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New Contax NX user - Some questions



Just got the NX kit with 28-80 lens 2days back. I have some questions.

1. I was using a Nikon F601 (6006) for the past 6-7 years and compared to that the viewfinder is dark. Why?

2. Compared to the Nikon how the metering is different in Evaluating (Matrix) Center weighted and Spot? Basically what I should be aware about when selecting the different types of metering, the behaviur differenc?

3. In Nikon there are 2 types of flash settings one is TTL and the other is Blanced (Fill flash)TTL. In NX there is TTL only so when taking flash pictures in daylight (fill) and indoors, is any typical things I should take care of?

4. Can someone explain to me the custom function 18 (as I have the 28-80 lense)

I have already loaded my first roll and taking some test shots. I am really excited to see the results as the reason for switching was the Zeiss T* lens. Will I be really able to see the differce in the photographs?



Well-Known Member
Raj, I also switched from Nikon system to Contax few years ago because of the "AF" Carl Ziess lenses.

I don't have the NX/28-80, so I cannot answer your questions. But my N1's viewfinder is bright and crisp.

For daylight fill flash. As the manual indicated, I just meter the scene and flip the switch to AEL. It always gives good result. One must understand how the on camera (reflective) meter works. If the sense has strong bright or dark background, you may need to compensate the meter reading. But the matrix metering seems to be pretty accurate in the N1 with the TLA 360. The Canon and Nikon have a newer eTTL metering. But I have not tried enough to comment on it. The Contax TLA flashes are older in design, but it does the job.

Nikon and Canon have some nice lenses. But in general, you will find difference in the quality of the Carl Ziess lens. It has a different look. The obvious one is the sharpness when the lens is wide open. Other quality includes better color rendition, tonal range, distortion and flare control. The more you shoot, the more you will see the different, especially in big prints or slide projection.

In January, there was a Japanese Photography magazine had a comparison test on the Contax 645, Hasselblad H1, Mamiya 645AFD and the Pentax. IMO, the Contax blown away the competitions from color, contrast, bokeh, lens flare and metering.



Your viewfinder should be relatively dark if you are using 28-80, because of the zoom lens. Try brighter lenses (50, 85, 100), if possible, and see if you still find the viewfinder too dark.

I have both 28-80 and 100, and the viewfinder is much brighter with 100 on.


Active Member
Dear Albert,

I have a little question about Hass H1. Is it true that its lenses were made by Fuji?


Well-Known Member
Hi Shu-Hsien,

> I have a little question about Hass H1. Is it true that its lenses > were made by Fuji?

I'm not Albert, but I'm happy to answer. Yes, the H1 lenses are manufactured by Fuji. Though this is true, Hasselblad did have a very strong hand in the lense design. From what I have have seen though, I find the bokeh of these lenses to be typical Fuji MF (Medium Format) bokeh...not all that good.




Well-Known Member

I was told that Carl Zeiss has a contract with Kyocera for AF lens. Hence, Carl Zeiss cannot make AF lens for the Hasselblad H1. I read a review that, for the H1, the meter is from Minolta. Besides the lenses, some other parts (I forgot) are mostly from Fuji, the body frame, film magazine, and the leaf shutter are from Hasselblad.

For many years, Fuji has been making lenses for Hasselblad V system, i.e. the zooms. Fuji optics are good, especially the large format ones. However, many photographers buy the Hasselblad for the reason of leaf shutter Carl Zeiss Lenses, among other reasons too, of course. In Japan, you can get a H1 in Fuji brand. They are black color.

Before I bought the Contax 645, I had seriously considered the H1. But for the money and no Carl Zeiss optics. I decided the to get C645. So far, I am very happy with the C645 system.

I would like to hear any comments about the comparison of V1.



Well-Known Member
Hi Albert,

> I was told that Carl Zeiss has a contract with Kyocera for AF lens. > Hence, Carl Zeiss cannot make AF lens for the Hasselblad H1.

Interesting, I was told it was specifically 645 lenses!

> Before I bought the Contax 645, I had seriously considered the H1. But > for the money and no Carl Zeiss optics. I decided the to get C645. So > far, I am very happy with the C645 system.

I heard the H1 provided a large boom in sales of the C645...but that is only based on what I've heard people say on the I can not verify if it is true or not.

Do you like your C645? I've been considering one...but I have a lot of V series Hasselblad gear, and am very very happy with it, as I use the 205, which uses the faster lenses, like the 110/2...though that, I understand, is also available for the 645. You may email me off-list if you like, as this isn't for forum for C645.




>=20 >=20 >=20 > [C645 is by far the best system I have tried or owned. It is simply flaw= less > in everything it does with only slight disappointment for its surface coa= ting > is peeling off easily. The lens quality is comparable to Hasselblad ones= , it > has better clarity when the slide is projected on a screen, and to me, sh= aper > than the 6X6. The 645 already designed with databus on the camera, so it= is > digital ready. It does not have 110/2, but it has the 80/2. What I am > expecting is an introduction of 180/2.8 like Rollei has. And the best th= ing > about Contax 645, you can use MAM-1 to use Hasselblad lens. Regards. kai= sern] >=20 >=20 >=20


Well-Known Member

I love the C645. It handles like a 35mm camera with great features and quality. I have been using the Hassy 50x since the 80's on and off and I like it but not love it. It is well built but slow to use. After all, it is designed from the 60s, I guess. I do think the Hasselblad is the best-built MF camera in the market. There are a lot of great deals in eBay. But it is just not for me. I also use RZ67 sometime, it is a great studio workhorse with lager 6x7 film size. But the Mamiya gears do not the quality feel to it.

I don't know if the C645 will out perform your 205 or not. I think it is a matter of personal needs and style. For the C645, I like the AF and AE features although I don't necessarily use them. The 140mm f/2.8 is great for portrait and fashion with AF. But I use the non AF 120mm APO marco lens the most. This is the best lens I ever used. I start trying the 35mm f/3.5 lens. It is a very superb ultra wide angle lens. Comparing to the $4000 Hassy 40mm lens, it is a bargain.

I have used my C645 for about eight month now. Every time when I pick up my films, especially chromes, from the labs, I still tell myself... "WOW!".


>=20 >=20 >=20 > [I think we should leave the crown of mechanical precision and workmanshi= p to > Alpa, simply elegant and a true joy to look at, not mention to use it. 2= 05 is > a great camera with complicate metering system and zone options but it is > still slow compares to C645 so for practical use I think C645 is with no > question a better camera and it provides evaluated metering compares to 2= 05 > only spot metering. And C645 has the built-in flash meter which can be a= big > help for precision day-light fill-flash. As a system, with the 120 APO m= acro > along, it is a better choice than the Hasselblad, personal point of view = only. > Regards, kaisern] >=20 >=20 >=20


Thanks to all the people who have responded to the query. Still some confusion.

For fill flash I should read the meter, then with AEL, lock the reading and do -1EV compansation on the Flash (NOT the meter)and shoot. Am I correct?

What about indoor where the main light source is the Flash, simply shoot?

One interesting thing, my son is studying in the USA and has come for his summer vaccation to India. Befor I asked him to buy the NX I had asked him to buy Nikon SB 50DX flash (at that time I was not aware about the rebate and had not decided to switch ). Now this flash has a built in slave and as per what I have read can do remote TTL. When it senses that the main light had stopped its output it will also cut its own off. I am experimenting with it and give my observations along with my impression of the result of the first roll.