Chinon CP-X

This is the full text and images from the manual. 

This camera manual library is for reference and historical purposes, all rights reserved.
This page is copyright by ,  M. Butkus, N.J.
This page may not be sold or distributed without the expressed permission of the producer

If you find this manual useful, how about a donation of $3 to:

M. Butkus, 29 Lake Ave., High Bridge, NJ 08829-1701

Most other places would charge you $7.50 for a electronic copy
or $18.00 for a hard to read Xerox copy.

This will help me to continue to host this site, buy new manuals, and pay their shipping costs.   
It'll make you feel better, won't it? 
If you use Pay Pal, use the link below. Use the above address for a check, M.O. or cash.


Click here to continue to PDF version


Welcome to the exciting world of CHINON photography! You have just purchased a fine camera that will give you many years of picture-taking pleasure. Your CHINON CP-X PROGRAM camera is one of the most sophisticated 35 mm SLR cameras available today. The CP-X PROGRAM incorporates programmed AE (Automatic Exposure), aperture priority kA, full manual control, and auto film speed setting system. Please read this instruction booklet carefully and thoroughly familiarize yourself with the equipment and its features.



Shoulder strap instructions

Lens mounting

Battery Installation

Battery testing

Film loading

Frame counter

Film advancement

Film speed setting


Viewfinder information

Programmed AE (Auto Exposure) mode ("P" mode)

Aperture Priority AE (Auto Exposure) photography

Manual photography

Shutter release and release lock

Unloading exposed film

AE lock system


Flash photography

"B" Bulb setting

Depth of field

Auto winder system

Infrared photography

Optional accessories

Care of the camera


1. Shutter release button

2. Exposure mode select dial/ shutter speed dial

3. Film advance lever

4. Film counter window

5. Self-timer LED

6. Shoulder strap eyelet

7. Self-timer/AE lock

8. Power grip attachment screw

9. Lens lock release lever

10. Power grip (battery compartment)

11. Accessory shoe (hot shoe)

12. Film rewind knob and back opening knob

13. Film speed dial (ISO)

14. Aperture ring

15. Depth of field scale

16. Focusing ring

17. Viewfinder eyepiece

18. Metal focal plane shutter

19. Film chamber

20. DX film contacts

21. Film rail

22. Film guide rail

23. Power source contact

24. Power winder electronic contacts

25. Tripod socket

26. Sprocket teeth

27. Take-up spool

28. Camera back

29. Film pressure plate

30. Power winder coupler

31. Rewind button


Type: 35 mm automatic compact SLR camera with TTL full aperture programmed AE (instant stop-down
    re-metering), Aperture priority kA, manual exposure system, and auto film speed setting.

Picture Format: 24 x 36 mm.

Lens Mount: CHINON universal bayonet mount ("K" type mount).

Mirror: Quick return mirror.

Shutter: Electromagnetically controlled focal plane shutter, stepless speeds from 1 sec. to 1/1000 sec.
    on automatic, maximum operation time at AE (A or P mode) is 8 seconds, 11 speeds from 1 to 1/1000 sec.
    on manual exposure. Electronically controlled automatic and manual

Shutter Release: Electromagnetic type shutter release with safety lock and provision for cable release.

Viewfinder: Fixed eye level pentaprism central split image with micro prism collar, 7 LED's indicate over/
    under and proper exposure, flash ready, program kA, aperture priority kA, and manual exposure mode.
    Slow shutter speed warning by blinking "OK" LED in viewfinder when the shutter speed is slower
    than 1/30 sec.

Viewfinder magnification: 0.87X (@50 mm, at infinity)

Viewfinder visibility: 92%

Exposure Meter: TTL center weighted full aperture system employing silicon blue cell.

Exposure Range: EV+ 1 (F1.4,1 sec.) to EV+ 19
    (F22,1/1000 sec.) @ ISO 100, F1.4/50 mm lens.

AE Lock: Built-in exposure memory lock

ISO Range: 25-5000 for DX-coded film with 1/3 EV segment.

    25-3200 for non-DX film with 1 /3 EV segment.

Film Advance: Single stroke in an arc of 130° with 25° stand off. Motorized film advance with optional
    power winder.

Film Loading: Multi-slot take-up spool type.

