Contax S2b is too nice to keep as a backup

vishalvora

Well-Known Member
Dear All,

I am new to this forum and therefore may have some rather silly questions, however - surely the S2b is too nice a body to keep as a backup? I love taking photos and do so professionally, the S2b is my MAIN body. I think its a great shame that such fine engineering lives in the majority of camera bags and is not used on a daily basis. Is it me who is living in the stone age with no flash metering, auto focus etc.

Many thanks,
 
V

vdipiet

Hiya everybody! I purchased a Contax S2 as a combination Birthday and Christmas gift to myself last December. The price was fantastic compared to what I have been seeing this camera go for on auction, almost half price and it is in near mint condition. I think this is one of the finest cameras I have ever used and in the 35mm field I have used some fine cameras (RTS, 167mt,137md,RX, Aria not to mention Pentax and olympus very briefly) Every weekend when I head out to photograph I end up taking the S2 along with the RX or Aria. I realy don't need a backup but I look for any excuse to use the S2. It, as you know is a completely manual camera. It needs no batteries except to run the meter. The s2 is a solid 20.2 ozs. The film advance lever is buttery smooth. This camera dispite being a "no frills" manual camera exhudes a plushness to it. It is solid, it has quality, it is what all people deserve. I got this camera because I wanted to get back to basics and not just rely on the camera doing everything for me. I guess in a sense I felt it was some measure of rebellion against the Digital revolution being forced upon us. The S2 also slows me down and has me think more about what I need to do. I am responsible for what comes out on film. This baby will likely last for many many years. When all is said and done, and I look at this camera and see what it can do, I have to ask myself "Did we need anything else?"
 

lotusflower

Active Member
Vincent,

Your enthusiastic posting regarding the S2 has peaked my curiosity. I will certainly be checking it out.

G. Ashton
 
V

vdipiet

G.Ashton

I'm glad your curiosity was peaked. The Contax S2/S2b is like the Bentley of cameras. Look on the net and not just on Ebay but on the sites of reputable dealers -- every once in a while they offer one for sale at a more affordable price. That is how I got mine. Good luck.

Vincent
 

lotusflower

Active Member
Bently huh. My favorite vehicle. Thanks for the advise Vincent. By the way, what is considered an affordable price for the S2/S2b?

G. Ashton
 
V

vdipiet

Well, whenever I see one for sale on Ebay it goes for between $900.00 and $1100.00 and I wouldn't call that affordable, at least not for a civil servant like myself. I got a "60 year aniversary model" for $500.00 from a reputable camera store last December. That was the lowest price that I had seen either before or since. The one I got had a slight blemish on the corner of the baseplate, otherwise it was and is in pristine condition. I told the salesman that I didn't much care how the camera looked since I'm a street shooter so long as the camera worked. Well the camera looks beautiful and works beautifully. Keep looking on the net for one and be patient. The other alternative is to get the Yashica FX 3 Super 2000 --- also a completely manual camera but about 1/7 the cost of an S2/S2b. But be aware that the Yashicas made toward the end of thier run I think are a little less well made, a little flimsier in construction. But in a pinch the Yashicas are fine cameras also. Good luck.

Vincent
 

lotusflower

Active Member
My thanks Vincent. Very helpful. I have plenty of patience and plenty of cameras but if the S2 is as good as you say than it's a must look and feel.

G. Ashton
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
I have just seen an S2 for sale in the UK for £449 on a dealer's web site. It said S2 rather than S2b but no indication of condition. I don't know if that is a normal sort of price for it.
I had an S2 some years ago and loved it except that I remember I had problems reading the display. I think it was because I have colour vision problems with red and I think the display was in red although my memory is dim on this. I also didn't realize at the time that I was on the verge of needing glasses and I think that a dioptre lens in the viewfinder would have helped me to focus. It is a very nice camera though and the discussion has made me think I might try and find one again. I would have to try it first though to see if the display is still a problem for me.
I have a feeling that the shutter was rather loud too.
I agree that as a much cheaper alternative the Yashica FX3 Super 2000 is excellent. I have one of these, bought second hand from America last year having had a pre 2000 version years ago and passing it to one of my children. There is no problem with the display on the FX3 but of course although it is well made,it is not in the same class build and feel wise as the S2.
John
 
V

vdipiet

I'm not sure what 449lbs comes out to in USD, if it is around $750.00 I guess that is a fairly good price considering the auction site generally runs between $900.00 and $1100.00.
I've only had a problem with the display when facing direct sunlight but it has been no big problem since I seldom take pictures facing direct sunlight. As far as the sound of the shutter is concerned, I've heard this complaint before but from my own experience with the S2 that I own, it is no louder than any other mechanical camera. Some folks claim to have heard an echo like ping or guillotine sound when they trip the shutter. Perhaps it was that individual camera -- I don't know. All I know is that I love the one I have -- it is a beautiful peice of workmanship.
It is truly a shame that they ceased production on the Yashica FX3 super 2000. It is one of the bargans of photography. Put a Zeiss lens on it or even one of the very nice ML lenses on it and you have a gem of a picture taking machine. By the way (I hope I am not getting too far off topic) a number of the later FX3's have had problems with the film advance lever becoming loose and flopping around. This happened to mine and I found an easy fix. All you need is a small Phillips screwdriver to remove the plastic cover of the lever to get at the screw that needs tightening. You have to turn this screw counter clockwise for it to tighten. I suppose a slight spot of crazy glue would cement this screw even better. They should have done a better job in the factory. Cheers to all.
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Hello Vincent,
According to an online currency converter, £449 = $806.
I think on reflection that my difficulties with the S2 display may have been mainly when looking into bright light. One particular experience comes to mind.
Thanks for the tip about the FX3 film advance lever. I'll remember that in case it becomes loose on mine. By the way, I read the other day that nail varnish will act as locking agent on screws...
Best wishes,
John
 

lotusflower

Active Member
Morning John,

If you find one before I do would you be so kind to let us know what you think? I'd be very interested.

G. Ashton
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Morning G, (4.40pm here)
Yes I certainly will. It would be fun to discuss it.
cheers,
John
 
V

vdipiet

Hi folks, There are two Contax S2's up for auction right now on Ebay. If you are still interested. Good Luck.
 

wang

Well-Known Member
Yesterday I brought an S2b in very good condition. I am amazed by this small thing that it has 2-10s mirror lock up.
 

dwa

Well-Known Member
>[You'll even more amazed by the results if you use that ML, light 2.8 lenses and a tripode. My S2 has exiled my RTS III from #1 landscape body]
 

wang

Well-Known Member
Mechanics Vs electronics and the former wins. I heard that RTSIII is so complicated that it is troublesome.
 
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