35mm Auto-focus SLR that incorporates several 'World's First' features.
The Contax N1 incorporates 5-Point Wide Array Diagonal Focus System and Fine Focus ABC (Auto Bracketing Control) - technologies not found in any other camera system
5-Point Wide Array Diagonal Focus System enables the user to select the best focusing point for the shot.
When composing a shot the main subject is often either near the center of the frame or along diagonals drawn between the four corners. To allow for this the camera is fitted with a focusing system that measures the distance from the lens to these five vital points.
It can operate in two ways - Manual Select and Auto Select. In Manual Select mode you override the system to select one out of the five focusing points. In Auto Select you pre-select the camera focus area to All, Upper, Lower, Left or Right and the camera does the rest.
Fine Focus ABC (Auto Bracketing Control) allows the user to make minute adjustments by shifting the focusing point in three auto stages.
Professional fashion, portrait and nature photographers often make photos of the same composition, slightly altering the focusing point each time, to obtain ideal focus point. Using Fine Focus ABC in the manual mode, a series of pictures can automatically be made with the focusing point moved to several slightly different positions, normally not observed through the viewfinder.
The Contax N1 also introduces a Dual Focus Mechanism as an extension to the existing manual focus 35mm system. The new mechanism enables users to focus on the subject in a split second by switching between manual and autofocus modes. In AF mode, you simply turn the focusing ring, and the camera switches automatically from focus lock to manual focusing condition, enabling fine manual adjustments. In MF mode, you can switch to AF mode instantly by pressing the focus button. Using this focus mechanism it is possible to make delicate adjustments to the selected focus or, when photographing subjects that are unsuitable for AF, you can change the focus at will without the need to operate complicated switches. In both cases you can concentrate on composing the shot as the controls are positioned in such a way that they can be operated immediately, without the need to take the eye away from the viewfinder.
Another World's first is an optional FE-1 Liquid Crystal Display viewfinder (available Spring 2001) that attaches to the camera's eyepiece so you can preview composition and exposure. The brightness of the 1.5 inch square viewfinder's screen responds to changes made to the exposure, so you can make a visual check of the likely effects of exposure adjustments. The 330,000pixel CCD display screen switches between colour or black & white modes so even monochrome photographers can check the approximate appearance of the eventual photograph. The LCD Viewfinder is fitted with a shutter release and a cable so it can be used and positioned at a considerable distance from the camera, making it possible to do remote photography while checking the image on the screen.
The N1 is fitted with a focal-plane shutter with a maximum speed of 1/8000 second and a maximum flash sync speed of 1/250 second. To enhance the range of artistic effects achievable with the N1 we have also increased the range of adjustable aperture settings.
The camera's metering system divides the picture area into five independent sections and measures the light falling on each. You have the option of using matrix, center-weighted or spot metering patterns. It's possible, using matrix in conventional lighting situations or when using back lighting, to take pictures with virtually no further adjustment to the exposure. Center-weighted average metering is best selected for high-speed shots, while Spot metering allows you to make careful adjustments to exposure settings.
Exposure modes include aperture-priority, shutter-priority, program and manual plus TTL auto flash.
Flash photographers can take advantage of a Flash Auto-Set Function when attaching the optional TLA360 flash (350). This mode gathers data concerning the speed of the film, the aperture size and the lens focus, and displays them on the reverse of the flash unit, automatically adjusting the angle of the light in response to the lens focus. The balance between flash lighting and natural lighting can be corrected by adjusting the exposure settings on the flash independently of those on the camera body. Using this flash Auto-Set Function, flash lighting can be applied to a wider range of photographic situations and the camera and flash can be operated as a single, integrated system.
Twenty different custom functions can be tailored according to the users' preferences and an optional D-10 Multifunction Data-Back can be attached to record vital exposure information between the film frames.
Contax are launching four N-mount lenses - three with Ultra Sonic Motors - for use with the Contax N1 including the following:
Vario-Sonnar T* 24-85mm F3.5-4.5 (guide price of 1200)
Vario-Sonnar T* 70-300mm F4-5.6 (guide price of 1400)
Planar T* 50mm F1.4 (guide price of 650)
Makro-Planar T* 100mm F2.8 (guide price of 1400)
Two additional lenses will be launched in Spring 2001
Planar 85mm F1.4
Vario-Sonnar 17-35mm F2.8
Attach an optional NAM-1 Mount Adapter and all seven Carl Zeiss T* medium-format lenses from the 645 can be used. These include the following:
Distagon T* 35mm F3.5
Distagon T* 45mm F2.8
Planar T* 80mm F2
Apo-Makro-Planar T* 120mm F4
Sonnar T* 140mm F2.8
Sonnar T* 210mm F4
Tele-Apotessar 350mm F4
The N1 has a guide price of 2100 including the standard 24-85mm zoom lens.
