CI Photocommunity

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

Contax NX body worthwhile Compared to Contax N1 & Contax Aria?

I am wondering if an NX is a worthwhile purchase -- there are some cheap "demo" bodies available. What is the difference between the N1 and the NX? Is it basically: mirror lock-up, focus bracketing, higher X-sync, size, pop-up flash, and a more solid build? Anything else? Having used an Aria once, how is the build quality relative to the Aria?
I'm figuring on using it casually, from time to time, with my 645 lenses and a NAM-1 adapter, which I already have. I realize that the 645 lenses on the NX might not be the best balanced in terms of weight. At the demo price, it might make a decent back-up, and a good way to burn through the remaining 35mm film in the fridge -- perhaps while waiting for the new Contax ND II. ;-)
Have I missed anything I need to consider with the NX?


I bought a NX Demo for the same reasons,Its built well , not as well built as a N1, but the light is worth it,I use it all the time, I was thinking of a rangefinder for traveling , but the the NX with my 24/85 is better.



I was skeptical about using the NX body with the massive N zooms (which weigh about 1.5 to 2.25 lbs.) - seems they weigh about as much and have similar diameters as the 645 lenses (ok- none is as heavy as the 645 45-90 zoom) - but I've been happy with the set up. The NX fits my hand size well (I can wrap my hand around it) and place the other hand under the lens. For me, its more ergonomic than the N1. If you need the mirror pre-fire and a more "spot" spot meter, etc, then you probably want the N1.


I have complained about some of the shortcomings of the NX in the pat, but I have to say that, at the current prices, it is a worthwhile purchase. For me, the only real problems are the lack of true spot metering and the battery consumption, which is incredibly high.



Hi Folks,

I'm a photographer who has used everything to capture images under the sun. (4X5 to a very limited extent.) This month I finished convting to digital and it works beautifully. BUT.. it is absolutely no fun. I jokingly asked on a Digital forum.. " Is all digital underware 18% grey" someone actuall took it seriously.

I shoped and researched on the internet for two days looking for a 'day off' camera to play with.. No pixels...manual focus... motor nothing.

On Wednesday I should have a 'like new'167MT and 35mm 2.8 lense in my hands.. I backed off from 'motor nothing' and I'm actively looking for a P5 battery holder.

I have never touched a Contax camera in my life but I'm looking foward to using the 167 as soon as it arrives.


Well-Known Member

Great mind thinks alike. Digital does not have the same primitive joy. Espeically for those that enjoy 4x5 and zone system.

I have been shooting with the N1, ND and C645 with great result. But lately I just want to shoot with the minimal.

This weekend, I have purchased a Pentacon Six TL and a 180mm f/2.8 lens thru eBay. I want to shoot square 120 format without even a battery in the body. Pure fun.
Thanks . I figure if I am going to do something as carefully/accurately/seriously to require a mirror pre-fire or lock, then I am going to pull out the 645. I'm sure the "spot" of the NX is good enough as long as I know what it is doing (like the size of the spot, etc.) I further think that I would go with the 24-85 zoom, rather than the smaller, more compact 28-80 zoom, so it nice to know that it still works well with the size of the NX. The 5.6 max aperture is pretty dark -- and not really good enough. I have the Contax G 35-70 zoom which also closes down to 5.6 at the long end and have found that quite limiting. Plus if the ND II does miraculously appear, I'd probably want to have the 24-85 zoom.


Well-Known Member

Sounds like fun! I haven't shot MF since the '80s, but definitely need a regular break from technology. My camera of choice is Leica M4: no motors, no electronics, no batteries, no light meter. Quiet, too.


OK, I guess Fun is a very subjective thing. As someone who did the film thing start to finish, digital is WAY more fun for me. No more darkroom toils - the mixing, the cleaning, the accidental contaminations, the drying spots, the dust spots, the ...

Sorry, but anybody who claims film is much more fun than digital either doesn't do darkroom work or is a masochist ... which is not necessarily a bad thing - I'm not judging here, just clarifying

SOOOOOO happy to not be working in the darkroom any more


BTW, forgot to add, I use the zone system extensively - it's my reflex thinking mode by default even if I don't take 20 spot readings every time (a couple + intuitive experience usually suffice
). I'm not sure how this relates to digital vs. film ...

Big fan of Ansel & Minor, gone digital because he's: (a-old, b-lazy, c-tired, d-all of the above)


Well-Known Member
I have never found digital to give me the "magic" of the darkroom and I must admit that in my 50 years of doing wet darkroom development and printing, I have never ever had accidental contaminations. Setting up my chemicals and "playing" with various formulae gives me satisfaction not equaled in any other environment. Oh my God!! I was 60 last Saturday and I've been an active photographer since I was 10. I started off originally with a plate camera and used to load my double darkslides. I still have and use, my original Contax 1 that I bought when I was 14!! How time flys.



Just goes to show, different strokes for different folks

I on the other hand (at the national legal limit of 55) find great discoveries hidden behind the contrast, brightness, saturation, shadow/highlight and histogram controls in Photoshop - not to mention the good ol' magic wand. And of course there's always Undo

Of course one look at my workstation is a give-away - two 22" monitors, two storage raid arrays, two Xeon processors ...




Well-Known Member

I don't hesitate to go hi-tech when images are numerous, lighting is difficult, or results are going to the web: I have motor-driven and digital SLRs for the purpose. I also can't imagine returning to the darkroom, although developing my own (B&W) film is probably in my future. The attraction of film, mechanical shutters, and other lo-tech devices is for variety in the diet... sometimes the sight of yet another LCD is enough to make me scream.
:) Too many computers in my life.


And that is probably what is great about photography - the options are so numerous you can try something else when you get bored with what you've been doing.

Much like Colin I started my avocation when I was 11 - in my case it was computers - relays and switches and blinking lights back then, much like the old purely mechanical cameras.

I didn't get into photography 'til I was 22, mostly because my father who was an avid Nikon photographer made us pose everywhere we went, bless his heart, which I hated (posing, not his heart)
. But when I did get into it it was lock, stock & barrel. My computer fascination is now my career also, but I am able to turn it off and in fact do during vacations, other than what I need to do for digital photography, i.e. no e-mail, no internet, no work. Just thumbnails and Photoshop
. I guess that's sort od cheating ...

Ain't photography grand? Sorry for the off-topic.