Contax NX

35mm AF film SLR camera

Production details

Production details
Announced:February 2002
Production type:Mass production
System: Contax N (2000)


Imaging plane
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Contax N [48mm]
Imaging plane:36 × 24mm film
Model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:32 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Physical characteristics

Manufacturer description

Contax Announces New Addition to N System: The NX 35mm Auto Focus SLR Camera

Three New N-Series Carl Zeiss Zoom Lenses Complement Entire Contax SLR System

PMA 2002, ORLANDO, FL -- February 24, 2002 -- Kyocera Optics, Inc. is proud to announce the latest camera in the Contax N series - the new Contax NX, a 35mm Auto Focus SLR camera with a built-in flash system. The Contax NX is designed for the consumer interested in a high-quality SLR auto-focus body without the limitations found in an entry-level product. Positioned within the N System just below the Contax N1, the NX provides a second option for photographers considering a Contax N-series camera body. In addition, the NX includes many of the features of the Contax N1, and at the same time, incorporates additional options that place the NX in a class of its own.

In addition to the Contax NX, Kyocera Optics, Inc. is also pleased to announce three new lenses to complement the current Contax N system. The new lenses will increase the available selection for the N system to seven lenses. Furthermore, all seven Carl Zeiss N-mount lenses can be utilized with the Contax N1 that was introduced the fall of 2000.

The new lenses are:

Contax NX 35mm Auto Focus Camera

The Contax NX is targeted toward serious amateurs, professionals and various photographers with differing interests who wish to experience the superior image quality of Carl Zeiss T* lenses. The smaller Contax NX will appeal to photographers who need a compact camera body or an additional camera body to complement their Contax N1 without adding significant size or weight. In addition, the NX offers many new features such as a rear command dial conveniently located at the user's right thumb, which has the ability to control shutter speeds and functions, making the NX the most ergonomic Contax camera body to date.

A first for Contax is the introduction of an integral flash unit with a red-eye-reduction feature to meet various shooting opportunities. In addition to red-eye-reduction, the built-in flash also offers second curtain synchronization and flash output compensation for daylight fill flash. When additional flash output is needed, the NX offers a five-pin hot shoe for use with all current hot-shoe mounted Contax flash units, including the Contax TLA 360.

The Contax NX offers a 5-Point Wide Array Diagonal Auto Focus and Dual-Focus System. This technically advanced system was introduced with the Contax N1, the first Contax SLR, auto focus lens system to use Carl Zeiss T* lenses. The greatest benefit of five widely spaced focusing points is that the photographer no longer needs to lock focus on the subject and then recompose in situations where the subject is not centrally located. With the 5-Point Wide Array configuration, the photographer can compose the image, then move the active focus point to the subject with the frame selector control.

For unparalleled user flexibility, 20 custom functions allow the photographer to customize the camera to fit any need or photographic challenge. Custom functions such as power-on hold time, film rewind with leader in or leader out, and aperture display can be set within the custom function modes of the Contax NX to provide the flexibility that photographers demand.

Contax NX Features

1. TTL (Through The Lens) phase-difference detection method

The Contax NX offers an improved "TTL phase-difference detection" focusing system that can be switched easily between AF and MF modes with dual focus mechanism lenses.

2. Focus frame selection system

A 5-Point Wide Array Diagonal Focus System enables the user to select the best focusing point.

3. Easy operation

Users can operate the Contax NX in most situations without taking their eye away from the viewfinder.

4. Built-in TTL Flash

The Contax NX is the first Contax SLR with a built-in TTL Flash system.

5. Three exposure metering modes

Evaluative Metering, Center-Weighted Average Metering and Spot Metering.

6. The external Flash Auto-Set Function

The external Flash Auto-Set Function ensures improved control when flash photography is required.

7. Twenty Custom Functions

Selected by users according to their needs.


CONTAX NX Detailed Specifications

Type: 35mm focal plane type AF/AE single lens reflex camera

Picture size: 24 x 36mm

Lens mount: CONTAX N mount

Shutter type: Vertical travel focal plane shutter

Shutter speed: AV, TV and P: 32~1/4000 sec.; M: 32~1/4000 sec. and bulb; X: 1/125 sec. (M mode)

Flash sync speed: X contact (synchronized at up to 1/125 sec.) Direct contact and synchronization terminal included

Self-timer: Electronic type, 10 sec. delay

Shutter release: Electronic release, with dedicated cable switch socket

Exposure control: 1. Aperture priority auto; 2. Shutter priority auto; 3. Program auto; 4. Manual exposure; 5. TTL auto flash

Metering system: TTL evaluative metering, center-weighted average metering, or spot metering (selectable)

Metering range (ISO100, F1.4): Evaluative metering: EV0~21; Center-weighted average metering: EV0~20; Spot metering: EV3~20

Film speed range: Automatic setting with DX-coded film, ISO 25~5000; manual setting, ISO 6~6400

AE lock: EV at image plane stored in memory

Exposure compensation: +3EV~-3EV (in steps of 1/3 or 1/2)

Auto-Bracketing Control: Exposure compensation with ABC button and single command dial setting Compensation range +/-0.3EV, +/-0.5EV, +/-1EV

Built-in flash: Guide number 13.5 (ISO100), up to focal distance of 28mm; red-eye reduction flash

Automatic flash intensity adjustment: TTL direct metering

Flash synchronization: Automatic selection of shutter speed when flash is completely charged

Flash auto setting function: Possible by combination with Contax flash unit with flash auto setting function

Second curtain synchronization: Possible with built-in flash or Contax flash unit with second curtain synchronization function

Auto focus: 5-point TTL phase difference detection

Viewfinder: Pentaprism eye-level (long-eye point); Field of view 93%; Magnification 0.78x (with 50mm standard lens at infinity, -1D diopter)

Diopter correction: Separately available FL type fitted for correction, eight variations

Focusing screen: Fixed, full matte

Viewfinder display: Focus frame, film counter/self-timer time/ABC shooting order, film loading, flash mark, compensation mark, focus display, aperture value, shutter speed, metering mode icon, exposure meter, exposure compensation icon, manual exposure mark

Display panel: Film counter/self timer time/ABC shooting order/bulb elapsed time/film loading, battery mark, distance display, focus mode (manual focus, single auto focus, continuous auto focus), exposure mode (manual exposure, aperture priority auto, shutter priority auto, program auto), metering display spot metering, center-weighted average metering, evaluative metering), drive mode (self timer photography, single-frame photography, continuous photography), DX/ISO mark, ABC compensation mark, built in flash intensity compensation mark, aperture value/ABC compensation/internal flash intensity compensation, shutter speed/film speed/custom functions, exposure compensation, CF mark

Film loading: Auto loading with automatic advance to film counter '01'

Film advance: Automatic with built-in motor

Film rewind: Automatic with built-in motor (with auto return/auto stop function), mid-roll rewinding possible

Drive modes: Single frame, continuous, 10 sec. self timer

Winding speed: Up to approximately 2.3 frames/sec. at continuous shooting ('C' mode) with new batteries, at normal room temperature, and based on Contax testing standards

Film counter: Auto reset additive type for display panel and viewfinder

Accessory shoe: Direct X contact (with TLA flash interlocking contacts)

Custom functions: 20 functions possible

Batteries: 2 x (CR2) 3V lithium batteries

Battery check: Auto checking, indicated on display panel

Others: Aperture check button, AF supplementary light

Optional Accessories: Flexible case C-9 and Data-back D-11

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Table of contents
Contax N system cameras

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2

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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.


Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),


CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.


A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.


The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/ on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.


Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.


Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.


Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.