Contax N1 specifications:
Type: 35mm focal-plane shutter type AF/AE single-lens reflex camera
Image size: 24 x 36mm
Lens mount: Contax N-mount
Shutter type: Vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
Shutter speed: Av, P: 32 seconds-1/8000 second; Tv, M: Shutter dial settings: 4 seconds-1/8000 second; Command dial settings: 32 seconds-1/8000 second
X: 1/125 second; Synchro settings X setting (synchronized at 1/250 second or less)Fitted with direct X setting and synchro terminal
Self-timer: Electronic with 2-10 second delay
Shutter release: Electromagnetic release mechanism fitted with exclusive release socket
Exposure control modes: (1) Aperture priority auto; (2) Shutter priority auto; (3) Program auto (4) Manual exposure (5) TTL auto flash
Metering system: TTL Matrix, Center-Weighted Average; Spot; switching mechanism
Metering range: EV 0-21 (matrix/center-weighed average metering); EV 3-21 (spot metering; based on 3mm diameter area in center of viewfinder)
Film speed coupling range: Auto with DX films from ISO 25 to 5000; ISO 6 to 6400 on manual setting
AE lock: Image brightness memory system
Exposure compensation: +/-2EV (in 1/2 or 1/3 increments)
ABC exposure mechanism: Exposure can be adjusted using the ABC lever
Adjustment range: +/- 0.3, +/- 0.5, +/- 1EV
Flash coupling control: TTL direct flash control
Flash synchronization: Shutter speed is automatically set when the dedicated flash unit is fully charged
Flash auto-set function: Available when used in conjunction with the Contax auto-set flash
Next-shot synchro: Available when used in conjunction with the Contax flash with function
Rangefinder type: TTL phase-difference detection method (5-point diagonal rangefinder)
Fine focus ABC mechanism: Automatic focus adjustment function using focus dial settings
Viewfinder: Fixed pentaprism, eye-level with long eye-point; field of vision 95%; magnification 0.73 (50mm standard lens at infinity and -ID diopter)
Dioptric adjustment: Internal dioptric adjustment mechanism adjustable from - 3D to + 1D; 2 different FM type diopter lenses (optional)
Focusing screen: Normally fitted with a whole-view matte FX-2; interchangeable with other FX-type screens
Viewfinder information: Focus frame, ABC exposure mark, ABC focus mark, film counter; self-timer time; ABC exposure and ABC focus sequence; number of multiple exposures; installed film status; light-meter mark; flash mark; focus display; aperture setting; shutter speed; exposure meter; exposure compensation setting; light-, exposure compensation mark; manual exposure mark
Display panel: Film counter; self-timer time; ABC exposure and ABC focus sequence; number of multiple; installed film status; focus frame selection display; exposure compensation setting (when exposure compensation dial is in the green position); multiple exposure mark; drive mark; battery status mark; aperture setting; shutter speed, film speed; custom functions
Film loading: Auto-loading type; winds automatically to the first frame
Film winding: Automatic winding with built-in motor
Film rewinding: Automatic rewinding with built-in motor (stops automatically when rewinding is complete); film can be rewound before end of film is reached
Drive modes: Single frame; continuous; self-timer (2 seconds, 10 seconds) Film Advance Speed: Maximum speed approximately 3.5 frames per second when in continuous exposure mode (C-mode) (with a new battery, at normal temperatures, measured by the camera's exposure criteria)
Film counter: Number of frames used Automatically shown in viewfinder and on display panel
Accessory shoe: Direct X fitting (with TLA flash-coupling connection)
Custom functions: See main text above
Battery: One 6 volt lithium battery (2CR5)
Battery check: Automatically shown in display panel
Rolls of film per battery: Approximately 24 rolls (with a new battery, at normal temperatures, measured by the camera's exposure criteria)
Others: Exposure check button; aperture button; supplementary AF lighting
Dimensions: 152 (W) x 116.5 (H) x 69 (D)mm
Weight: 795g (without battery)
Guide price inc 24/85mm Vario Sonnar 2099.99
Lens hoods Metal hood GB-75 (for use with Vario-Sonnar T * 70-300mm lens) Metal hood GB-76 (for use with Planar T * 50mm lens)
Hood GB-81 (built-in hood for use with Vario-Sonnar T * 24-85mm lens)
Metal hood GB-77 (for use with Makro-Planar T * 100mm
Viewfinder Liquid crystal viewfinder FE-1*2
Horizontal split FX-1
Whole-view matte FX-2 (supplied as standard)
Grid-view matte FX-3
Flexible case C-8
Lens case NCL-1 (for use with Vario-Sonnar T * 24-85mm F3.5-4.5)
Lens case NCL-2 (for use with Vario-Sonnar T * 70-300mm F4-5.6)
Lens case NCL-3 (for use with Planar T * 50mm F1.4)
Lens case NCL-4 (for use with Makro-Planar T * 100mm F2.8)
Multifunction data-back D-10
Battery holder P-9 (for use with AA-size or lithium batteries)
Mount adapter NAM-1 (for converting lenses fitted with the 645 N-mount)
Optional D-10 Multifunction Data-Back
The 390 D-10 Data-Back lets you record the date a photo is taken and add technical data concerning exposure. This is useful if you want to preserve and organise information on the type of photograph and exposure settings and compare the results with settings used.
