Contax RX

35mm MF film SLR camera

Specification

Production details
Announced:1994
System: Contax/Yashica (1975)
Imaging plane
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Contax/Yashica [45.5mm]
Imaging plane:36 × 24mm film
Shutter
Type:Focal-plane
Model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:16 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Manual
Physical characteristics
Weight:810g
Dimensions:151x104.5x59mm

Manufacturer description #1

With This Camera We Present, A Machine That Maximizes The Bond Between Artist And Tool.

The CONTAX RX is a remarkable tool that adds useful automation to enhance the photographic experience. The newly developed "Digital Focus Indicator" function uses advanced technology to accomplish this task intuitively. CONTAX decided early-on that Carl Zeiss T* lenses could not be enhanced by adding auto-focus capability. Considerations such as weight and focus accuracy contributed to the decision against auto-focus. As a result, a system was developed that preserves the supreme integrity of the Carl Zeiss T* Lenses.

Technology Is A Tool For Liberating Creativity.

An Innovative New "Digital Focus Indicator (DFI) Function" At CONTAX the over-riding priority continues to be Image Quality. This concern for high quality has lead to the development of a completely new focusing method totally contained in the CONTAX camera body. At times, even professional photographers encounter focusing difficulties that could be eased through a focus assistance device. The Digital Focus Indicator was developed entirely for application in the CONTAX RX to overcome focusing limitations in the human eye. Many focusing systems were evaluated and subsequently rejected. When focusing discrimination was enhanced, operational efficiency was drastically reduced. When indicator stability was achieved focus accuracy declined. The solution.... the CONTAX Digital Focus Indicator (DFI) function. The Digital Focus Indicator shows the true focus point and variance between the focus point and the position under evaluation. CONTAX believes this is the best solution for Carl Zeiss T* lens users.

There are two Focus Indicator Scale Modes on the CONTAX RX, they are:

(1) Focus Scale Indication. This mode is useful for taking general photographs and shows the variance from the true point of focus. It may be set via the green "o" position on the drive mode.

(2) Depth of Focus Scale Indication: This mode indicates the variance from the true focus point as well as the depth of focus which changes with the aperture on the lens. These two measurements are used in combination to graphically show the user whether or not the object is within the depth of focus.

CONTAX provides Highly Durable And Reliable Equipment For Photographers.

The CONTAX RX begins with a copper/silumin alloy die-cast chassis that is high temperature/high pressure steam annealed to eliminate distortion. The CONTAX RX is designed to provide the ultimate in ergonomic design and camera body weight is an important factor affecting the feel of the entire package. The key is to provide enough mass in the camera body to damp out the vibrations induced by the movable mirror and lens mechanisms. The overall design of the CONTAX RX has been calculated using the most advanced CAD simulation available to maximize overall strength durability and ultra-precision over an extended lifetime of extreme usage. The stainless steel mount fastened in place with screws at 6 points fully ensures reinforcement of the lens mount. The top and bottom covers on the CONTAX RX are constructed of brass alloy to protect the inner working mechanisms from impact damage.

Quiet Operation With 1/4000 Second Shutter.

The shutter in the CONTAX RX is a vertical travel unit with a top speed of l/4000 second. This design allows optimum performance with a wide open aperture to exhibit the unique characteristics of the Carl Zeiss T* lens. The high speed shutter is often useful for sports photography.

A Powerful And Ultra-Reliable Drive Mechanism

The CONTAX RX is supplied with a quartz data back which imprints data in the vertical margin between frames. Film advancement is detected by a turning sprocket that precisely positions the film so that the data information is placed between the frames. Three low-noise, high performance DC motors work independently to charge the shutter and move the mirror, advance the film and rewind the film. Reliability and durability are enhanced by reducing the overall complexity of the system. The CONTAX RX uses a "film friendly" spool drive system for film winding.

