Ever since the Contax brand name made it into the hands of wealthy celebrities (and thereby became a newsmaker in its own right), many of us saw Contax camera prices skyrocket. The T2 and T3 became the first obvious targets. We hate to say we told you so, but it’s now spreading to other models like the Contax G2 rangefinder camera. Case in point is this unused set that is currently going for a crazy amount of cash.
The pristine black Contax G2 set listed by Tokyo-based ebay seller samuraijpn is a dead stock comprised of unused camera body, 28mm f2.8 Biogon, 45mm f2.8 Planar, and 90mm f2.8 Sonnar Carl Zeiss lenses, plus a bunch of other accessories. Being in new and unused condition, the cosmetics are perfect, the functions are all working properly, and the viewfinder is clean and very clear, without any dust, markings, scratches, fungus, or haze. The lenses are all also described as crystal clear and clean, free of any dust, scratches, fungus, balsam separation, or haze. The bundled items include a TLA 200 Flash, front body cap, front lens caps, rear lens caps, strap, hood, and hard case.
All of these are yours for a whopping price of $8,194.90. In comparison, Japan Camera Hunter says that the Contax G2 came out with the 45mm Planar lens in 1996 and was listed for $2,250 — or $3,400 in 2018 equivalent. Premium sets like this listing definitely went for more, but it’s crazy, considering what you can buy at the price it’s going for.
Lauded for its ergonomics and intuitive layout, Contax G2 was regarded by some as a supposed Leica killer, featuring a 4 FPS integrated motor drive, 1/6000 top shutter speed, X sync at 1/200 second, plus extended baseline autofocus system. The G2 is part of the Contax G series of titanium-bodied interchangeable lens cameras that use the electronic autofocus Contax G-mount. While touted as an innovation for rangefinder systems, some critics didn’t consider it as a “true” or mechanical rangefinder because it was an autofocus camera with electronically linked mechanism. However, its AF mechanism actually had a twin-window system comparable to older mechanical rangefinders but in electronic form. The viewfinder has a field of view for lenses with focal lengths between 28mm and 90 mm through electronic zoom, and has parallax error and field compensation for close focusing.
While many photographers who prefer manual rangefinders may not be particularly impressed with the Contax G2, it remains at the pinnacle of 35mm film photography technology. If you’re willing to part with that much cash for this pristine set, make sure to ask around for actual market value before heading to the ebay listing to buy it now or make your best offer.
Photos from the ebay listing by samuraijpn