Contax RTS

Andysnap

<span class="poty">POTY (Film) 2015</span>
Messages
15,409
Name
Andy Grant
Edit My Images
Yes
#2
Excellent cameras, shove a big lump of Zeiss glass on the front and you are onto a winning combination. (y)
 
Messages
2,121
Name
Des
Edit My Images
Yes
#3
I had a II for a while, lovely solid camera. Control layout takes getting used to with the shutter control on the left.
Don't think there was a lot of difference between the I and II?

Best thing about Contax SLRs are the lenses IMHO.

@kendo1 is the man for Contax info ....
 
Messages
3,790
Name
Adrian
Edit My Images
Yes
#4
The RTS is a superb camera. I had one some years ago and an RX more recently, both really top quality cameras. They are at their best with Contax Zeiss glass, which is by no means cheap. That was the reason I sold them on in the end, I have a lot invested in Nikkor glass and couldn't justify the expense of the lenses. It was an itch I had to scratch though and I got some great results with a Contax Zeiss 50mm f1.7.
 
Messages
6,929
Name
Ken
Edit My Images
Yes
#5
Great camera, but not as good as the II

The RTS II is more refined. They are both solid lumps compared with the likes of Olympus and Pentax cameras of the time.
 
Messages
1,251
Edit My Images
No
#8
I also have the 167MT, but I didn't get a bargain like Steve! Contax/Yashica made very high quality cameras, except for the body covering in the earlier models, which hasn't stood the test of time (the leatherette on my Yashica FX-D, the same material as its Contax cousins, began to self-destruct after about a decade). Luckily, you can still get DIY replacement covers for several models, including I think the RTS. The lenses are of course excellent - that Planar f/1.7 is still one of my favourites. However, you are buying a battery-dependent camera with 40 year old electronics, which may not be serviceable if it breaks. The S2/S2b still sells at a premium as the only mechanical Contax body (the mechanical Yashica FX3 is another option).
 
Messages
561
Name
Steve
Edit My Images
Yes
#11
I bought a Yashica FX-3 which had the 28mm DSB lens on it. I have also bought two Yashica MC 35-70mm zooms for £3.99 from different Cash Converters. The 55mm f2 DSB on my 137MD was originally on my FX-D, or my FR. The FX-D and FX-3 are waiting for new leather.
 
Messages
272
Name
Alastair
Edit My Images
No
#12
FX-D and FX-3 are waiting for new leather
I can recommend FX-D leather from Milly's Cameras, cost a tenner, really nice and flexible and sticky. It helps if you have done it before and you will probably need a scalpel / jolly sharp knife. (For the leather, not yourself in frustration.) Much nicer than the not particularly flexible, not particularly sticky vinyl that I have also just done a Contax 139Q with, vinyl bought elsewhere. The Yashica was bought for £7 for spares for the Contax, but it was perfect apart from the covering and a trashed battery holder, so new battery bit, leather, seals and foam and it is luverly! Oh, yeah, the Contax came with the 28mm DSB (Advertised as with the ML, a bit miffed but it was dirt cheap) but the DSB ain't so bad. The FX-D is now my weapon of choice, with a Zeiss 35mm T* on the front :)
 
Last edited:
Messages
561
Name
Steve
Edit My Images
Yes
#13
I can recommend FX-D leather from Milly's Cameras, cost a tenner, really nice and flexible and sticky. It helps if you have done it before and you will probably need a scalpel / jolly sharp knife. (For the leather, not yourself in frustration.) Much nicer than the not particularly flexible, not particularly sticky vinyl that I have also just done a Contax 139Q with, vinyl bought elsewhere. The Yashica was bought for £7 for spares for the Contax, but it was perfect apart from the covering and a trashed battery holder, so new battery bit, leather, seals and foam and it is luverly! Oh, yeah, the Contax came with the 28mm DSB (Advertised as with the ML, a bit miffed but it was dirt cheap) but the DSB ain't so bad. The FX-D is now my weapon of choice, with a Zeiss 35mm T* on the front :)
I've had a look on Milly's site thanks. My 137MD came with brown lizard skin style covering, probably from there, and a spare black cover in case I didn't like it.

I have seen an identical 137MD on Nik and Trick's website so maybe it originally came from them.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Stephen L
Messages
3,471
Name
Stephen
Edit My Images
Yes
#14
I've had a look on Milly's site thanks. My 137MD came with brown lizard skin style covering, probably from there, and a spare black cover in case I didn't like it.