Light And The Optical Path

An Over-sized Pentaprism For The Ultimate Optical Performance

Regardless of any advancement in electronics, the optical path is of critical importance to the success of any optical system. The pentaprism in the CONTAX RX includes a silver-evaporated reflection surface that insures extremely low flare, and an aberration-free viewing environment. As a result the CONTAX RX viewfinder is superbly clear and bright so that there is little to obscure the photographer's vision

Center-weighted Average Metering

General photography is most appropriate with the center-weighted averaging metering system as found on the CONTAX RX. This system relies on the assumption that the main subject is central to the image field. The center-weighted pattern, as used on the CONTAX RX, has been developed through experience developed over many years. The center-weighted light metering module incorporating an ultra-precise aspheric lens, SPD package and integrated circuit is located behind the pentaprism and above the eye-piece.

Spot Metering

The spot metering system in the CONTAX RX allows a selected small area of the image to be analyzed as a basis for exposure of the entire scene. The spot corresponds to about 5mm central microprism area of the focusing screen.

TTL Direct Flash Metering

A dedicated CONTAX flash may be used on the CONTAX RX in the TTL mode by simply attaching it and setting the flash to TTL. Light reflected from the film plane is measured by the Silicon Photo Diode (SPD) located under the mirror box and fed to the electronic flash control circuit.

High Performance SPD Package & Ultra-Precise Aspherical Lens The latest generation of high performance SPD package is incorporated into the CONTAX RX to provide light metering accuracy. It offers superb performance under various lighting conditions across a wide temperature spectrum as well as high durability. An Ultra-precise aspherical lens covers the SPD to provide maximum coverage and minimal light reading error.

Precision Information Is Preserved In The CONTAX RX Circuitry

Complete Elimination Of Exposure Metering Error

The electronic circuitry in the CONTAX RX is designed with low impedance to reduce the influence of external noise. The SPD and the analog processing system have been integrated into a single custom metering IC that transmits a voltage signal to the Central Processing Unit (CPU) for improved metering accuracy. The ISO film speed, aperture and internal final adjustments are automatically computed and controlled by the CPU. Accordingly, not only are delicate adjustments available, but the circuitry is far less prone to deterioration normally associated with aging thus ensuring long-term stability.

Improved Camera/Flash Communication

The combination of the CONTAX RX and TLA 360 results in improved communication between camera and flash. The ISO and aperture information are held in common. The back panel of the TLA 360 shows the coupled shooting range. Exposure compensation on the camera body causes both camera and flash to respond to the new setting however, exposure compensation on the flash will provide automatic lighting ratios for expressive photography. The charging mechanism on the TLA 360 is activated by pressing the shutter release button on the CONTAX RX camera even while the auto-power-off feature on the TLA 360 is in action. The auto-set features integrate the TLA 360 with the CONTAX RX into one working unit that extends the power of flash photography.

High-Speed CPU And Software For Superb System Control

The CONTAX RX has two high-performance CPUs which control all the camera systems. These CPUs use the most advanced software to assure the best results under various photographic conditions. Additionally, the CPUs in the CONTAX RX can detect and isolate the chattering of the mechanical contacts that detract from the efficiency of other systems.

Manufacturer description #2

Type: Auto-exposure 35mm single-lens reflex camera with focal plane shutter

Picture Size: 24 x 36mm

Lens Mount: Contax/Yashica MM Mount

Shutter: Vertical-travel focal-plane shutter

Shutter Speeds: 16 sec. - 1/4000 sec. at "Av" and "P"; 4 sec. - 1/4000 sec. (setting values) at "Tv"; B, X (1/125 sec.), 4 sec. - 1/4000 sec. on manual

Sync Contacts: Direct X contact (synchronizing speeds 1/125 sec. or slower), provided with sync terminal

Self-timer: Electronic self-timer with a 10-sec. delay

Shutter Release: Electromagnetic release, provided with a special release socket

Focusing System: Manual and auto focus

Exposure Control: 1. Aperture-priority auto exposure. 2. Shutter-speed-priority auto exposure. 3. Programmed auto exposure. 4. Manual exposure. 5. TTL auto flash control. 6. Manual flash control.

