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Which Contax next ?


Active Member
I have several makes of cameras, which I would call modern classics. I came late into Contax through being given some UK photo magazines from the 1990s, and there saw the Contax 167MT, which I eventually bought second hand. I have never been disappointed with it. As a result I later bought a Contax AX(again used).
I am now looking for yet another. I have a book with all Contax models as tested by Amateur Photographer. It makes interesting reading, but I want feedback from people who have owned and used such cameras.
I am considering : 1] Contax RX. 2]Contax ST. 3]Contax RTSII, as I have just seen a comment that the II was better than the III.
I will be bearing in mind the ages of the cameras, and will only be looking for ones classed as exc++/mint- at least.
Any advice and info. will be appreciated.


I'll vote for the RX as the best of the lot.

I have a few of the Contax models (139Q, 137MA, 159MM, 167MT, RTSII, RTSIII, AX ,RX, ST, G2 and Aria.

My favorite is the RX as the best all-round performer. It is relatively compact, is full featured and has the least mirror bounce of any SLR that I have used, including modern DSLRs. I like, and use the DOF display.

The Aria is nice and light, especially when paired with the 45mm pancake lens. Great for carrying around all day long.

The RTSIII will quickly drain batteries and the blue LED display can be hard to see in bright daylight, especially as the LEDs fade with age. It is also quite heavy. I use rechargeable batteries with this one and take them out between sessions. The RTSIII is the best for flash photography because of the pre-flash metering feature.

The ST is nice for low light conditions because the controls light up.

The AX is a technical marvel but a bit bulky.

They all have their own personality, there is plenty of choice to suit your personal needs. I enjoy using all of them.



Active Member
ronpeters, Thanks for your information about the various Contax models, and I will probably go for the RX when the time comes.


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Hi and welcome to the Zeiss user forum!

if you try the search function here within the forum, you will find many information about the Contax RX. Enjoy it and report back once you bought one...

Best wishes


Active Member
Dirk, Thanks for that, and belated thanks at that. I have not visited this forum since last year. Still have not got round to finding another Contax 35mm camera as yet. I am still fancying the RX or the ST.


Active Member
dirk, and others who posted info. Did not get around to buying the RX or the ST. No reason against those cameras, as I still keep searching here in the UK. However, this weekend there was a Contax N1, an N 24-85 lens, and an N 70-300 lens for sale on ebay. All up for auction by the same person, but listed as separate items. Missed out on the 24-85. Managed to get the N1 - taking a gamble as I did not have one lens to go with it !! Then last night went for the 70-300 lens and was successful.:) I thought I was going to have to buy the lens from a dealer. The 70-300 is listed at E++/£399-00; to Unused at £799-00. I thought I had dropped a 'clanger'.Combined price for the N1 and the 70-300 lens was about 1/10th of the original price when new.
Having the 167 and the AX I cannot wait to get the N1 loaded up and see how it performs.:z04_wife: At the moment she does not know anything at all.:D


Well-Known Member
Please keep us updated with your opinion of the N1 system. I've always wanted on with just the 24-85 and 50 as a 2 lens kit. They appear once in a while but being obsolete with repairs I am weary about purchasing one. I currently use an RTS II and find it suits most of my needs with the 35-70/3.4; just wish I'd gotten the 24-85 instead.


Active Member
crocus63, Have only used my newly acquired N1 this week. Like other modern Contax cameras it is a joy to use. Controls fairly simple,although I am still looking at the instruction manual to learn the 'finer' points of operating the camera. The 70-300 lens is fairly weighty but is perfectly manageable. Should have the first film which I used in it back by next week.
As regards the RTS II and the RTS III, I don't own either, and have never used them. As mentioned in here, and other places, there seems to be some opinion that the II is better than the III. Perhaps others in here will clarify matters for you.


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There are plenty of N1 and 24-85's about, at all prices. great camera to use... I had an RX for many years before and loved it.... Had the N1 for several years as well.
Repair should be ok for now, as Kyocera ended the brand in 2005 and said they would support up to a maximum of 10 years (
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My N Digital is actual back in Japan being repaired now.... Needs a new main board, cost 375 GBP....
I think we will run out of film before we run out cameras to use it !!!