Modern Classic SLR Series
Contax RTS II Quartz - Index Page


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The 2nd generation of the Contax Real Time System of Photography

When the RTS concept was first introduced in 1975, other than the Carl Zeiss lenses that caught many attention, most wouldn't pay too much attention on the original Contax RTS camera/. Although it was an eye-catching combination merging some of the oldest trade names in the business to form an alliance, it looked good on and it worked and created a solid business platform for the Contax to spearhead further. Gradually, the acceptance to Contax RTS system concept began to spread among many purist photographers as, many found that the reality was even greater that the myth. Although it was not the most complete 35mm SLR photographic system available but again the charm of the Zeiss optic working on a 35mm SLR was too great to resist while at the same time, many also realized the Carl Zeiss lenses would provide the sharpest images and were the fastest of any SLR lenses in their class.

But honestly, although the original RTS camera was an innovative conceptual system camera which has every features safely claimed to be a professional class SLR camera but it was the competitions that has the RTS under a lot of stress when compared with top rivaling models. Soon, its creator realized the time was right and need to provide another worthy upgrade to take on the best in the industry. That was how the situation was during the late seventies and the call for another upgrade is inevitable so as to capture more market share with earlier foundation the original RTS has laid.

However, one identified strength of the Contax Real Time System of photographic equipment was its creative capabilities to serve and integrates fully among the many system accessories. Basically, the system permits photographer 'assembles' parts of a complete, integrated photographic tool for any photographic assignments or job at hand as the Real Time System equipment is designed and engineered right from the start to assemble into an integrated whole, not merely 'add-on' as an afterthought.

The Contax RTS II Quartz was officially debuted in 1982. Rather than billing it as an upgrade, many observers would branded it as an all new system camera. It has incorporating numerous internal design and function changes from the original RTS model, provides even more accuracy, even greater precision, even further integration for the overall "Contax Real Time Photographic System" as they called it..

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Some of the key features includes the precise timed offers by the Quartz Crystal Timing for total accuracy, increased field-of-view in the viewfinder (97% from 92%), a new LED viewfinder data display system, an improved shutter which made of Titanium Shutter curtain from the older fabric material used, an "AE Lock" function for critical exposure adjustments when operating in auto-exposure mode and, finally, integration a mainstream TTL flash with its Contax TLA Auto Flash System, providing both direct, 'Fail-Safe' X-synchronization and Through-The-Lens metering of flash exposures. Some of these functions and capabilities helps to make the RTS II Quartz more true to claim as a "Real Time" SLR System. Another worthy note is, despite it packs with all these new development incorporated within, nothing detracts in the slightest from its ability to fully integrate with other Real Time System components and thus maintains full backward system compatibility with previous system components..

Supplementing to the upgrade in 1982, some important system components such as the Contax Professional Motor Drive ("PMD") has also been updated with new features. Although it was basically remained as the same unit, but it was updated with improved internal electronic circuitry to increase its performance and reliability. Naturally, the previous professional application 250m Bulk Film Back dedicated for use with the PMD is still usable. The same minor electrical changes have been made in the Real Time Winder. Naturally, both the previous and new camera bodies, motor drives and winders are fully interchangeable. (NOTE: Due to circuitry, the previous PMD and RTW (Real Time Power-Winder) operate only in 'Continuous' mode under some conditions when used with the Contax RTS II Quartz.). Three other evolutionary changes in the Real Time System include a revised Data Back D-4 matched to the RTS II Quartz (but usable with the RTS body), a new set of Focusing Screens for the RTS II Quartz to accommodate the expanded viewfinder coverage (not usable with RTS due to size differences) and a new External Power Pack P-3 (bodies and power packs are fully interchangeable, but the new Power Pack has a 5X capacity).

Helping to record the finest and sharpest details, the focal length of Carl Zeiss T* continued to expend during the early eighties. It helps the camera(s) adapt to virtually any photographic requirement with its wide ranges of focal lengths and lens types. Combining with the extraordinary optical performance of the Zeiss lenses, and for exquisite renditions of even the tiniest detail, there are Contax system accessories for close-up and macrophotography that provide exceptional reproductive capabilities at even the highest ratios of magnification with matching Bellow Units and dedicated Photomicro lenses.

The Contax RTS II is a very well spec camera. Even close to 20 years since its debut back in 1982 and replaced with another awesome RTS upgrade of Contax RTS III in 1990 (not ready - may take ages, so don't wait !), the camera has remained as many photographers' and camera collector's hot favorite. Demand for RTS II camera in used condition has never been short after all these years which clearly reflecting its value and position within the Contax range of fine 35mm SLRs. Personally, I felt the RTS II has helped Contax reaffirmed itself as a serious 35mm camera manufacturers with its sheer functionality and reliability.

Many of the system accessories withn the RTS system have also gone through some refinements to improved theur efficiency , reliability and even human engineering. The CONTAX RTW W-3 pictured at left is a typical example, the upgrade came with a handy hand grip and provide two alternatives of shutter release buttons for normal and vertical shooting.

Credit: Image courtesy of Miss Kristina Hauzar-Proctor of Copyright © 2001. All Rights Reserved.

Despite it has long been discontinued, it still presents itself as a very attractive alternative for those who are looking for a good SLR camera to begin photography or simply just as a second backup camera. The Contax RTS II has all the essential elements takes to be a true professional class camera with un-rival degree of reliability and durability, assisted by an array of system components to explore many other photographic possibilities - lastly, not to mention providing an easy path stepping into the comprehensive Contax SLR photographic system and tapped on to use all those superlative Zeiss lenses.

Basic Camera Instruction Manuals: 6 Parts
Beyond the User's Manual, some relating topics: 6 Parts

| 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 | Variations:- Contax RTS Fundus
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 |
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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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.

MIR Home Home - Photography in Malaysia


Credit: Mr. Milan from Pacific Rim Camera <> for his contribution of the Contax 250 Bulk film back;Mr. "dearaujo" <> for his images of the Contax RTS and RTW; Mr. Pshea <> for this image of the RTW; Miss Kristina Hauzar-Proctor of for the images of Contax RTW-W3; MClau, joint maintainer of the Contax RTS MB. Mr. Bodo Bause <> for his image appeared in this site. 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.