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User comments btil June 2003



I just purchased my first Contax camera and zeiss lens and need a little help. I found a used NX body and 24-85 lens. I received the camera yesterday and have two weeks to try it out. The problem is that there is no user's manual with the camera. I can eventually get one from Contax, but I want to get started right away for the test period. If anyone has some basic info on the use of the camera I would appreciate it. I can get it to take pictures, but I was looking for a little more help insttead of jsut winging it. Unfortunately the camera shops in my area are not familiar with Contax. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks


Jon call (800) 526-0266
This is the HQ at Cottontail Lane Somerset NJ
I think if you make a call you will find them very helpful as I did last year.
Im sure they will also arrange a new instruction book as well


What do you think of the NX matrix metering system? I just received my first roll of slides and they seem somewhat overexposed. I typically bracket, and the -0.5 EV picture seems to be the best one consistently. Is this what a matrix metering will typically do, to expose more for the shadows?
I'd also like to mention that switching metering modes was easier with tle 167MT. With the NX, you can see in the viewfinder the difference between the matrix and the "spot" metering (or the center-weighted), but you cannot just switch to spot without taking the camera down from your eye.
Oh well...



'Is this what a matrix metering will typically do, to expose more for the shadows?'

I seldom use slides. But as far as I know, you expose for the HIGHLIGHTS with SLIDES. Expose for the SHADOWS with NEGATIVES. From your post, I think you exposed for the shadows when you used slides. I think that's why you got overexposed shots.

I don't find the NX to overexpose. I have used negatives mainly with it. I do one of these things for metering (aside from using an incident meter):
a) I would point my camera to the green grass or anything the would be close to 18% gray and click on the AE Lock.

b) Point the camera to the darkest area in the images with which I want to have detail and close down 1 stop. If it was measured at f/5.6 at 1/200, I would shoot it at f/8 at 1/200.

c) Other times, I would only check the difference between the spot and evaluative/matrix displayed on the viewfinder. If there is more than a stop or 1/2 stop difference, I would click the front dial the opposite way to compensate for the difference. This is my favorite feature.

d)With negatives, I set the ISO to 1/3 stop SLOWER than the actual speed to pop colors. For ex&le, if it's a 400 speed negative film, I set it to 320.

For slide film, you go the opposite way. You can set it as 50% FASTER than it's actual speed. For ISO 64, set it at 100. If the results are too dark for your taste, experiment with it. Set it at 1/3 or 1/2 stop FASTER to suit your taste.

Hope this helps...;)



I scanned the NX broshure and uploaded it in the Scan/Download section on this site.

This NX broshure is unfortunately in Japanese from my last trip to Japan. I therefore scanned only the most important pages which are also helpful for non-japanese speaking people.

I hope that is helping some of you who are in a buying decision, especially now at the photokina.

Enjoy it



I have just bought the NX with a 24-85mm zoom, just taken one film and expecting results back in 2 days ... the feel is good, even with the "big" lens (I use a Hassy also, those lenses are somewhat bigger
) ,,, I am looking forward to the results. The autofocus seemed to have problems focussing on infinity, where I switched to manual ,,,, will report back when I see the results ... handling generally fine though


Hi all,

I'm new to Contax and to this List.

I've just eBayed a rather cheap Carl-Zeiss 24-85/3.5-4.5 but I'm still considering
my options regarding the body.

On paper the Contax N1 doesn't really give me anything really important over the
Nx so I'm wondering whether the latter isn't sufficient for my purposes.

So I've a couple of questions ...
(there is no dealer around where I can try the Nx):

1. How "bad" in the build quality ? Is it just "bad" by Contax standards or is
it also worse than e.g. a Canon EOS Elan 7 or so ?
2. How does the exposure compensation work on the Nx ? Do I need to press
the exposure compensation button on the top (?) in combination with the main dial ?
Or is it just a button thing (I hope it isn't...) ?
3. Is there a dedicated AE lock button or does it work via the shutter release button only ?
4. after applying AE-lock: does the camera continue to show the metering difference of
the stored value compared to a recomposed scene ? I found this feature to be very nice
on my old EOS 1.
5. Is there a exposure compensation bar in the viewfinder that actually shows me the
amount of exposure compensation or is there just a +/- indicator ?
6. Does it have any (further?) severe handling issues ?
7. Is there any "killer" feature of the N1 compared to the Nx besides better build quality
(is it sealed ?) and the extra dials for exposure compensation and shutter speed ?





this depends on what the camera is supposed to do for you. For me the most significant differences are the lack of the MLU (mirror lock up) at the NX and the better handling/feling of the N1 over the NX.

All other differences are even mor subjective. The NX has the better power on/off button. It has a nice menu with a horizonatl and vertical wheel. But here again I prefer the N1 with the possibility to change shutterspeeds via the "green function) over the wheel without moving my head.

I think a big advantage in geneark of ths NX over the N1 is the included flash. It is not very strong but it still can save the day in unpredictable situations. The NX is lighter and samller, looks less like Medium Format as the N1

I would highly recommend to wait with a purchase til you actually have tried both in your own hand at a dealer.