I have seen an identical 137MD on Nik and Trick's website so maybe it originally came from them.
My RTS is coming from Nik & Trick complete with a new skin, light seals, and battery. Hope to get it Tuesday.
 
OP
OP
Stephen L
Messages
3,471
Name
Stephen
Edit My Images
Yes
#15
My RTS is coming from Nik & Trick complete with a new skin, light seals, and battery. Hope to get it Tuesday.
It’s arrived, and it’s a beauty. Good honest rub marks, new skin, and a gleaming scratch-free film chamber. Next is to put some film through it.

As an aside, although I usually take mono film these days, I think this camera deserves colour occasionally. What is the current favoured colour film for predominantly landscapes?
 
Messages
856
Name
Peter
Edit My Images
Yes
#16
I had a phone call from Chairman of Brentwood Photographic Club saying there was a Gent in West Horndon ( 5 miles from Brentwood) who was going to the council 'Dump' with his deceased Dad's 'Old Film Cameras' BUT if anyone wanted the stuff get there QUICK -- so I rushed to West Horndon and bloke pulled out of Garage a huge dusty box. On opening at home ( when WIFE was OUT ! ) I found Contax RTS II Quartz with 50mm f1.4 Planar T*, Yashica FR-1 with 50mm, 28mm and 200mm lenses, winders, cables, huge Flash all filthy. Both cameras had had a 'Bang' so both frame counters are stuck on 'S' I cleaned up bodies with damp cloth and Cotton Buds and lenses with tissue and fluid -- NO FUNGUS or SCRATCHES but all the foam light seals had gone rotten so I got out my 85 pence sheet of foam from Hobby Crafts Romford and replaced foam strips and mirror bumpers. The FR-1 50mm f1.9 DSB lens has packed up 'stopping down' now and after extensive testing I don't think the 50mm f1.4 Planar T* is any better than my old Radio-Active 50mm f1.4 SMC Takumar on my SP-F OR the 50mm f1.4 G. Zuiko on my OM2n.

Contax RTS II Quartz.jpg Contax RTS Quartz bang.jpg Contax with Flash.jpg Yashica gear.jpg
 
Last edited:
Messages
8,730
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
#17
As an aside, although I usually take mono film these days, I think this camera deserves colour occasionally. What is the current favoured colour film for predominantly landscapes?
Not sure about favourites overall, but Portra 400 gets a very good press in 135 (it's what I would always load if going somewhere like the Glencoe trip), or Ektar for a more saturated look in good light. I've been using Agfa Vista 400 (AKA Fuji Superia 400) for general purposes, and I'd be hard put to tell the difference from Portra in the right light.

Then there's the slide films, Provia 100 for me, though I very rarely use it. Velvia 50 is clearly wonderful if you've the chops to use it well (I haven't!). Not tried the new Ektachrome yet...
 
OP
OP
Stephen L
Messages
3,471
Name
Stephen
Edit My Images
Yes
#18
Not sure about favourites overall, but Portra 400 gets a very good press in 135 (it's what I would always load if going somewhere like the Glencoe trip), or Ektar for a more saturated look in good light. I've been using Agfa Vista 400 (AKA Fuji Superia 400) for general purposes, and I'd be hard put to tell the difference from Portra in the right light.

Then there's the slide films, Provia 100 for me, though I very rarely use it. Velvia 50 is clearly wonderful if you've the chops to use it well (I haven't!). Not tried the new Ektachrome yet...
Thanks for that detailed reply. Food for thought - I never did care for the original Ektachrome in the olden days. Thought it was over-rated!. I’ve not got the courage to hope for constistently bright enough light round here to warrant slow speeds. 200ASA is low enough for my digital shots.
 
Messages
25
Name
Peter
Edit My Images
No
#19
My father had one back in the day with Zeiss 50mm kens, it was excellent and I'd really like to have it now.
 
Messages
8,730
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
#20
Thanks for that detailed reply. Food for thought - I never did care for the original Ektachrome in the olden days. Thought it was over-rated!. I’ve not got the courage to hope for constistently bright enough light round here to warrant slow speeds. 200ASA is low enough for my digital shots.
I'd definitely suggest a few rolls of Superia 400 then... much better than C200 (Superia 00 sadly is no more) or Kodak 200.

BTW I haven't used Kodak Gold etc for years...
 
Top