Lomopedia: Contax T3


A lot of people consider the Contax T2 as one of the greatest compact point-and-shoot film cameras ever created. Its balanced combination of style, performance, and quality makes it one of the most sought-after film cameras even up to this day. Just imagine — a camera still being sold at a resale value that’s sometimes higher than its original cost. Few cameras have that lasting effect on the market.

Contax T3 © Tomohisa Suna via Flickr, Image used under Creative Commons license

But that’s not where the story ends. Contax decided to do a follow-up to their widely successful point-and-shoot camera and the result was the Contax T3. It’s a compact point-and-shoot film camera that stays true to the design ethos of its predecessor. The T3’s body is made of titanium, making it incredibly light and durable. While it is a small camera, the T3 still manages to feel substantial in the hands. Controls are relatively easy to find although they may be a bit finicky to adjust given the size of the buttons.

The T3 had to do good by the legacy of its older sibling so Contax decided that the newer iteration of the T2 had to carry a good lens. And it did. The Contax T3 has a 35 mm f/2.8 Zeiss Sonnar lens that creates images with exceptional quality. Photos taken with the Contax T3 are crisp and clean. Paired with its manual control and you’ve got a quite dependable everyday shooter. The T3 also comes with a variety of control settings like exposure compensation, a clear viewfinder, and a responsive focusing system that adds to the overall shooting experience.

Contax T3 © Wutthichai Charoenburi via Flickr, Image used under Creative Commons license

The Contax T3 is the very definition of “point-and-shoot.” It’s a reliable piece of gear that comes with different modes that you can set beforehand. Set the mode to the shooting condition you’re in and you’re set. No need to worry about your images that much. The Contax T3 will do the work for you. While that may sound pleasing for a lot of people, they may get dismayed by the cost of the camera. A unit today can set you back as much as 1000 to 1,500 USD depending on the quality of the camera. Costly? Yes, but to some collectors and fans of the Contax compact cameras, it’s just price they have to pay to enjoy this finely tuned camera.

Photos Taken by Our Community with the Contax T3

Credits: cyanwater, clickiemcpete, pinkbutterfly, edwinchau, mercarballo, timkowai, cyauzen & recurving

Technical Specifications

Type: 35 mm fully automatic lens-shutter autofocus camera with built-in flash
Image Size: 24 x 36 mm
Lens: Carl Zeiss Sonnar T 35 mm f/2.8, 6 elements in 4 groups
Aperture: f/2.8 to f/16
Focusing Range: 0.35 m to infinity
Shutter: At “P” setting: 16 sec - 1/200 sec (1/500 sec at open aperture f/2.8), LT setting 1-180 sec
Exposure Control: Programmed AE, aperture-priority AE
Automatic Exposure Range: EV-1 -EV18 (ISO 100)
Metering: Two-part external light meter with SPD element
Exposure Compensation: +/-2 EV (in ⅓ EV step). Can be set to ½ EV step in custom functions
Film Speed: Automatic setting (by DX contacts) in range ISO 25-5000. Non-DX film automatically set for ISO 100.
Focusing: External passive autofocus with AF assist light and focus lock function. Can be set to manual focus by mode button.
Viewfinder: Reverse Galilean viewfinder, Magnification ratio 0.5x, Viewfinder coverage: 85% of actual picture area (at 3 meters)
Viewfinder Display: Picture area frame, closeup frame, macro indicator, focus frame, exposure compensation indicator, focus display, flash indicator, shutter speed
LCD Monitor: Flash mode indicator (auto flash, auto red-eye reduction flash, no flash, fill-in flash, night portrait flash.)
Operating modes: exposure compensation mode and compensation value; self-timer mode and remaining time; custom function mode and item no; long-time mode and setting time; focus setting mode and set distance; battery power display; exposure counter
Film Loading: Auto loading, automatic advance to frame no 1
Film Transport: Automatic single-frame exposure
Film Rewinding: Auto-return, auto-stop, mid-roll rewind possible
Exposure Counter: LCD display, automatic-resetting additive type
Self-timer: Electronic type with ten-second or two-second delay, cancellable
Flash: Built-in; flashmatic and guide-number control
Recharging Time: About 3 sec (at normal room temperature with new batteries; in accordance with Contax testing standards)
Custom Functions: 1) film leader status after rewind; 2) lens focusing position hold time; 3) exposure compensation hold time; 4) exposure compensation step; 5) AFL button function; 6) focus lock hold time (AFL button); 7) manual focus hold time
Camera Back: Opens via camera back release knob
Battery: 3V lithium battery (CR2): 1
Capacity: about 12 rolls of 24-exposure film (at normal room temperature with new batteries; in accordance with Contax testing standards), 50% flash
Data Imprint: Date, time
Dimensions: 105 W x 63 H x 30.5 D
Weight: 230 g without battery

All information used in this article was sourced from 35mmc, Shoot Tokyo, Broken Camera Club, Trenton Michael, Contax Cameras, and Butkus Camera Manuals.

written by cheeo on 2018-09-11 #gear #lomopedia #point-and-shoot #compact #contax-t3 #lomopedia


  1. yago56
    yago56 ·

    The best of all point and shoot cameras.

  2. vintaprint
    vintaprint ·

    Vielen Dank für den schönen Bericht.
    Allerdings sind diese Kameras zur Zeit überbewertet und viel zu teuer.
    Schon für die "Einwegkamera Yashica T3" werden Preise von über 300€ bezahlt. Wer sich für solch eine Point and Shot Kamera interessiert sollte nie vergessen das die Dinger alle mindestens 20 Jahre alt sind und es keine vernünftigen Reparatur Möglichkeiten mehr gibt.
    Nun wird die Contax T3 besser verarbeitet und langlebiger wie eine Yashica T4 sein, allerdings ist auch eine Contax am Rande ihrer Lebensdauer angegekommen. Eine große Verschleißreserve darf man nicht mehr erwarten. Trotz des unbestreitbaren tollen Objektivs kann ich nur davon abraten für solche Kameras mehr wie 100€ auszugeben. Denn wenn Ihr Pech habt ist der erste Film zugleich der letzte Film. Leider fehlt der Kamera Industrie der Mut neue gute bezahlbare Kameras zu bauen.
    Eigentlich sollte die für Hersteller wie Panasonic keine allzugroße Hürde sein, die Spritzgussformen abzustauben und neue Kompaktkameras zu bauen. Abnehmer gibt es mit Sicherheit genug. Mein Wunsch wäre eine kleine Autofokus Kompakte, mit einem guten Vierlinsen Objektiv, 3,5/35mm oder 38mm wären Ok, mit Zeitautomatik und einer PC Blitzbuchse. Auf den Motorantrieb und einen eingebauten Blitz verzichte ich gerne. Für 200€ würde ich die Kamera gerne kaufen. Es wäre schön wenn ich dies noch erleben dürfte. Die Lomo Kameras sind klasse aber etwas mehr Auswahl bei besseren Kameras wäre sehr, sehr schön.

  3. zorki
    zorki ·

    @vintaprint: Watch out for "Fuji Natura Classica" or "Fuji Klasse W". These are great (but also very expensive) Point-and-shoot-cameras from the late 2000s.

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