Modern Classic SLR Series
The Contax RTS was first announced in 1974 and it was made available to the public only a year later in 1975. It was well remembered as the first modern Contax SLR camera that has helped to create a new foundation for a 'revamped' SLR system. Crafted by famed Porsche Industrial Design Group. It was a camera which has some distinctive layout and design which were considered quite 'unconventional when compared with many other main stream SLR designs available during that time. The RTS was defined as "Real Time System", it was a electronic camera that require a battery power to function normally.
Credit: Image(s) displayed here are courtesy of Jean-Louis Beek® where the EBAY STORE is also one of my favorite spot to look for great images on used photographic equipment. Image(s) copyright © 2008. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
The automatic exposure mode was a popular aperture priority AE with overriding manual exposure control; It has a horizontal traveled focal plane shutter design which uniquely has both primary and secondary shutter curtains uncap to provide from identical position. However, the material used for the shutter curtain was silk fabric instead of more durable material used on other SLR models of similar class in competition. But it does provides great accuracy of which operates steplessly from a LT of 4 sec to a moderately high speed of 1/2000 sec on AUTO while there are 14 click stop settings which ranges from 4 sec to 1/2000 sec and 'B' (Bulb) when you are in manual operation. As a system camera, it has an optional dedicated 5 fps (frames per second) high speed motor drive with built in intervalometer capability or a slower two frames per second Power Winder. The RTS also incorporates quite a few popular features that you would expect in a top class SLR models during the '70. It provides exposure compensation, depth of filed preview , mirror lock-up., electronic self-timer, flash AE, interchangeable focusing screens, a 250 bulk film back which made the RTS a truly a full fletch 35mm professional system camera. And such complete system integration enabled the Contax RTS took on rivaling camera models by other established Companies with their competing professional graded SLR camera models such the Nikon F2, Olympus OM-1(n) & 2(n), Minolta XK, Canon F-1 and to a lesser extend, the revised Pentax K-series bodies.
The RTS was designed from ground up to be an electronic SLR system camera and therefore what the RTS has to offer was a very thoughtful attempt. It may have some weaknesses in its design such as AE lock, Contax pioneered ABC (automatic -Exposure Bracketing Control), TTL Flash AE etc. (If it is fussy enough...) but most of them was patched in its second upgrade, the professional class Contax RTS II in 1982 or introduced in phases as new features in their midrange bodies of 139Q (1979), 137MD (1980) and 137MA in 1982 respectively. But to many, the underlying fact with possibility and advantage of seeing one of the most respectable name in the optical industry, Carl ZeissT * optic of Germany to be made available for 35mm SLR cameras was a good enough reason to celebrate about.
This site only focuses on the three models within the RTS Series. It may not even benefit too many users (probably, some of you can be even more knowledgeable than me where matters relate). But since this website carries many personal objectives and naturally, it has a few scopes to look at. But as a photography enthusiasts, I have my passion and I enjoy what I have done so far, I would expect you would feel the same way as I do. I have my admiration for the camera, in particular the later models and the irresistible Zeiss optic which carries a lot of charm to any photographer, Again, I would like to remind that this is not a perfect site but I think within my knowlege - I have tried my best and I will need some of you to patch what is left not being addressed in this site via a public forum. Please utilize the convenience of the Message Board System provided here for issues not being cover or addressed in this site.
Basic Instruction Manuals: 6 Parts
Beyond the User's Manual, addressing other Issues : 4 Parts
Scanned early Contax's system accessories files in PDF format: Motor Drive | Winder | Macro | Databack/Remote | Flash | Early Lenses 1 & 2 | Accessories
Variations:- Contax RTS Fundus; Contax RTS Gold SET, 1981 - showcase
| Back | to Index Page of Contax RTS
| Back | to Index Page of Contax RTS II Quartz
| Back | to Index Page of Contax RTS III
| Back | to Main Index Page of Contax RTS series models
Camera Models: | Contax RTS | RTS II | RTS III |
Shared Resources:| Motor Drive- PMD W6| Winder - RTW-W3 | Screens | Flash | Macro | Remote | Databack | Accessories | Zeiss T* Optic | Instruction Manuals: Contax RTS HTML | PDF | Contax RTS II Quartz HTML | PDF | Contax RTS III (3 parts PDF by email@example.com, M. Butkus, NJ. Part A | Part B | Part C |
OFF TOPIC:- Personal Note
Main Reference Map:
RTS - HTML | PDF (206k)
RTS II - HTML | PDF(308k)
RTS III - HTML | PDF
RTS - HTML | PDF(159k)
RTS II - HTML | PDF(66k)
RTS III - HTML | PDF
1982: RTS II
1990: RTS III
List of Carl Zeiss T* lenses for Contax SLR cameras
CONTAX Rangefinder (RF) Resources
| Message Board | for your favorite Contax RTS Series SLR Models
| Message Board | for your Contax optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for Contax Photographic Equipment
About this photographic site.
Home - Photography in Malaysia
Credit: MClau, joint maintainer of the Contax RTS MB. Some of the content are extracts from: Cees De Groot, who maintains a Contax FAQ site and Tim Roger website on Contax SLR cameras, A few of the images on Zeiss lenses were downloaded from Contax US website. My buddy, Yeak † & Rizal Yahya, for their cool programming with Contax RTS's Message Board, Note:certain contents and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures, sales manuals or publications published by Kyocera over the years and/or contributions from surfers who claimed originality of their own work solely for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for any discrepancies that may arise from such possible disputes except rectifying them after verification."Kyocera", "Yashica", "Contax" & "Carl Zeiss T*" are registered trade names of Kyocera Corporation Inc., Japan. A site made with an Apple IMac, dedicated to all fans of Contax cameras and Zeiss Optics.