mount on my CL, with the lenses seeming to hit the lens throat. Obviously I haven't messed about with it too much for fear of damaging something, and I am perfectly content using the lenses on my SL. But I am perplexed as I thought the mounts were the same - forgive my technical ignorance if I have missed the blindingly obvious.

Any observations would be appreciated.

Nick.

Nick,

Which lenses have you tried with the adaptor? I'm wondering about the 21mm.

Thanks for any insight.

Subhash

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4 hours ago, scroy said:

I'm wondering about the 21mm.

I'd be curious, too, as I had a 21mm converted with Hawk's m-mount helicoid and it was terrible on the SL, with massive color shift and corner smearing. It was the final straw that convinced me to sell all my G lenses except for the 90mm which I still use with film.

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How about the incredible 28mm Biogon? I've never had any camera/lens combination that beat that on a Contax G2. The second best was it on the original Contax G. 

Sadly, it's manual. Lenses like that would be unbelievable if an adapter could allow autofocus on the SL2. It'd be the size of the M mount, but autofocus and wildly good quality. There was a Techart autofocus adapter for the Sony E mount, but that system has never worked for me. 

Edited by intermediatic
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I have briefly used the adapter with the 21, 28, 45 and 90mm G lenses and they all fit and operate very well. As  already noted the 35-70 zoom is a non-starter and attempting to use it risks breaking something. I have only taken a few images so far and everything appears fine with no obvious colour or other problems. But this is very early days and I would want to test for much longer and over a wider range of situations before conclude everything is 100%. But fingers crossed. I really am reluctant to lose these great lenses.   

Good luck to everyone.

Nick.

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3 hours ago, Danno_photoguy said:

It does say "Mount to Panasonica L Leica SL TL Camera"  Are we sure that no G lenses can work on the CL with this adapter?  Maybe I misunderstood the post.  

According to the OP it doesn't work on the CL. I suspect there's not enough space in the mount chamber on the CL.

I'm expecting to receive the adapter today and will test with my G lenses on the SL & SL2 over the weekend and report back.

 

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15 hours ago, michali said:

According to the OP it doesn't work on the CL. I suspect there's not enough space in the mount chamber on the CL.

I'm expecting to receive the adapter today and will test with my G lenses on the SL & SL2 over the weekend and report back.

 

Looking forward to hearing more on this, if I can use the 21+28mm on  my SL2, I would be very  happy.

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Are the G Contax so much better than the normal (SLR) Contax ?  I simply use the ordinary Contax 28mm and 21mm (which is a Distagon and bigger than the rangefinder biogon). They are quite nice and easy to adapt successfully. And they are probably better corrected for close distance.

Edited by caissa
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On 1/10/2020 at 11:45 PM, scroy said:

Looking forward to hearing more on this, if I can use the 21+28mm on  my SL2, I would be very  happy.

 

22 hours ago, Danno_photoguy said:

I got the adapter today (that was quick), mounted it to my SL and then mounted the Planar 2/35.  The good news is that it works fine, the bad news is that I cannot get the Planar 2/35 off the adapter.

I received the adapter and very pleased with it. It works on both the SL2 as well as the CL.

I have 3 Contax G lenses: 90mm Sonnar, 45mm Planar & 28mm Biogon.

90mm f2.8 Sonnar & 45mm f2 Planar - Both of these lenses work seamlessly on the SL2 & CL. Focus is smooth and aperture clicks nicely into place. IQ is excellent- see next post.

28mm f2.8 Biogon - doesn't fit on either camera. The tabs on the rear of the lens and the rear element of the lens, protrude past the adapter and bump up against the mount chamber. 

In terms of removing the lens, I noticed that you have to set the aperture to between f8 & f11 in order to remove the lens from the adapter. You'll notice that f8 to f11 are the default setting on the lens when it's removed.

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Image with the SL2 & Contax G 45mm Planar ISO200 f2 @ 1/50s

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EDIT: Reloaded image due to Jpeg compression.

Edited by michali
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