The Contax T3

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Archiver, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. Archiver

    Archiver SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    610
    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.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/archiver/382597058/" title="T3 - Nicholas Building Arcade by Archiver, on Flickr">[​IMG]"335" height="500" alt="T3 - Nicholas Building Arcade"></a>

    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.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/archiver/533910834/" title="T3 - Darling Harbour by Archiver, on Flickr">[​IMG]"500" height="335" alt="T3 - Darling Harbour"></a>

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

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/archiver/5574769115/" title="T3 - Brothers by Archiver, on Flickr">[​IMG]"500" height="335" alt="T3 - Brothers"></a>

    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.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/archiver/399557889/" title="T3 - St Kilda Pier by Archiver, on Flickr">[​IMG]"500" height="335" alt="T3 - St Kilda Pier"></a>

    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.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/archiver/5574770601/" title="T3 - The Horns of Maroubra by Archiver, on Flickr">[​IMG]"335" height="500" alt="T3 - The Horns of Maroubra"></a>

    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.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
  3. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    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.
     
  4. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 8, 2010
    Where does one find a reliable used T3? Rangefinder forum?
     
  5. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    They pop up on the bay once & a while....
    Bid high, it's worth every penny....
     
  6. stratokaster

    stratokaster SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    886
    Dec 27, 2010
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Real Name:
    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.
     
  7. Archiver

    Archiver SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    610
    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.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. deirdre

    deirdre SC Top Veteran

    652
    Sep 26, 2010
    I can see I will be buying one of these!
     
  9. Michael Penn

    Michael Penn SC Veteran

    291
    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.
     
  10. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Real Name:
    Mark
    :doh:....and I'd just convinced myself I DIDN'T need a film camera. Thanks a bunch Archiver!!!

    Looks too sweet!!!!
     
  11. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    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?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Archiver

    Archiver SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    610
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    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.