Film Rewind: By depressing the rewind button and cranking the rewind lever.

Film Counter: Automatically indicates number of exposure and resets to "S" when the camera back is

Self timer: Electronically controlled at 10 sec. with flashing red LED.

Accessory Shoe: Hot Shoe type with "X" sync and a contact for CHINON dedicated flash.
    "X" Synchronization: "X" flash sync at 1/100 sec. with dedicated flash (1/60 sec. with non-dedicated

Slow Synchronization: 1/60 sec. or slower at manual.

Power Source: Four 1.5 alkaline (LR44) or silver oxide (SR44, G13) batteries, or two 3 V lithium batteries (CR-1/3N). Power Hold System: 12 sec. in manual exposure mode.

Battery Check: Built-in with LED indicator.

Accessories: CHINON power winders, Dedicated flashes, Info Back-2 data imprinting unit, Auto Date data imprinting unit, Super multi-coated lenses, Deluxe carrying cases and many more.

Dimensions: 136(W) x 88(H) x 51(D) mm (5.35" x 3.46" x 2.01") Weight: 498 9 (17.57 oz)


Place the end of the shoulder strap through the retaining ring connected to the camera body lug. Fold the shoulder strap over the retaining ring. Place the end of the strap through the plastic retainer. Pull tight to secure. Thread the end of the strap through the metal buckle and pull tight to secure. Follow the same procedure on the other side of the camera (Fig. 1, 2)


Your CHINON CP-X program is equipped with a CHINON "K" bayonet mount which accepts all interchangeable lenses with the "K" bayonet mount. To attach the lens, match the red dot on the camera body with the red dot on the lens (Fig. 3). Then insert the lens into the camera body and turn it clockwise until the lens locks with a click. To remove the lens from the camera body, depress the lens lock release lever, turn the lens counter clockwise as far as it will go, and lift it up from the body (Fig. 4).

[Mike: note the 4 smaller batteries, 2 CR-1/3N can be used.


1. To remove the power grip from the camera body, turn the screw on the side of the power grip counter clockwise. (Fig. 5)

2. Place four 1.5 V alkaline batteries (LR44) or silver oxide batteries (SR44, G13), or two lithium batteries (CR-1/3N) as illustrated inside battery compartment. (Fig. 6)

3. Attach the power grip to the camera body by turning the screw clockwise to secure it.

NOTE: 1. Make sure that the batteries are inserted correctly i.e., check polarity (+ and - ). The shutter will operate only when batteries are correctly installed and not exhausted. When replacing batteries, replace all batteries at the same time.

2. If you do not use your camera for a long period of time, remove the batteries, and store in a dry location. This will prevent the possibility of battery leakage and damage to your camera.

1. Set the Exposure Mode Select Dial to the "P" position (Fig. 7).

2. Look through the viewfinder and depress the shutter release button halfway down to confirm at least one of LED indicators in the viewfinder illuminates (Fig. 8)

3. When nothing illuminates, replace the batteries with a fresh set or check to ensure the batteries are correctly installed.

NOTE: Battery testing cannot be accomplished with the exposure mode select dial set at the "L" or "B".


Pull up on the Film Rewind Knob until the Back Cover pops open (Fig. 9). Then insert the film cartridge into the Film Chamber with the protruding end of the cartridge positioned to the bottom of the camera. Push down the Film Rewind Knob and slightly turn the knob in either direction until it "seats" properly into the film cartridge spool (Fig. 10). Insert the trimmed end of the film into one of the slits on the Film Take-up Spool (Fig. 11).

Turn the Exposure Mode Select Dial to "1000" setting and advance the film while holding the film lightly down on to the transport sprockets. Release the shutter if necessary and advance the film until the sprockets engage with the upper and lower perforations of the film (Fig. 12)

Then close the camera back firmly until it locks with a click. Now turn the film rewind knob gently until all the slack is taken up and the rewind knob stops. Do not force or further rewind the film (Fig. 13). Advance the film and release the shutter three times (Fig. 14). The rewind knob should rotate counter clockwise as the film is advanced and the "1 " marking should appear in the frame counter window (Fig. 15).

