The Ultimate 35mm Travel Camera?
Above: Cropped photo of the
University of Minnesota
Marching Band. The inset photo near the bottom of the page was cropped from an
even tinier portion of a 35mm negative. (Contax
G2, Zeiss f/3.5-4.5 35-70mm Vario-Sonnar zoom lens, Kodak Supra 800 exposed
at ISO 640.)
In today's digital world, is there room
for a film camera that combines the workmanship of a classic Leica or Kodak
Retina with electronic technology and convenience? Aficionados of the Contax G2
rangefinder camera continue to vote an enthusiastic"yes" with their dollars, euros,
and yen, for several reasons:
Zeiss lenses. The Contax G2 offers a range of superb Zeiss optics from
16mm to 90mm. All seven lenses are remarkably light and small, making them ideal
Automation. Unlike other high-end rangefinder cameras, the G2 offers
the convenience of automatic focusing and exposure (although it does allow
Quality. In an era when molded plastic is wrapped around everything
from cameras to automobiles, the G2's titanium body has a reassuring strength
and solidity. Lens housings and user controls are machined from metal, adding to
a tactile pleasure that translates into pride of ownership.
I was lucky enough to borrow a Contax G2 kit from the
manufacturer, Kyocera Optics,
thanks to Michael Zorek of HWH Public
Relations/New Media in New York. I took the camera and three lenses on a
European cruise, and this article is based on my experience as a low-end
photographer using a high-end camera.
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The camera - Page 2
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