Have an account? Login | New to Lomography? Register | Lab | Current Site:

The Contax T2 – as high tech as I need to get in my analogue adventures!

The Contax T2 is a compact auto focus point and shoot camera released by Kyocera in 1990. It was targeted at professionals who needed a high-end compact to carry around at all times; and well, wealthy amateurs I suppose.

I first became intrigued by this camera a year or so ago after looking at pictures shot by one of my favorite photographers: Kevin Meredith (a.k.a. Lomokev). I was amazed that these sharp as a tack, colour-popping images came from this fairly bulky brick of a point and shoot camera, and not a great big SLR. I thought it looked kind of “90’s” but, never being too worried about how much of a total geek I might look carrying something like this around, I decided that I needed to get one. So I did, at Christmas, via eBay, for about £180.

The Contax T2 is a compact auto focus point and shoot camera released by Kyocera in 1990. It was targeted at professionals who needed a high-end compact to carry around at all times; and well, wealthy amateurs I suppose. It features a superb retracting 5-element Carl Zeiss T* Sonnar f2.8/38mm lens and a set of extremely easy to use controls – all kept nice and safe in a highly corrosion resistant titanium body. The camera also features a built in flash, self-timer mode and exposure compensation.

Operating the controls is really quite easy. There is a handy thumb dial on the top of the camera, which turns the power on and provides focusing settings. You can set to AF or scroll to manual focus starting from 0.7m to infinity. As soon as the camera is switched on, the lens pops out from behind its protective cover. Around the lens is the aperture ring, which allows you to select an aperture from f2.8 to f16, or select flash mode.
The viewfinder is clear and precise. The shutter speed is worked out automatically depending on the aperture you have selected. If there is too much light the “500” (top speed) will blink within the viewfinder to warn you to adjust the aperture accordingly. If there is too little light “L.T” will blink within the viewfinder and at this point the camera will automatically go to bulb mode and the shutter will remain open for as long you press down the shutter.

In Auto Focus mode you must lock the focus by positioning your subject in the centre of the frame and pressing the shutter halfway. When the camera has locked focus a green light appears in the viewfinder and you can re-compose your shot before pressing the shutter all the way down. However, you don’t even really need to look in the viewfinder to do this, the focus locks within a second.

If I had to point out any downsides to the camera I guess they would be: it’s size – it’s bordering on bulky at 295g; There’s no multiple exposure options; and finally the top shutter speed is 500th of a second – which can be a pain if you’ve loaded with 400 iso film and the sun decides to come out. The positives however, far out-weigh these minor downsides.

For me, this camera is the perfect accompaniment to my other lo fi cameras. Don’t expect to find light leaks or accidental double exposures, because the camera wasn’t designed for anything but exceptional quality. However, you can still get creative and cross process your film, try massively out dated film, or stick some different coloured gels over the flash or lens.

All in all I REALLY love this camera, and always look forward to seeing the results from the lab. These gems are no longer produced, so if you happen to come across one in good working order for anything under £150, I say for goodness sake buy it!

written by dannyedwards

16 comments

  1. maxwellmaxen

    maxwellmaxen

    picture 10 is absolutely awesome!!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. simonh82

    simonh82

    Lovely photos and great article. The photos really do have an SLR feel to them.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. superlighter

    superlighter

    great camera and great photos too, the under the bridge(10) one is fantastic!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. wuxiong

    wuxiong

    Great camera and wonderful fotos. I want one badly. But the price here in the market is over 2800 RMB at least..... <:)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  5. nock

    nock

    great stuff! seems a fun camera! very practical and not hurting creativity :) love the photos too!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  6. vicuna

    vicuna

    great review of a fantastic camera!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  7. vici

    vici

    Enjoyed this review. Coincidentally, it was the photo on page 53 in Meredith's book "Hot Shots" that sparked my desire for a Contax T2, then your photos Danny, fueled the fire. I just uploaded a new album of my second roll of photos from this dreamy camera.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  8. orangeuke

    orangeuke

    very detail :)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  9. willyboy

    willyboy

    That's a sleek little number. Looks like you were on the set of Lock Stock from the first set of images!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  10. saintempire

    saintempire

    haaaaa my true love! , well with the LC-A i must admit!
    i bought one few months ago in H.K, near mint, but sadly it's a bit pricey, around 250€ and yes if you found one around 150£ it's a obli-gator-y purchase!
    i'm so pleased and daily amazed with this little baby, and with this article!!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  11. dannyedwards

    dannyedwards

    thanks everyone for the nice comments, likes, and general happy vibes

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  12. johnccc

    johnccc

    I got a T2 a few months ago , its a really good camera and worth every penny .

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  13. flash2424

    flash2424

    I have one as well and have not used it in years. i bought it in my pre-
    Lieca years and loved it as a very high quality carry around everywhere camera. Enjoy yours!
    Maybe i will get mine out and about again.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  14. jeyku

    some stunning shots there

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  15. trw

    trw

    NIce review! I love this camera too!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  16. af-capture

    af-capture

    nice

    about 2 years ago · report as spam