My Aria has problems

dcphotos

Member
Hi all, glad to find the forum. My first 35mm camera was a Yashica FXd, I moved up to Contax lenses and eventually an Aria body.
I'm a photographer by trade, I shoot Nikon digital with my work. I have always shot a roll of film every now and then and want to start shooting more.

So I got the Aria out. On auto rewind it pulls the film after 5-6 shots. I turned that off and shot a test roll, had it processed by the good folks at Indie Film Lab(great process and scan service). No frames overlap but the advance isn't even and it seems that the stuff is all focused a few inches behind the point I focused. Not sure if the latter problem is a mirror/glass/mount issue or my eyes have gotten old.

Kyocera wants $175 to do a repair. Might go that route, but thinking about another body. I always wanted a RTS3 back in the day, still seems like more than I have to spend on this though.

I don't know enough about the ST, RX, 167mt and others. I have a tla 360 flash and would like for it to continue to function in ttl.

I also really like the design and idea of the AX, but I worry that it would malfunction sooner or later.

Any advice? Resources for used gear outside KEH and eBay?
 

nickdando

Well-Known Member
All of the Japanese Contax cameras will start to malfunction at some stage, so like any digital camera, you'll have to accept that they'll stop working and won't be worth anything, or that the costs of fixing them will far exceed their value.

Unless you buy into the German Contax system, or Leica, Hasselblad, ArcaSwiss, etc then the cameras will have to be seen as disposable.

Nick
 

nickdando

Well-Known Member
No, none of the "modern" Contax models from the 1970s onwards. They were a co-operative effort between Yashica (who were taken over by Kyocera, the Kyoto Ceramics Company), Zeiss Oberkochen, Porsche Design and Cosina. Cosina made the cameras and the majority of the lenses in Japan.

The classic Contaxes are the pre-war, and early post-war models from Zeiss.

Zeiss has started making rangefinders again, under the Zeiss Ikon brand, but this time using the Leica M bayonet, which means there's a vast range of suitable lenses available. Again, the bodies are made by Cosina in Japan, alongside the re-created Voigtländer (and Epson R-D1) brand.

This article from Wikipedia has a wealth of information on the various incarnations of the Contax brand.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Nick
 

dcphotos

Member
Yeah those Zeiss rangefinders are nice, but pricey. I shoot my work digital, film is fun. My rangefinder is a Kiev 4a, I have the Helios 50 1.8 and the 35 2.8 for it and it's actually pretty nice. In face I tested it against a Contax 2a in mint condition and you can tell little difference in the optics.

I'm anxious for the ST to arrive. I got a lot of nice images with the Aria, working with those 3 lenses and film brings back memories of when I was using it and had great times.
 

Ozbaz

New Member
I suspect the problem with electronic cameras is that parts such as circuit boards will get harder to find. I believe Kyocera guarantee parts etc until 2015, ten years after production ceased which is pretty good. I suppose they wanted to keep their options open in the future and so did not want to alienate photographers just in case. With mechanical cameras the rise of home 3d printing (so called replicators ) might mean we will be able to down load schematics for camera parts and make them ourselves at home
 

nickdando

Well-Known Member
I was looking for an online source of a D-8 Databack instruction manual for an AX when I came across this article about the support periods being offered by Kyocera for Contax cameras and Zeiss lenses.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


This is the original Japanese link:

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Nick
 

dcphotos

Member
Good to see some discussion the forums! So do we just talk about cameras on this site or use them? I'll get to posting when I get my ST if it's the latter.

This is a photo taken of my dog with Aria/50 1.4/portra 160:



My pet donkey, Aria/135 2.8/portra:

 

flatulent1

Member
All of the Japanese Contax cameras will start to malfunction at some stage, so like any digital camera, you'll have to accept that they'll stop working and won't be worth anything, or that the costs of fixing them will far exceed their value.

Unless you buy into the German Contax system, or Leica, Hasselblad, ArcaSwiss, etc then the cameras will have to be seen as disposable.

Nick
And not just the Japanese Contax, any camera with electronics will eventually poop out, it's just a part of the price we pay. Best modern Contax for reliability would likely be, IMO, the S2 or S2b, which (apart from the meter) are all mechanical.
 

dcphotos

Member
Yeah well some of those electronics are kind of cool. I got a ST to use in place of my Aria, but as I had such good experience with the Aria and it has sentimental value I sent it to Tocad and they are repairing it now for $173. Now I want a Fuji 6x9 rangefinder.
 

flatulent1

Member
Oh, I agree completely. I have an RTS III, RX, AX, S2 and Aria. If any of the first three need repair I'll send it in. The S2 and Aria I'm kind of ambivalent about though. I think if my Aria died I'd be more likely to sell it for parts and get another RX. I haven't used the S2 enough to know if I'd miss it.
 

dcphotos

Member
How well does the AX work? I thought about one of those but the price was more and I figured that would be something to fail eventually. I am happy with my ST but the Aria was really a better camera. Never used a RX and really wanted a RTSIII back when I shot film for work, would like it now also but I'll be happy with the two I have.
 

nickdando

Well-Known Member
I like my AX, but I realise that when it fails, it'll probably be easier (or cheaper) to buy another one. The one big selling point for me is that the front elements of the lenses remain in the same place when focusing, so filters are much easier to use than on the RTS II I also own.

Nick
 

flatulent1

Member
The AX is an excellent camera, but it's a big meaty handful. Autofocus isn't fast by modern standards, but works well enough for its age. Its design also gives it a minor advantage in macro work, as the 10mm movement of the film plane gives the camera a built-in 10mm extension tube. I've never used that feature.
 

gillou

Active Member
hi,
i have a RX, Aria, ans S2; very fine camera. i am waiting for an AX these days.
i think that all electronic camera will duy and could not be repaired. i do not know if contax japanese cameras are worse than others.
for me it is the solution to use fabulous zeiss lenses and film cameras.
but maybe the S2 will be the one i will keep in the future (manual camera).
 

flatulent1

Member
I originally picked up an S2 for just that reason, it'll be the last Contax body in my arsenal to die. However I recently discovered I can mount the C/Y lenses on my EOS bodies with an adapter, so all is good.
 
Top