Modern Classic SLR Series
Contax RTS Shared Resources - Flash Photography Part II

 

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Off-Camera/Remote Flash Operation: Employing accessories in the Contax TLA Multi-Flash/Extension System allows the photographer to set up a wide variety of lighting situations, using multiple TLA units
- on or off the camera body - while retaining all of the fantastic automated features of the TLA System. This equipment is particularly useful in studio flash, close-up/macro and slide copying applications, along with a wide range of other creative photographic work. Naturally, it is also a tremendous flash unit for news and reportage use with its immensely fast recycling time Contax flash has designed for.

There are either AUTO or TTL operations that you can use your flash with older CONTAX RTS and TTL Flash-capable CONTAX RTS II QUARTZ. Naturally, the RTS II TTL flash is always favor in multi-flash set up instead of operating such possibility in the less assuring AUTO/MANUAL mode provided in the original RTS. For an example, with the RTS II working in such a combination during a practical session indoor, you can have the RTF540 (attached to the tripod-mounted camera) set in TLA mode as the main light, you can mix older and newer series of CONTAX flash units if you like - fill lighting, from left or right of the camera position, can be provided by an older TLA20 unit, a newer TLA 280 set as supplementary flash or even with use a compact TLA140 or TLA200 to fill shadows.

On the other hand, you can use either a higher power TLA360 or a TLA30 flash unit, positioned above and behind the subject which would provide the highlights that mark a truly professional portrait. All equipment, of course, would be linked by Multi-Flash/Extension equipment. In such demanding photographic tasks, Contax RTS cameras in particular with the TTL FLASH capable Contax RTS II and RTS III can actually help to simplify many difficult tasks with more positive results. The TTL function incorporated has actually greatly enhance close-up/macro shots by providing the improved sharpness and clarity of detail that are characteristic of electronic flash. However, Kyocera advises when operating TTL auto flash photography with multiple flash units with Contax SLRs should always be 1) Use a total extension cord length no greater than 10 meters. 2) Use three or less flash units.

TLA Flash System comprised of many flash models with a host of system accessories to facilitate the TTL/AUTO/MANUAL and/or Multi-Flash setup operations for more precise and assuring results. Within the system, you may find these accompanied accessories which sell at optional products:

RTF Battery Pack Set | RTF Power Pack Set | RTF 540 Unit | RTF 540 TLA Adapter | RTF AC Power Unit | TLA-30 Auto Flash (w/Wide Panel) | TLA-20 Auto Flash (w/Wide Panel) | RTF 540 Sensor | RTF Slave Unit | RTF Color Panels | TLA Extension Cord 100 SS | TLA Multi Connector S | TLA Attachment Adapter (for Tripod) | TLA Extension Connector S (for TLA-20) | TLA Extension Cord 100 S | TLA Extension Cord 100

* Some Contax SLRs such as CONTAX S2 nor the S2b features any TTL auto flash synch. For auto flash, use flash units with an external auto flash sensor, or switch to manual flash photography. Contax bracket mount flash units can also be used for other SLR camera via PC terminal, however, such combinations are restricted in AUTO or MANUAL flash operations.

The original Contax RTS can work with any third party flash unit by just mount them directly onto camera's accessory shoe or you can even make use of the camera's standard PC-sync terminal for older type of flash unit which uses sync cord connection. The RTS series camera's direct contact shoe has anti-shock provision. Circuit contact is made only when the flash unit is properly mounted on the accessory shoe.

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If you intend to use flash bulb with both RTS and RTS II Quartz, no problem. The chart at the left hand side is the proper shutter speeds when used teh camera with flash bulbs.

CS-203.jpg Flashview.jpg
Third party flash options: if you are strapped with budget (Unlikely happened to a RTS owner, huh ?...) you need not have to look at other third party alternatives such as those by Metz, Sunpak etc. as Kyocera has produced some fine, budget compact flash for their Yashica range of SLR cameras. An example is this CS-203 flash which will work automatically on all Yashica/Contax reflex SLR cameras capable of performing TTL -flash exposure control. It measures merely 3" tall x 1-1/2" x1-1/2" and has a so-so guide number of 20 in meter at 100 ISO. The angle coverage is for 35mm wideangle lens and it uses 2xAA batteries but compared to its Contax counterpart, this flash , along with many other Yashica alternatives are very economical entry minus a more prestigious name tag.
<With other Flash Units> The synch contact of the RTS II Quartz is an X contact (1/60 second). When using a flash unit other than of the TLA Auto Flash system, refer to the following table for the correct shutter speed setting.


