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| p.1 #9 · C/Y mount film cameras |
I have had the 137, the 139, the 159MM, the 167MT, the RX, ST and RTSII and III. Oh, and the S2. And the Aria.
To make it simple:
The 137 and 139 did eventually fall apart. They had intermittent problems according to the Contax service rep. Mirror fell out, uneven frame spacing etc etc. The 167MT was nice in handling but it too was plagued with electronic failures and even had a "reset button". I hated mine. I had two of them and bot failed. Nice cameras but with age unreliable.
The 159MM was very nice, no bells and whistles and though it was primarily a back up camera for me I enjoyed it.
The RTSII was really nice and handled beautifully, gorgeous viewfinder and excellent build. Loved it. Wish I had kept it.
The ST was beautifully made but had a whining motordrive, worse than the 167MT. It also sported AAA batteries (if I remember correctly) and it was "almost there" but got edged out by the RX in my set up.
The RX (II) was my all time favorite; well built, nice handling and ergonomics coupled with a great viewfinder. It is the camera I miss the most from the film days, together with the RTSII.
The RTSIII; a technological masterpiece from that time. Inspiring build and handling, a little heavy though.
The S2 was very light and felt a bit flimsy but was nice to handle. The Aria felt like a step away from the sturdiness and heft of the RX/ST and RTS series. I didn't like the viewfinder and though it metered well I was disappointed with it. It felt "cheap". However it was like a modern 167MT, i.e. a 167;T without the quirks, I just wished they had kept the viewfinder of the 167MT.
I handled the AX with it's novel autofocus and "built in" macro and it was very well built but at that time I felt Medium Format was a small step up in heft from the AX.
Edited on Aug 05, 2012 at 08:47 PM · View previous versions