Metering System: TTL center-weighted average light metering/spot metering switchover

Metering Range (ISO 100, f/1.4): EV1-20 on center-weighted average light metering, EV5-20 on spot metering

Film Speed Range: ISO 25-5000 for automatic setting with DX film, ISO 6 - 6400 for manual setting

AE Lock: The quantity of light on the image surface is stored in memory

Exposure Compensation: +2EV to -2EV (can be set in 1/3-step increments)

A.B.C. Mode: +/-0.5EV to +/-1.0EV exposure compensating values with A.B.C. lever

Flash Light Control: TTL direct flash control

Flash Synchronization: In combination with dedicated flash, the shutter speed is automatically set when the flash is fully charged

Flash automatic setting: Possible by being combined with our flash with function flash auto setting festure

Second Curtain Synchronization: Possible with Contax flash having a second curtain synchronization capability

Focus Indicator: TTL phase difference detection system. Measurable: EV2 to 20 luminosity range. Displayed by the digital focus indicator in the viewfinder

Viewfinder: Eye-level type using the pentaprism (Long eye point type). Field-of-view 95%, magnification 0.8X (with 50mm lens at infinity and -1D diop. eyepiece)

Diopter Adjustment: Built-in diopter adjuster, correctable range +1D to -3D

Focusing Screen: Horizontal split-image/microprism type (FW-1) (standard), interchangeable screens available (FW type)

Display in Viewfinder: Digital focus indicator, shutter speed, aperture, exposure mark, A.B.C. mode, exposure compensation, metering mark, exposure counter, flash mark

Display Panel: Film counter/film speed/remaining time on self-timer/elapsed time on bulb exposure, multiple exposure mark, custom function mark and battery warning mark

Film Loading: Auto loading, automatic film positioning to "01" on counter

Film Advance: Automatic winding with built-in motor

Film Rewinding: Automatic rewinding with built-in motor, automatic stop after rewinding is completed, mid-roll rewinding possible

Drive Modes: Single-frame shooting, continuous shooting, self-timer shooting, and multiple exposure shooting

Winding Speed: Up to 3 frames/sec. on continuous shooting ("C" mode) (with a new battery, at ordinary temperature, as tested according to Contax testing standard)

Film Counter: On display panel and viewfinder, both automatically resetting, additive type

Accessory Shoe: Direct X-contact hot-shoe (provided with TLA flash contact)

Custom functions: Viewfinder indicator selection (metering-weighted indication/exposure-weighted indication/no indication); Green position mode setting; AE lock operation (AE lock is activated by pressing exposure check button); Multiple exposure operation (normal/continuous); A.B.C exposure order selection (standard -> over -> under / over -> standard -> under); Stop-down button operation (activate only when being pressed / push ON-push OFF system); Film end rewinding (completely rewound/film end left unwound); Film rewinding mode selection (rewound when operating rewinding lever/ automatically rewound after the last frame is completed)

Camera Back: Can be opened by camera back opening lever; detachable; provided with data back and film check window

Data back: Built-in quartz clock (auto calendar), dates are printed in a space between frames (outside the picture area), printable data... year-month-day, day-hour-minute, no-printing, month-day-year, day-month-year

Power Source: One 6V lithium battery (2CR5), one lithium data-back battery (CR2025) in camera back

Battery Check: Automatic check, battery warning mark in display panel

Battery Capacity: About 150 rolls of 24-exposure film (with a new lithium battery (2CR5), at ordinary temperature, as tested according to Contax testing standard)

Others: Aperture stop-down button, External Power socket

***

This camera is a multi-mode auto-exposure single-lens-reflex camera with various exposure control features such as aperture-priority auto exposure, shutter-speed-priority auto exposure, programmed auto exposure. Its new digital focus indicator in the viewfinder allows you to easily focus the lens.

In combination with the CONTAX TLA Flash System with automatic flash setting feature, the film speed and aperture set in the camera are automatically set to the flash unit.

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Copyright © 2012-2023 Evgenii Artemov. All rights reserved. Translation and/or reproduction of website materials in any form, including the Internet, is prohibited without the express written permission of the website owner.

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

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),

where:

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

Mount

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.

Speed

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.

Weight

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.

Filters

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

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.