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The amazing Contax SL300RT*

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Old Wednesday 6th October 2004, 22:25   #201
christineredgate
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There seems to be a problem with obtaining Contax accessories in the USA.I have just posted one of the adaptor rings to one of our USA members,who was unable to find anything from Contax in America.
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Old Thursday 7th October 2004, 20:08   #202
Ian Mckerchar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelboustead
I am considering purchasing a digital camera for birding trips and general use. Contax is coming out with a 4mp version of the SL300 which I am considering. I currently use a Zeiss 65mm spotting scope with a 23x lens. If I were to purchase a lens plus adapter(28mm) would I be able to attempt to digiscope? I don't think that the Contax has a cable release. How do you take pictures without one?

Appreciate any help.

Mike
Yes the combination of Contax and Ziess with a 23x lens should work very well, but if possible always attempt to test it out for yourself at a suitable supplier, I tested mine by taking my own scope/eyepice to the shop and trying the camera there. The Contax comes with a 28mm threaded lens adapter which will allow it to fit onto the eyepice/camera adaptor. As for the cable release, Pennine in Rochdale do a very petite and simple cable release which I tried out and worked great, for 40.

Cheers, Ian.
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Old Friday 8th October 2004, 13:15   #203
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Hi Mike
Yes - the cable release supplied by Pennine is actually made for the Contax and it is excellent.
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Old Sunday 17th October 2004, 17:31   #204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bright
I have just spent a couple of hours with the Contax SL300T*, and to say I'm impressed with it's digiscoping abilities is an understatement.

This camera is absolutely tiny compared to the Nikons at 100mm wide, 62.5mm heigh and a depth of an amazing 2mm. Weight is 125g, so around 1/3 of the weight of a cp995/4500.....................
Hi Andy,
I've just joined the forum and I'm not sure if this is the correct way of contacting you. I'm sure you'll tell me if it isn't....
I've read your article on the Contax SL300RT and it's obvious from your enthusiasm that this is a setrious contender in the digiscoping area. What worries me is the relatively short life of its battery (750mAH). I think you mention the possibility of using an external Contax battery pack and I think you said you loaded it with 4 AA cells. Well given the power consumption of the SL300RT this should last a fair time even with the LCD monitor constantly on. Can you tell me who these are available from because I've searched the net and can't be sure if I've found the right product at all. The input for the camera is 3.7v from a Lithium ion battery. From your quote I can see how to get 3v and 4.5v. Have you any figures on the min/max useable voltage with this camera?
Many thanks,

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Old Wednesday 27th October 2004, 20:08   #205
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Question Vignetting with Leica APO 77

Hi there

Please could anybody tell me what the vignetting is like on the Leica Apo77 with a x20W and x30W with the ContaxSL300RT when used with the Eagleeye adaptor?

Many thanks

Dave Hawkins
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Old Wednesday 27th October 2004, 21:39   #206
christineredgate
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Dave,I have used the Contax with a 30x eyepiece on a Swar scope and there was no vignetting.
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Old Wednesday 27th October 2004, 22:25   #207
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I am considering getting the new U4R when it becomes available, but the one question I have is about how sturdy the adapter for the 28mm threaded hood is. I know the camera is pretty light, so maybe it doesn't have to be all that sturdy. But I would probably feel better about it if it were made out of metal like the hoods on the 990/995/4500. Can anyone who has used the SL300RT share their experiences with the adapter?
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Old Thursday 28th October 2004, 15:56   #208
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Hi jonege
Have had no problems at all with the little plastic adapter apart from the time when I left the camera on the scope whilst I moved to another site and it fell off! luckily it survived and there was no damage - but it really isn't any trouble to take it on and off the scope.
The only problem I did have with the adapter was that I could not get it off my Eagle Eye once I had fitted it. Again - that wasn't a problem I have just left it attached - as I only use the Contax with the EE adapter.
Cheers
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Old Thursday 28th October 2004, 19:34   #209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonege
I am considering getting the new U4R when it becomes available, but the one question I have is about how sturdy the adapter for the 28mm threaded hood is. I know the camera is pretty light, so maybe it doesn't have to be all that sturdy. But I would probably feel better about it if it were made out of metal like the hoods on the 990/995/4500. Can anyone who has used the SL300RT share their experiences with the adapter?
Hi jonege I have been using the Contax for about 2 months now and fully endorse Kim's comments Do Not Leave camera attached whilst moving from location to location it is not stable enough and only takes a half turn to remove. The way to get round the Contax adaptor sticking to the adaptor is to coat the threads in vaseline mine screws of easy.

