Classic SLR Series
German Carl Zeiss T * Optics + Porsche designed camera body + The electronic wizardry of Yashica of Japan - That summarizes a smart but very successful international business partnership and also a winning formula that has been groom and cherished dating back to the late seventies. The name 'Contax' and "Zeiss" itself, with their respective rich, eventful and historical background present a distinctive charm on its own to many faithful followers worldwide. Although the strategic alliance of the re-establishment of one of the oldest trade name was soon parted, but the early design concept has a long lasting influence over the design and development of other components in the Contax photographic system as a whole.
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 new series of modern Contax SLRs, with the debut of the original Contax RTS 25 years ago, was supplemented by a series of fine, carefully spec midrange Contax SLR models, where they eventually recognized as veritable tour-de-force of innovative technology, integrating exclusive, advanced electronics with the supreme mechanical precision and reliability which represents the essence of modern photographic hardware performance. There are three RTS SLR camera models, the RTS (Real Time System) models are usually referred as the top-of the-range flagship model within the Contax lineup.
| Contax RTS | 1975-1982 - Main Index Page
Instruction Manuals: 6 Parts
Variants:- Contax RTS Fundus Model / Contax RTS Gold Edition (Updated)
The original CONTAX RTS was introduced in ,highly advanced electronic SLR system camera developed by mutual cooperation of Carl Zeiss, West Germany, and Yashica, Japan. It offers the advantage of one of the most sophisticated fully automatic through-the-lens exposure control available during the late seventies.
The RTS has been in service as the flagship model for about 6 years, supplemented by three midrange models with 139Q ,137MD and 137MA before its next vastly improved model, the RTS II that introduced in 1982. The RTS system is designed under an interpretation of 'Real Time' - A conceptual idea more inclined for brand building and/or marketing but in real life application, the system are not quite lived to that standard. Contax interprets 'Real Time Photography' as photography optimized to instantly transform the photographer's creations into the highest quality photographic images. But being the flagship camera of Contax, the camera did provided with some original technical and optical innovations.
Copyright ©-free Images collection. 2001, leofoo (51k Jpeg) Malaysian Internet Resources
Another area that truly excel was its functional response, precision timing and disposition of information, it provides such capability in quite a broad fields of photography as could not possibly be expected by many other rivaling 35mm SLR camera models during its era.
The optical system - centered around the famed Zeiss optics was another very attractive reason for one to select Contax SLR system. The Bayonet Mount also a product of mutual cooperation between Carl Zeiss and Yashica affords perfect coordination of the optical, mechanical and electronic systems.
< The Contax RTS II, 1982 with so much improvement made - a worthy upgrade and a very attractive start up model for those who are looking for one at the used market.
| Contax RTS II | 1982-1990 - Main Index Page
Instruction Manual - 6 Parts
A clear departure from the conventional Contax RTS design, with an integrated built-in motor drive and a few very original Contax innovations, which includes an entirely new TTL flash exposure control concept. It was easily regarded by many as one of the best manual focus SLR camera throughout the '90.
| Contax RTS III | 1990 ~
Instruction Manual (3 Parts PDF) -
Part A | Part B | Part C by firstname.lastname@example.org, M. Butkus, NJ.
Zeiss T * Lenses, the soul of the Contax system. To take advantage of one of the most respectable optical manufacturer in the industry, a new Bayonet Mount - a product of mutual cooperation between Carl Zeiss and Yashica - offer a perfect coordination between some finest and most sophisticated optical, mechanical and electronic engineering fields. An the RTS system has a full range of precision-plus Zeiss T* Lenses designed especially for the Contax RTS. The early optics were using a AE mount but it was replaced with a newer MM mount that can take advantage of the multi-AE features found in the newer breed of Contax SLR cameras. Lenses made in Germany are considered by some to be better, but most of the Zeiss lenses - except some exotic and rare items are mostly produced in Japan now.
The entire system covers a wide range from 15mm 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. To many followers, the Zeiss optic factor is the single most important factor to select the Contax SLR system.
Credit: Images downloaded from Zeiss, Germany (as advised by webmaster of Zeiss to point to this location) Image has been scaled and retouched for purpose of broadcasting.
This site only serves to feature 3 Contax RTS models. I am not a historian nor an expert in Contax SLR system. Mere a passenger of time, perhaps some of you have even better experience and more in depth knowledge than me where matters relate. But I had the luxury of seeing the complete life cycles of the 3 excellent SLR cameras from Contax which has partly helped Company spring boarded over the years to emerge as one of the most influential 35mm SLR camera system in the business with their continuing innovations and precision engineering to introduce series of exciting, trend setting camera systems to the photographic community. However, other than the greatness and thoughtfulness found in the design of the respective RTS SLR camera models, some of the remarks published herein may not be too pleasant to read for any die-hard Contax fans as I have used many other equally great SLR camera models to compare the weaknesses found in the Contax 35mm photographic system. If you insist I must agree it is the absolutely the best MF camera system IN ALL ASPECT that can be found on the market today, that will be too unfortunate as I have other interpretation wherever it relates. Well, as long as you can open up your mind, I will be more happy to continue developing sites like these as my priority is inclined towards more on photography rather than individual brand name.
This website is still FAR from perfect but within my knowledge I thought I have tried my best. IF you feel the same way that I do, perhaps some of you may able to help patching up what has left not being addressed in this website via a public forum. Please utilize the convenience of the Message Board System provided here to handle issues that have not being covered in this Contax site.
This site, along with many other classic cameras featured in this site, chronicles another photographic legendary imaging tool of modern times.
Copyright ©-free Images collection. 2001, leofoo Malaysian Internet Resources As a matter of record, this site comprises of 18.5 MB of raw data which made up of HTMLs, Gifs, Jpeg and PDF files.
Camera Models: | Contax RTS | RTS II | RTS III | Variations:- Contax RTS Fundus
Shared Resources:| Motor Drive- PMD W6| Winder - RTW-W3 | Screens | Flash - TLA30 | Macro | Remote | Databack | Accessories | Zeiss T* Optic | Instruction Manuals: Contax RTS HTML | PDF | Contax RTS II Quartz HTML | PDF | 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
| Back | to Index Page of Contax RTS
| Back | to Index Page of Contax RTS II Quartz
| Back | to Index Page of Contax RTS III
| 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; Mr. Milan from Pacific Rim Camera <email@example.com> for their contribution of some images used in this site; Three great images of the Databack for Contax RTS contributed by Mr. "Miura Yoshiki" <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Mr. Timothy Daley of www.alkit.com <cameras@AS400.alkit.com> for both of his images on TLA20 and TLA30; Mr. "dearaujo" <email@example.com> for his images of the Contax RTS and RTW; Mr. Pshea <firstname.lastname@example.org> for this image of the RTW; Miss Kristina Hauzar-Proctor of www.henrys.com for the images of Contax RTW-W3; Some of the content are extracted 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, PLEASE take 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 for all of Contax fans of cameras and Zeiss Optics.