Contax RTS II

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In 1982, Contax revised the formula of the original RTS, and created the RTS II.

While RTS II retained the appearance of its predecessor, many regard this as a totally different camera. Many important changes were made. Some of this camera's key features and improvements over the RTS include:

  • Quartz Timing
  • 97% viewfinder (as opposed to the 92% viewfinder of the RTS)
  • Horizontal titanium-foil shutter curtain

Naturally, RTS II was an extension of the original RTS philosophy, which was to create a camera and lens system that was focussed on optical excellence, and flexibility. While generally 'conservative' in terms of design, Contax has been known for interesting (and sometimes unusual) feature innovations. In particular, RTS and RTS II have an AE-Lock feature, that allows the photographer to lock the exposure (EV value) for an unlimited time, unlike many other camera manufactures from the era, which retain a short "EV memory" feature. As well, The body has a manual shutter release system, should the meter battery die. This facility allows the shutter to be actuated mechanically at 1/50 s.

A noteworthy point is that this camera can easily suffer from poor cold-weather metering performance if an alkaline battery is used. Silver Oxide batteries are recommended, and indeed Contax produced a variety of external power packs for this and other RTS cameras that allow the batteries to be carried in a warm pocket in case of cold weather.


  • TYPE: 35mm SLR featuring electronically controlled Auto/Manual exposure, focal plane shutter.
  • IMAGE SIZE: 24mm x 36mm.
  • LENS MOUNT: Contax/Yashica mount. Does not make use of MM lens shutter priority.
  • SHUTTER: Quartz-timed, electronically operated horizontal-travel titanium.
  • SHUTTER SPEEDS: Auto mode - 1/2000 to 16 sec. Manual mode - 16 settings of X, 1/2000 to 4 sec. and B. With dead battery - 1/50 sec. and B
  • SYNCH TERMINALS: X contact (1/60th), direct X, and synch terminal.
  • SELF TIMER: Quartz-timed electronic self-timer with 10 sec. delay. LED on front flashes.
  • SHUTTER RELEASE: Real Time Electromagnetic Release System, aux. via Release Socket (electronic)
  • EXPOSURE MODES: Aperture priority automatic exposure and manual exposure
  • EXPOSURE CONTROL: TTL center-weighted metering at full aperture using SPD (silicon photo diode).
  • EV range -1 to 19 at ASA 100. ASA film range 12 to 3200.
  • AUTO FLASH CONTROL: Direct TTL metering automatically coupling with Contax TLA Auto Flash system via an SPD sensor. Synch speed 1/60th sec.
  • EXPOSURE CHECK BUTTON: Pressing button activates LED display for 16 sec.
  • EXPOSURE COMPENSATION: +2 EV ~ -2 EV via exposure compensation dial. 1/2 stop clicks
  • AE LOCK: Lever type
  • VIEWFINDER: Eye-level penta-prism - field shows 97% of picture area. Magnification of .87x Has viewfinder eyepiece blind lever.
  • FOCUSING SCREENS: Micro-prism standard - seven others available - FS1~FS7 & FS41
  • VIEWFINDER DISPLAY: Aperture display, exposure compensation display, shutter speed display, over-or-under-exposure display (red alpha-numeric LED), TLA flash unit flash/ready signal (green).
  • FILM ADVANCE: With full stroke of 120 degree setting angle and 20 degree standoff position, or several short strokes. Features film feed indicator and automatic winding capability with motor drive or winder.
  • FILM REWIND: Film rewind crank-handle with clutch action, and film rewind release button.
  • EXPOSURE COUNTER: Automatic resetting type. Until counter registers 1, camera will automatically set at shutter speed of 1/60 sec, regardless, to facilitate advancing ease.
  • MULTIPLE EXPOSURES: Enabled by pressing film rewind release button.
  • ACCESSORY SHOE: Direct X contact, and accepts TLA Auto Flash units.
  • CAMERA BACK: Opens by pulling film rewind knob all the way out. Provided with memo holder. Removable.
  • DEPTH-OF-FIELD PREVIEW BUTTON: Button type with lever that acts as mechanical shutter release.
  • MIRROR LOCK: Lever operated.
  • POWER SOURCE: 6.2v silver-oxide battery(544 or PX28), or 6v alkaline-manganese 4LR44. Switched.
  • BATTERY CHECK: Indicated via steady or pulsating pattern of LED display in the viewfinder.
  • OTHER FEATURES: Provided with couplings for motor drive and winder, and with LED for Data Back.
  • SIZE AND WEIGHT: 142mm x 89.5mm x 50mm. 735 grams without battery