Turn the Exposure Mode Select Dial to the desired position. A convenient memo holder is provided on the back of your camera. Whenever you load the film, just cut off the top of the film box and put in the memo holder as a reminder (Fig. 16).


Your CHINON CP-X program is equipped with a frame counter which displays the number of exposures made and resets automatically upon opening the camera back. At the very beginning, the counter shows "S" indicating the start of the picture taking process. When a film is loaded according to the procedure previously described, the counter displays "1 " indicating that the camera is ready for the first exposure. Every time the film advance lever is fumed the counter will proceed one stop forward. The number 24 and 36 are colored in orange to warn the end of commonly available films (Fig. 17).


When the film end is reached, the film advance lever may stop before the lever is fully turned. Do not force the lever. Stop winding at once and rewind the film. Refer to "UNLOADING EXPOSED FILM."


1. When using Decoded film: When using Decoded film, the film speed will be adjusted automatically no matter where the film speed dial is set. Applicable range of this auto film sensing system is ISO 25 to 5000.   When using non-DX code film: When using film other than DX-coded film, pull up and rotate the Film Speed Dial to align the appropriate ISO number with the index mark (Fig. 18). Applicable range of this feature is ISO 25 to 3200.
NOTE: Film of the same kind may or may not be DX-coded. Be sure to check DX symbol on the film box or DX information panel on the film cartridge before use.


At the center of the viewfinder is the split image with microprism collar which is then surrounded by ground glass. When the camera is in focus the image on these focusing aids becomes sharpest. While observing the subject through the viewfinder turn the lens focus ring until the upper and lower split images match up to form a uniform image (Fig. 19). This split image focusing is particularly helpful when the subject is dominated by vertical lines.

The microprism is also very helpful, when out of focus; the image on the microprism will appear to shimmer (Fig. 20). When the focus is properly set, the subject image will be sharply defined in the viewfinder. You can double check the focus setting by the image on the ground glass. You can also focus indirectly.

Actually measure or estimate the distance to the subject and set the lens focus ring to the appropriate setting (Fig. 21).


1. Program AE indication LED (green)

2. Aperture priority AE indication LED (red)

3. Manual exposure indication LED (red)

          4. Over exposure LED (red) 5. Correct exposure indication LED (green)

6. Under exposure LED (red)

7. Flash ready LED (red)
8. Split image
9. Microprism collar
10. Ground glass

Programmed AE (Auto Exposure) mode ("P" mode)

Aperture Priority AE (Auto Exposure) photography

Manual photography

Shutter release and release lock

Unloading exposed film

AE lock system


Flash photography

"B" Bulb setting

Depth of field

Auto winder system

Infrared photography

Optional accessories

Care of the camera


1. Programmed Exposure mode ("P" mode)
Your CHINON CP-X program camera automatically selects the most suitable combination of shutter speed and aperture for the optimum exposure. The programmed AE mode is ideal for general picture taking by permitting quick and easy shooting, eliminating troublesome exposure setting according to light
1. Set the Exposure Mode Select Dial to the "P" position (Fig. 22).

2. Set the lens at its minimum aperture (Fig. 23). This setting is color coded green on your standard 50 mm lens to match the green "P" setting on the Exposure Mode Select Dial. Accessory lenses should also be set at their minimum aperture.

3. While looking at the indicator scale in the viewfinder, slightly depress the shutter release button. The "P" and "OK" LED indicators light up (Fig. 24). Further pressure on the shutter button will release the shutter. * The "OK" LED will blink when the programmed shutter speed is slower than 1/30 sec. Use of tripod or flash unit is then recommended. II. PROGRAM characteristics

CHINON CP-X programmed AE characteristics are shown in the TABLE A. With a 50 mm F1.4 lens both shutter speeds and aperture vary to obtain correct exposures as lighting conditions fluctuate above EV 7 (Exposure Value 7): Below EV 7, only the shutter speed changes.

Unlike other program cameras, CHINON CP-X camera accepts any existing "K" mount lens even in the program mode. Generally, you should set the aperture at its minimum setting (largest number on f-stop aperture ring]. Although a perfectly exposed picture will result at any selected aperture setting, the program range is limited by not "stopping down" the lens to the minimum aperture. For example, using the 50 mm V1.4 lens with its f/stop set at 5.6, the camera is controlled by the program characteristics of f/1.4 through f/5.6. Beyond f/5.6, the camera is controlled by the aperture priority automatic exposure mode (See Table B).


