The Contax T2 for Analogue Adventures!


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, color-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.

Image by Miki Yoshito from Flickr Commons

The Contax T2 is a compact autofocus 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 f2.8/38m m 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 center 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 295 g; There are 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 outweigh 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 a massively outdated film or stick some different colored 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!

This review was penned by Lomographer dannyedwards. Upload your shots with the Contax T2 to your LomoHome!

written by dannyedwards on 2011-05-10 #gear #35mm #review #carl-zeiss #90-s #contax #t2 #user-review #kyocera #point-shoot #titanium


  1. maxwellmaxen
    maxwellmaxen ·

    picture 10 is absolutely awesome!!

  2. simonh82
    simonh82 ·

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

  3. superlighter
    superlighter ·

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

  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..... <:)

  5. nock
    nock ·

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

  6. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    great review of a fantastic camera!

  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.

  8. orangeuke
    orangeuke ·

    very detail :)

  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!

  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!!

  11. dannyedwards
    dannyedwards ·

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

  12. johnccc
    johnccc ·

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

  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.

  14. jeyku
    jeyku ·

    some stunning shots there

  15. trw
    trw ·

    NIce review! I love this camera too!

  16. af-capture
    af-capture ·


  17. itsdaniela
    itsdaniela ·

    £180!? wow! I've been trying to get my hands on one for a while but can't find anything below £500. Does anyone know somewhere reliable I can purchase a Contax T2?? Maybe it seems especially cheap because this was a few years ago, but I've been looking around for months! I'd really appreciate it, thank you.

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