The Contax T3

Archiver

Top Veteran
Jul 11, 2010
Melbourne, Australia
I purchased my Contax T3 after falling in love with the unique look on the images. Every T3 image I had seen was rich, sharp and wonderfully saturated. A lot of information about the T3 exists on the internet, so I won't rehash it here.



Suffice it to say that it was the last of the Contax luxury cameras, made in the early 2000's, with a titanium body and synthetic sapphire viewfinder windows and shutter button.



The bokeh is absolutely fantastic, with a really soft, creamy feel.



The camera itself is very compact and quite light, smaller that today's cameras like the Leica X1, GXR with 28mm module, or the Sigma DP1 or DP2. The body of the camera is about the same size as the DP1 body minus the lens cylinder.



The lens is the gem in the crown of this camera - a Zeiss Sonnar 35mm f2.8. It was designed to have little vignetting, and is very sharp and contrasty.



I love this camera, although for a while I haven't been shooting with it. I've got a renewed interest in the look of film, so I will be shooting a lot of back-to-backs with the GXR and M9 with the intention of emulating the look of the T3.
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
Philly, Pa
That's a great camera. I borrowed one from an old friend. I fell in love with it rather quickly.
After Peter saw the images I was getting, he asked for it back. I was reluctant but gave in and returned it.
I miss that camera to this day. I wish they would make digital version.
Oh, Peter passed away and the camera with him.

You have a real winner there. That lens is pure magic.
 

stratokaster

Top Veteran
Dec 27, 2010
Kiev, Ukraine
Pavel
Archiver, thank you for sharing those beautiful images. I have always lusted for Contax T2 or T3. I had a chance to use one of its brethren - Yashica T4 - and it also was a wonderful camera, although its build quality was not up to Contax standards.
 

Archiver

Top Veteran
Jul 11, 2010
Melbourne, Australia
Thanks, guys. I really love my T3. Even though I don't use it very much, I love it just about as much as my favourite cameras like the M9 and Ricohs.

T3's come up on ebay from time to time. In Japan I saw a shop with three or four sitting in a cabinet with varying prices, obviously due to differing levels of condition, packaging and use. I was lucky enough to get a black version, which is more rare, that was mint in box a few years ago. I paid through the nose for it, but it is worth it. I'm even considering getting a spare or two in case one goes down, or is in need of parts.

I have noticed that a number of people on flickr own a Contax, a Ricoh GR of some description, a Fuji Natura and perhaps a Lomo LCA. I think it is to do with the desire for a high quality compact camera in one form or another.
 
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Michael Penn

Veteran
Sep 14, 2010
Philadelphia
I had the chance of using a T3 for a while but quickly sold it because I thought the Ricoh GR1s was better for street photography right down to how it fit in the hand.
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
Philly, Pa
Mark, you don't need a film camera.
Your doing fine with what your using. If a camera can unlock an aspect in your work, go for it. If it's like lust because of the way it looks, forget it.
The contax is a great camera but personally, I'm past the film era.
Are you?
 

Archiver

Top Veteran
Jul 11, 2010
Melbourne, Australia
:doh:....and I'd just convinced myself I DIDN'T need a film camera. Thanks a bunch Archiver!!!

Looks too sweet!!!!
Yeah, it is sweet. And perhaps ironically, I've seen at least one person describe the DP2's output as looking like 'extremely well scanned slide film shot with the Contax T3'. So there you go. You practically own a digital version of the T3 with all the digital conveniences.

I shoot film because it is fun, and I enjoy it. The output is something I can't emulate without a fair bit of difficulty and twiddling in Lightroom and Photoshop. I don't shoot with it a lot, due to processing costs and inconvenience, but it is a very pleasing camera when put through its paces.
 

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