Modern Classic SLR Series
Contax TLA30 Flash Unit - Instruction Manual


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Introduction: Every 35mm photographic system usually has a flash unit that shines in specification. The Olympus has a great flash in Olympus T-32, Nikon has a Nikon SB-16A/B which is almost 20 years old, Canon has a Canon 300TL which incidentally, was the one and only non-AF TTL flash unit Canon has ever produced for the FD-mount system, Pentax has also provide their users with an impressive Pentax AF 280T etc. As you can observe, most of these non-AF flash units have a guide number at around 30; they were usually equipped with a flexible flash heads and supported by a host of system accessories which makes them an all rounder for all sort of applications which includes bounce, synchro-sunlight and even close up photography. Another prominent features for these ever popular flash models is their ability to support TTL, Auto and Manual flash control which enables many positive possibilities such as multiple TTL-flash setup which previously can be a very tedious process to setup and getting assuring results. Most of these evergreen flash models were originally being introduced during the the mid of the eighties, they sailed through the turbulence of the AF revolution and remains in the product list of the respective camera manufacturers even today.

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Contax also has its own flash that equally can excite many of its loyal users, it is the TLA30 Auto Flash Unit.

Description of Parts

The TLA30, when used with the Contax RTS II Quartz and other Contaxes with direct TTL auto flash metering system, enables automatic electronic flash photography by means of "direct TTL auto flash metering" using the camera's light sensor that automatically controls the flash exposures in which the light through the lens is directly read from the film surface, this is often called "TTL OTF" which stands for "Through the Lens, Off the Film" metering, a technique first pioneered by Olympus in their Olympus OM2n camera in 1975. Because of the direct TTL auto flash metering system, you will find it easy to employ such advanced techniques as bounce flash, diffuse flash, close-up flash, as well as multiple flash using multiple flash units and extension systems. And being equipped with normal auto and manual flash functions, it can be used for electronic flash photography with other cameras as well.

I have been struggling on a decision earlier whether to include a user's manual of this fascinating flash unit in the Contax RTS website. I think it is essential and went to purchase a copy of this manual from an online auction, I hate to do all the stupid work of scan, retouch and restoring closest to their originality. This is not an entirely easy task and very time consuming (the most boring and unproductive work among all was the scanning process ..) but as this flash does has its uniqueness and features which makes it an important system component in the CONTAX 35mm photographic system. This may well supplement many Contax photographers, especially those who owns Contax camera models that support TTL flash photography - So, I hope you too can also spend sometime familiarize yourself with the contents of this instruction manual so that you will be able to operate the device properly and enjoy long years of trouble free use. Lastly, there is not such thing such as a perfect flash unit, if you were to ask me what features has been omitted from its impressive specifications in this TLA30, I thought if it can incorporate a tiny secondary flash as fill-in flash would be lovely. ..

N O T E: Please DO NOT mail me asking for a PDF copy of the Instruction Manual as there is NONE available you can consider either bookmark this site or print them in various hard copies for your personal reference. Content in this site is based largely on a CONTAX TLA30 Instruction Manual published in 1983 and thus, certain references with CONTAX SLRs and Accessories MAY NOT be applicable now.

Preparation Before Shooting ... TLA 30 Functions ..... Control Panel .... TTL Auto Flash Operation ...AE Lock ... Normal Auto Flash Operation ... Manual Flash Operation ... Guide Number .... Sequential flash .... TLA30 Usage Precautions ..... Exposure Compensation .... Diffused Flash .... Bounce Flash ..... Daylight Synch Flash .... Close-Up Flash ..... Wide Panel Flash ..... Using the TLA Extension Cord 100S ....... Using TLA Multiple Flash System (Optional) ... TLA System Accessories (TLA Extension Cord 100, TLA Extension Cords 100SS and 300SS,

Specifications ......

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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  

About this photographic site.

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Credit: Mr. Timothy Daley of <> 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.