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  1. #1
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    contax rts reliability

    would you consider it reliable?

  2. #2
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Which version there are three, they are all old models and the electronics are most likely becomming unreliable. Love the lenses though.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  3. #3
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    The RTS III is not THAT old. They should be good for at least another decade. An original RTS would be a bit dicey though.

  4. #4
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    RTS I. I'd prefer an all-mechanical body but I'm considering a Contax because I hear that the lenses are just amazing. I'm not sure if the Yashica is any better...

  5. #5
    Andrew Moxom's Avatar
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    The RTS II had a better shutter than the original RTS as it was quartz controlled, but did have a manual option for 1/60th if the battery failed. I think the RTS-II is likely the best compromise. I think ALL the contax cameras suffered from mirror slippage though.... Over the years, the glue used to fix the mirror would soften causing the mirror to gradually slide off its mount. Eventually, it can cause problems. I've never had it in any of the bodies I've owned.... Or rather if it's there, it's not been a problem. I have heard of some folks stating the mirror hits the rear on some lenses.... Apparently, the mirror slip problem was fixed with the Aria.

    167, RTS-III, RX, AX bodies all suffered with LCD bleeding a lot of the time too.

    The saving grace with Contax, is the glass. What more can be said about T* coated Zeiss lenses? Especially the 85mm F1.4 planar !!!
    Please check out my website www.amoxomphotography.com and APUG Portfolio .....

  6. #6
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    They did make one purely mechanical model ("S"?) which "might" avoid any electronic problems.

    Most of the same lenses are also available Rolleiflex SLRs and there are some mechanical models there too...
    Ask if you want a rundown of the pros & cons of the Rolleiflexes.
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  7. #7
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    I'll grant that it is a non-representative and statistically insignificant sample but I did have two 167MTs and an RX, got to regularly play with an RTS III, an AX and a ST, and currently have a G1 and a G2, and have had no LCD bleeding on any of them. The G's are infamous for it though. The AX would be my least favorite of the bunch because the ergonomics sucked (that is one FAT camera) and the notion of moving the film plane to achieve focus worries me no end. I would have the greatest doubt about the long-term viability of the AX of any Contax camera. I've never heard about the mirror slippage before - that's odd. The only strange bit I ever had happen to one of my 167's was the clip that holds the focusing screen broke, naturally while I was in Belize, and I had to jury-rig it with a bit of scotch tape from the hotel front desk. Somehow I managed to get it in the right position, as none of my images were out of focus.

  8. #8
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    For a few bucks you can get some Yashica FX3s as spares. They are metal framed mechanical cameras, easy to service, in expensive and, of course take the same lenses.

  9. #9

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    I agree with the FX-3. A simple mechanical camera that seems to be a workhorse and very reliable. I've got 2 bodies, one that was really abused by its prior owner and it just keeps on clicking along. Prices for these are low as they are simple, battery only for the meter, metal flange rather than plastic, a nice balance and, for my hands everything falls just where it should. Biggest weakness is the outer covering that peels away. I bought some scrap leather and made a crude replacement and the online companies do make replacements. Save the buscks and put it into the glass. While the Contax glass is 1st rate, the Yashica glass is nothing to sneeze at and they are quite inexpensive.

  10. #10

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    I had an RTS 1 that died about 1996. Can't quite remember the sequence but basically was working one day and the next time I picked it up to use it, nothing functioned as if the battery died but that wasn't it. Up to that point I had no issues.

    I sent it to Yashica Canada for repairs, they had no parts and couldn't fix it so offered me an upgrade to an RX for what repairs would have cost. So far, no issues with that body. Since then I picked up an Aria and an RTS III as prices dropped to giveaway levels and both have performed well. The RTS III was well used but seems none the worse.

    From what I remember of my RTS 1, it seems like the mechanical quality got better with the later bodies.

    As Rol_ei_nut mentions, there was a fully mechanical Contax body (Contax S2) but it was pretty rare and was always expensive. Never had an FX3 but that would be a good non-electronic option.


    Before the RTS 1, my 1st body for the Contax lenses was a Yashica FR - it too died, seem to be the electronics. My impression was that the FR and RTS bodies were siblings so likely shared some parts, or at least engineering even though the skin looked different. Sort of like Chevy/Pontiac.

    Martin

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