Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Contax T - a Neglected Performer

Several years ago, I bought a Contax T from a gentleman in Washington, DC. Mine is the first model, with a Carl Zeiss Sonnar 38 mm f2.8 lens, manual rangefinder, and aperture-priority exposure metering. There is no manual override of the exposure metering, with the exception of a button that provides for +1.5 stops overexposure, designed for shooting in backlit situations.
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The T is amazingly compact and shoots on 35mm film. It has a funny little flip-up lens cover which is a bit hard to get used to, and sticks out while you're shooting. The focus ring on the tiny Sonnar takes getting used to as well. Other than that, it's ergonomics are quite good, at least for my hands.
I have had the T in my car for years now, but used it very little. It's the perfect glovebox camera; my problem is that I usually have another camera with me and don't have a need to grab the T. I should get mine out and shoot it, which only requires me to bring it along.
So what got me thinking about this? I read a thread on Rangefinder Forum, where people shared both their challenges with the Contax T (light leaks around the film canister), as well as some wonderful example shots. Here's one posted by Rui Resende in the thread:

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(Click Here) to read about the Contax T on Rangefinder Forum.
I'm always considering new projects. I think I should somehow work the T into one of them. It's a bit of an oddity, not one that many people will still have or use. But, it's a unique little camera that's capable of wonderful results.