why do people have to buy new cameras? especially when the new cameras don't offer hardly any more?
Before I say anything, I'd suggest buying the system I like more than just need. You can make almost any high end camera do what you want, but if you don't enjoy it, it doesn't make you happy, or like they say with cars, if you don't turn in the parking lot and take a second look at it, then I'd keep looking.
The problem with a lot of cameras, especially, some of the older ones is the ability to find someone that has them all where you can test them in the way you work, or want to work.
That being said, I pretty much agree with Paul on "why new" in some instances.
I'm not a luddite and have been doing digital for a long period and don't long for times past, but with learning 10 camera menus, probably 50 programs, It may or may not have improved my photography, though it has positively eaten into a good 35% of my life.
It's funny, i've shot about a trillion images with the Canon's and Nikons and unless I use them for 2 days I still have to pause and think, oh yea that little wrench means __________. Each new model is just different enough to be a little less intuitive.
I can go months and not touch the Contax(s) but pick them up and start shooting in a minute.
Back on topic.
If you do consider a Contax be aware that the viewfinder with a prism is rather small, (kind of like the Mamiya) but if your shooting horizontal with a waist level finder it's quite large. Also the cameras never break on their own (at least my 4 haven't) but it's easy to break a few things, like always cover the rear curtain for the shutter or some assistant will stick a thumb through it and never travel with the prism on or pick the camera up by the prism because the little clips that hold it on will fracture and you won't get a decent connection and once you put a digital back on the camera, like all things digital everything must connect.
That's the downside, the upside is the lenses are brutal sharp, fast and the camera and lenses and inexpensive. You can buy backups cheap and if you look around you can find repairs when needed.
The only other downside is there is no fast 110 autofocus, like the H series. 110 to 120 is a sweat spot for a lot of our work and the macro works fine, but you have to manually focus and that's a skill set that is getting lost.
Also there are no leaf shutter lenses, but since 95% of our work is now with HMI's or fast strobes, the ability to sync fast doesn't concern me that much.
None of that matters to me because I like them, you'll find others with the same opinions of Rollei's, v series blads, RZ's and Fuji 680's. Along with Contax, these seem to be cameras people enjoy as cameras.