Best film SLR for my Contax CY mount lenses.


Anthony Lee

Senior Member
Feb 12, 2009
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#1
Hi, it's Chinese New Year and I am absolutely free with boredom. I also know that many old timers and gurus frequent this thread. So, this should be a good time to ask them for some willy advise. I own a few Contax CY mount lenses for my old EOS 5D and I envisage I may need a backup just incase the old lady fails on me. I have never owned or operated any Contax or Yashica film SLR before, so I really need some good feedbacks. My budget is max SGD 500 and I need something light, cheap and good with large view finder for my old pair of eyes. Please help. Many thanks and Happy Chinese New Year to all.
 

Edwin Francis

Senior Member
Mar 24, 2006
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#2
I've seen Contax 167MTs on sale in B&S every now and then. Nice big finder (a pleasant surprise when i come back from cropped sensor DSLRs. I'm not very fond of the ergonomics of this model though -- most Contaxes had the shutter speed dial on the left of the prism, the 167 had a slide switch on the right of the prism; the in-finder display (shutter speed and aperture) is above the screen -- I find the position awkward.

I prefer the finder displays of the earlier 159mm and the 137MA. Both had a row of LEDs on the right side for shutter speed. You might find the shutter speed dial position (left of the prism) awkward. Depends on how you like to shoot. The built-in motor drives on the 137 and 167 were impressive, not adding much depth or weight to the bodies. I used each of these 3 as my main camera at different times, and I like the 137 the best. The 159 was the first Contax with a 1/250s sync speed, and the shutter was rumoured to be somewhat delicate -- mine failed after ard 5 years of moderate-to-heavy use.

I have also used a FX-D (based on the Contax 139, predecessor of the 159). I prefer this over the FX-3 cause I shot in Aperture Priority mode most of the time. Have also seen the FX-3 on sale on B&S every now and then, but I don't really like to shoot in metered manual mode.
One 'advantage' the Yashica bodies have is the more conventional shutter speed dial on the right of the prism.

I remember trying out the Yashica FR (FR, FR I and FR II ) range in the shops -- never did buy one, but my fav of these 3 was the FR1 -- A & M modes, full exposure info in the finder.

I never used the later models (after the 167MT). I'd have to say that my fav of all these would be the Contax 137MA and Yashica FX-D. It's been a while, but I think the Contax had a brighter finder. The FX-D was lighter (no motor-drive) and a real bargain :)
 

Dream Merchant

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 11, 2007
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#4
I believe MF.

I would check out the FX and FR series, but be cautious of problematic shutter curtains. Some of these can be gotten for below S$200.

Or the RTS II or III.
 

Anthony Lee

Senior Member
Feb 12, 2009
2,465
2
38
Shunfu Road, Singapore
#6
Thanks guys.

While waiting for your responses, I was looking at the Contax Aria. Heard that it's the latest Cosina model and it's small and light, more like the old OMs and Pentaxes I was shooting. Any experience on this?

By the way, Contax CY mount are all MF lenses.
 

flipfreak

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2007
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#7
Thanks guys.

While waiting for your responses, I was looking at the Contax Aria. Heard that it's the latest Cosina model and it's small and light, more like the old OMs and Pentaxes I was shooting. Any experience on this?

By the way, Contax CY mount are all MF lenses.
ahh ... sorry. mistook it for the N mount. theres a couple of contax slr for sale in the b&s here.
 

Zeisser

Senior Member
Jul 12, 2008
2,653
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#8
Go for the RTSIII if you can find one.It has the suction plate function where by the film
negatives are suck flat onto the back cover to maximise sharpness during shooting.It also
has the pre-flash for you to check your flash readings before actual firing,very practical for
studio shoots.
 

#9
i dun normally post:

but consider the RX, it is one very solid camera and its shutter has a very nice sound.
Viewfinder is excellent.
my good friend has one and i really like it.

aria is also not bad. but there is one flaw which i cannot really remember though....
sorri.... maybe your internet search will pop up something...

167mt is a good compromise.
 

obfuscate

New Member
Nov 20, 2008
1,524
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#10
i dun normally post:

but consider the RX, it is one very solid camera and its shutter has a very nice sound.
Viewfinder is excellent.
my good friend has one and i really like it.

aria is also not bad. but there is one flaw which i cannot really remember though....
sorri.... maybe your internet search will pop up something...

167mt is a good compromise.
Aria has no mirror lock up. It's a great camera, I loved mine when I had it.
 

Anthony Lee

Senior Member
Feb 12, 2009
2,465
2
38
Shunfu Road, Singapore
#11
i dun normally post:

but consider the RX, it is one very solid camera and its shutter has a very nice sound.
Viewfinder is excellent.
my good friend has one and i really like it.

aria is also not bad. but there is one flaw which i cannot really remember though....
sorri.... maybe your internet search will pop up something...