After you have set the Exposure Mode Select Dial to "A" and selected the desired aperture, the camera will automatically select the stepless shutter speed from 1 sec. to a fast 1/1000 sec. "A" mode is convenient for taking pictures at specific aperture settings based on your individual needs.

1. Set the Exposure Mode Select Dial to the "A" position. Set the desired aperture by rotating lens aperture ring (Fig. 25).
2. When the shutter release button is depressed halfway, the exposure control circuit is energized and will be in the monitoring stage (Fig. 26). The "A" LED in the viewfinder will light up along with one of the LED's of "OK", or over/ under indication.
* OK" LED will light up when correct exposure is obtained. * If the lens F stop or the aperture size is too large for the lighting condition, the red over exposure indicator (ok) will blink (Fig. 27). When this happens, stop down the lens diaphragm by turning the lens F stop ring or use a film with a lower ISO number. Another alternative is to use an ND (neutral density) filter in front of the lens.

* OK" LED will blink when the shutter speed is slower than 1/30 sec. Use of a tripod is then recommended, or you can increase the shutter speed by opening the lens aperture.

* If the computed shutter speed is even longer than 1 sec. (semi-darkness condition), the under exposure indicator (a) will appear (Fig. 28). Open the lens diaphragm by turning the aperture ring or use a film with a higher ISO number, or use a flash.


You can manually control the CHINON CP-X when the camera is set to a preselected aperture or shutter speed. This program camera is equipped with a convenient "Power Hold Circuitry" - automatic shutoff after 12 seconds.

1. Set the required shutter speed on the dial (Fig. 29)

2. Set the required aperture on the lens. Depress the shutter release button until the meter activates and observe which mark is indicated in the viewfinder by an LED, so that correct exposure can be obtained (Fig. 30).

* There are two methods of selecting the correct exposure (M mode]

1. For shutter-priority selection: Set the required shutter speed. Lightly touch the shutter release button to activate the metering system. Rotate the lens aperture ring until correct exposure indication LED "OK" in the viewfinder stays lit (Fig. 31 ).

2. For aperture-priority selection: Set the required aperture on the lens aperture ring. Lightly touch the shutter release button to activate the metering system. Change shutter speed until the correct exposure indication LED "OK" in the viewfinder stays lit (Fig. 32).
* Other features at M mode

Power-hold circuitry:
When the shutter release button is pressed halfway down and then pressure is released, the camera circuitry stays on for 12 seconds. This permits convenient manual exposure metering without risk of accidentally taking a picture.


Your CHINON CP-X program camera features a two stage electromagnetic shutter release with safety lock. When the shutter release button is depressed halfway, the electronic circuitry starts functioning. When the button is fully depressed, it will trigger the shutter. Always hold the camera steady and gently depress the shutter release button to make an exposure. The position marked "L" on the exposure mode select dial is the shutter release safety lock position. When this is aligned with the index mark, the batteries are disconnected from the circuitry and an exposure cannot be made (Fig. 33). This position is also used when the camera is not to be used for a long time.


When the film in the camera is fully exposed, the film advance lever will stop. Do not attempt to force the lever any further but rewind the film and replace with a new one. Push in the rewind lock release button at the bottom of the camera (Fig. 34). Unfold the rewind crank of the rewind knob. Turn the rewind crank clockwise (Fig. 35). You will feel friction as the film is rewound from the camera, back into the film cartridge. Suddenly, when the film is rewound completely, the friction decreases and the rewind crank will turn with

Then pull up on the rewind knob to open the camera back (Fig. 36). When the camera back is opened, the frame counter will automatically reset to "S". The rewind lock release button on the bottom of the camera will pop out to the normal position when the film advance lever is advanced again. Your exposed film should be processed without delay.


This camera has an AE Lock system. Under normal circumstances your CHINON CP-X program camera will produce perfectly exposed photographs, due to the integrated automatic exposure circuitry. However, some lighting conditions might occur that could mislead the system, such as subjects with a very high contrast or strongly back-lit scenes. In such cases, the exposure memory feature should be used.