Help Caller: As I don't have any instruction manual(s) for the older TLA 30, TLA540 nor any other Contax flash units, and I have been thinking of convert the respective User's Manual(s) into HTML formats which would greatly help the completeness of content in this website. IF you have any and willing to port such info, please mail me at leofoo@mir.com.my.

Some information relating to Contax newer series of TLA flash units which may also be used on both CONTAX RTS and RTS OO QUARTZ bodies: TL-A 360 w/case

tla360front.jpg
The TLA 360 flash is a power zoom auto flash with an above average guide number of 36 in meters (118 in feet) at ISO 100 (the auxiliary flash has a guide number of 9). The TLA -360 provides TTL flash metering external flash metering and manual flash capability. One of the main feature found in this power zoom is its ability to allow 6 different coverage angles based upon focal length selected from 24mm to 85mm. It has a very useful fill flash which makes it a perfect flash unit in particular for portraiture. It is a perfect all round flash unit designed for many Contax SLR models with varying technical capabilities as other than its TTL flash capability with suitable Contax SLRs, it can operate in AUTO and Manual flash control.

(
New Upload ) Instruction Manual for CONTAX TLA 30 is available NOW !
Technical Specifications of CONTAX TLA-360

Control method

Thyristorized type automatic exposure control (main flash)
[Flash output of Aux. flash fixed.]

Guide number for main flash (ISO 100m), covering the field of view of a 35mm lens

Auto mode

36 ~ 4

Manual mode

36 (FULL); 18 (1/4); 9 (1/16); 25 (1/2); 12.5 (1/8)

Guide number for Aux flash

9 (Covering the field of view of a 50mm lens)

Max. guide number for main flash, by focal lengths (FULL setting, ISO 100)

85mm - 50; 35mm - 36;
70mm - 47; 28mm - 32;
50mm - 42; 24mm - 30

Flash Modes TTL auto

Possible

Normal auto

Possible (6 aperture settings)

Manual flash

Possible (5 output levels)

Stroboscopic

Possible (2 output levels) *

Second curtain synchronization

Possible **

Light quality : Compatible with daylight type color film

Bounce Angles

Upward: 0 - 90°, Right: 0 - 90°, Left: 0 - 180°, Downward: 7° (for close-up photography)

Film Speed Coupling range

TTL mode

ISO 25 - 400

Normal Auto

ISO 6 - 6400

Exposure Control Confirmation

TTL mode

Indicated on camera

Normal Auto

By flash ready lamp

Display Panel

Large liquid crystal display panel - Used to indicate effective distance range, film speed, aperture, zoom scale and flash output, and the interval between flashes and the number of flashes (when in multi-flash mode).

Flash test

Flash ready lamp as test button

Connection to camera: Connection by direct X contact and by TLA extension cord
Extension Cord socket

Possible

Power supply

4 x I.5 V AA-size batteries. Ni-Cd batteries acceptable.

Interval/Frequency of Flash (at full output, based on testing standards). Alkaline batteries: approx. 8 sec./ approx. 100 times; Ni-Cd batteries: approx. 5 sec./ 40 times
Dimension:

80(W)mm x 131 (H)mm x 100(D)mm (3-3/16" x 5-3/16 x 3-15/16")

Weight (w/o batteries)

390 grams (13.8 oz.)


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TL-A 280 w/case

Another well spec Contax auto flash with a guide number of 28 in meters (92 in feet) at ISO 100. Two flash heads are employed to facilitate easy flash fill photography. The main flash head has a zoom feature to concentrate the output appropriately for four focal lengths while the secondary auxiliary flash has a guide number of 12. The only weakness is its lack of auto ranges and despite its moderately high power output, however, it doesn't indicate that the flash offers equivalent feature of stroboscopic flash as with the more powerful TLA 360 probably in view of the diluted power output that has reduced to a guide number of 28.

Technical Specifications of CONTAX TLA-280

Control method

Thyristorized type automatic exposure control

Guide number for main flash (ISO 100m), covering the field of view of a 35mm lens

Auto mode

25 ~ 4 (Main + Aux)

Manual mode

14 (FULL) Covering field view of a 28mm wideangle lens

Guide number for Aux flash

-

Max. guide number for main flash, by focal lengths (FULL setting, ISO 100)

28mm - 14

Flash Modes TTL auto

Possible

Normal auto

-

Manual flash

Possible (Full flashing)

Stroboscopic

-

Second curtain synchronization

Possible with suitable Contax bodies (RTS III, ST, RX, AX, G1, G2 etc..)

