Contax T

Designed by Porsche, Carl Zeiss and Yashica in 1984 the Contax T is a camera of outstanding pedigree. Flexible metering, external flash for increased power and less red-eye, tack-sharp Zeiss lens and unlike the Minox 35 and Rollei 35 ranges you don't have to guess at focusing. Palm size and metal clad.

The Viewfinder is very bright; possibly the brightest and clearest finder Contax/Yashica ever made. It's not parallax-corrected (you can't have everything). The lens is a unit-focusing 38mm f/2.8(16) Sonnar T* (5-element) with a seven-blade aperture. It is T* multicoated. Minimum focus distance is 1m. DOF scale for f/8; dot for hyper focal distance. No filter thread. The shutter is a behind the lens type. All of this folds into the body. Exposure is aperture priority (8 sec to 1/500 sec). Self timer is on the camera body. Runs for years on two MS76 silver batteries.

The T is a tiny camera, barely wider than a film canister, a 35mm frame, and a tiny take-up spool. You take off the back to load, and the film goes under a swing-up pressure plate. Exposure counting is via a digital display, even though winding is by hand. The wind crank is flush with the body when it is closed. Weirdest of all, the normal exposure sensor becomes the flash sensor when you attach the special flash (which makes the T not so compact). Not to be missed is the synthetic ruby shutter release. Attention has to be paid to loading the camera, or you will get frame overlap (tolerances are very tight). Film must be tight on the take-up. You get 1000 ISO max, and no exposure lock, but you do get a 1.5EV button for backlight (also works for other things). As small as a Canon Ixus, more useful than a Rollei 35.

The body is either silver or black.

Specifications for the Contax T:


Type: 35 mm lens shutter, ultra compact AE camera
Negative size: 24 x 36 mm.
Lens: Sonnar T* 38 mm F2.8 lens (5-element, four­ lens group composition.). Aperture scale of 2.8 to 16. . Minimum focusing distance: I meter.
Shutter Type: Aperture priority AE type elec­tromagnetic shutter (8 to 1/500 sec.).
Synch Terminal: X-Contact (using dedicated elec­tronic flash), synchronizes at speeds slower than 1/125 sec.

Electronic type. . 10 second delay.

. LED flashes during countdown (accelerating 2 seconds before shutter release).

Shutter Release: Electromagnetic type.
Rangefinder: Coupled rangefinder of image merging type
Viewfinder: Reverse-Galilean finder with Albada type bright picture frame.
Viewfinder Display: Picture frame, focusing zone, self-timer warning lamp, 4 exposure LEDs (including overexposure warning, and TI4 AUTO flash-ready in­dicator function).
Metering System:   Aperture priority AE type (with SPD cell).  Metering range from EV 0 to EV 17. Film speed coupling range from ISO 25 to 1000. Backlight compensation of + 1.5 EV.
Film Advance:

Lever type, 120 degree setting angle, 10 degree rest.

Film Rewind:

Film rewind crank.

LCD Frame Counter:

Registers to 79; auto-resetting, additive type.

Body Cover:

Removable type, using release knob. Power Source: Uses two 1.55 V silver-oxide (SR44) or 1.5 V alkaline (LR44) batteries.

Power Switch: Switch coupled to front cover opera­tion. (When switched OFF, all camera functions ex­cept LCD frame counter memory will cease.) Exposure meter switch: Turned ON by pressing shutter release button part way (automatically turns OFF in 10 sec.).

98 (W) x 66.5 (H) x 32.5 (D) mm. (With lens retracted)


270 grams (without batteries).




Specifications for the T14 Auto Flash


Type: Dedicated electronic flash {for the Contax T. Guide Number: 14 (ISO lOO.m)

Flash control system: Output automatically controlled using on-camera sensor cell. Synchronizes at all aper­tures.

Camera Connection: Connects to camera side, coupl­ed via dedicated terminal.

Color Temperature: Equivalent to daylight. Recycling time: 7 seconds, using fresh alkaline bat­teries.

Number of Flashes: 250 flashes, using fresh alkaline batteries.

Power Source: Uses two 1.5 V type AA alkaline or

manganese batteries.    

Dimensions: 58 (W) x 66.5 (H) x 32.5 (D) mm. Weight: 70 grams (without batteries).


Ebay 2003/05/17 349EUR, 2003/07/01 350USD, 2003/12/10 350USD,  2004/01/21 395USD, 2004/02/01 405USD, 2004/03/05 212.50USD, 2004/03/11 287USD (flash set), 2004/04/10 307USD (with flash), 2004/11/04 169.58EUR (flash set), 2005/06/19 166.89EUR (flash set), 2005/07/05 375USD (flash set), 2006/03/14 305USD (crack on viewfinder glass), 2006/06/06 153.50USD, 2006/06/05 178.50USD, 2007/03/13 277.10USD (box), 2007/03/18 102EUR, 2007/03/21 245GBP (box), 2007/10/06 300USD (case), 2007/11/27 425.10USD (box), 2007/12/01 183.50USD (case black and Titanium), 2008/01/06 125EUR

Black 2007/08/07 325USD

Last updated 14th January 2008