1. Make sure that the Exposure Mode Select Dial is set to the "A" position (Fig. 37).

2. Press down the Self-timer/AE lock switch to the "AEL" position (Fig. 38).

3. Look through the viewfinder and center your subject in the split microprism center spot, and depress the shutter release button halfway. "A" LED in the viewfinder will blink (Fig. 39). The exposure will be memorized as long as the shutter release button is halfway depressed (Fig. 40).

4. Focus and compose the subject in the viewfinder as you desire, then press the shutter release button all the way to take the photograph.

NOTE: Be sure to return the Self-timer/AE lock switch to the normal position (kA) after use.

* When the exposure mode select dial is set to the program mode "P", the exposure will not be memorized.


Your CHINON CP-X program camera is equipped with an electronic self timer with a red LED indicator. The built-in self-timer electronically delays the shutter release for ten seconds. The camera should be mounted on a firm support during self-timer operation. To activate the self-timer, place the self-timer switch to the upper position and depress the shutter release button (Fin. 41). You will notice the red self-timer LED blinking and two seconds before the shutter release the flashing frequency will increase giving you or your audience time to smile. The self-timer may also be utilized for releasing the shutter at low shutter speeds when a cable release is not available. If you decide not to use the self-timer, you can cancel it even after it started to operate. Just return the self-timer switch to the normal position for cancellation.

NOTE: When utilizing the self-timer with the exposure mode select dial set at "P" or the "A", it is recommended to block the viewfinder with an eyepiece cover or similar item to prevent extraneous light from interfering with the automatic exposure system of the camera (Fig. 42).


Your CHINON CP-X program camera is designed with a unique flash system, making flash photography simple. The CP-X gives a wide range of flash use, such as X sync at fast 1/100 sec., flash photography at slower speeds is also possible.

1. Mount a CHINON dedicated flash to the camera (Fig. 43). Set the f- stop indicated on the exposure calculator dial of your CHINON flash to the corresponding aperture ring on the lens. Set the exposure select dial to the "A" position (Fig. 44).

2. A few seconds after your CHINON flash is turned to the "ON" position, the flash ready light will illuminate. When the flash has reached adequate power, the camera's shutter speed is automatically set to the 1/100 sec. flash sync speed, and the flash ready LED (red) in the viewfinder will light up.

3. With the exposure mode select dial set at "A", after the picture has been taken and before the flash has recycled, the camera will automatically switch to the automatic exposure mode until the flash has once again

Slow Synchronization (Manual
Mode Flash Photography)

If you desire to synchronize at a speed slower then 1/100 sec., set the desired shutter speed by turning Exposure Mode Select Dial (Fig. 45). The shutter will be released at the selected speed. Set the aperture as
indicated by the flash unit.

NOTE: When the shutter speed faster than 1/100 sec. is set with dedicated flash, the shutter speed will be automatically set to 1/100 sec. after the flash is fully charged. Other electronic flash units can be utilized with your CHINON CP-X program camera. When using non-dedicated automatic flash units, set the Exposure Mode Select Dial to the "60" position. This sets the correct shutter speed (1/60 second) on your camera for flash photography with non-dedicated flash units (Fig. 46).

NOTE: It is advisable to use only CHINON dedicated flash units or units designed specially for use on CHINON cameras.


The B setting is used for shooting night scenes or long time exposures. Set the Exposure Mode Select Dial to the "B" position (Fig. 47). The shutter and mirror will move to the open (up) position while the Shutter Release Button is depressed. Use of a cable release and a tripod is recommended for stability to prevent camera movement during the time exposures.


Depth of field designates the nearest and furthest limits of the area that will be sharp in the picture in front of and beyond the subject. Depth of field is controlled by f-stop. The larger the lens opening (f/stop), the shallower is the depth of field. The smaller the lens opening, the greater the depth of field will become (Fig. 48, 49).

Depth of Field Scale:

The depth of field scale indicates (after focusing) the approximate area that will be sharp in the picture. Locate on the depth of field scale the corresponding pair of f/stop figures. The distance between these two V stop figures on the focusing ring will be the area of the sharpness in your picture (Fig. 50).


