Modern Classic SLR Series
Contax RTS - Other Issues Part IV


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All Carl Zeiss T* (T-Star) lenses were carefully planned to include appropriate focal lengths that cover the full range of photographic needs. An important feature is the uniformity of exterior design. Functional controls are the same for each lens, so operation is the same. This avoids groping to make adjustments that differ with each lens as in other systems.

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T * Lenses by Zeiss of Germany
The Pillar of Real Time Photography

Until today, many of the Carl Zeiss T* lenses still remain the fastest in their respective class. That is an extra margin that enables the photographer to use faster shutter speeds under dim light conditions.

Superior Optical Design One of the world's finest optical design skills provide impeccable performance even at maximum apertures. Resolution, contrast, freedom from distortion, color correction, light transmission and uniformity are all outstanding. And each lens is individually inspected using a precision MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) inspection machine - which clearly reflect the confidence level of Zeiss towards their lenses.

(T Star) Lens Coating process. All of these lenses receive the special Carl Zeiss T
* (T Star) multi-layer anti-reflection coating. This coating produces ultra-flat transmission of light of all wavelengths within the visible spectrum. Coupled with elimination of internal reflection, this means color reproduction of utmost purity. Different colors remain distinct, never bleeding into each other, always keeping their natural beauty. For most of the time when Zeiss lenses were made for the CONTAX series SLRs, most exotic range of lenses were produced in Germany while Japan handled the more popular series. There is a clear indication that such trend are reversing over the last 10 years and saw the Japanese are calling the shot now in determining where to produce the lenses (naturally, they are produced at the Japan premises now).

Anyway if you are too particular the whereabout these pricey lenses are originated from, the wide range of Zeiss T
* interchangeable lenses which are designed specifically for the Contax series of SLRs give the system its final degree of perfection. Each lens in the T* combines nearly a century of Zeiss lens-making knowhow with the latest up-to-date computer technology. They masterfully balance such decisive optical factors as resolution and contrast, and provide uniform illumination of the entire image field. They also offer high light transmission, minimal distortion, optimum color correction, and superb color rendition at each lens opening. The entire system covers a wide range from 13 mm super-wide-angle to 1000 mm reflex telephoto, and includes a 16 mm fisheye lens, several wide-angles, standard lenses, telephotos, super telephotos , variable focus zoom lenses, special purpose macro and bellows lenses, and the Olympia Sonnar.

Excluding the Mirotar reflex lenses, each lens in the series also features Zeiss T
* multiple lens coating. Developed at the Zeiss Works, this highly effective coating increases light transmission and reduces both reflection and glare to render unbelievably brilliantly clear images which has made Zeiss such a respectable trade name over the years.

Zeiss Lens Types

Distagon Zeiss Distagons are wide-angle lenses characterized by extraordinary speed, image angle and back focal length. They also offer remarkably effective correction of aberrations at all aperture, and near complete absence of focal shift when changing apertures.

Planar Designed in the Zeiss Works by P. Rudolph in 1896, the original Planar was the first lens to offer anastigmatic flatness of image as well as excellent correction of spherical and chromatic aberration at relatively large apertures. Today’s Planars cover a range from standard to midrange telephoto, offering ultra-fast speeds and uniform sharpness over the entire image field, even at full aperture. Planars in the Contax T* series include the 50 mm f/1.4 and f/1.7lenses, the 85 mm f1.4, 100 mm f/2 and the 135 mm f/2 telep hotos, plus the special-purpose S-Plannar 60 mm f/2.8 macro, and the S-Plannar 100 mm f/4 bellow lenses.

Sonnar Original developed about 30 years ago, Sonnar lenses constitute a line of ultra-fast optics which lenses contributed greatly toward popularization of 35 mm photography. The latest Sonnar lenses feature short focal length offering compact design; high-speed, superior definition and excellent illumination of the entire image field.

Tele-Tessar Zeiss Tele-Tessar lenses in the Contax RTS series cover the 200 to 300 mm telephoto range. The lenses in this group are especially compact and employ the latest computerized lens-making techniques. All models in the Contax RTS T* series employ automatic diaphragms. Being lightweight, Tele-Tessars are sited for handheld photography and are particularly useful for sports, and outdoor photography.

Vario-Sonnar The Vario-Sonnar is a zoom type lens which offers the advantage of continuously variable focal length, enabling it to do the work of several lenses. The 40-80 mm f/3.5 and 70-210 mm f/3.5 Vario-Sonnar lenses in the Contax RTS T* lens series provide superb performance at all lens apertures.

Mirotar Zeiss Mirotar lenses are ultra-reflex telephotos which utilize mirrors to completely eliminate the disturbing aberrations characteristic of conventational high-speed telephotos. Mirotars also feature a munch shorter lens barrel than conventional telephotos. The 500 mm f/4.5 and the 1000 mm f/5.6 Mirotar lenses in the Contax RTS T* series feature very good overall correction and are by far the fastest in their classes.

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

| 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, M. Butkus, NJ. Part A | Part B | Part C |

OFF TOPIC:- Personal Note

Main Reference Map:

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1975: RTS
1979: 139Q
1980: 137MD
1982: 137MA
1982: RTS II
1985: 159MM
1987: 167MT
1990: RTS III
1992: S2
1992: S2b
1992: ST
1994: RX
1996: AX
1998: Aria
 List of Carl Zeiss T* lenses for Contax SLR cameras  

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| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for Contax Photographic Equipment

About this photographic site.

Caller for help: I am not entirely too happy with the content and images used here thus far, but since I have my limitation and if you think you can contribute your part as a Contax user to make this site better, mail them to me. Appropriate credit will be given for such effort.

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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.