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Manual for Contax TVS I


New Member
After 10 years of using a Rollei 35S I've recently bought a TVS I via eBay. Unfortunately no user manual was shipped with the camera and the former owner doesn't have one either. Does anyone know an (online) ressource for the user manual or do I have to contact Yashica to get a printed one?



New Member
Oliver, (et al)

I am in the same boat having bought a TVS III without a manual. I e-mailed Contax but they referred me to a private dealer in order that I purchase a manual. However, I called the 1-800 number and the technical help person provided me with enough information to enable me to set the custom functions. So if there is an online source I would appreciate being informed of it.

BTW I have put several rolls of film through this camera now and I am very pleased with it. I know that there have been some criticisms regarding vignetting and I do see some when shooting wide open at 30mm. However, I notice that it only happens in certain circumstances. When I am certain of the pattern I'll let you know. At all other settings this is one sharp lens and extremely contrasty as well (surprisingly contrasty) great coatings.

I shoot all of the great cameras from Rollei TLR Planar, Konica Hexar, Leica M3 and M6, Bronica ETRSi, and Wisner 4x5 Expedition; this little beauty definitely has a place in this venerable line up. My previous pocket cameras have been Rollei 35S and Olympus XA.

In its favour the TVS III is extremely convenient to carry and the best camera in an unexpected situation is the one that you have with you. This one fits in your pocket so there is no reason no to carry it at all times. I already shot some great photos that I would not have gotten without the TVS III. (it is slightly bigger that I had originally hoped but still fits in my pocket just fine)

I am using the TVS III as a "street shooter" and find the zoom is very handy as it allows you to adjust to an arising situation. The focusing is quick and accurate. The lens should be set (via custom functions) to extend at focus lock so shutter lag is improved. I set the camera to use multi focus on Auto Exposure and spot on Aperture Priority; so again you can adapt.

Exposures are accurate and the flash is a good as one could expect for its size. Ample for a point a shoot and nice fill flash capability as well. I am confused about the SA-1 flash adapter as Contax says it will fit the TVS III but the camera does not seem to have the connection required adjacent to the flash. Anyone know if the SA-1 actually works with the TVS III ?

The view finder is bright, informative and has good eye relief, a pleasure to use. It has a good solid feel and handles well. Yes, some of the buttons are small, I have large hands but I don't find them as annoying as I have on other small cameras.

I have also heard some criticisms about the automatic lens cover being slow. My response is how fast do you want it, it takes a second or two at most. You can't take a lens cap off and put it in your pocket in twice the time. Anyway if I am out walking the streets at lunch I have the camera open and ready so it's not a consideration.

The shutter has a good range and the higher speeds allow you more flexibility on bight days when 400 speed film is being used. My only complaint is that I wish the lens was faster so I could reduce the depth of field when required. However, on bright days you can't use bigger apertures unless you are shooting very low speed film.

There isn't a camera in the world that someone doesn't have a complaint against. That is why many of us own several cameras... there isn't a perfect one. The TVS III has gotten a bit of a bad rap (nit picking) but it does what it is supposed to do admirably. It is fine pocket camera and street shooter.



New Member
As opposed to Terrance's experience in the states I meanwhile succeeded in getting hold of a printed copy of the user manual. To my amazement Yashica (German Distributor of the Contaxes) provided me with a copy for free within just two day after my requesting a source, download possibility or printed copy. I think, that this is one of the rare cases where a company still places great importance on customer care in the post sales period.

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I meanwhile got the first prints from pictures I have taken and I have to admit that there is quite a difference in quality with regard to my good old Rollei (which is not bad either).