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Contax Professional Motor Drive (PMD) W-6

A high-speed motor drive is an essential component in any successful 35mm photographic system. Consequently, except the RTS III which has an integrated high speed motor drive built-in, the remaining two Contax RTS series models were designed specifically to accept a motor drive as an accessory. Contax motor drive system ("PMD" as Kyocera called it )for the Contax RTS series are more refined, convenient, versatile and an integrated part of the CONTAX RTS camera system. Why would someone need a motor drive ? The first use it conjures up is sports and action based photography. With a high speed motor drive, chances of successful photography is high and minimize action need be missed. With the motorized camera, you can shoot single shots or set the motor to fire a quick bursts of shots so that it releases the shutter and advances film continuously up to 5 frames per second.

Contax RTS with Motor Drive W6 with PMD Power Pack rear section view, photo by Jean-Louis Beek¨ 
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.

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For flexibility and reliability under all possible varying conditions, there are many options for power supplies available. And usually with such rapid film advance capabilities, the motor drive system usually can be coupled to a bulk film backs which usually allowing up to 250 pictures per loading. Such capability has extend the normal usage to other extreme requirement in scientific research, nature and action sports for more assuring result without the need to reload film halfway.
So, the field of sports where usually people associate motor drive with, represents only one segment of the motor's possible uses. Another added feature of a more advance motor drive system is, they usually designed with timing devices that either has it built-in or as optional accessory Examples are the remote control accessories and devices that can be hook on to perform unmanned photography, automatically exposing and winding film at set intervals with wires or by radio signal.

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Why would someone need a motor drive ? The first use it conjures up is sports and action based photography. With a high speed motor drive, chances of successful photography is high and minimize action need be missed. With the motorized camera, you can shoot single shots or set the motor to fire a quick bursts of shots so that it releases the shutter and advances film continuously up to 5 frames per second.

Well, for any photographers, a motor drive/winder is an excellent aid for those who simply wants to be sure that he won't miss the important shot. With such a device, you are always ready and anticipating for action. Among the many features that can find in any automatic film advance system, one of the most desired characteristics of a motor is portability and reliability, Contax PMD and RTW system has both installed and in terms of features, both of these drives easily can be ranked among the best devices in its business. The Contax PMD offers high speed film advance rate of 5 fps, automatic power film rewinding, varying firing rate, a built-in intervalometer, uses multiple power sources and supported by a host of accessories such as 250 Bulkf film back and remote control photography; the RTW, on the other hand is a more economical, a far lighter and very compact version of a Motor drive unit but compared to the PMD W-6, it has a slower 3 fps film advance rate, omitting the power film rewind feature and less compatible to couple to use with other system accessories such as it cannot supported to use bulk film back etc.

| I think it is more beneficial for you to go through the entire Instruction Manuals on both the Contax PMD (based on PMD-W6) and as well as the Contax RTW (based on RTW-W3) which I have bought a copy each from John Craig, convert them into a HTML version, the User's Manual is far more detail in its description relating to their various functions and operational sequences |

With the exception of some improvements in its internal electronic circuitry, the new Professional Motor Drive W-6 is identical to the original Contax PMD unit. The PMD W-6 incorporates every feature required for even the hardest-working professional photographer, with a maximum operating rate of five frames per second (5 fps), intermediate settings for rates of three or two frames per second and its own built-in intervalometer.

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Power for the unit is supplied by the PMD Power Pack, which requires 12 x 1.5V M-size batteries (fitted into two PMD Battery Cases). This Power Pack incorporates a separate release button. In addition, an AC Control Box is available, providing not only full power requirements but also multimode interval control up to 24 hours. A special release socket accepts all Contax Off-Camera Control accessories, and other PMD accessories include the Power Pack Jacket with PMD Control Cord (for keeping power source warm in extreme cold climates), the 250 Film Back with magazines and the Film Loader.

The CONTAX RTS introduced in 1975 was only offered a CONTAX RTW (Real Time Winder) and I am not too sure when the Contax PMD was introduced for the RTS system. As from a literature published in 1978, I still read where it only mentioned the RTW and no illustration or mention on the PMD and I would assume it must be after 1978. If I am wrong, please correct me.

250 Film Back with magazines and the Film Loader(see bottom at far right). The Bulk Film back was one of the original accessory that was made for the CONTAX RTS in 1975.

Credit: The fabulous Image at left hand side courtesy of Mr. Milan from Pacific Rim Camera <>

CONTAX RTW (Real Time Winder) and RTW-W3 Power Winder

The high performance Real Time Winder, the W-3 model was an updated version from the original Contax RTW which has been created to match the extended capabilities of the
Contax RTS II Quartz. There have been several internal improvements in the electronic circuitry of the Real Time Winder W-3, however the basic unit has the same performance standards, and is virtually interchangeable with, the original RTW. It can be used with both the RTS and RTS II Quartz to provide single-frame or continuous automated operation.

Contax RTW.jpg
Note: the original RTW can also be used with the RTS II Quartz, but only in continuous mode. The W-3 model is a grip-type unit, with its own separate electromagnetic release button (with mode selector switch) atop the grip.

Credit: Image Copyright © 2001. Mr. Pshea <>

And another electromagnetic release on the winder body adds extra convenience to vertical format shots. RTW W-3 connects quickly and simply to the camera, via a threaded tripod socket, and shares all the same accessories as the original RTW.

Both PMD & RTW unit
featuring dual release system: one on
the hand grip...


...and one at
the Power Pack/
Battery Compartment.

The maximum operating rate is three frames per second - making it the best performer in its class suring that era and it also provides with an auto shut-off at the end of a roll of film, indicated by an LED light.

Credit: Image at far left Copyright © 2001. Miss Kristina Hauzar-Proctor of

Battery check and operation indication is also provided. One added convenience of the RTW W-3 is a slide-out battery pack, which is easier and faster for changing battery cases or replacing batteries. The RTW W-3 model has the same power requirements as the original RTW, using six 1.5V M-size batteries in the Winder Battery Case, the RTW NiCd Pack or the RTW Power Pack Set. A special release socket is provided for connection of Real Time System Off-Camera Control equipment.

RTSa.jpg RTSb.jpg RTSc.jpg RTSd.jpg RTSe.jpg
Credit: 5 fabulpous images of the Contax RTS with RTW contributed by Mr. "dearaujo" <>

Instruction Manuals: Contax PMD W-6 | Contax RTW W-3

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| 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 |

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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  

About this photographic site.

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.