Just bought my first Contax 35mm SLR (finally after years of waiting!)

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Rush2112, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    My Contax RX, mint in the box, is on its way from Japan. I'm highly looking forward to shooting with this camera, Contax cameras have a design that speaks to me in volumes. Even their product manual speak my language. I've been lusting after the Contax N Digital for years but finally decided to try one of the film cameras I've always wanted too.

    It will be interesting to see if the RX can make me smile like my Minolta Maxxum 9 does :smile:. Since it's manual focus only, it will engage me a bit more into the photography process. Lots of good looking handling points and interesting features on the RX.

    Looking forward to the first roll of film.

    Carl
     
  2. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Congrats! RX was my first Contax SLR too. I use my RTSII a bit more now but not because I dislike the RX. What lenses do you plan? My fav is the 85/1.4.
     
  3. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Oh and RUSH is awesome, first saw them on their Permanent Waves tour....
     
  4. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I hope you enjoy it very much!

    Jeff
     
  5. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    Thanks Richard :smile:. First plan is to buy my friends CZ 50 f/1.4... after that, a wide, then the 85mm in that order :smile:. And yes I agree, Rush is awesome. I saw them on the last tour here in So CAL- still sound fantastic!

    Much appreciated Jeff, I hope so too. I have an affinity for manual controls and think it should fit the bill.

    Carl
     
  6. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I have a 159mm I use regularly and I agree I like the design and layout of the controls although I don't think they would appeal to everyone.

    I especially like the simple, quick exposure comp dial.
     
  7. mweintraub

    mweintraub Member

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    It's funny, I find a lot of software developers and photographers like RUSH.
     
  8. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Don't overpay for the 50/1.4 Planar. I had one and also came across a 1.7 Planar at a good price. Sold the 1.4 because others are paying insane amounts for them. 1.7 as good or better, albeit slightly slower, but really only slightly, some say sharper at f/2, 2.8, and 4. If you can ever find a 100-300 Vario-Sonnar for a good price and you like long zooms grab it. It may just be one of the sharpest lenses, prime or zoom, I've ever used. Had the 80-200 for a short spell, nothing special. I also have the rare 35/2.8 PC-Distagon, another sharp as heck marvel. Do not have any of the really wides for some reason, mostly shoot 28mm perspective and wider with my RF's, Hasselblad 40/4 Distagon, or my Rolleiwide. I do have and love the CZ 135/2.8 and 180/2.8. Gorgeous primes.

    Have not seen RUSH in many years. I was obsessed with them in HS and college. Saw their Moving Pictures tour also and then later the tours around Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, Presto, Roll the Bones and Counterparts. Times have changed. I guess I have not seen them since before I traveled the world for 5 years, then settled down and got married, had two kids, oldest is almost 13 now...sigh...a different world that was.....still I have MANY more cameras than I did back then and an awesome family to shoot with all this gear! :smile:
     
  9. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Can you say why you settled on a Contax RX? I'm interested in Contax SLR's but dont know which model I would like best, or which ones are still reliable at this age.
     
  10. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    I love the Contax series of cameras but I was invested in Nikon for 35mm for the longest time. Currently, I'm into MF now so I've never jumped on the Contax bandwagon.
     
  11. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    Congratulations! I bought my first Contax brand new back in 1983. A 139 with 50mm f/1.7 Planar.

    What took you so long? :D



    I saw Rush I believe in the mid 80's, I'm thinking 84 or 85. Rory Gallagher opened for them. I'm a fan of both artists so it was a treat!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2014
  12. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    Thanks Richard... it's a good friend of mine, and he's not used it in years. Likely, it will be free :smile:

    I hear ya, I have a 3yr old daughter and they make great models. LOL
     
  13. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    Hey Ratty (think I know you from another forum online... ) :smile:.

    Contax attracted me for several reasons. Interesting cameras, with awesome build quality, photographer first centric designs, excellent features, and a rich heritage/name that most don't shoot with (as selfish as that last part may sound). The RX has a lot of automation but is still MF- I like that. I can always turn off my Maxxum 9's AF. Yet, theres something neat about not having AF at all on the Contax. I like the price of it too. It's a sexy camera that makes a lot of sense to me and I'll probably do a much more thorough opinion of it on my blog too (yes an old film camera review).

