The Contax 139Q was introduced in 1979. The camera was designed as a smaller 35mm SLR that was still full-featured, and was intended for use by serious amateur and semi-professional photographers. Like other Contax cameras of that era, it used bayonet mount, manual focus Carl Zeiss T* lenses. The 139Q had a quartz-timed, electronically-controlled vertical metal shutter that was very advanced for its day, as well as a machined aluminum chassis and bearing-mounted film advance and shutter mechanisms. The camera featured through-the-lens (TTL) synchronized flash with the TLA20 and TLA30 flash units. A 45mm, f/2.8 Tessar lens was introduced specifically to mate with the 139Q and provide the smallest top quality SLR in the world. Other new features included manual or aperture-priority exposure controls, a DOF preview lever, full exposure information visible in the viewfinder (with individual shutter speeds lit by LED), an AE lock to hold metered shutter speeds, and an improved flash sync speed (1/100th sec.). The 139Q could also be fitted with an optional winder for powered film advance.