Introduction and contents

Yashica Optical Seiki Co cooperative with Zeiss Ikon in 1975 and the Contax name became property of Yashica under the umbrella of Kyocera, retained for the prestige camera line.

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 hyperfocal 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.

Self-timer: 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.).

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

Weight: 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).


Contax T-2

The Contax T-2 updated the Contax T in 1990. The hinged front door was replaced by a disappearing lens cover. A tiny flash is built in, but at the expense of an accessory shoe. Infrared auto focusing with manual focus option, Fully programmed exposure.


Specifications for the Contax T-2:


Carl Zeiss Sonnar 2.8/38 retractable lens.
Auto & manual focusing.
Aperture Priority/Program AE Plus.
+/- 2EV Exposure compensation in 1/3-step increments. f2.8 -f16
Built in flash.
Optional Red-eye pre-flash.
Automatic and fill flash.
Motorized film auto load, advance and rewind.
DX film speed setting.
Auto retracting titanium lens cover.
Self timer.
Shutter speed range from 1/500 to 10 minutes.
Titanium body, also finished in black
Dimensions: 119 (W) x 66 (H) x 33 (D) mm. Weight: 295g without battery

Contax T-2 Gold 60th Anniversary

The 60th Anniversary Contax T-2 Gold was sold in 1992.

Contax TVS (Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar 3.5-6.5/28-56 Lens)

The Contax TVS (VS= Vario-Sonnar) is a compact and sturdy camera, and it comes with a mechanical zoom that is like no other point and shoot camera. What is more is that you get to experience a super sharp 28-56mm f3.5-5.6 Carl Zeiss T* Zoom lens that provides an exceedingly high standard of photographic excellence. Exposure compensation adjustment.  Electronic override of auto focus.  Can be used in Program for fully automatic exposure or as an aperture priority automatic.  Has a panoramic switch.  Retracting lens for portability.

  • 35 mm Compact Zoom Camera
  • 28-56 mm f3.5 - f6.5 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T zoom lens
  • Passive auto focus & manual focus modes
  • SLR zoom coupled viewfinder
  • LCD display
  • Aperture priority program AE mode
  • High precision light metering
  •  Multimode Integrated electronic-flash
  • Motor drives for film handling
  • focus & shutter control
  • Titanium - Silver body
  • Real-Image viewfinder
  • 10-Second self-timer
  • Switchable for shooting in Panoramic mode

Contax TVS Camera Reviews

Contax Tvs II Reviews

Contax TVS III

Photographs taken with the Contax Tvs III display the incomparable optical quality photographers have come to expect from Contax and Carl Zeiss T* optics. Designed exclusively for the new Tvs III, the Carl Zeiss T* 30-60mm power zoom lens provides the ultimate in high resolution, colour saturation and contrast. This advanced, extremely precise lens is comprised of 6 elements in 5 groups with a high-speed shutter that remains virtually round at every f-stop. Additionally, the Vario Sonnar 30-60mm lens utilizes the legendary Carl Zeiss T* coating which virtually eliminates lens flare. The Tvs III incorporates sophisticated automatic features with manual override capabilities which give the photographer the versatility of a Single Lens Reflex type camera in a very small portable package. Available exposure modes are Program AE and Aperture Priority AE plus exposure compensation for added creative control. The Tvs III utilizes a highly accurate passive auto focus system for sharp, crystal clear images. Manual focus and Spot AF are standard.


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    Go up a levelLast updated 17th July 2003