First roll through my new Contax

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by soeren_engelbrecht|1, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    some of you might recall that I acquired an RTS for the proverbial song back in February - in total, I spent less than 100 USD for the camera and a Zeiss 50/1.7... In the meantime, I got the first roll back from development, and I managed to scan a few frames on the COOLSCAN IV.

    All shots were taken on Kodak BW400CN Professional - I sincerely hope that the "new" Kodak will still find this a viable product to manufacture...

    Hope that you enjoy them :)


    The first one is of Anton - soon turning four, he has become "clothes-conscious", so he was happy to pose for three quick shots wearing his new polo shirt
  2. Next, we have Asta (7) helping Anton riding her skate-scooter (if that's the correct term)
  3. Playtime... This was shot wide open at dusk - around 1/30 sec.
  4. My wife doesn't really like having her picture taken - but here I caught her off guards for once...
  5. Anton, once again - here, he's fooling around in a visitor's locker at the "Louisiana" Art Museum just north of Copenhagen
  6. Asta & Anton having lunch at Grandpa's place...
  7. Finally: Anton spontaneously crashing on the sofa after his evening bath.
  8. SCL


    Excellent...thanks for sharing.
  9. As for the camera, I really like it. The "Real Time" moniker really is appropriate. There is no "half press" of the shutter - it just fires instantly. And no shutter lock to potentially delay the photographer, either. I only lost one shot due to accidental firing - I'm surprised that it didn't happen more often.

    Ergonomics are fine, otherwise, with the "Meter Check button" on the front and easily accessible exposure compensation. I only used Aperture Priority - I would expect Manual Mode to be annoying, since the shutter speeds are concentric to the rewind lever, and you can't turn the dial without hitting the rewind lever. Sort of.

    The viewfinder is large and bright (only the later RTS models offered 100% view), but focusing the diagonal split-image screen was harder than I expected. Although I'm probably spoilt by using a Leica M3 extensively...

    More pictures when I get the next roll through it :)

  10. Charming work, especially the first picture and the one in the visitor's locker. That Zeiss lens renders things very nicely.
  11. Lovely images! The lens is something of a legend and I think you have done much justice to it.
  12. Beautiful pictures Soeren! "...Lunch at Grandpa's place" is my favourite.
    Is it the name of a previous owner engraved? Is it someone famous?
    Looks very professional, like it's made by Contax...
  13. Fine images, Soeren, you certainly have a charming couple of offspring! The photograph of Anton in his new shirt really is a classic, as is the sleeping portrait. Great camera, fine lens and a photogenic family; what more could a photographer want? Thanks for posting.
  14. What a deal. I've never had the pleasure to use this great camera. I often thought I would have to settle for the 139 of the 159. The RTSs were the professional models $$. If can get that at that price! Oh Yeah! My father in-law inherited a 139Q from another relative, but he rarely uses it. ( Don't ask me about the Contax II he sold!!! Grrrr)
    You've done a beautiful job here! Great pictures and nice warm tones. I think this a side effect of using the 400CN (c-41 process) This is a great age for the children and you. I liked the photo of ANton in his new shirt and a very dear photo of him sleeping. Envious of course, in all aspects!! More!!
  15. Your pictures of your kids are always fun, and I shan't grumble that you seem to need the excuse of "camera testing" to take them.
  16. I always find the photos of your children enchanting, no matter what camera you use! That Contax looks great and obviously delivers the goods. I think that one problem they had was the leatherette lifting, but no big deal....hey, even my Linhof does that!
  17. Nice results. Your subjects really show off the quality of that CZ lens. Thanks for posting.
  18. Just great! I've always loved these cameras, and have almost bought one on multiple occasions, but all I need is another lens system. Very nice photos. Thank you for sharing.
  19. oh oh oh the pain. i just sold my RTSII (keeping the quite good electronic plastic automated 167M that I got for $38 from KEH but it ain't the same) because of that thing called money. i miss it! I have the Planar 50 f1.4. What great lenses both these 50s are.
  20. Nice shots of the family, Soeren. It always interests me when I see a camera engraved professionally with someones name. Clearly a much loved, treasured possession. And what of it's previous owner? Deceased? It reminds me of donating your eyes to medicine so others can see since you will no longer need them.
    I hope you cherish the camera as much as Mr. Nesgaard did.
  21. Dear All,

    thanks for your kind words - I really appreciate them :)

    Fortunately, my kids are not camera-shy. I think it has something to do with the fact that (a) I always carry at least one camera on me (b) If they say no, which they occasionally do, I always respect it. My mother always took lots of pictures of my sister and I, when we were kids, and I hope that Asta and Anton will appreciate these pictures as well.

    As for "F. Nesgaard", I am researching him at the moment - which probably won't be difficult. Finn Nesgaard is one of the most well-known journalists on photography and video here in Denmark, and he is still alive and active. And from my days at Nikon I have a cherished colleague who knows him personally. So I guess I'll just ask him, it was his camera :)

    What else ?? The warm tone is not from the C41 film itself - I always desaturate the scans in PS and add the warm tone manually, since the color cast of the scans themselves is unpredictable and often blue/green-ish. Not nice.

    So: Definitely a keeper !! I expect to get some good use from this camera in the years to come, although it does face some stiff competition from my other CMC's :)

    Thanks again, and please add more comments if you like :)

  22. Beautiful images you have made! I became aware of the Contax RTS SLRs in the 1970s, but they were tremendously expensive in the United States, even used, so I never once met a photographer (and I knew quite a lot of them over the years), amateur or professional, over the years who owned them.
  23. I bought me another RTS II. I am happy.

Share This Page