5 frames with...

5 Frames with a Contax G1 – by Mitchel Gordon Brauns

April 21, 2019

The Contax G1 is the best point & shoot camera! Okay, so technically it’s not a point & shoot per se, it’s more like a rangefinder camera. Though, even then it’s not your typical rangefinder camera like the Leica M6. The Contax G1 doesn’t use the typical manual focusing system that most rangefinder cameras do, it uses a completely automatic focusing system.

It’s been a great system in my experience with it. I’ve been using mine for about a year now and I couldn’t be happier. I wanted to try something new. I wanted to try something that was different from the SLR and point & shoot selection I already have in my collection. So, after much research I decided to go with a Contax G1 because it seemed like such a unique camera, and it is.

At first glance, the Contax G1 is a beautiful camera. This things looks like the if Apple made a 35mm film camera. It’s built like a tank with its fully titanium body. It just feels great in the hand. Perfectly heavy but also light-enough at the same time. Taking photos with this camera feels just as amazing as it looks. The autofocus on this thing is fast and smooth. It feels like a point & shoot camera but in a great way.

With the 28mm f/2.8 lens I bought along with the camera, it feels like I’m getting the experience of a point & shoot but the results of a rangefinder. The Contax G series was essentially made for the rich hobbyist that wanted to take nice photos but didn’t want to try too hard, and it shows. They wanted to compete with Leica but at the same time, make something unique.

Now, this isn’t a fully automatic camera. You still have to set the aperture and shutter speed, and that’s what separates this camera from being just a high end point & shoot. You CAN manually focus on this thing but it wasn’t really made for that, and quite frankly its a bit of a hassle to even try.

Before I bought mine I heard tons of horror stories about the autofocus not always focusing on your subject or just not focusing at all, but I have yet to have any experience with that. I mean, the first roll(s) I ever shot on this camera were photos my friends skating at our local skatepark and all the photos I got back were in focus and sharp… So sharp. They made some amazing lenses for the Contax G system, all by Carl Zeiss.

Using this camera is so simple, easy, and fast It’s pretty surprising some of the amazing results you can get. It has became a glorified point & shoot to me, but I don’t mean that in a bad way, I actually mean that in the best way. This has became my take everywhere type of camera. I highly recommend the Contax G series if you’re looking for something to try in the world of 35mm film.

Mitchel Gordon-Brauns.
Instagram: mitchelgordonbrauns

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  • Reply
    Jacob Christiansen
    April 21, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    Awesome pictures. I suspect the focus issue has to do with the choice of lens

    • Reply
      April 21, 2019 at 7:12 pm

      Thank you! And yeah, I’m glad I went with a 35mm lens on this one.

    • Reply
      James Evidon
      April 21, 2019 at 9:37 pm

      Mine focuses right on give a little time. to get the camera to do it. If you shoot without giving the camera a chance to focus that is what you get.
      Mine has a green label.

  • Reply
    Reinhold Graf
    April 21, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    I fully agree. To me, the G1 and G2 are beautiful, precise and reliable gems.

    • Reply
      April 21, 2019 at 7:11 pm

      Most definitely. I was somewhat worried about picking one up due to all the bad rumors but I’m glad I did.

  • Reply
    D Evan Bedford
    April 21, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    If your focusing works 100% of the time, you probably got a green label version (label inside the camera where the film canister goes). I once had a pre-green-label version, and several of the images in the first roll weren’t in focus. So I returned it.

    • Reply
      April 21, 2019 at 7:11 pm

      I actually have a pre green label version. I couldn’t find a green label for a good price.

  • Reply
    David Kieltyka
    April 21, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    I had a G2 between 1999 & 2001. The focus issues I experienced were with the 90mm lens. My impression was that at some focus distances the indicated and actual points of focus weren’t quite the same. No such problems with the 28, 35 or 45mm lenses.

  • Reply
    George Appletree
    April 21, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    Although so battery depending and automatic, one of those cameras I always wished to have.
    I believe what called GAS is mere consumerism. Now film cameras are becoming ridiculously expensive. So, I won’t never have it.

  • Reply
    April 22, 2019 at 12:32 am

    Hello, I don’t want to rain on your parade, and you’ve got me seriously lusting for a G1 or G2, while awaing for my M3 to come back from repair… but I have to say pictures 2-5 seem to be a bit back focussed on my screen.
    Guy sitting in front of the fence? The fence is sharp.
    First guy jumping with the board? Background is sharper than him.
    Lady in front of the fence? Her shoulder and upper body seem sharper than her face.
    Second guy jumping? Background is a bit sharper than him.
    Also you are mentioning in the comments you got a 35mm lens, but your picture above shows a 28mm?
    Anyway, thanks for fueling my GAS!

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