Light quality : Compatible with daylight type color film

Bounce Angles

Upward: 0 - 90°

Film Speed Coupling range

TTL mode

ISO 25 - 400

Normal Auto

--

Exposure Control Confirmation

TTL mode

indicated on camera

Normal Auto

-

Display Panel

Flash range Guide Panel

Flash test

Flash ready lamp as test button

Connection to camera: Connection by direct X contact and by TLA extension cord

Extension Cord socket

Possible

Power supply

4 x I.5 V AA-size batteries. Ni-Cd batteries acceptable.

Interval/Frequency of Flash (at full output, based on testing standards).

Alkaline batteries: approx. 5 sec./ approx. 170 times; Ni-Cd batteries: approx. 5 sec./ 60 times

Dimension:

70(W)mm x 111 (H)mm x 97(D)mm (2-3/4" x 4-3/8 x 3-13/16")

Weight (w/o batteries)

260 grams (9.2 oz.)


TLA 140.jpg
TL-A 140 w/case A compact auto flash for the CONTAX G1 system with a guide number of 14 in meters (46 in feet) at ISO 100. The titanium color finish provides integration with the G1/G2 system while providing rugged construction and an elegant look. The TLA-140 is also appropriate for use with any CONTAX camera body. The flash only accepts CRA-123A Lithium and rechargeable cells cannot be used. A cute and handy flash with TTL flash capability and multi-flash set up but can be quite expensive to maintain.

If you insist on using your rechargeable or alkaline cells for a trip, some alternative such as the Yashica CS-140 may provide a better option. The flash has even provided with a Tilt-up pentagonal head, a guide Number: 14(ISO 100 meter) or 44 (ISO 100 feet) and provides Manual and CPU-matic flash operations for both Yashica/Contax bodies (it can also be used with any camera brand in manual mode); the flash covers angular fields of standard wideangle of 35mm lenses; and uses 2 x 1.5V AA size batteries and a number of about 300 flashes with alkaline-manganese and about 100 with manganese batteries; Dimensions:42.0x30.5x94.5 mm; Weight: 65g (without batteries). It is a cute little flash that allows high mobility. This compact flash unit has been discontinued.

Technical
Specifications of CONTAX TLA-140

Control method

Thyristorized type automatic exposure control

Guide number for main flash (ISO 100m), covering the field of view of a 35mm lens

Auto mode

14 ~ 4

Manual mode

25 (FULL); 6 (1/16);; 12.5 (1/4);

Guide number for Aux flash

12

Max. guide number for main flash, by focal lengths (FULL setting, ISO 100)

85mm - 30 (32); 35mm - 25 (28); 50mm - 27 (30); 28mm - 21 (24)
(Main + Aux)

Flash Modes TTL auto

Possible

Normal auto

-

Manual flash

Possible

Stroboscopic

-

Second curtain synchronization

-

Light quality : Compatible with daylight type color film

Bounce Angles

Upward: 0 - 90°

Film Speed Coupling range

TTL mode

ISO 25 - 400

Normal Auto

-

Exposure Control Confirmation

TTL mode

 

Normal Auto

-

Display Panel

Flash range Guide Panel

Flash test

Flash ready lamp as test button

Connection to camera: Connection by direct X contact and by TLA extension cord

Extension Cord socket

Possible

Power supply

One 3V Lithium battery (CR123A); Ni-Cd batteries NOT acceptable.

Interval/Frequency of Flash (at full output, based on testing standards).

CR123A: approx. 4.8 sec./ approx. 200 times

Dimension:

57(W)mm x 74 (H)mm x 20.5(D)mm (2-1/4" x 15/16 x 13/16")

Weight (w/o batteries)

80 grams (2.9 oz.)



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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
2000~
 List of Carl Zeiss T* lenses for Contax SLR cameras  


About this photographic site.

MIR Home Home - Photography in Malaysia

leofoo.Gif

Credit:Mr. Timothy Daley of www.alkit.com <cameras@AS400.alkit.com> for both of his images on TLA20 and TLA30; 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.