In July, 2015, I shot a roll on a Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 with a Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 lens. My only issue at the time was with the out of focus shots I got with it where I thought I had the focus correct. I had been looking for a Contax body that wasn’t expensive so I could try again with that lens, and found this Contax Aria.

The feature set of the Aria is pretty nice – all it’s missing is autofocus compared to newer Nikon and Canon SLRs. The top shutter speed is 1/4000. With a newer Zeiss lens, you can use any of the PASM modes that are available. Since my 50mm is older, I can select either P, which is the same as Av (aperture priority), or M. In manual mode, the LCD display in the viewfinder shows me if I’m under or overexposed, and by how much. There’s also a reminder in that display of what metering mode is selected – evaluative, center-weighted, or spot. For this roll, I used evaluative or center-weighted. Film ISO is set via DX coding, or you can override it. There are also options for drive mode since the camera advances the film with each shutter trigger. There’s also a dedicated dial for exposure compensation +-2. Focus in the viewfinder is clean with a split center that is surrounded by a microprism circle.

Overall I liked the results better on this round, although at f/1.4, the lens is prone to some halo rendering; this goes away at f/2. I did get more shots in focus on the roll as well than I did with the Yashica. About half of the images were taken at f/1.4-2.8.

Contax Aria
Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4
Kodak Gold 200