For the original rangefinder model, see Contax rangefinder For the East German SLR, see Contax S Contax is originally the name of the famed 35mm rangefinder camera made from by Zeiss Ikon see Contax rangefinder , which subsequently became the name of a pioneering single-lens reflex camera made from by the Eastern part of Zeiss Ikon see Contax S. By that time, Yashica was a production giant with considerable electronic camera experience, and was seeking ways to expand sales and improve brand name recognition in the highly competitive 35mm SLR market. The F. Alexander Porsche Group was hired to complete an ergonomic and styling study of the new camera. The cameras were noteworthy for their advanced electronics. Since manual-focus Contax and Yashica manual-focus 35mm SLR cameras share the same common bayonet lens mount, their lenses may be used interchangeably.
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July 28, After getting bit by the compact point and shoot bug with the Leica Mini I was left with wanting more. After digging around the internet and trying to find a camera that somewhat fit the criteria I came across the Contax TVS line. First day I received this baby, free roll of Tri-x! Overview The Contax TVS i is a high-end zoom aperture priority compact point and shoot camera that Contax put out that is highly overlooked compared to the other Contax point and shoots.
But I can vouch for this camera that it is in fact tac sharp at 28mm and when you zoom to other focal lengths. Sticking with the lens of the camera, what really drew me to this camera is the way you zoom the lens with a what I want to call a "dive knob" that controls the power of the camera and the zoom of the lens.
On the front of the camera, there is a built in flash that is quite good but obviously, it has its limits with it being a point an shoot. You can see that Drive Knob that is across from the Contax logo to the left A view of the whole top of the camera with the lens fully zoomed with lens hood and uv filter attached.
Now we find ourselves on top of the camera and the layout of the top of there camera is extremely minimal and very functional. Starting left to right we have a small LCD screen that displays flash shooting modes and a button next to it to program the flash. Just under that, we have the exposure compensation dial or wheel, that helps if you want to push film since this camera sets the ISO by DX coding.
Across the top, you find the sexy Contax logo you find the self-timer and above that is the shutter button that you half press for focus and exposure lock.
Finally, we have another LCD screen that is the exposure counter and that is always on even the camera is off, which is a nice touch. Also, that LCD screen displays the lens focal length when the shutter button is depressed halfway which is quite nice.
Lastly, you have the focus dial that has AF and then different distances in meters that you can use for manual scale focusing, and the dial is pretty sturdy when locked in AF but has been bumped a few times when I was shooting. Here you can see the exposure compensation dial , flash LCD and Flash mode button. But the plus side of having the data back on the camera is that it has a better thumb rest than the stock back, unfortunately, the back does make the camera a little more bulky in terms of girth.
The bottom of the camera there is the standard tripod socket and the battery compartment that takes a DLa or a CRA battery.
Then right next to that is the rewind button for manual rewinds. In the middle of the viewfinder is the oval which I believe controls the focus and metering as center-weighted, below that is a green aluminated bar the displays the shutter speed and wheather you are in program mode or not. Then there are a series of arrows and circle that tells you whats in focus or whats not.
I will be inserting two pages from the manual to clear explain this because it is some what confusing. This screen shots will explain the viewfinder a lot better than me obviously because its the manual Handling The handling of this camera is quite good, and I touched on some things about handling in the over of the camera but I want to go in-depth about it here. First of all the camera has a really nice weight to it and it should since its built out of titanium!
In the overview, I talked about the camera having a data back with a bigger thumb rest which gives a good grip when caring it around in hand all day. It also has a small indent on the from the camera where your others fingers will hang out and it is a different material and it does provide some good grip when your hand is sweaty. The shutter button is in a perfect position for your pointer finger and your thumb is in a great spot to adjust the manual focus.
Size compasison of the Contax TVS and the Leica Mini and you can see the the TVS is a bit slime and longer but that lens sticks out a bit with the uv filter and hood which are both removable.
Contaxt TVS, Leica Mini, Iphone 6s Operating the aperture is pretty easy but sometimes annoying that your fingers some times get in the from so I suggest changing it before putting it up to your eye. With all that considered the camera feels really great in the hands and it is a joy to use and shoot.
I feel like its a great upgrade from the Leica Mini. A work around the slow autofocus is using the manual focus. The second thing that is the auto advance, it is pretty loud and there is no way to have it from not advancing after a shot. What I mean by that is the Leica Mini is bloody loud and when you took a shot and still holding down the shutter button the camera would not advance the form until you released the button. Lastly, the manual focus dial is a bit lose and sometimes can get bumped but if you make the habit of checking it before shooting you will be fine.
Images Now I have shot a lot of film with this camera since I have had it for about a year now and I can say it can handle any film. First Roll. Kodak Porta A beautiful shot of my girlfriend Candace. Lastly some Fuji Acros Developed on Sprint Chemistry and scanned on Epson V You can get them for a song on the second- hand market and they will last you if you treat them with love.
It feels to me a little like the TVSiii was designed to offer less to the enthusiast looking to a pocketable counterpart to their larger kit, and more to the casual holiday-photographer who happens to have deep pockets. There are thousands of cameras of this ilk that have motorised lenses that project out of the body and open some sort of lens cover. The standard is the telescopic mechanism with the little leaves over the lens that fold out of the way when the camera is turned on. Not flashy enough for the designers of the Contax TVSiii, they decided instead that the lens cover should be a flap on the front of the camera a la the original Contax T Rangefinder.
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