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Lomopedia: Contax RTS III

A highly advanced electronic SLR camera loved by many up to the present, the Contax RTS III was introduced by Yashica/Kyocera in 1990. While the last in the Contax RTS series, this 35mm SLR camera introduced many new features and boasted of a reputation as one of the best manual focus SLR cameras throughout the 90s.

Introduced by Yashica/Kyocera in 1990, the Contax RTS III was the last model for the RTS Series (Real Time System), a line of cameras born from the partnership between Yashica of Japan and Carl Zeiss of West Germany. The RTS III was the first to have a Real Time Vacuum Back and ceramic pressure plate which ensures ultimate film flatness. It was also the first to have a pre-flash spot meter which provides TTL flash meter readings with any flash equipment. The RTS III also boasted of several other notable features like a built-in motor drive, diopter control, automatic bracketing control, and multiple exposure capability.

Photo via Hugo Rodriguez

Technical Specifications:

  • Type: 35mm focal plane shutter, auto exposure single-lens-reflex camera
  • Picture Size: 24 × 36mm
  • Lens Mount: Contax/Yashica MM mount
  • Shutter: Vertical-travel metal focal-plane shutter
  • Shutter Speeds: 1/1800 to 32 sec. on auto, 1/8000 to 4 sec., B, and X (1/125 and 1/250 sec.) on manual
  • Sync Contacts: Direct X contact (synchronizes at 1/250 sec. or slower) and sync terminal
  • Self-timer: Electronic self-timer with a delay of 2 or 10 sec.
  • Shutter Release: Electromagnetic release, provided with a vertical position release button, dedicated release socket, and cable release socket for bulb exposure
  • Exposure Modes: Aperture-priority auto exposure, Shutter-speed-priority auto exposure, Manual exposure, TTL auto flash, Pre-flash TTL automatic flash, Pre-flash TTL manual flash
  • Metering System: TTL center-weighted average light metering/TTL spot metering (switchable)
  • Metering Range: EV 0 ~ 21 on center-weighted average light metering and EV 3 ~ 21 on spot metering (ISO 100, F1.4)
  • Film Speed Range: ISO 25 ~ 5000 on automatic setting with DX code, ISO 6 ~ 6400 on manual setting
  • AE Lock: The quantity of light on the image surface is stored in memory
  • Exposure Compensation: + 2 EV ~ – 2EV (can be set in 1/3-step increments)
  • A.B.C. Unit: ± 0.5 and ± EV exposure compensating values with A.B.C. lever
  • Flash Light Control: TTL direct light control
  • Flash Synchronization Control: Automatic shutter speed setting when flash charging is completed on dedicated flash units
  • Viewfinder: Pentaprism eye-level finder (long eye-point type), approx. 100% field of view (no mirror cut-off up to 600mm), 0.74X magnification (with 50mm lens at infinity)
  • Diopter Adjustment: Built-in diopter adjuster, + 1D ~ – 3D correcting range
  • Focusing Screen: Horizontal split-image/microprism type (standard), interchangeable screens available
  • Display in Viewfinder: Shutter speed, overexposure/underexposure warning, exposure counter, A.B.C. mode, flashmeter, flash ready indicator, aperture, exposure modes, exposure compensation warning, metering mark
  • Display Panel: Exposure counter, film transport mark, battery warning mark
  • Film Loading: Auto loading, automatic film positioning to “01” on counter
  • Film Advance: Automatic winding with built-in motor
  • Film Rewinding: Automatic rewinding with built-in motor, film automatically stops with film tip outside the cassette; can be rewound in mid-roll; about 13 sec. rewinding time (with 36-exposure film)
  • Exposure Counter: Automatically resetting, additive typel counts down on rewinding; indicates the time that has passed on bulb exposure and self-timer shots as well as the shooting sequence in A.B.C. mode
  • Accessory Shoe: Direct X-contact hot shoe (provided with TLA flash contact)
  • Drive Modes: Single-frame, continuous shooting (CL and CH), self-timer (2 sec and 10 sec) and multiple exposure modes
  • Winding Speed: Up to about 3 frames/sec at CL (with new alkaline batteries), up to about 5 frames/sec at CH (with new alkaline batteries)
  • Camera Back: Can be opened by camera back release knob; detachable; provided with dating unit and film check window
  • Pressure Plate: Ceramic pressure plate, RTV attraction system
  • Aperture Stop-down: With aperture stop-down button (not in “Tv” mode)
  • Mirror Up: With mirror-up lever
  • Power Source: Six 1.5V AA-size alkaline batteries, six 1.2V AA-size Ni-Cd batteries, or one 6V lithium battery (2CR5); built-in lithium data back battery (CR2025) in camera back
  • Battery Check: Automatic check, battery warning mark in display panel
  • Battery Capacity: About 120 rolls of 36-exposure film (with AA-size alkaline batteries, at ordinary temperature; as tested according to Contax testing standard)
  • Dimensions: 156 (W) x 121 (H) x 66 (D) mm
  • Weight: 1150 g (without batteries)

All information for this article were sourced from Camerapedia, Camera Manuals, Malaysian Information Resource, and Contax Cameras UK.

written by plasticpopsicle

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