I'm looking into getting a 35mm SLR with a Zeiss 50mm f1.4 Planar lens. This is the only lens that I will get.

It seems, to me, that nearly all 50mm f1.4's are fairly good, but I'm partial towards Zeiss. I've never been dissapointed from any Zeiss lens from any vintage (I admit, that it is probably more psychological and make-believe).

If I go the Nikon route, then I will go with a Nikon F2 or an F3 with a ZF 50mm f1.4 Planar. If I go the Contax route, then I will go with a Contax body (not sure which one) and a CY 50mm f1.4 Planar. The reason to go Contax, is if the bodies are good-enough and the overall cost is lower (this is my speculation). At the present, I'm inclined to think that Nikon bodies are better because of their work-horse reputation. This is all speculation. I honestly, have little doubts regarding the ZF vs CY lens performances.

My ideal body is all-mechanical (although electronic shutter isn't a deal breaker) as I don't need automation or meters. I do love all matte screens, not having one is a deal breaker. I know that Nikon meets this requirement and that they are fairly inexpensive, robust, and readily available. I might consider the F3 over the F2 only because it feels more refined to me. I don't really need guidance within the Nikon line of bodies, but I'm unfamiliar with Contax.

- What is the simplest, purest Contax body available? Something that is analogous to the F2/F3. Any reliability issues? Are plain matte screens available?
- Is the build between the ZF and CY lenses similar? Is the build good? I know that the ZM lenses (rangefinder) have some quality control issues...