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 RX and flash linkage



Even though I have been using Contax cameras for quite a while. All my work was done with ambient lighting. Now, I have bought a nice Contax RX and decided to throw in flash unit into the cart. I believe it is TLA-30. I have some experience with controlling flash in Nikon i
TTL system.

Here are my questions.Assume I always leave the flash in TTL mode.

On the RX, is the flash output affected by exposure compensation? Let's say I dial in +1EV, will my flash be stronger?

What would happen if I use an ISO100 film, then I set the camera to ISO200, dial in +1EV compensation (to counter the ISO setting), will this setup produce a fill flash equivalent to -1EV flash compensation with a perfectly exposed background? Or it will just give that harsh looking flash with a little bit of overexposure on the subject?

I believe I can do the fill-flash much easier on the TLA-360. But does not list the unit. TLA-280 seems to be interesting as it has 2 heads; but I don't know if it will work well. Any recommendation on TLA-280 also?

Thanks a lot.


Hello Charles,

I don't know about the TLA360 and the effect of using exposure compensation - I've never needed to do this so have never given it any thought.

What I can say is that the 360 is a far better unit than the 280, which is fine in many situations. However, the RX was designed with the 360 in mind - this is reflected in the camera's user manual and in the additional contacts on the hot shoe. By the way, the 360 has a second head too.

One very useful thing about the 360 is its flexibility - you can alter most of the settings you need on the fly via the back panel, so you could change the ISO setting to compensate. I would recommend, if you can get hold of a 360 (check ebay) to also try for the PS220 Power Pack - it really makes the recharge times very short and gives you plenty more cycles than the 4 AA cells alone.

Kind regards,



Well-Known Member

Your 100 film set at 200 with +1ev compensation will produce net zero effect. The compensation dial will indeed change the flash output, but the camera has to be in manual mode and adjusted by hand to produce the effects you want, differences between ambient and flash.

And yes, the 360 is THE flash for the new Contax bodies, such as RX.

Get one if you can. As to the 280, I own one and a 360, but I almost never use the 280 because other than TTL it does very little compared to the 360 280 offers bounce, rear curtain sync, and beam angle adjustment and that's about it. I also use the 200 since it is so portable. Since I have three Contax TTL units, I might be willing to part with my 280 if you are interested?



Thanks everyone. I'd be interested in 280, if it will help me doing fill-flash. Can you describe the functionality of 280? I see that it has 2 flash heads with 2 switches in the front; but I don't know what they do. Thank you.


Well-Known Member
>Charles The two switches do the following: One,switch between normal and rear curtain flash sync. Two, turn on and off the supplemental flash. The 280 also has manual flash at full, 1/4 and 1/16 power. Perhaps You could use the reduce power and a guide number for fill flash?



My TLA-20 can work in Manual mode too, which enable me to reduce the flash output. Unfortunately, the output is a constant. With 1/4, 1/8, or 1/16, I would need to calculate for a proper distance at a particular aperture. That's too much hassle for the real world usage, unless working in a studio.

I've read about TLA-280 and decided that it is not my answer also. I think I'm left with TLA-360 and I'm tracking one on ebay. Thanks for every response!

Have a nice weekend