Pete
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Old Thursday 28th October 2004, 20:15   #210
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Kim and Pete,

Thanks for your replies. That is very helpful. I have the Swarovski DCA and intend to use that, and I don't think I will care if the adapter gets stuck to that, as that is the only adapter I will be using it with. But I will still probably follow Pete's suggestion if I get the U4R. Thanks again.

George
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Old Friday 10th December 2004, 12:52   #211
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Contax 300 RT External Battery

I note that the Contax 300 uses a 3.7 V Li-ion battery. I think that this means that the usual Maplin external battery solution (L56AN) will not be ideal. Although the battery might power the camera my guess is it will have to dissipate the surplus voltage internally which will result in extra heat being generated within the camera. This is not desirable. Also, it means that the full specified Ampere-hours will not be realised. So far I have not found anything more suitable, but I will keep looking. Any comments?
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Old Monday 5th December 2005, 16:51   #212
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Bump!

Would a Contax SL300R outperform a Kyocera SL400R due to its better lens?

If so , does anyone know if the Opticron cradle mount and shutter release bracket that fit the SL400R would fit the Contac SL300R ?

Rob
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Old Monday 5th December 2005, 17:01   #213
Andy Bright
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Smallwood
Bump!

Would a Contax SL300R outperform a Kyocera SL400R due to its better lens?

If so , does anyone know if the Opticron cradle mount and shutter release bracket that fit the SL400R would fit the Contac SL300R ?

Rob
I'm pretty sure their physical build is identical.

I don't think anyone, including myself got to the bottom of the Zeiss lensed Contax vs the Kyocera... certainly nothing dramatic if any (may make slight difference in extreme conditions?)
btw: I see you're cornering the market in sl400's some great buys out there.

cheers,
Andy
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Old Monday 5th December 2005, 17:01   #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Smallwood
Bump!

Would a Contax SL300R outperform a Kyocera SL400R due to its better lens?

If so , does anyone know if the Opticron cradle mount and shutter release bracket that fit the SL400R would fit the Contac SL300R ?

Rob
Hi Rob,

I don't think anyone ever got to the bottom of that one. Contax claim it does - better lens, internal details plus software tweaks (I was reading their US website this week as a matter of fact), but in practice no one has really been able to tell the difference. The SL400 is of course a 4mp camera rather than the 3.2mp of Contax, and that may have an impact, particularly if you print large pictures.

Anything that fits the SL400 should fit the Contax though (externally they are essentially the same) - however, I haven't tested one so hopefully someone who has can confirm.

Still an amazing camera btw - great digiscoping, great 'normal' camera, OK movie capability, and it fits in my back pocket. Needs a battery pack for digiscoping though - battery life is shocking in the cold (just a couple of minutes). And a very high speed sd card for high res movies as I found this week.
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Old Monday 5th December 2005, 18:58   #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bright
btw: I see you're cornering the market in sl400's some great buys out there.

cheers,
Andy
Thanks Andy, and yes you are right, there are some great bargains out there, if you know where to look!

Rob
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Last edited by Rob Smallwood : Monday 5th December 2005 at 19:01.
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Old Monday 5th December 2005, 19:00   #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornet
Hi Rob,
Still an amazing camera btw - great digiscoping, great 'normal' camera, OK movie capability, and it fits in my back pocket. Needs a battery pack for digiscoping though - battery life is shocking in the cold (just a couple of minutes). And a very high speed sd card for high res movies as I found this week.
Spot on! I'm really enjoying my SL400R - as you say, compact, versatile and even a novice like me can get some reasonable photos!

I'm only using a 256 card at present but even so it is pretty good - I've a belting short video of the Anglesey Green Heron catching a tiddler!
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Old Sunday 1st January 2006, 16:25   #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Smallwood
Bump!

Would a Contax SL300R outperform a Kyocera SL400R due to its better lens?

If so , does anyone know if the Opticron cradle mount and shutter release bracket that fit the SL400R would fit the Contac SL300R ?

Rob
I'm entering this thread late, sorry. I own both cameras, and I much prefer the Contax. The main reason is that the battery life seems WAYYYY superior. The battery life with the SL400R is really pathetic. I guess if you get a third-party add-on battery that difference is negated. The body of the Contax actually is a bit thicker/larger than the Kyocera, so they actually can't share all accessories.