    Carl
     
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  15. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    I got a 3 1/2 yr old daughter too. :smile:
     
  16. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    Haha right on !!! :smile:

    :smile:
     
  17. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    Alan, its time to see them again before they don't do this anymore, trust me.... they are damn good still, better in some ways too!
     
  18. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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  19. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    Great find, thanks :smile: I have lots of Rush video's etc... but havent' seen this one. Watching now.
     
  20. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Hi Carl, I understand the attraction to Contax with those great Zeiss lenses. What I was asking for more was why choose the RX over say the RTS. I have not found a good detailed page that describes the differences between Contax models so was wondering why you picked the RX.

    Thanks!
     
  21. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    Ah sorry Ratty!

    I didn't have a look at the RTS models in depth, did see pricing out there though. I know the RX has the unique focusing feature that other cameras do not have, and it had everything I was looking for- full automation without auto focus, extremely good build quality, size, viewfinder, and handling points especially. I think there is a lot of stuff on the net comparing the two though if you do a RX vs RTS search. Sorry I can't be of more help to you than that.

    Carl
     
  22. ContaxRTSFundus

    ContaxRTSFundus Subscriber

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    RX - you won't be disappointed...

    I too enjoy using the RX although it's lesser cousin the RXII is the one Contax I've never owned. Of course, you can now enjoy the astonishing range of Zeiss lenses BUT don't ignore some of the Yashica ML lenses, one or two of which can beat Zeiss at their own game and at a fraction of the cost. One's to try out are the 21mm, 24mm (sharper than the Zeiss 25mm), 35mm (sharper than the Zeiss 35mm!), 55mm f2.8 macro, 100 f3.5 macro ( a 1:2 stunner!), 500 f8 mirror (better than the f8 Zeiss Mirotar and reckoned to be the sharpest 500 f8 mirror ever made), 28-50, 70-210 f4 (now impossible to find but nearly as good as the Zeiss VS 70-210 though without the Zeiss' stunning macro mode) and 100-300 (on a par with the Zeiss version). To me, there's always been something indefinable about the quality of Contax gear - just great ergonomic design I guess. I still use my original 1977 Contax RTS Fundus with a PMD and 250 back (bulk film is getting tougher to find) regularly along with my treasured 55mm and 85mm f1.2 Planars; absolute joy. Have fun with the RX - and don't forget the Yashica ML range of lenses as a low cost alternative to some of the Zeiss.

    I've attached a couple of piccies of some of my favourite Contax gear...
     

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  23. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Nice photos of your contax gear!
     
  24. ContaxRTSFundus

    ContaxRTSFundus Subscriber

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    Thanks Richard - I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that they represent only about half of my gear but in my defence, I've been using it for over 35 years so you do end up with quite a bit of kit if you can't bring yourself to get rid of much. Every camera and lens gets a work-out at least a couple of times during the course of the year and Aki Asahi does quite well from me as I buy most of my replacement leathers and, more importantly, light seals and mirror dampers from him. Hate to think of the annual cost of batteries for the big flash units and the old power winders and motor drives...but they just keep on working...and no flash capacitor problems with the old RTF540s unlike so many modern flash units!
     
  25. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    I have had a 167MT for years, then bought an RTS II because I loved the design. Unfortunately the one I bought has a problem properly reading the max aperture lug on the rear of Contax lenses. So I've purchased a second parts body. Now I need to find someone who can actually repair Contax cameras -- any suggestions? I've heard that TOCAD used to repair them, but does anyone have any recent experience getting a body repaired?
     
  26. Rush2112

    Rush2112 Member

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    You're right. I'm not disappointed. It's got the feel, heft, and handling that I wanted. And it's a near perfect specimen. The owner in Japan took excellent care of this one and I'm proud to own it. Next a lens or two is in store. I've already bought a rechargeable battery for it (and my Maxxum 9)- rechargables are nice to have these days. Here is a picture of my new RX and 9.

    Carl

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