The following info can be recorded on the first two frames of a roll of film:
Time, day, month and year the film was loaded
Camera used: 'N1'
Exposure data (exposure adjustment settings; shutter speed; aperture size; exposure mode)
Frame number (every five frames)
Time, day, month and year the film was rewound
One of four modes can be set to record info relating to individual photographs between each frame of the film. These are as follows:
1 Date (year, month, day; month, day, year; day, month, year; or day, hour, minute)
2 Exposure data (exposure adjustment settings; shutter speed; aperture size; exposure mode or two letters of text)
3 Counter number (four-digit cumulative counter and film counter) and two letters of text
4 User-entered six-digit number and two characters of text
You can also switch the back off so no information is recorded and it's equipped with a convenient timed exposure feature which is useful for time-lapse photography, etc.
NAM-1 Mount Adapter makes it possible to use medium-format lenses from the Contax 645 without making any adjustments.
With the 320 NAM-1 Mount Adapter, all Carl Zeiss T* lenses from the medium-format Contax 645 camera can be used on the N1 and their automatic aperture and auto focus will function without further adjustment.
The N1 makes use of the center of the lens, which is the most effective part of a medium-format lens so users are promised a level of quality exceeding that of lenses normally fitted to 35mm cameras. The mount will not work with older manual focus lenses which, unfortunately, cannot be used.
Fine Focus ABC cannot be used with lenses from the Contax 645.
N Digital Camera for Spring 2001.
Detailed specifications for the N Digital camera are not available at this time, but it is confirmed that it will utilize a six-million pixel sensor.
The N1 now proudly joins the family of Contax SLR's. But while the N1 system provides yet another option to photographers, the Contax tradition of allowing photographers to totally control their camera with manual focus will continue. It's all part of the Contax belief to allow each individual photographer to select the camera and lenses that provide them with the ability to express their creativity.
Having a custom function option allows photographers to set up the camera to perform to their tailored needs. The following 20 functions can be selected:
1 Power hold interval. The time to auto power off can be set to 4, 8, 12, or 16 seconds.
2 AE lock, activated by pressing the shutter button half way, can be turned on or off.
3 AE lock on the exposure check button can be switched on or off.
4 The shutter increment settings on the command dial can be set to 1.0Ev or 0.5Ev.
5 The exposure adjustment increment on the command dial can be set to 0.3Ev or 0.5Ev.
6 The Matrix light meter display can be adjusted to show (a) the divergence from Center-Weighted Average Metering (b) the divergence from Spot Metering (c) No display.
7 Order in which exposure settings are made (standard-over-under or over-standard-under).
8 ABC Focus Mechanism adjustment parameter (depth of field set to installed lens aperture or depth of field set to twice installed lens aperture).
9 ABC Focus Mechanism focusing mode (MF/SAF).
10 ABC Focus Mechanism (on/off).
11 Supplementary AF lighting (on/off).
12 AF audible focus signal (on/off).
13 Superimposed image when the shutter button is pressed half way (the focus frame flashes red for a moment: on/off).
14 Superimposed image when focus is achieved (on/off).
15 Automatic rewind (on/off).
16 End of film is left exposed when film is rewound (on/off).
17 Aperture button function toggle (aperture closes during time that button is depressed/aperture closes by a small amount each time button is depressed.
18 Rewind volume (normal/slow and quiet).
19 Focusing screen light metering adjustment (on/off (when focusing screen FX-1 is used).
20 Focus button function when focus switch dial is at 'M' (SAF/CAF)
CLE: Initialize of custom functions.