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Sunday, 25 January 2009

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I note in the photograph the Hexar rangefinder. I have one of those original Hexar "P&S" rangefinder "style" ones, AF's, with a fixed 35mm f/2 lense. One of the best, if not the best, lense I have ever experienced in 35mm format.
It quiet mode (with an autowind function) was barely audible to the person using it.

But alas, the little guy is non-functional. Would love to get it repaired.

Jay,
Or, you could buy the same lens in LTM--that is, if you're feeling flush.

Item #120366429383

Mike J.

Nice new life for these superb lenses...

P.S. I believe Konica-Minolta still offers repairs for Hexars.

Man, I was so keen on the Hexar (maybe AF) back in the day, but I did not have money. This is the kind of camera I want to see in the digital era. Not the specifics, but the compromise-less spirit of it.

Google says:
68 000 Japanese yen = 765.68 U.S. dollars
That's the price for the 28mm lens, converted. (If I'm reading it right!)

Somehow I assumed that "a lot of money for this" in leica-land would have meant that the decimal point was a bit further right... not spectacularly cheap like the G system itself now, but not outlandish for the conversion you're getting - it's a whole new mount, focus cam and all. At least, I presume they are RF coupled, although I'm surprised the FAQ doesn't mention this.

"At least, I presume they are RF coupled, although I'm surprised the FAQ doesn't mention this."

Improbable,
I'll find out and add it to the post.

Mike J.

Improbable,
The lensmounts are indeed rf-coupled, which I've added to the post.

Mike J.

Photography must certainly be among the top three arenas for male fetishism, right up there with fly fishing and...well...

I am currently having a 28mm lens converted to M mount by these folks. They also serve as a middleman with a good conversion shop -- the source of those converted G lenses. I believe that the actual conversion is done by Mr. Miyazaki of Hayata Camera Labs. Japan Exposures (formerly Megapearls) is acting as a middleman, handling translation and shipping outside Japan, which Hayata does not do. I have had a 45 G-Sonnar converted to LTM this way (had to find my own middleman . . . several folks whom I do not know did me favors to make this happen) and the lens (which is rf coupled and which has, as Mike noted, a friction ring (rather than click-stops) for the aperture) functions well. For me, the "why" of it was/is that I like the Contax-G lenses and wanted to use them with different cameras. It is worth noting that Hayata offers all sorts of interesting conversions to M-mount, not just Contax G lenses, for those interested in that sort of thing, including lenses from certain fixed lens rangefinders. I am sure that Japan Exposures would be happy to help out with conversion-translation etc.

Ben Marks

I just experienced a major brainstorm. Why not pick up a beautiful Contax G2 along with a Ex+ 28 Biogen? I just paid $550 for both. Saved myself just over $200 compared to buying the converted lens alone. I think the G2 is one of the all time great cameras and after having sellers remorse for 4 years now I just adopted another. :)

Probably not suitable for this site but I found it very strange -- the site said that it cannot be used as L mount and also it cannot be used for RD1. Both require send in camera to adjust and is not practical outside Japan. Is that true in general that L mount and RD1 will have focus error?

I have no NEED for the Hologon, but I *WANT* one.... sigh... pocket book says otherwise though.

These type of superbly skilled and inventive individuals adapting and converting add real passion to the field of photography and real choice. Most of us like to 'fiddle about' with gear for our individual needs (I made my own bellows lens shade because they are extremely expensive items) and occassionally a brave soul makes their fiddling/adaptation commercially. Long live men in sheds.
My opinion on the G-system 45mm in particular is that it is one of the finest performing pieces of glass ever made and worth the price of a Leica body to suit. I'm more than happy with my Contax hybrid system but as the electronics age I'd be very tempted to have a manual 45 on a Voigtlander (If I had a nice M Leica it would probably be the only camera I could afford to kit out if I sold all of my existing cameras, and it's not worth that to me. Mr. Miyazaki and his like are helping to keep quality more affordable - fantastic.

I received a note from the folks at Japan Exposres clarifying that MS Optical (Miyazaki) and Hayata are two separate entities. MS performs the conversions, and Hayata is the main domestic reseller of his good and services. Although this is probably not germane to the discussion above, I wanted to correct my factual error in my prior post.

If anyone is interested in the results from this converted lens, I am happy to make some test pictures available; however, I am uncertain what Mike's rules are for posting e-mail addresses on this sort of thing.

Best regards,

Ben Marks

a new Contax digital body will be great

erick,
Not likely, though, since, as I mentioned, Contax is no longer in business.

A pity--

Mike J.

Mike

I know but I don't know exactly which company actually own the name , and maybe ... :-)

Not my thing, but many thanks for alerting me to Japan Exposures, which is an absolutely fascinating website.

While I do not see any idiosyncrasies in adapting and using non-Leica lenses with quite different imaging qualities on an M body, I doubt the vintage design Hologon with its _extremely_ angled light rays would produce high-quality images on the M8(.2) sensor.
Not that I own either piece (or ever will).

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