Contax / Yashica 35mm SLRs
CameraLeather.com sells leather kits to re-cover your camera body.
‘Top Secret Project 130’, a collaboration with Carl Zeiss to produce a new, professional 35mm SLR with an electronically-controlled shutter, bearing the Contax brand name. A new prestige line of Yashica / Contax lenses designed by Carl Zeiss were introduced for the camera, with a common C/Y bayonet mount allowing lens interchange between all 35mm Contax and Yashica SLR models - an innovation that was to prove very popular with camera buyers.
Contax RTS ("Real Time System") 35mm SLR - high end expensive version while the subsequent Yashica models over the next decade, although based on the Contax, targeted a more affordable range for the serious amateur.
Yashica FX-1 35mm SLR with C/Y mount;
Yashica FX-2 35mm SLR with C/Y mount;
Yashica FR 35mm SLR with C/Y mount:
based in part on the Contax RTS design, was a more affordable manual-exposure, electronically-controlled camera.
Yashica FR-I 35mm SLR - manual and auto exposure
Yashica FR-II 35mm SLR - auto exposure only
Yashica FX-3 35mm SLR - entry level manual exposure only; developed by Yashica but made by Cosina
Contax 139 Quartz:
mid-range series with less features than the pro series (the RTS models).
quartz timed shutter speeds for improved accuracy
TTL flash with x-sync at 1/100th sec; CW aperture priority and manual exposure;
optional winder and data back;
Yashica FX-D Quartz -
Contax 137MD Quartz - 2fps motor drive; 4xAA batteries; X-sync 1/60th;
Contax 137MA Quartz - 3fps motor drive; manual shutter speed adjustment added to the 137MD;
Contax RTS II Quartz - flash TTL; electronic self-timer;
Yashica FX-70 -
Yashica merges with Kyocera which also made the newer Contax cameras from that date.
Yashica FX-3 Super - meter activated by half-press of shutter
Yashica FX-7 Super - meter activated by half-press of shutter
Contax 159MM - new MM mount for new MM lenses to allow shutter priority and program exposure modes
Yashica FX-103 Program 35mm SLR - 1st Yashica SLR with TTL flash and full programmed exposure capabilities;
Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 - Basic model; metal focal-plane shutter; top speed of 1/2000 sec;
Contax 167MT Quartz - New auto-bracketing mode; Spot/center weighted metering switch;
Yashica 107MP - sold as the Yashica TR7000 in Europe; MP stands for Multi-Program;
Yashica 109MP - motorised film rewind
Contax RTS III
RTV "Real Time Vacuum" back maintains film flatness; 100% viewfinder image; data recording between frames;
pre-flash TTL spot meter with non-dedicated flash by adjusting aperture; 5fps motor drive; 1/8000th sec; x-sync 1/250th sec; usual TTL flash metering mode; auto-bracketing mode; vertical travel metal shutter;
Contax ST -
Contax S2 - The back-to-basics completely manual SLR
Contax RX - Built-in focusing aid "Digital Focus Indicator"; low vibration mirror;
Contax RXII - Same all-metal body but DFI feature removed;
Contax AX - Auto-focus by moving the film plane but body bigger;
Contax Aria - a smaller SLR designed especially for women; uses an infrared sensor to count the sprocket holes, so you cannot use infrared film in it.; spot meter; flash synch at 1/125;
Contax S2b - an S2 with titanium body and black paint
Kyocera created a new Contax N series 35mm SLR with new autofocus N mount which was not backwardly compatible with C/Y lenses which thus failed as most wanting AF moved to Canon or Nikon cameras.
Kyocera discontinues production of all Yashica, Contax and Kyocera branded film and digital cameras.
C/Y mount lenses for Contax /Yashica SLR Models:
The Yashica/Contax mount is a bayonet design with a throat width of 48mm and flangeback of 45.5mm.
Zeiss lenses in the C/Y mount came in either AE or MM varieties. MM lenses were more recent, with a setting that allowed the camera to select the aperture as part of its autoexposure system, while the older AE lenses did not. There was often no difference between an older AE and a newer MM lens apart from this feature. Sometimes, the older AE lens may worth more on the used market because it may be a German-made example, while the newer lens may be Japanese-made, despite their optical formula and build quality being identical.
Zeiss lenses, on the whole, tend to have more even sharpness across the frame wide open - by comparison, Leica lenses, esp. the pre-ASPH designs, tend to be very sharp at the center and fall off substantially towards the corners.
Zeiss lenses, on average, have very high contrast and tend to give a magenta tinge (which can be a problem with portraits at sunset) while Leica tend to be more green.