These two cameras are often described as sisters, meaning they are related by their core design, with outward differences and slightly changed performance. The following table is a comprehensive list of the differences. Where these relate to performance/construction (rather than control layout), those cells are highlighted.

 

Contax 139 Quartz Yashica FX-D Quartz
Top plate construction. Metal. Plastic impregnated with glass fibres.
Weight 500g. 460g.
Viewfinder brightness. Mirrored pentaprism results in the viewfinder being a bit brighter. Conventional pentaprism.
Viewfinder information. Selected aperture shown.  
Depth of field preview. Available.  
Reflex mirror An additional small pneumatic shock absorber makes the return of the mirror smoother.  
Shutter speed control. On the users left side surrounding the rewind crank. On the users right side surrounding the shutter release.
Shutter speeds available on Auto. Semi-continuously variable from 11 seconds to 1/1000th. Semi-continuously variable from 1 second to 1/1000th.
AE lock The lock switch must be held in the on position. The lock switch click-stops to the on position, and must be returned to the off position after use to prevent battery drain.
Self-timer. No audible warning. Has an audible warning, which sounds during operation.
Self-timer switch. Surrounding the self-timer LED. Surrounding the meter switch forming a stage of the AE lock setting lever.
Film advance The film advance lever employs a ball bearing that makes it smoother to operate.  
135° advance with 30° rest position. 130° advance with 20° rest position.
Multiple exposures. The exposure compensation lock also functions as a multiple exposure switch. When pushed and held forwards, the film advance lever will re-set the shutter without advancing the film or frame counter.  
Frame counter. Front of film advance lever. Right of film advance lever.
Film speed control. On the users right surrounding the shutter release. On the users left surrounding the rewind crank.
Film speed range. Max 3200 ASA. Max 1500 ASA.
Min 12 ASA. Min 25 ASA.
Flash photography With a dedicated TL-20 auto flash unit the correct exposure is determined by a second SPD that measures light off the film plane. With a dedicated CS-201 auto flash unit the correct exposure must be set manually.
Flash sync., terminal On the front left of the camera.  

 

Clearly these two cameras were designed to appeal to different markets. The Contax is the better specified camera, with more advanced features that will appeal to the discerning photographer, but I don't feel that makes the Yashica a poor man's Contax. I really like the Contax, but I also like the Yashica, with its more conventional control layout, and bright viewfinder.

Go back to the Contax 139 Quartz page.

Go back to the Yashica FX-D Quartz page.

FX-D and 139

FX-D and 139

FX-D and 139