Contax 159mm problem

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Tony-S, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    I just picked up a Contax 159mm with 50mm f/1.7 MM and 135mm f/2.8 MM T* lenses. Reading the instruction manual, it appears that aperture and autoexposure information should be at the bottom of the viewfinder when I press the shutter half way, but there is nothing illuminating at the bottom. This occurs with both lenses. Is there a way of discriminating MM from non-MM lenses? I see no conspicuous marks on either lens. I don't know if the problem is the camera or the lenses.

    TIA.
     
  2. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    MM lenses have the smallest aperture painted green on the aperture ring.
    There should be an aperture readout in LED on the bottom of the finder as you mentioned.
    I hate to say it but anecdotal evidence seems to point toward electronics being a week point for Contax.
    I have a 159 and the TTL flash only works intermittently so I forgo that feature
     
  3. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Yes, the both have the green minimum aperture numeral. So, my 159 MM is defective. That's a bummer.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  4. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Does the shutter speed change appropriately when you change aperture in "A" mode?

    It may be something as simple as the LED burned out and I could live with that myself.
     
  5. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    MM lenses have the small black lug that sticks out of the rear of the lens that turns a lever on the newer bodies. This can be fudged by placing a small piece of plastic in the camera body of newer bodies to get program mode with older lenses.
     
  6. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Yes, it works in aperture-priority mode and I think in all three program modes. I just took five shots in the different modes and here's what was set for each:

    M - 1/500 f/2 (meter reading)
    A - 1/500:1/250 illuminated (presumably 1/375 or so?), aperture set f/2
    LP - 1/60 illuminated with lens aperture set to f/16 (green numeral) - don't know what the aperture was set to, though!
    P - 1/60:1/125 illuminated (presumably 1/90 or so?)with lens aperture set to f/16 - don't know what the aperture was set to, though!
    HP - 1/1000 illuminated with lens aperture set to f/16 - don't know what the aperture was set to, though!

    When I finish this roll I'll develop the film and see if the exposures are all similar.
     
  7. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Just finished processing the roll of Acros and it looks like all three program modes are working based upon negative densities. For a brief moment, I saw f/2.8 appear in the bottom of the viewfinder while taking a shot, so it looks like there's something that's shorted.
     
  8. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Hmm. Now the bottom of the viewfinder seems to be working. I ran a roll of Neopan 400 through it and the info was displayed in the viewfinder. Maybe it only likes Neopan?