Contax T3

Ebay 06/11/22 500USD (with databack), 06/11/22 240.01GBP (case), 2006/11/22 690USD (case), 2007/03/18 437EUR (box), 2007/03/19 520USD, 2007/08/07 530USD, 2007/08/10 234GBP, 2007/08/20 488USD, 2008/01/02 465USD, 2008/01/07 723USD, 2008/01/28 652.99USD, 2008/01/30 570USD

Kyocera Corporation (President: Yasuo Nishiguchi) announces the release of the Contax T3, a deluxe compact camera equipped with a Carl Zeiss T* lens for superbly accurate photographic depiction. The new model is the successor to the Contax T2, a history making product that established single-handedly the new "deluxe compact camera" category.

The Contax T3 ultra-compact camera, covered in a titanium shell with a newly developed Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm F2.8 lens. The newly designed Sonnar lens provides overwhelmingly superior image quality in keeping with Contax T tradition. The lens offers excellent contrast and greater relative illumination across the image area while reducing distortion. The double between-the-lens shutter system offers top shutter speeds never before found in such a compact camera this size. The five blade aperture diaphragm provides an almost perfectly round lens opening for accurate and consistent exposures.

To enhance the focusing accuracy of the Contax T3, a sophisticated five-point passive auto focus system provides accurate focus down to 1.1 feet. For even greater flexibility, the T3 offers manual focus and infinity lock for situations that demand manual focus capabilities.

While compact, lightweight and agile, the Contax T3 does not compromise on features or speed. Often used modes are easily accessed via a mode selector for exposure compensation, self-timer, longer exposures up to 180 seconds and manual focus. With a top shutter speed of 1/1200 of a second in Program AE and 1/500 of a second in Aperture Priority AE, the photographer can freeze action at a moments notice to capture the decisive moment or control depth of field for creating the perfect mood or effect.

Amazingly small enough to fit into a pocket, to use at anytime and anywhere, the Contax T3 is a camera that will travel with you. Housed in a flawless titanium shell for beauty and durability for those who demand the best in protection of an optical instrument. The superior Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm F2.8 lens is shielded by an automatically activated lens cap system to protect the lens from dirt and damage. Gracing the titanium shell are glass viewfinder windows for the ultimate in durability and clarity, while the oversize multi-crystal sapphire shutter button provides the ultimate feel in shutter release response. For camera status, the sizable liquid crystal display delivers constant information on flash mode, battery power and frame number.

The T3 offers seven custom functions for unparalleled flexibility in the photographic experience. The photographer may chose from the following custom selections:

  1. Film leader status after rewind (leader in/leader out)
  2. Lens extension time (lens extension on shutter release/on focus lock)
  3. Exposure compensation hold time (1 frame only/until camera is turned off/until setting is canceled)
  4. Exposure compensation steps (1/3 EV/1/2 EV)
  5. AFL button function (focus lock only/focus and AE lock)
  6. Focus lock hold time (AFL button) (1 frame only/until camera is turned off)
  7. Manual focus hold time (until camera is turned off/until setting is canceled)

For flash photography, the T3 offers the photographer five flash modes, allowing them to set their most often-used setting or to change from one mode to another at any moment.

Optional accessories include quartz data back, filter adapter for use with 30.5mm filters and SA-2 Flash Adapter for increasing flash distances with an accessory flash unit.


The original Contax camera, based on the product concept of "a small, lightweight, easy-to-carry, compact camera offering superbly accurate photographic depiction" and designed by the Porsche Design Group, was released by Kyocera in 1984. It was followed in 1990 by the Contax T2, which inherited the same product concept, was made of the finest materials, and featured fully automatic operation. The Contax T2 turned out to be a big hit, racking up total sales of more than 220,000 units and earning plaudits from users as the founder of the "deluxe compact camera" product category. The new Contax T3, a deluxe compact camera that uses 35 mm film and is equipped with a fixed-focus lens, carries on the proud tradition of its predecessors.

In terms of reproduction of contrasts and ambient light, the Contax T3 surpasses the Contax T2 in the photographic excellence of its lens. It also boasts superior basic specs, such as shutter speed. At the same time, it is 20% smaller and lighter than the Contax T2. Ease of use has been improved through the addition of an aperture dial and AF lock button on the top of the camera, and its classy appearance is enhanced by the use of a titanium cover and a high-grade hard glass viewfinder. This deluxe compact camera is a joy to use and a delight to carry.

Main Features of the Contax T3
1. Newly Developed Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35 mm, F2.8 Lens for Photographic Depiction Superior to the Contax T2

The Contax T3 is equipped with a Sonnar T* 35 mm, F2.8 lens developed by Carl Zeiss expressly for the T3. This lens exceeds Sonnar T* 38 mm, F2.8 lens of the Contax T2 in photographic excellence. The Sonnar T* 35 mm, F2.8 lens provides superb reproduction of contrasts and ambient light up to the edges of the frame with virtually no distortion. It also exits the excellent brightness, color reproduction, varied gradations, and attractive soft focus that are the hallmarks of Carl Zeiss lenses.

