Contax T3

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Guest

I currently use the Contax G1 and G2 cameras and lenses, and was wondering if anyone has had any experience with the Contax T3 as a carry anytime anywhere camera and the quality of the images produced. Do the images from the G3 match those produced by the G system?

A comment on Ebay by sellers on a number of the T3s being auctioned I couldn't quite understand:

"It also exits the excellent brightness, color reproduction, varied gradations, and attractive soft focus that are the hallmarks of Carl Zeiss lenses."

What is this "attractive soft focus". Fine for a large format portrait lens, but "soft focus"?
 
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>As a T3 owner who uses it daily, I must say I have no idea what the eBay >text refers to when it says "attractive soft focus." My black T3's focus >is razor sharp. However, the other stuff about how good the color, >contrast, and quality are, I'd heartily agree. The T3 produces pictures >of a quality to rival that of the best SLRs. My guess is that the Ebay >auctioneer didn't know what he was talking about and just used phrases >he'd read elsewhere.

James C. MIller
 
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James C. Miller wrote:
"As a T3 owner who uses it daily, I must say I have no idea what the eBay text refers to when it says "attractive soft focus."

I believe the "attractive soft focus" here means the out-of-focus characteristic sometimes referred to as "bokeh". Many have said that Zeiss and Leica optics have softer, more pleasing bokeh.
 
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By David Wamback:
"I currently use the Contax G1 and G2 cameras and lenses, and was wondering if anyone has had any experience with the Contax T3 as a carry anytime anywhere camera and the quality of the images produced. Do the images from the G3 match those produced by the G system?"

Many, including myself, using both the G1/G2 system and the T3 have said that the T3's Sonnar is better than the G 35mm lens, but still a notch below the G 45mm. The quality is very close.

Niki
 
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> In my experience the "bokeh" of the Sonnar 2.8/35 on the T3 gives almost the effect of a watercolour painting - a soft and rounded background to the sharp focus of the main subject.
 
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Does anyone know if the lens in the Olympus Infinity Stylus Epic is the SAME lens (35mm F2.8) as the lens in the T3 or is the Olympus lens simply made by Zeiss?
 
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"Does anyone know if the lens in the Olympus Infinity Stylus Epic is the SAME lens (35mm F2.8) as the lens in the T3 or is the Olympus lens simply made by Zeiss?"

The 35mm/F2.8 lens of the Olympus Stylus Epic is very good, but I've never seen any info implicating it to be a Zeiss lens or designed/made by Zeiss. Olympus website says it's an Olympus Lens.

For under $100, it's quite a deal.
 
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I like the tone Niki used. So gentle and polite! If I wrote the answer, I might say how can you expect a Zeiss Lens in a $100 camera. In fact, I have a T3 but I am also going to buy a Olympus Stylus MjuII for my neice as I have seen quite a lot good photos on the net using this camera. But it seems that there are also a lot of bad comments on the durability of this camera.
 
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I own an Olympus Stylus / MjuII.
For several years this was the only camera I used, before reentering the more "serious" world with the Contax G system.

Just my feelings about the Olympus, not a scientific analysis:
Indoor shots with built-in flash are mostly crap (dull and more or less misfocused), while outdoor shots are usually not to bad.
For sure I do like the Olympus' tiny size and weight. It's only that I have never got a single shot comparing to what I *can* bring home with the G. On every roll now there are a few shots which make me so happy that I keep on with the next one.
The Olympus gives me nothing but souvenir shots. I think the issues may be lens contrast, detail resolution and colour rendition.

Perhaps a T3 would be an occasional compromise, but up to now I did not use one.

Till
 
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OK, so I was confused. I thought, for some reason, the epic and the T4 had the same lens. My bad.
 
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"OK so I was confused. I thougt, for some reason, the epic and the T4 had the same lens. My bad."

Have you looked at the new Yashica T4 replacement - Yashica T-Zoom? It carries a Zeiss zoom 28-80mm lens for $200. It's not F2.8 speed lens but one can always use 400 speed films. A few Contax users have positive comments about it. But still no contender to the T3. The closest I've seen is the Rollei AFM-35 for about $450... larger, better ergonomics but few (customizeable) features and options.

Niki
 
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Guest

I have the Rollei AFM35. I hardly use it now. The lens is very sharp, but the colour rendition is not as good as Carl Zeiss. The main thing that stops me using it nowadays is that I just plain got annoyed by the way it works. In particular two things drive me crazy:

1. It fires the flash without warning. ALL my other point and shoot cameras will light a LED in the viewfinder to warn me that the flash will fire, but the Rollei doesn't. It's embarrassing sometimes when you're trying to take a candid in a public place and the flash fires when you didn't expect it to.

2. When you shoot the last frame, the film will automatically rewind, and you CANNOT turn the camera off until you remove the used film cartridge. The lens will not retract until the film back has been opened and the film removed. VERY annoying.

I cannot recommend the Rollei AFM35. The T3 is a much better camera.
 
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Craig,

If you are so dissatisfied with the AFM35 and it is so inferior to the T3, would you consider selling it at a bargain price?

JOB
 
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Jeff,

I have emailed you directly in response to your question.

Craig
 
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"I have the Rollei AFM35. I hardly use it now. The lens is very sharp, but the colour rendition is not as good as Carl Zeiss. The main thing that stops me using it nowadays is that I just plain got annoyed by the way it works..."

Chalk down another point for the T3. Wooohooo...

Craig, do you know who makes the lens for the AFM35? Is it Schneider-Kreuznach? Or is it Fuji (since the AFM35 is really a re-badged Fuji Klasse)?
 
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I believe it's a "made in Germany" lens. It has "Rollei HFT" on the front of the lens barrel, whereas the Klasse has the Fujinon EBC designation. I know Fuji EBC lenses quite well, and this Rollei lens doesn't seem to have the same characteristics as the EBC lenses, especially in terms of colour rendition. It is certainly very sharp at smaller apertures, but noticeably soft away from the centre at maximum aperture.
 
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I have the T3 and the G2 with 35mm lens. My experience has been that the G2 with 35mm lens produces clearly superior images. On the whole, I have not found the T3 to be as impressive as others have indicated. Does this mean my T3 (which I purchased used) is defective? I get terrific color saturation, but I have found metering to be less reliable and rarely get images that are truly "razor sharp". I'm sure this is partly because it's just harder to hold a tiny camera still, but even with a tripod, results have not been consistently good. I wonder if the autofocus mechanism needs some work. I'd be curious to know if anyone else has had this experience with the T3 -- i.e., good, not great, and not as good as the hype.

More generally, do you think that on high end autofocus cameras like the G2 and the T3, the focusing mechanism should be professionally checked every couple of years? Does anyone do this?

Thanks.
 
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Kirk,

I would get it recalibrated, especially if you're still under warranty.
 
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