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Hi Dave, Thanks !! .....maybe no one else knows the answers to my questions? it is often funny how things work out; in the far smaller little island of ours, at this very moment there is to my knowledge at least FOUR S2's for sale with UK dealers !! and I have seen at least 3 others this year, which is odd, since the Contax brand has always been poorly supported over here. I am just a little bothered about the spot metering only option of the S2, hence I am trying to find an S2b. I have always shot trannies and found centre weighted to be fine, I just wonder that with spot only, what happens If you struggle to find something suitable to meter from? I have no intention of going back to carrying a hand held meter !! I want less in my bag, not more. Cheers Steve.
> Hi, I have three S2, two plain S2 and one S2b. The first S2 was bought new in 1994, it is a 18*** serial No. It cost me near 900 Euro. The second S2 and the S2b were bought in april and may, 2004, respectively as a backup for my S2 and for collecting and sentimental reasons. I have only seen two S2b for sale in Ebay in the two years. One that finished for 725 Euro, absolutely mint, with no use (according to the seller, but the flash plate spring was missing) -I have to say I lost that auction-, and another one, whoch fihished for 660 EURO, which was the one I won, boxed with documents, and is mint, too.
The plain S2 was bought for 560 Euros, was much perfect and in better sahpe in every way than my original S2, except for a very very little dent in the back door. That dent has been removed.
Both S2 haven't been used yet (all the punishment is being taken by the original). But are regularly fired once a month to keep them fit. The original S2 is in for a service (a spring in the wind lever broke) so my Aria now was called for service in place.
The S2 is a great camera but has some flaws, all of them purely cosmetic. -1st. The leatherette covering. made of very fragile vinyl which simply breaks away. Luckily there are suppliers over the net (as cameraleather.com) which do retrim kits. So if the leatherette is peeling, it may have had a hard life. -2nd. The wind lever delvelops a tiny amount of play, as the rewind one. Not very acceptable on a camera of this price tag and status (nikon's FM2 and FM3a don't have this play).
-The spot metering is realli "spot" only the circle in focusing screen. It takes a bit to get used to, but then you won't like anything else.
-It's a bit loud when the shutter is fired (but who cares?) But, the silky smooth shutter, the titanium finish, the mirror lock up facility when used with together with the self timer, the "feel" in your hands, and the overall reliability make of this a perfect camera.
Right now there's one in Ebay in very very good shape, leatherette original with no peeling, and with a "buy it now" for 550 Euro. That's a good bargain. Good luck and best regards, and note that S2b is as rare as hen's teeth (and getting rarer as Kyocera discontinued all camera production, son the mechanical cameras from Contax are going to appreciate in value even more as parts for the electronic models become scarce)
> I agree about the spot meter. For landscape and outdoor use generally it is the only way to know exactly how far apart the bright and dark areas really are. And exactly how to expose the key element becase there is no spill-over from the usually-bright sky.
Yes, spot meter the entire scene, pick and set the perfect exposure, lock the body on the tripod, compose the picture, set the timer for a few seconds, push the button, the mirror locks up, the vibrations die down, exposure.
Sweet. Light, small, easy to carry! The N1 does it quicker. But no other slr body does it better, especially in winter. Forget about the S2B
Does anyone have problems with the S2 viewfinder display? I had one years ago and had to sell it as I could not read the red display very easily, being colour blind. I have forgotten the actual details but just remember it was a problem. Apart from that I loved it although the shutter was rather loud as brought home to me by the sharp looks I received at a quiet degree ceremony when I attempted photographs.
I agree about the metering and the general feel of it. I was always frightened of damaging the shutter when loading film. There were dire warnings in the manual about taking great care with such a fast mechanical shutter.