|The Contax 139 Quartz with a 35mm f2.8 Carl Zeiss lens|
image by gorkola (Image rights)
The Contax 139 Quartz is a 35mm SLR that was introduced in 1979 and manufactured up until 1978 with something over 200,000 being built in that time. It was manufactured by Yashica in Japan under licence to Zeiss. Yashica also manufactured the Yashica FX-D which was seen as a budget version of the 139 with less features but, in fact, was largely a completely different camera.
The 139Q had a quartz-timed, electronically-controlled vertical metal shutter that was very advanced for its day. It has speeds of 11 seconds to 1/1000 of a sec in auto, and 1 to 1/1000 in manual exposure mode.
The metering system is a center-weighted system with a range of 0 to 18 EV(f/1.4) using a silicon photo diode cell. The through-the-lens TTL synchronized flash with the TLA20 and TLA30 flash units. Other new features included manual or aperture-priority exposure controls and a DOF preview lever. An AE lock feature available to hold metered shutter speeds, and an improved flash sync speed (1/100th sec.). Exposure compensation is available and can be adjusted by over or under 2 EV.
The finder has a matte field with a horizontal split-image device surrounded by a microprism. The aperture information is on the top of the finder. Full exposure information visible in the viewfinder with individual shutter speeds on the right lit by LED. It is powered by two SR44 batteries.
An optional winder, powered by four AA batteries, was available for the camera.