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First Impressions Contax RX

Despite very poor instructions which requires some common sense on how to install the strap, this is a very good camera, despite the small abrasion (which looks like a massive gash to my eyes) on my 50/1.7's outer portion of the filter thread as a result of not having much common sense about installation of the strap (duh, the strap goes THROUGH the metal ring), I enjoy using this camera VERY much.

Anyway, it is a great camera, and when I built up enough nerve to give the strap a second try, it is a wonder to use despite it's weight. Without the strap however my right wrist did ache after two hours of lugging the tank about!

It does balance well, though, not as well as people like to make it seem. However, I am not complaining about it's weight and can very much trust shooting at 1/60th and below.

I came from shooting with mechanical cameras, first a Yashikamat 124G which I sold for a Bronica S, which died with the mirror half-way in the "up" position, weird, then a Nikon FM with an early 70's era Nikkor 50.

Even as simple as the RX is, I felt overwhelmed by it for the first hour or so, but that's about it! It is very easy to learn, even for I, who never had an AE camera.

The only thing that really does bother me is how there is no option to keep the exposure check turned on, or, atleast turned on momentarly by a switch, like with the DOF preview custom function "1". I tend to spend *minutes* dinking about the frame, exposure and DOF in aperature mode. So, while the frame may look great in F16, will my shutter speed be set to 30-seconds? I'm pretty good at hand-held, but I cannot hold my breath for thirty seconds without turning blue and shaking!

I like the DFI, but I am a bit disapointed. This was the primary reason I bought the RX, and I do use the feature primarly to check over DOF in situations where i need to focus somewhere in the middle. However, like many have complained it is slow and doesn't work in all sutuations, esp low light. As far as primary focus control, stick with the microprism and split image and double check your DFI. Though, if you're tossed up betwene the ST and the RX, I wouldn't choose the RX based on the DFI alone.

The build quality is great, and I am not sure why one would purchase an Aria at all. If you're going to invest in a Contax, spend the extra $400-600 on the RX. Now the Aria is a good camera, and probobly built well of not just as well, but the psychology that you "own" something is nice, plus I very much beleive the heavier the camera the slower the shutter speeds you can obtain with a steady hand. Unless lightweight is a priority to you, go heavier rather than lighter.

The RTS III looks like a good camera, too. The only real feature that draws me to it over the RX is the flash metering. Honestly, the RTV seems like something that may not be necissary that would break. Plus, it looks like it weighs a bazzilion tons!

Ofcourse, I love the fact that i can walk around with an exotic camera, kinda like driving around in a Farrari! I like seeing other photographers and thinking "yeah, you paid half what I did for a camera with a thousand more features and a motordrive fast enough to make movies with, but, do you have zeiss optics?"
In regards to the RX, I know it uses Contax/Yashica MM mount lenses, but many places don't advertise that info. How do you know what lenses will fit?
Hi JB,
All the C/Y lenses will fit the Contax bodies. MM lenses give you the added function of program and shutter priority modes if your Contax camera supports them. The RX does, the modes are in green around the shutter speed dial. Green ones work with the MM lenses. The others with AE lenses.