The Contax G1 is the predecessor to the Contax G2 camera, the most advanced 35mm rangefinder ever made, and arguably the one of the finest 35mm cameras ever made. With the addition of the Carl Zeiss T lenses which have been tested to be some of the sharpest lenses ever created for 35mm, you have a combination that can produce outstanding photographs. Even through 2015 serious photographers are still using the Contax G1 and G2 camera systems.
The Contax G1 FAQ is written and maintained by me, Allan Hall
Specifications of the Contax G1
Size – 5.3in x 3.1in x 1.7in
Power –2 CR2 batteries should get you approximately 80 rolls of 24exp film
Flash sync – 1/100 sec
Motor speed – 2FPS
Operational Modes of the Contax G1
Other functions of the Contax G1
ASA/ISO Setting– DX from 25-5000, manual setting 6-6400.
Optional Accessories for the Contax G1
GD-1 Data Back– Imprints date and time within the picture area, CR2025 battery.
GK-41 – Lens Cap, most common with the Contax G1, 46mm (fits Zeiss Biogon T* 28mm f/2.8, Zeiss Planar T* 35mm f/2, Zeiss Planar T* 45mm f/2, Zeiss Sonnar T* 90mm f/2.8, Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 35-70mm f/3.5-5.6)
GK-54 – Lens Cap , 57mm (fits GG-1, GG-2, GG-3 lens hoods)
GK-B – Body cap/cover
GG-1 – Lens hood
GG-2 – Lens hood
GG-3 – Lens hood
GA-1 – Lens adapter to use Zeiss C/Y lenses on G bodies, manual focus, no electronics
GF-21 – Finder for 21mm lens
GP-1 – Power Pack Adapter
P-8 – Power Pack
GC-11 – Case
GC-111 – Case front for standard lenses
GC-112 – Case front for long lenses
GC-110 – Case body
Contax G1 Lens availability
90mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* (1994, Popular Photography said this was the sharpest medium tele lens they ever tested)
General Information about the Contax G1
The shutter in the Contax G1 is a Titanium leaf vertical travel focal plane model that runs from 16sec to 1/2000sec. Metering is accomplished with a center-weighted meter off of the shutter curtain. No spot metering etc is available.
The Contax G1 original price was somewhere around $3,000 for the full kit when released.
Q: Is there any way to use other lenses?
Q: Can I shoot macro shots with the Contax G1?
Q: I see some cameras listed as “green” stickers or labels, what is this?
Q: I have heard that the lenses for the Contax G1 are better than <insert brand here>, is that true?
Q: Why a rangefinder?
Q: Can you still get the green sticker upgrade or other factory work done (Contax G1 green label)?
A: No. Contax, lastly a division of Kyocera, ceased operations in 2005.
Q: Why film?
2016 update: Digital camera are even better today, as are the software tools to process the images. You can now create images in digital that will fool 90% or more of people into thinking it was shot with film. Film is still fun to use and unique which is why the Contax G1 body still sells for around $100 on auction sites while the 28mm 2.8 Biogen sells for approximately $300. Even after twenty two years there is good demand for the Contax G1 and accessories.
NOTE: IF YOU HAVE PICTURES OF THE ACCESSORIES OR LENSES THAT I DO NOT AND WOULD BE WILLING TO DONATE THOSE IMAGES TO THIS FAQ, PLEASE USE THE CONTACT FORM AND LET ME KNOW.
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Enjoy your Contax G1!
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