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Monday, April 4, 2011

New Used Camera

Which is more important: The camera body or the lens? Obviously it is very difficult to create any sort of photo without one or the other, but the camera body dictates very little of the effect of light on the film (or sensor). In this regard it is most definitely the lens which determines the quality of the final image. One could have a top-of-the-line $5000 DSLR with mega-megapixels, but with poor quality lenses you will still have poor quality images (which is fine if that is what you want).

This brings me to my latest acquisition: A Yashica FX-3 Super 2000. It is a bit dirty and even a bit rusty, but it works and I am very excited to have it for $30. The reason I am so excited is because this cheap little unassuming 35mm SLR uses the C/Y lens mount, the very same mount used for the Contax Ziess T* MM line of lenses. These lenses are known for their superb quality and design, comparable to even Leica.


I bought the Yashica even though I already have a Contax RTS III body, which is a wonderful camera, but it is big, heavy, expensive, and requires batteries (often). The Yashica is none of those; it is cheap ($30), small, light, and fully mechanical (only using a battery for a light meter). I feel like this little camera is one of the best kept secrets in photo equipment, I was very excited to find out about it. I thought I was going to have to wait until I could afford a Contax S2 to have a fully manual and mechanical body for Contax lenses.

While it is nice to have such a nice cheap body I can now throw around, I still can't throw it around as long as I use Contax lenses on it. It goes without saying the lenses are not cheap and it would be very regrettable to abuse them. Also, I only have one lens: a 50mm f/1.4 (the very basic). Right now I only hope to one day obtain a 85mm f/1.4 or a 28mm f/2, since currently I mostly use my Contax 645 medium format camera. I will likely be adding another lens to my kit for that soon.

I could go on and on about Contax gear, but for now I have a new toy to play with.