The CHINON CP-X optional Power winder system features the World's First "Single Power Source System". When equipped with CHINON Power Winders (PW-600, PW-610), the camera's power source is supplied from the power winder. This system is extremely convenient when photographing in cold weather. When using the PW-600 winder it is possible to shoot continuously for a predetermined amount of frames (up to 24 exposures), at intervals of your choice (up to 30 seconds) (Fig. 51).

NOTE: To attach a CHINON Power Winder to the camera power, the power grip (battery compartment) has to be removed from the camera body. Before attaching the winder, wipe the contact points on both the camera and the winder with a dry cloth.


The infrared index mark is a way to correct the focusing point when you use infrared film with red filters. Since infrared light rays have a longer wave-length than visible light rays, after focusing normally on the subject, you have to set that distance against the infrared index mark.

Taking Infrared Photographs

1. Attach a red filter, and focus on the subject.
[Mike: the red filter only applies to Black and White IR film, not the color film.]

2. Reset the indicated distance on the lens to the infrared index mark (Fig. 52). According to the instructions enclosed with the film, set the f-stop and shutter speed and release the shutter. Infrared light rays are invisible to the eye and the camera's light meter, so refer to the instructions with the film for setting the f-stop number and shutter speed. (The automatic exposure system in your camera can not be used.)


INFO BACK-2 (DP-520), INFO BACK (DB-010):
Accessory data back featuring electronic imprint of up to 30 characters (alpha or numeric) of information onto your negative or slide, via a compact 3f3 button digital control panel. Built-in memory feature will continuously imprint the same message or you can change the information as you like. Info Back-2 (DP-520) deluxe accessory data back incorporates the feature of LCD readout via built-in monitor window.

AUTO DATE Quartz Digital Data Imprinting Unit (AD-510)
Accessory data back featuring electronic imprint of year, month, day or hour, minute directly on your negative or slide. Data automatically resets until year 2019.

When used with the optional CHINON Remote Control Set and optional power winder, you can operate the CP-X camera from up to 100 feet away.

AUTO FOCUS LENS 35-70mm F3.3-4.5 AF ZOOM
CHINON Auto-Focus lens focuses the subject via active infrared beam. The subject is focused at pin-point sharpness even under extremely low or no light situations and/or low contrast situations. And since the lens have their own built-in auto focus button' you can use the lens on any "K" mount cameras.


× Standard Lens:  50mm f/1.4 multicoated; 50mm f/1.7 multicoated; 50mm f/1.9  multicoated

17mm f/3.5 multicoated

28mm f/2.8 multicoated

35mm f/2.8 multicoated

Telephoto lenses

135mm t/2.8 multicoated

300mm f/5.6 multicoated

500mm f/8 reflex type

Zoom Lenses

28-70mm f/2.8-4.2 multicoated MACRO

35-80mm f/3.5 - 4.8 multicoated MACRO

35-105mm f/3.5~4.5 multicoated MACRO

75-200mm W~4.8 multicoated MACRO

75-300mm f/5.6 multicoated MACRO

× Auto Focus Lens 35-70mm f/3.3 - 4.5 multicoated

Accessory Power Winder (PW-600, PW-610)

INFO BACK 2 (DP-520)

Auto S-180 flash
Auto S-200 Hash
Auto S-240 flash
Auto S-250 flash
Auto S-280 flash
Auto S-300 flash
Auto S-360 flash
Auto S-480 flash
Wireless Remote Control Set for Power Winder
Svnchro-eye for Flash (Slave Unit)
Filter (Skylight, UV, Y2, ND4X, PL)
Rubber eyepiece
Eyepiece Adapter (-3, +1 , +3) Angle Finder
Rubber Lens Hood
Auto Extension Ring Bellows
Mini Copy Stand Table Tripod
Cable Release (13 inch) Remote Control Unit
Spare Ring for Mini Copy Stand Deluxe Carrying Case
Neck Strap
Lens Mount Cap
Body Cap
Eyepiece Cover


Your CHINON CP-X program single lens reflex camera is a precision instrument. Used with care, it will provide years of trouble free service. Protect your camera from dirt, dampness, and excessive heat. Avoid touching the lens. To clean the lens, wipe it gently with a soft lintless cloth or lens tissues. Do not use eyeglass tissues as they might damage the lens coating.