Contax slr bodies, handling differences

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by avandesande, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    I have been using a 139q and I am pretty happy with it, but it is a little bit small for my hands. Since I live in the middle of nowhere it is hard for me to handle the bodies. I would like to hear from others that have used srt and 167mt. I am particularily intersted in the srt11 system.
     
  2. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I've never heard of a Contax srt11. Do you mean the RTS II?
     
  3. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    Yeah, i have some old minolta junk sitting around. I meant RTS....
     
  4. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    The only Contax camera that I have used is the RTSIII. It is a heavy and big camera for a 35mm. I use one with regularity. It may be too big for what feels right in your hands. I wear size nine gloves and the camera feels good in my hands. Although almost all of my photos are taken with the camera on a tripod.
     
  5. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I use an RTS II. It is big but only because it has the motor and batteries on it. It is a beautiful camera, a product of the Porsche Design Group, although the controls are a little strangely laid out from other SLRs they fall naturally under your fingers. As far as I'm concerned, they could have just stopped designing new 35mm SLRs after that. It has everything that I want in a camera and nothing that I don't want. Of course, that is somewhat a matter of personal taste. The only thing I might add is interchangable viewfinders. The big problem for them is that they haven't been made for some time and with Kyocerra dumping Contax, things ain't gonna get better as far as keeping them running :sad:.

    The 167 is a more modern design, all plastic and LCDs. Ick. I dont want a 35mm camera without a thumb advance lever on it or that turns into a doorstop when the batteries die.

    You already know that the Zeiss glass is wicked. I'll use that on any body that will mount it. Even Yashicas :smile:
     
  6. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    The Aria is excellent.

    The whole batteries / no batteries thing is kind of passe, isn't it ?

    How often do you lose a camera because you don't have batteries ?

    How often can you find somebody who actually knows how to repair a mechanical camera ?

    Especially ANY KYOCERA Contax ?
     
  7. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    I gotta agree with df on this one. I have the Aria and it is wonderful to work with, and I have the AX which sits in cabinet waiting for me to figure out who can repair it...
     
  8. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    Did you try kyocera? I bought 139 parts from them a few years ago. I think they offered a "service to spec" deal of some sort. Of course that might be gone now...

     
  9. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    As I said it its just a matter of personal taste. Some are saying the same about film :smile:

    Never. All of my battery sucking, auto-everything bodies are long dead. Only my ancient mechanical Nikon, Leica and my Contax S2 still operate with absolute dependability. I decided, "Why carry a mechanical as a backup for when your expensive electro-gizmo fails? Save the weight and just carry the mechanical. No one will know when they see the photographs."

    I'm betting long after discontinued proprietary chips and ribbon circuits for specific cameras become impossible to locate.
     
  10. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    I have a 167MT which I use for aerial work. It is very well designed for that, being light, self loading and unloading and having a fast built in winder with a very useful auto bracketing feature and good metering. It has less mirror shock than any SLR I have ever used and wonderful glass. However, it is also noisy and I find I don't use it at all on the ground.

    David.
     
  11. alien

    alien Member

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    I have quite a collection of Contax cameras (RTS II and III, RX, AX, S2, N), and I love them all.

    i also have a large number of Nikon equipment (F4 and F5), but I find myself using it less and less in favour of the Contax stuff.

    My favourite Contax? hard to say, but probably the RTS III...

    Ansgar
     
  12. blumesan

    blumesan Member

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    The 139Q is one of the most reliable bodies in the Contax line. Fewer bells & whistles, therefore less to go wrong. If you are happy with this camera and only find it is a little small for your hands, the easy and least expensive solution is to buy an autowinder for the 139Q. They are not too difficult to find (e-bay). This will give you more to hold on to, a bit more weight, and an extra release button for portrait orientation shots.

    Mike
     
  13. Vincent DiPietro

    Vincent DiPietro Member

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    The Contax RX is a well balanced camera weighing about 29 ounces. It is sleeker and less weighty than the AX and bigger than the ST. I'm an average sized guy and I find that the RX fits in my hand perfectly. I also own the S2, Aria and 139Q and have no problems handling them. By the way, The S2, Aria and RX can be repaired by TOCAD for the next few years. My S2's film advance went kaput and I had to send it out for repairs to TOCAD via a local camera store. After 2 and a half months I got the camera back sans batteries. It cost around $240.00 to repair and the job was a very shoddy one. The film advance lever doesn't snap all the way back. I just pray that the RX or Aria never break down. By the way, the more I use the 139Q the more I love it. And it looks sooo funky.
     
  14. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    Thanks for all the replys. I guess I will stick with my 139 and get some backup bodies on ebay, easy to do since they usually go for less than 100$
     
  15. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Mike makes an excellent suggestion. I used to have a 159. It was uncomfortably small in my hands but with a winder attached, it had the extra size, shape and grip that made it a joy to use.
     
  16. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    I bought an RTS and 50/1.4 last year (year before?) for $150. Heavy but solid as can be.

    The shutter speeds on the left is weird but I got over it.
     
  17. collect888

    collect888 Member

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    I use two AXs and those very excellent lenses. Shooting a non Autofocus lens in autofocus mode and turning a regular lens into a macro are very interesting features for the AX body. I have some other Contax bodies but two AXs are my favorite.

    By the way I like heavy camera bodies/lenses.
     
  18. Brac

    Brac Member

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    I have never handled a 139 but have used the 167MT, 137MA & MD & the RTS (original model). All these are large and heavy, mainly because they have a lot of metal in them and with the exception of the RTS have built in motors. I love the 167 & 137 models but as I am getting older I do find that if carrying around one of these all day, the weight does become rather noticeable and a bit tiresome in truth. I believe the Aria is lighter, probably the lightest of all the late Contax SLR models.
     
  19. Vincent DiPietro

    Vincent DiPietro Member

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    The Aria is the lightest of the more recent Contax models weighing in at 16oz. However, the 139Q also weighs in at 16oz. It is lighter than the RTS, 167 or 137ma/md or any other Contax slr save the Aria.