I assume you are coming from Germany, so there will be a fair in Frankfurt on Saturday 23rd of November. Organized by a photo-shop in FFM incl. Slide shows etc.

There will be also all brandnames who present their stuff. Last year it was really great because you had time to look at the different models without stress (like at photokina).

Look in Google for "weitsicht festival"




important to realize that the NX flash
1. does not cover 24 mm, but 28 mm, and
2. most likely, you will have to take the lens hood off, which you should use as much as possible, because I imagine it will block the flash at least at wide angles.

The built-in flash was designed to be paired with the much smaller 28-80, as you probably know. I have the N1 - big, but very well-made.


Hello all

Could someone explain Custom Function #10 on the NX for me? It says "Superimpose when shuter button half-pressed". Superimpose what?




I would like to drop a personal statement here.
For me N1, NX and all lenses with the new AF mount are way too clumsy. Look at N1 + 24-85. What a monster! That's medium format level!

If I will settle for a Contax SLR system to complement the actual G setup, this has to be an "old fashioned" C/Y system, just because of size and weight.

I think that they should never stop production of the current C/Y mount lenses; on the contrary they should develop new lens designs and on the long term a digital C/Y-body as well!
Just because of size and weight.

BTW, Leica has slip up the same way in SLRs. They did not replace R6.2 by a (better) light body. As they stated because of "no demand".
I am sure that there would be a sustainable demand for an FM3a-equivalent body! Combined with the best SLR lenses, this would be an instant classic.

Not every so called serious amateur puts up with lugging tons of gear.
Not every subject feels comfortable when being "shot" by a monster camera.



Til, IMO the Contax SLR system, even C/Y mount, has always been a bit larger and heavier.

There are exceptions, like the Aria with a 45mm "Pancake" which is fairly small in comparison.

The N gear is pretty big, but not as heavy as it Nikon D1-X is about the same size as the ND, but weighs more. I don't mind the N size, but I'm a big guy and like the handling and stability.

That said, my favorite camera is the Leica M for all the reasons you posted here.




for sure my demands direct to the RF profile, and that is mostly why I use one (G2)!

But why, actually?
RFs are widely celebrated to be so small and light, which is correct if you compare them to most current SLRs, but not if you look at the mechanical 70's SLRs and left over Nikon FM3A. Then they are just in the same league. (Ok, add the lenses and there is an advantage.)

Anyway, in the era of miniaturization I do not see the point why big SLRs are top of the range and light ones are entry level (Aria, RTS III).
If I need so called "pro" specs such as 1/250 X-sync, I have to lug the big beast. I would willingly pay the price of a pro SLR if it would be at the weight of an entry level one, e.g. due to a magnesium body or whatever. (Pentax MZ-S' USP is to meet this requirements, but again: Why?)

I only understand that a heavy body is better suited for really big tele glass.



Till, I hear you. I shoot weddings, and by the end of the night my back is busted. When I travel all I usually take is a M6 and 3 lenses.

I have traveled with the N1, and it wasn't that bad. The camera weighs about the same as a R6.2 , but is just bigger. I posted some photos from that trip to Miami in the gallery here on (they're under the name fotografz). For me, the results from the Ziess glass were worth the effort.

All in all, it makes you wish for the old Olympus.


A question about the CAF for the N1 and Nx: is it possible to switch over to focus priority in the CAF mode? Is it possible to photograph moving objects in the SAF mode? My point is that I hate to get a lot of out-of-focus slides when photographing moving objects, so I prefer focus-priority (better no picture then an out-of-focus picture).


I also here you about the size of the N1,but all that said , the results of the N1 and the 24/85 and 70/ 300 are outstanding, I also wanted to get into a G2 or M6 for travel, but what you gain in the smaller size you lose in the benifits of the more versatile SLR system, I would have to spend 4-to 5k in optics along just to have what we have in one pkg with the 24/85.
just my opinion



Few years back when I traveled to Italy, I wanted to travel light because I need to take trains between cities. Hence, I brought a P&S camera with a mini DV camera. I kicked myself, even today, not bringing my SLR, especially in Venice. Ever since, I lug my N1 w/ 24-85mm everywhere. I use a Lowepro mini 100 backpack and it works very well with all the domestic and overseas trips.

It is pain in the neck to carry the N1 around for a long trip comparing a G/G2 or any RFs. But the result is well worth it IMO. We should live life with "No Regret". And "no regret" are the words you need after any trip. N1 (or ND when I can afford one) might be a better tools comparing to the Gs. But it all depends on personal situation.


I hear you, Albert. At one time I used to travel with a Fuji GX-680 outfit. THe N1 (ND in my case) and two zooms is heaven.



no regret is difficult to achive....i had my n1 and 24-85, because of regret, i brought the 70-300, later the 50mm 1.4, the extention ring....


Just purchased a used Contax NX. Arrived in the mail with a broken camera back. Need to replace it. I have contacted Kyocera repair service in NJ at least four times (2 emails, 2 telephone calls) to get a replacement back and have received no response. Any other source for parts or am I talking to the wrong people at Kyocera ?