In terms of results, I have found that the color rendition of the Contax is a bit cleaner; it's really a terrific performer. The Kyocera is certainly good, though.

The one advantage I've noted with the Kyocera is that the controls are a bit easier to navigate. The Contax has a kind of "joystick" system that sometimes is finicky.
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Old Sunday 1st January 2006, 17:49   #218
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Thanks
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Old Sunday 1st January 2006, 19:17   #219
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Whoops, my mistake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Smallwood
Thanks
Well, before you thank me. . . I made an error. The Contax camera I have is the U4R, not the SL300. So in terms of the comparison I was supposedly making, "never mind." I guess I've been using the U4R so much without thinking about it that the model number kind of flew away out of my head.

But the U4R is indeed a very good camera, albeit at this point highly overpriced.
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Old Sunday 1st January 2006, 20:02   #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Greenberg
Well, before you thank me. . . I made an error. The Contax camera I have is the U4R, not the SL300. So in terms of the comparison I was supposedly making, "never mind." I guess I've been using the U4R so much without thinking about it that the model number kind of flew away out of my head.

But the U4R is indeed a very good camera, albeit at this point highly overpriced.

The problem with the U4R is that there is no power input socket, so you really have to have a few of those batteries spare!
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Old Saturday 14th January 2006, 17:21   #221
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Question cANON A95 or Contax SL 300r

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bright
I have just spent a couple of hours with the Contax SL300T*, and to say I'm impressed with it's digiscoping abilities is an understatement.

This camera is absolutely tiny compared to the Nikons at 100mm wide, 62.5mm heigh and a depth of an amazing 2mm. Weight is 125g, so around 1/3 of the weight of a cp995/4500

It many ways it's like a tiny cp990/995/4500 with a similar design of a rotatable lens section (or rotatable monitor section, whatever way you want to look at it) and the lens is of an internal focusing design like the Nikons. The lens on the Contax is 3x (5.8-17.4mm or 38-115mm in 35mm speak). The ccd is a 3.34mp design, so the same as the cp990/995.

The good news for digiscopers is that the camera comes with a 28mm thread, courtesy of a tiny clip-on adapter... so a typical digiscoping adapter fits straight on. Although the adapter is plastic, it hardly needs to be metal as it's only supporting a 125g camera.

O.K. so what is special about this camera (other than it's size and that it's in production right now, unlike the Nikon cp4500).... 3.5fps until your card is full, Shutter lag that's .07sec and start-up time of less than a second!!!

Forgetting the above specs.... after an hour or two it's sunk in to me that this camera takes good digiscoped photos far more consistantly than my previous cameras have. Every shot has been sharp and I have absolutely no trouble judging focus on it's monitor (1.5 inch and extremely clear). Oddly enough, depth of focus seems greater on this camera than other... possibly a smaller ccd than usual? maybe smaller lens than usual? Whatever the reason, this means focusing doesn't need to be quite as critical for a sharp subject.

There isn't too much in the way of manual controls... but aperture priority is there, so no problem.

Minor quibbles are inevitable, cameras are made for a mass market and not digiscopers! No tripod socket on underside, so cable-release cannot be connected (although my photos have been surprisingly sharp with just a finger on the shutter button today). Internal battery (it is small!!) doesn't power the camera for long, though Contax can supply extra batteries. SD cards need to be used (and fast ones for 3.5fps)

No bird photos today, but I'll get some from this camera in the next day or two.

Hi Andy
You were very impressed with the Contax. Many members also seem to like the Canon A95 which is much heavier but would the Canon A95 be superior as regards picture quality I would be wanting to use it with an Optricon ES80 scope. How do the add-ons such as adaptors, and cable release compare and also battery life? I think this site is fantastic. I am relatively new to this site and obviously posted a message incorrectly last night. Sorry!!
Kiskadee

Last edited by kiskadee : Saturday 14th January 2006 at 20:31. Reason: Asked a silly question!!
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Old Friday 10th March 2006, 15:45   #222
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I've just got hold of a Contax SL300R and am considering using it in place of my Kyocera SL400R - especially as the cradle etc fit.

I know that the jury is out on comparing the results of the Contax 3.2 MP with the Kyo's 4MP (although anecdotally I think that there is evidence that the Contax with its better lens wins).

What I am really interested is what basic settings do people use on the Contax - are they the same as I would have used on the Kyo ?

Rob
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