167mt is a good compromise.
Really appreciate your taking time to help. I will look at the RX. Read about its wonderful shutter. If I can overcome the weight it will be a good choice.
 

obfuscate

New Member
Nov 20, 2008
1,524
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#13
Saw it recently, and the Aria looks ideal in size and weight. This got to be on top of my list. Thanks.
I know that you are looking at the Aria because of your CY mount lenses. If you are looking into film and you like Contax, you will definitely want to look at the G2 and G lenses or even the T3.
 

Anthony Lee

Senior Member
Feb 12, 2009
2,465
2
38
Shunfu Road, Singapore
#14
I know that you are looking at the Aria because of your CY mount lenses. If you are looking into film and you like Contax, you will definitely want to look at the G2 and G lenses or even the T3.
Thanks for your recommendation. I just want a usable back-up SLR and I don't intend to get back to film. Contax RF is not within my scope now.
 

s1chen

New Member
Jan 14, 2010
68
0
0
#15
Hi, it's Chinese New Year and I am absolutely free with boredom. I also know that many old timers and gurus frequent this thread. So, this should be a good time to ask them for some willy advise. I own a few Contax CY mount lenses for my old EOS 5D and I envisage I may need a backup just incase the old lady fails on me. I have never owned or operated any Contax or Yashica film SLR before, so I really need some good feedbacks. My budget is max SGD 500 and I need something light, cheap and good with large view finder for my old pair of eyes. Please help. Many thanks and Happy Chinese New Year to all.
167 is a good backup if you don't use them regularly. ST or S2 if you can find one in goo condition. RTS is only good if you plan to redo film all the way, which I doubt so.

I have review my contax lenses + Contax 167 + 35mm shoot versa Canon 20D + contax (or EOS L-lenses. The film is so much more contrast, sharp...and dimension compare to the Digital.

Now I jerk the EOS and start the M43 GF1 with the contax... the result is still better canon/contax combo...

Film is still great but I wonder where to get a good developing now adays..

Cheer...
 

Anthony Lee

Senior Member
Feb 12, 2009
2,465
2
38
Shunfu Road, Singapore
#16
167 is a good backup if you don't use them regularly. ST or S2 if you can find one in goo condition. RTS is only good if you plan to redo film all the way, which I doubt so.

I have review my contax lenses + Contax 167 + 35mm shoot versa Canon 20D + contax (or EOS L-lenses. The film is so much more contrast, sharp...and dimension compare to the Digital.

Now I jerk the EOS and start the M43 GF1 with the contax... the result is still better canon/contax combo...

Film is still great but I wonder where to get a good developing now adays..

Cheer...
What about going Contax / EOS 5D against Contax / M4/3 GF1? If Contax / M4/3 beats Contax / 5D, I can easily ditch 5D for a M4/3 GF1.
 

rgy1993

Deregistered
Mar 28, 2007
994
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Singapore
#17
yashica fx super 2000

that was my first camera, its still a beast.. and fun to use haha
and you can still get batteries for it too..
 

ed9119

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Staff member
Mar 11, 2002
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#18
I strongly second the RTS II ...... almost a work of art from a design perspective (Porsche Group designed if i remember correctly) with ALL the bells and whistles except AF

Otherwise, do pick up a piece of unique camera history ..... the AX ..... till TODAY the ONLY AF system that works via an IN-BODY moving film plane carriage instead of AF lens

might have to stretch that $500 budget a little bit.......... you wont regret it


good luck !
 

Last edited:

s1chen

New Member
Jan 14, 2010
68
0
0
#19
What about going Contax / EOS 5D against Contax / M4/3 GF1? If Contax / M4/3 beats Contax / 5D, I can easily ditch 5D for a M4/3 GF1.
If you are on the EOS 5D MK1, then I will say you will be stunt with the M43 like the EP2 or GF1 image Quality over the EOS. If you are on the EOS 5D MK2, then it will be a subjective as I will vote the M43 for contrast and 5 for resolution (almost double the pixel).

Note that M43 main weakness still poor ISO over the APS. But you are are driving something like ISO100 or at most 200, you will be impress with the performance.

any other weakness is that the M43 still have not had lots of great choice of the wide angle. But when come to tele photo, they are spoilt for choices.. you can use lots of very outstanding lenses.

Example:
1) Panasonic Leica 25mm
2) Contax 25mm
3) Contax 50mm
4) Contax 100mm
5) Leica 24 M and R Mount
6) Leica 50 M and R Mount
7) Leica 90 M and R Mount
 

Anthony Lee

Senior Member
Feb 12, 2009
2,465
2
38
Shunfu Road, Singapore
#20
I strongly second the RTS II ...... almost a work of art from a design perspective (Porsche Group designed if i remember correctly) with ALL the bells and whistles except AF

Otherwise, do pick up a piece of unique camera history ..... the AX ..... till TODAY the ONLY AF system that works via an IN-BODY moving film plane carriage instead of AF lens

might have to stretch that $500 budget a little bit.......... you wont regret it


good luck !
Thanks for your personal input. I will be looking at the RTS II and Aria very seriously. I have to be careful as I do not want to be hooked back to film again permanently.
 

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