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Questions on Contax TVS II

Tom Green , Apr 03, 1999; 08:32 a.m.

I've been doing a lot of research in preparation for the possible purchase of a Contax TVS II. There are a few questions that I have not been able to find answers for yet. Unfortunately, the nearest dealer to me that has one in stock to look at, is a 3 hour drive (6hr. round trip!) Can any of you TVS II owners/users out there help me out? My questions are:

1. Is it possible to rewind the film leaving the leader out? (The GR1 can do this with two pushes of the rewind button.)

2. When setting the aperture on the aperture ring, does it have click stops? Does it have clicks in 1/2 or 1/3 stops? What's the minimum aperture at full zoom (56mm)? (if it's f16 at 28mm, is it f22 at 56mm?)

3. Does the exposure compensation AMOUNT show in the viewfinder, or just the fact that exposure compensation has been selected?

4. Do ALL the shutter speeds show in the viewfinder, all the way down to the 16sec. limit, or just a limited number, like the 1/30 to 1/500 sec. of the GR1?

5. When they list the depth dimension as 1 11/16", is that to the end of the lens, or just the thickness of the body itself? If so, what is the total dimension including the lens?

6. Does the addition of the optional Data Back increase the overall camera thickness? By how much?

7. The camera appears to have Focus Lock and Exposure Lock, but can these be done separately (independently)?

Any other "new" comments regarding the use of this camera and it's features would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any help.

-Tom Green


Klaus Ziegler , Apr 03, 1999; 09:11 a.m.


I own a Contax TVS (the old one), but I don't have it handy at the moment I'm writing this, so I can tell you only the few things I know by heart; but I'll look up the others.

1. As far as I know, this isn't possible (it would be a very nice feature for me as I'm doing my own B&W processing!)

2. I've never cared about that; you can set (better: correct) shutter speeds in 1/3 stops, why do you want thirds of f-stops? I'm quite comfortable with full stops. The minimum aperture at 56 mm is about 30 (the lens slows down from 3.5 to 6.5 when zooming from 28 to 56 mm, this is an amount of nearly two stops, so when you set aperture 16 at 56 mm, it will be nearly 32 in reality).

3. Just the FACT of exposure compensation is shown (so that you won't forget to put it back afterwards!)

4. ALL the shutter speeds from 16 sec to 1/700 sec are indicated.

5. Sorry, I don't know it by heart, but when turning the camera off the lens sinks into the body (without filter and lens hood, however!)

6. Don't know; I don't like data backs!

7. Yes, in some sense; you can focus ``manually'' on the main subject until a black button appears in the viewfinder (no need of ``guesstimating'' the distance!) and THEN use exposure lock in the usual manner (depressing shutter halfway when metering on a gray card, the asphalt etc. and then recompose).

Hope this helps


Phu Vuong , Jun 12, 1999; 12:49 p.m.


I own the TVS II less than a week. But here is the place it may help

you get some information.


3. It shows the compensation at the external LCD window.

5. The depth dimension 1 11/16 from Lens to Back.

7. Can not be done separately.

TVS II has No Panorama mode.

Phu Vuong Jun12, 99

David Dailey , Nov 10, 1999; 09:23 p.m.

No on film lead out on rewind. TVS II is now out of production... the TVS III is f3.7-6.7 slowerrrrr. -and have question for ANYONE... what have you heard about vignetting at the f3.5 28mm end of the zoom range? Does it?

robert mahnken , Nov 18, 1999; 11:05 p.m.

I just purchased a TVSII last week after extensive research and much thought($$!!) and am very impressed with it. A Hasselblad and old Linhof5x7 have been my main tools for the past few years, I got the TVS for traveling, and it fits in my motorcycle jacket pocket. I think it's the only compact for the serious shooter, except for the Rollei's which are much bigger. To answer your questions 1.No 2.Yes, in full stops 3.No, just + or -. The precise amount is displayed in the top LCD 4.Yes 5.Body&Lens 6.Don't know, have no use for'em 7.I think so, haven't tried yet I didn't think much about manual focus option before buying, after one roll I'm convinced it sure is nice to have, AF seems excellent. I looked at first TVS and dismissed it because of dim viewfinder. The new one is wonderful. Zoom range(28-56mm) is ideal for travel shooting and no lens flare! I prefer B&W, so the threaded lens was a big plus for me. I hear lens vignettes some wide open at 28mm, but doubt I'll be shooting wide open at 28 very often. I've just developed my first roll of TriX and negatives look good and contrasty. The titanium body is solid and beautiful. The camera is very functional and settings are easy to adjust. I much prefer the TVS II over the Prego 90 I bought last year(gave to my girlfriend after a few weeks). If the lens was faster, and it had PC and cable release sockets, it would be the only 35 I'd ever need. ROBERT P.S. B&W offers all kinds of filters in the 30.5mm thread. Contax offers a fitted leather case, lens hood, and flash bracket(and limited 30.5 filters)

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