In addition, the Contax T3 features a five-blade aperture diaphragm that forms an opening that is nearly a perfect circle.

2. High-performance Lens Mounted in Compact Body Smaller and Lighter than the Contax T2 (Dimensions: 105 (W) x 63 (H) x 30.5 (D) mm, Weight: 230 g)

Kyocera made the Contax T3 more than 20% smaller and lighter than the Contax T2 to make it even easier to carry around anywhere.

It is also equipped with a high-performance, bright (F2.8) lens to enable users to create photos that are truly works of art.

Note: Contax T2 dimensions: 119 (W) x 66 (H) x 33 (D) mm, weight: 295 g

3. Highly Accurate Auto Focus System -- Selectable Between Highly Accurate Multi-passive Auto Focus System and Distance Setting Type Manual Focus

The multi-type passive auto focus system of the Contax T3 provides extremely accurate focusing performance over a distance range of 0.35 meters to infinity. This system divides the area to which the distance is to be measured into five smaller blocks for improved focusing accuracy. The camera also has a distance setting type manual focus system for situations where auto focus does not function properly, such as when taking pictures through a window or of objects up in the sky on a clear day. Manual focus is also useful for pan foucus images.

4. High-performance Shutter with Range of Shutter Speeds from Fast to Extended Exposure for a Greater Range of Photographic Possibilities -- "Double-Between-Lens" Shutter Allowing Shutter Speeds Ranging from 1/1,200 Second to 180 Seconds

The Contax T3 is equipped with a "double-between-lens" shutter that allows for faster shutter operation. It consists of two unit assemblies that work together to produce the desired aperture setting and allow extremely fast shutter speeds. The high-performance shutter allows the user to make the most of the superior photographic depiction of the Carl Zeiss lens under a wide range of photography conditions.

The maximum supported aperture-open duration is 180 seconds (three minutes). Such long shutter speed settings make possible a new range of photographic possibilities in dimly lighted settings.

5. Two Auto Exposure Modes (Aperture Priority Auto and Programmed Auto) for Creating Photographic Works of Art

The Contax T3 features two automatic exposure modes: aperture priority auto and programmed auto. The aperture priority auto mode is suitable for the creation of artistic photos that make the most of aperture effects, while the programmed auto mode is excellent for taking advantage of the ability of compact cameras to take pictures quickly.

The exposure compensation mechanism has a setting range of +2 EV to -2 EV in 1/3 EV steps. This permits the user to express him or herself freely through the use of exposure effects. Finally, the exposure compensation step size can be changed from 1/3 EV to 1/2 EV using the customizable functions of the Contax T3.

6. AF Lock Function with Dedicated AF Lock Button to Make Composing Frames Simple

To make frame composition using the AF lock function easier, the Contax T3 has a separate AF lock button located behind the shutter button. The user can still apply AF lock in the conventional manner by depressing the shutter button halfway. Alternately, the AF lock button can be used to apply AF lock (continuous AF lock), thereby eliminating the need to depress the shutter button halfway.

7. Customizable Functions Allowing the User to Create Custom Camera Settings

The Contax T3 has a variety of special settings (customizable functions) designed to make the camera easier to use. By combining the available seven settings as desired, the user can create a customized version of the Contax T3 that fits his or her own style.

[Customizable Functions]

(1) Leave end of film extending from cartridge after rewinding (no/yes)

(2) Lens extension timing (shutter button fully depressed/half depressed)

(3) Exposure compensation retention duration (1 frame/while power on/until setting cancelled using mode dial)

(4) Exposure compensation step size (1/3 EV, 1/2 EV)

(5) AF lock button function (AF lock only/AF and AE lock)

(6) Focus retention duration (1 frame/while power on)

(7) Manual focus retention duration (while power on/until setting canceled using mode dial)

All settings can be canceled, if desired.

8. Optimum Materials for Many Years of Trouble-free Operation -- High-quality Titanium Cover, High-grade Hard Glass Viewfinder, Polycrystal Sapphire Shutter Button

The Contax T3 is more than just a tool for taking photos. It was designed based on a product concept emphasizing making it enjoyable to hold and use as well as providing many years of trouble-free operation. The outer body is made of titanium, which is lightweight, strong, and extremely corrosion resistant. The viewfinder employs high-grade hard glass to prevent scratching and ensure clarity and brightness over the long term. Finally, the shutter button is made of polycrystal sapphire, which will remain attractive to look at and pleasant to the touch for the lifetime of the camera.

9. Optional Accessories

When the Contax T3 is combined with the Contax TLA200 flash*1 (now available) and the Contax SA-2*2 flash adaptor, the camera's auto focus function can be used to take flash photos in cases where the built-in flash would be insufficient. These are just two of the wide range of accessories available for the Contax T3.

Contax TLA200 flash: The guide number is 20. This external flash is sufficiently bright for general photography.

The SA-2 can be mounted using an L-type cable switch (four models: 30 cm, 1 m, 3 m, 10 m, sold separately).

Last updated 3rd February 2008