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Do I own an orphan


New Member
I recently was practically "given" a Contax AX with a 28mm T* lens for about what just the lens costs. This is my first Contax, and indeed my first "real" camera. I am finding it difficult to get any information on this body, however and the more I look, the more I think I've been stuck with an orphan. Is this true? What camera out there is most like the AX?

I am finding it difficuilt to adjust to this camera, but I can see that when I get it right (which does not happen very often), the images are second to none in quality, especially with natural light indoors and out. It is made difficult because the 28mm takes some getting used well as the new body.


Well-Known Member

I use an AX all the time, and find it exceptional. In some ways, it's up there with the best camera Contax has ever made. The only downside to it is the size/bulk (not really the weight, as the RTS-III is nearly equal in weight), and that the autofocus mechanism may be fragile, but I haven't had any problems. It does everything the Aria does (including an available awesome real data back), great metering modes, and that all useful 10mm built-in extension.

I have the custom functions sheet on-line:

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If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them.





You have one of the most unique 135 cameras in the world. If you feel a bit like an orphan, it is not unjustified, for there is no other camera like it. AX is the only production 135 camera in the world that does autofocus by moving the film plane. Whether you like it or not is something else entirely though.

I'm sure you will find more information and help in the Y/C forum regarding your AX.


Well-Known Member

Can't see why you can't find info on the AX, there is plenty out there! A quick Google search revealed thousands of pages! Did you get a user's manual with it ... try to get one or a copy, to get the best out of the camera. Failing that, try a friendly local Contax dealer. I believe Contax can supply the manual at a reasonable price. And ... don't forget this forum if you get stuck understanding a particular issue.

I've never regretted buying mine! Apart from the advantages that Austin and Taylor mentioned, you will also find that virtually any lens that will fit to the camera will autofocus. This gives you access to a whole heap of third party "cheap" lenses if your budget is tight, Tamrons, Sigmas,Vivitars, to name but a few. And ... not forgetting Yashica lenses (especially ML's) .... highly under-rated and under priced, and top quality!

If you can afford Zeiss ... get them, and you'll never need worry that your equipment is the weakest link in the chain!

It is a "unique" type of camera, but if I was pushed to say which camera is it most like .... then I'd have to say "Any" other 35mm AF SLR! Just put your lens at infinity and pretend that it's an ordinary 35mm AF SLR! (OK Folks, don't bombard me and Manuel with 2003 reasons why it isn't .... well, not yet anyway!)

Next step is to pretend a little harder and use some of the tricks the camera has up its sleeve, but you'll need to read the manual or pick the forum's brains for that step!

Cheers, Bob.


New Member
Thanks very much for the replies! I guess what I need to do is go through some more rolls of film now that I (finally) have the owner's manual. I'm sure that a good weekend of reading and shooting I should get the hang of it.

I am thinking of getting a 50mm lens for shooting at parties and such. People tend to feel very uncomfortable when I get so close to take a photo...and kids are always sticking thier fingers into it...making me cringe.