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The AX can autofocus with manual lenses by moving the film plane back and forth, rather than moving the lens elements back and forth. It can move the film back from the normal position by up to 10mm. This gives the happy side benefit of allowing all the Zeiss lenses to focus closer than their normal minimum focusing distance.
The AF mode switch has a position called "MACRO" which, when selected, moves the film plane to the most rearward position, which has the same effect as using a 10mm extension tube. In this way, you can dramatically reduce the minimum object distance. The 45mm/f2.8 normally can't focus closer than 2 feet. But on the AX, I can focus down to about 10 inches with the same lens.
There are only 5 Contax bodies currently which have the mirror lock up function:
1. All 3 RTS models (RTSI, RTS II, RTS III). It works manually up and down without beeing forced to make an exposure.
2. The S2/S2b and N1. Both have the "indirect" mirror lock up, which means you have to use the selftimer. If you press the shutter in selftimer position, the mirror goes immediately up and after 10 seconds in case of the S2, or 2 seconds in case of the N1 the picture will be made.
My name is Jan and I am new to this group ( It sounds as if I were in an AA meeting )
I have a problem and would appreciate it if you would read through my message and help me find a solution.
My background is as follow I am 22 years old living in South Africa. I have been doing photography as a hobby since the age of 7.
I do a lot of professional work to finance the hobby ( donâ€™t we all ).
My kit consists of a Nikon F100 F4s Tamron 28-105 F2.8 Sigma 70-200 f2.8 HSM and a metz 54MZ3 flash.
Look if I said there are anything wrong with the Nikonâ€™s and my lenses I would be telling a lie
Now for the problem as good as they are photography with my Nikon kit feels artificial and plastic. Ex&le if I want to treat myself I put a film in my dadâ€™s old Pentax LX and then go and enjoy my photography.
I am currently thinking of buying a second hand AX with two zoom lenses ( later on buying a few primes ) for my own enjoyment and to keep the Nikon for my professional work.
The reason I am thinking of an AX is that my eyes are not very good and manual focus are getting harder and harder. Secondly I wonâ€™t have the money to spend on a N1 or NX and the new lenses.
My other problem is that I would have to buy a camera blind because there are no dealers in SA that I know of that have contax slrâ€™s in stock.
Do you think Contax slrâ€™s and lenses will solve my problem? (the artificial and plastic one)
Opinions would be worth gold.
hi jan, with contax you can put a diopterlens in your camera, in the back by unscrewing the eye piece. meaning that you can see sharp through your camera, like having spectacles. it goes to -5 with the extra diopter this I know for sure for the contax ST, that is one of the contaxes I have. for the other contax rts I have it is not possible secondly the contaxes are made from brass and have a good balanced feeling, their weight is approximatly 750 gr. without lens. I feel confident about the contaxes, their quality and reliability.
I am an free lancer working for dutch television broadcast and film
..."Have you seen the size of the Contax that uses the film back to focus? Ridiculous !!"...
I can understand your feeling, Bill. I thought the same thing when I first saw the AX in a shop window. I had been using 167MT for two years and then Aria for two years. I thought the AX was way too big and heavy, although I had never even held it in my hand.
Then three months ago, a friend loaned me one. Wow! What a beautiful camera! It feels great in the hands. I love it. Now the Aria feels too small. The AX is much easier to hold steady at slow shutter speeds. The "auto focus on demand" combined with manual focus lenses is brilliant. The back focusing system is pure genius, especially because of the bonus "macro" function. All lenses can focus closer than the usual minimum focusing distance, thanks to the back focus mechanism.
I bought the AX from my friend. Now it is my main camera. I only use the Aria where the smaller size and weight is a necessary advantage.
Therefore Bill, be careful about making bold statements like "ridiculous". Medium format cameras are bigger and heavier than the AX, but they are still great to use. I have four medium format cameras. They are not ridiculous. You might be missing out on something good if you write it off before you even try it.
I'm considering to buy in an AX, great auto focus with old lens and closer focusing. But, so much complicated gear has the potential leading to malfunction. I would be very happy to hear the users advises and experiences.
I am an AX user, for more than a year. I believe you can find tons of review in web-site with positive comments. The features of it is wonderful. I may point out the key features :
1.Provide 10mm extension which enable all lens to macro or close-up lens.
2.Focusing speed is reasonable fast. It is okay to all manual lens user. In fact, I do not like AF. I bought it because I was worrying my eyes. Eventually, I rarely use AF.
3. However, you have to think deeply about carrying a 1Kg solid body. Together with the heavy Zeiss Lens, it is woo.. quite serious. As for handling, it is amazed easy though the body is thick.
If you could overcome the drawback of weight, it is a wonderful camera.
I did notice that there are limitations on using the AX. In fact, not many people discussed that on the web and I only knew them after I bought the camera. When using the 28-85 and 100-300 zooms, the optical quality will be affected if too much back focusing range is used. It is unfortunite that these are my favourite lenses and I've to take extra care when using these two lenses on the AX.
as I think the Automatc Back Focussing of the AX maybe critical on use with lenses which use a floating element for correction on closer distances. Namely these are:
I also would be careful when using one of the Vario-Sonnar lenses.
Normally a lens only moves away from the film plane if set on short distances. If a floating element is used in a lens the elements in the lens change their positions to each other while focussing to achieve an optimum performance.