Contax T3, Reliable?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by RattyMouse, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,812
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, M
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm thinking of buying a Contax t3 this weekend and am wondering how reliable of a camera this is today. Might one expect 5 years of life out of this used camera? Are there better models of pocket cameras worth considering? One other option is a Fuji Natura. I am not sure how well this compares to the Contax but I do know that it is pretty small. I want something I can have in my pocket at all times.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,800
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Have not used the T3. I think it's a bit over priced. I've had a T2 for over 8 years that I bought used and its been a dream. Love it so much I bought a second "grey" colored body one in case the first ever does die.
     
  3. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,800
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    BTW I also bought a Fuji Klasse S and overall prefer the T2 but the Klasse is so different, is such a neat package, and so much lighter I cannot part with it and use it often too.

    Now with all this said I think my Olympus Epic Mju (heck even my XA) are 95% as good as any of these, at least in quality of photos I get.
     
  4. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,812
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, M
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Klasse is indeed nice, but I need something small. Tell me about the T2. Is price the only reason to consider it over a T3? What would a T2 cost today?
     
  5. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

    Messages:
    952
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Here's a review that compares the two:

    http://photo.net/equipment/contax/t3

    See also the comment thread that follows.
     
  6. lic4

    lic4 Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I have owned a number of T3 cameras and shot with them exclusively for a few years. I don't think it's a robust camera, but it's reliable as long as you are careful with it. With dust and wear, the front lens curtain won't close all the way when the lens assembly retracts. The Contax repairman who saw my camera told me that it's a common problem and that it requires a full CLA to repair. Another issue that can develop is that the film take up sprocket can stop functioning because the tooth that catches the film will break off. Later models or ones that have been repaired have two teeth to catch the film, and from what I understand, these do not break. I hear that as long as you don't put too much slack on the film when you load it, the one tooth sprocket models won't break.

    Other than that, I have to say that these little problems are totally worth living with because the camera is just great. Better than the T2 in my opinion; much better resolution images, and I think the color tonality is better too. Klasse S cameras create contrasty images, have a good user interface, are nice and small. I dropped mine from a very short height, and it completely broke. No one was willing to repair it in the US. I opened it up, and it looked pretty fragile inside! This is a very amateur assessment and anecdote, however.