Modern Classic SLR Series
Contax RTS Camera Operation - Part III

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The shutter speed display incorporated in the viewfinder of the CONTAX RTS consists of a 16-dot LED (light emitting diode) array. The LED dot comes on immediately upon depression of the LED display pushbutton to display the shutter speed set in relation with the preselected lens aperture.

This shutter speed display is unique in the fact that it can be turned on regardless of whether the film has been advanced or not. As explained in the foregoing pages, one LED dot indicates automatic setting of the shutter speed corresponding to the figure in alignment, while two LED dots signify in-between speed.

Under fluorescent light, more than two LED dots may sometimes come on at the same time. Although it is not perceptible tot he human eye, there is a rapid fluctuation of the light intensity emitted by a fluorescent lamp and, because of the high sensitivity of the light sensor employed and the display, this variation of the light intensity is picked up, thus resulting in flickering of the LED dots which appears to our eyes as simultaneous lighting of three or more dots. This phenomenon does not, however, signify a malfunction. When the shutter is released, correct exposure will be made at the optimum shutter speed.

1) When the LED dot comes on in alignment with a figure below '30' (1/30 sec), correct exposure will be obtained, but utmost precaution must be taken to prevent camera shake. To prevent erratic movement of your camera at the critical moment of exposure, (a) reset the aperture ring to a wider lens opening in order o provide automatic setting of a higher shutter speed, or (b) mount the camera on a tripod.

. When the LED dot comes on in alignment with 'A', stop down the lens aperture so that the LED dot aligns with 2000 (1/2000 sec.) or smaller figure.

3. When the LED dot comes on in alignment with 'B'(Bulb) set the aperture ring to a wider lens opening. If the LED dot fails to move upward even at maximum aperture, resort to flash exposure.

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Selection of desired shutter speed at "AUTO"

(Keep the shutter control dial at the 'AUTO' setting and the exposure compensation pointer aligned with 'X1'.)

1. Press the LED display pushbutton and check the shutter speed.
2. While keeping the pushbutton depressed, turn the aperture ring until the LED dot aligns with the figure corresponding to the desired shutter speed.
The following table gives you a guide for preselection of the shutter

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Subject Shutter Speed:
Fast-moving subjects 1/2000, 1/1000, 1/500 sec,
Landscape or general outdoor photography 1/250, 1/125 or 1/60 sec.
Indoor or night photography 1/30 sec. or slower speed

When shooting sport scenes or moving automobile, set the shutter speed at 1/500 sec. or higher speed. The foregoing shutter speed preselection guide is based on use of ASA 100 film.


Make sure the exposed film is rewound into its cassette before unloading it.

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1. When the exposure counter registers the figure equivalent to the exposure load of the film, avoid advancing the film any further. If forced, the film may tear away, making it impossible to rewind it into its cassette.

2. Give the film rewind release button on the camera base a push. This button will reset automatically when the film advance lever is manipulated; therefore, it is unnecessary to keep it depressed with your fingertip during film rewinding operation.

3. Fold out the film rewind crank-handle and turn it in the direction of the arrow. As soon as the crank-handle is rotated, you will hear an audible signal indicating that the take-up spool is turning in reverse and the film is being properly rewound into its cassette. When the film pulls away from the take-up spool, the audible signal will cease and you will feel an increased resistance; however, continue winding until the crank-handle rotates freely without resistance. Then, open the back cover and take out the film cassette.

If the film fails to advance part way before the entire length has been exposed, do not attempt to wind it forcefully. Instead, push the film rewind release button and rewind the film into its cassette.

Technical Outline / Advanced Techniques

Magnetic Release

The Contax RTS features a magnetic release of a unique design which opens new horizons in system application.

Unlike the mechanical shutter release featured on other SLR models this magnetic release trips the shutter instantaneously with minimal stroke and feather-touch fingertip pressure, thus preventing camera shake. It also permits direct use of various offhand controls. Its principal advantages can be summarized as follows:

1. It affords instantaneous tripping of the shutter.

The magnetic release system of your CONTAX RTS does not use a mechanical plunger with long operating stroke. Instead it functions strictly on electrical principle and therefore trips the shutter instantaneously. When you press the magnetic release, you are in effect switching on the magnetic release circuit.

2. It permits direct use of various offhand controls.

Because the magnetic release system works on electrical principle, it affords most convenient use of various off-hand controls, such as cable switches, infrared controller set and interval timer. Moreover, it provides precise synchronization of the shutter and motor drive operation, thus affording use of the motor drive unit at all shutter speeds range on Auto.

3. It ensures Real Time light reading.

The magnetic release system does not feature any provision for standby switching of the automatic through-the-lens light reading system. Simultaneously with the activation of the magnetic release system, the electric current flows to the electronic exposure control and Real Time light reading is taken immediately prior to mirror flip-up.

| Previous | Next | Exposure Control, Manual mode, Exposure Compensation, Self Timer, Depth of Field Preview.

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

Other Contax Accessories: Filters | Eye-Cups / Diopter lens / Right Angle Finder / Magnifier| Lens Caps/Lens Rear Caps / Body Caps / Lens Pouches | Soft lens Shades/Metal Lens Hoods/Adapter Ring/Gelatin Filter Holder set | Focusing Screens

| 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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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.