Contax Cameras UK Limited

35mm SLR - Aria - FAQ's

Q. I’m not certain that the Aria will perform up to the Carl Zeiss lens standard. Too much plastic, I’m afraid.

A. The Aria is a hybrid. This means that plastic is combined with metal construction. Plastic is used to encompass the film handling and electronic package areas of the camera. Aluminum alloy material is used to rigidly set the film plane, mirror assembly, focusing screen, pentaprism and lens mount precisely in location just as in any of the other SLR cameras. In short, the construction of the Aria conforms to optical requirements set out by Carl Zeiss for high performance.

Q. I see that Contax has introduced a new type of metering system on the Aria, what is Evaluative light metering?

A. Evaluative light metering, sometimes called segmented light metering is a system that breaks up the scene into five exposure areas. Then each is evaluated according to its location in the scene. Finally each is weighted according to a computer algorithm and integrated to produce a combination of shutter speed and f stop for exposure control. This new technology basically eliminates the need for exposure compensation because it weighs the brightness of back-light against the darkness of shadow and opts for over-exposing the highlight and preserving detail in the foreground.

Q. I see that the Aria has five pins on the hot-shoe for flash. What are they for?

A. Enhanced TTL Flash is the reason for the five pins. The basic TLA flash system uses, as you may know, 3 pins to achieve TTL flash metering. Those functions are preserved without change on the Aria, AX and RX, which all have the 5 pin flash system. One of the extra pins offers feedback on the LCD of the TLA-360 flash as to the set f stop on the lens. The other pin allows powering down the flash output for fill-flash with the TLA-360.

Q. Will all of my Carl Zeiss T* lenses work on the Aria?

A. All of the SLR lenses made since 1975 will fit and work, including AE and MM style lenses. AE lenses are limited to Aperture Priority and Manual Exposure Control while MM lenses can use all modes including Program and Shutter Priority (TV).

Q. The depth-of-field button on the Aria makes a whispy electronic type noise when I press the button, I thought depth-of-field previews were mechanical diaphragm closing mechanisms?

A. You’re right that the depth-of-field preview is a diaphragm closing mechanism but in the case of the latest Contax cameras, you’ll find that this function is now controlled electronically. The electronic type always stops the lens all the way down to the indicated f stop.


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