Modern Classic SLR Series
Contax RTS Shared Resources - Carl Zeiss T * Lenses


Yashica/Contax Mount.jpg
A vital part of any camera system is the linkage between camera body and lens. The strong, durable three claws bayonet Contax/Yashica mount that was first introduced on the original Contax RTS which incidentally also used by the Yashica SLR cameras. With a 48mm diameter, the mount allows the use of ultra-fast lenses designed by Carl Zeiss, without being so large as to interfere with design of the overall system. Mounting the lens requires a 1/5 turn equivalent to 72°.

This is not coincidental, according to Zeiss's explanation but an optimum choice to allow wide spacing of slide resistor settings for aperture readings and quick-change capability for the active photographer, the mount itself is machined from stainless steel of exceptional tensile strength, highly resistant to wear in order to provide a lasting secure link between camera and lens. And since every optical-path accessory in the Real Time System employs this same lens mount (along with all Yashica brand accessories), the photographer has an enormous range of creative equipment and capabilities to select from in preparing for any situation.


Carl Zeiss | Friedrich Otto Schott | Ernst Abbe

Zeiss Friedrich Ernst
Credit: Images downloaded from Contax Website. They have been scaled and retouched slightly.

The lenses that connect to that mount for the Contax RTS II Ouartz are, simply, one of the finest ever developed for 35mm photography; it is in fact, the Carl Zeiss T
* line of superbly crafted fine optic that actually has enabled Contax stamped a strong footing when attempted to re-enter at the 35mm SLR camera business.

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Strangely, most German optical trade names have its natural charm that was essentially took them decades to establish. So, just like the Leitz, Schneider and the Zeiss - superlatives become commonplace in discussing with the German lenses and they have established a huge pool of faithful followers worldwide. And it is not surprising to find some of them (like the Leica) have been cashing in by selling ridiculously prized lenses.
The Zeiss, has enabled it to offer Contax users an extensive lineups of lenses for both ordinary and special-purpose applications, including some of the best macro lenses you can find in 35mm photography and other unusual optics as the Zeiss N-Mirotar for night surveillance photography (with an aperture of f/0.03 arises from its capability to intensify residual light of any night scenes 80,000 times and passes it on to the macro lens which delivers illumination to the film plane at 2,500 times the intensity of an f/1.4 lens !) The Zeiss range of top rated optics comprised of lenses range from 16mm fisheye all the way to the gigantic 1000mm reflex lens (see picture above).

A strong optical characteristic of Zeiss lenses is its natural color balance and rendition which are simply superior which has a lot to thank to the Zeiss T* color coating process; the process has also enabled all Zeiss lenses are perfectly matched, so as to provide precisely the same color tones. Optical resolution and contrast, even illumination of the entire field, high light transmission and complete freedom from distortion are just a few of the many other qualities that distinguish the Zeiss T* line.

images/image.gif The Zeiss optics, is one of the main important reason contributed to Contax successes and it is a perfect match for the superior performance of the Contax RTS series cameras featured in this website. Carl Zeiss T* lens series is a continuation of the proud Zeiss tradition of quality and excellence. During a perfect timing of entry, Kyocera of Japan which previously being regarded as a outsider in the highly competitive Optical Industry in Japan where they confined to design and manufacture some SLR cameras under the trade name of "Yashica".

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Perhaps, I think that was an important milestone and also a effective turning point for Zeiss, which previously are banking on the continual business alliance with medium format camera makers, Hasselblad of Sweden. The entry of Kyocera has established a different platform at the electronic application to modern camera design while at the same time instilling an all new ways of oriental business and production management that has made the Japanese so successful in creating numerous successful global trademarks since the World War II. The marriage certainly works and after 25 years of hard work and continuing search to perfect the system - The Contax of today has finally re emerged as one of the most influential and respected trade name in the photographic community.

Well. why is it that this site does not feature anything relating to Zeiss lenses other than these scratchy references ? Because I have surfed through some very well designed websites on the Internet such as the Contax Camera site in US or excellent individual effort by Contax lovers such as Cees De Groot who maintains a superb Contax and Yashica website - I think resources contained there should be sufficiently to cover basic essential data at that segment and I don't intend to replicate similar resources on the Net. If you wish to find out more relating to Zeiss Lenses | Click Here | will direct you to the Contax US site.


Older Lens data published
during RTS
PDF File (540k)

Makro-Planar Lenses

Older Lens data published during
RTS II Quartz 
PDF File (625k)
OFF TOPIC: Well, I have always been a big fan of the Zeiss lenses too. Unfortunately, I don't have enough funding to establish another photographic system and it doesn't make sense either as I am not a Pro who depends on this medium to make a living. But if some are already a Contax Users and wish to have a section to publish your own finding and analysis on Zeiss lenses, do mail me some articles and see f I can create a new section for you.

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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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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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Credit: 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.