Mar 18, 2017

30-30-30 : Day 15 : Contax T2

Setup for Day 15 (Mar 1st, 2017):

Camera: Contax T2
Lens: Carl Zeiss Sonnar 35mm f/2.8
Film: Agfa APX 100

Mini-review of the setup:

Camera: Pocket powerhouse! Viewfinder is good even with my glasses, film loading is a snap and manual focus implementation is great and I found it very accurate. AF worked fine for my purposes, fast enough but might not be fast enough for others that are tracking actively moving subjects a lot. One of those you'd need to practice with, rather than it being intuitively timed.

These things have retained their value from when they were at the top of the heap, which is no surprise given that they are basically one of the top options still to this day for top quality compact cameras. The T3 came out later, obviously with some changes and is a good deal smaller but not everyone likes those changes including if you use the manual focus a lot (turned into menu item, basically).

Lens is a bit close to the grip and I wish it could take filters like the Contax T3 for better black and white without doing some sort of hack to keep filters on it. Part of me wishes there was a way to override DX but I never do that and DX labels are easy enough to spoof so bulk rolling can still be used with this cam with just one more step.

Overall verdict: Great

Lens: Carl Zeiss is basically as good as it gets when it comes to lens manufacturers. Who beats them, really? There's no reason to expect anything but excellent IQ from this Sonnar even with it's tiny size taken into account. Remember, small size is just another constraint for the optical designer to work with, so all things being equal, a larger lens should have less issues.

Overall verdict: 

Film: I've very much liked the APX 100 I've shot before this project, loved it here.

Overall verdict:
 Great setup for excellent image quality when you don't want to have to think too much about making the images. I will be using this for travel for sure. Wish the AF was a bit faster of course but if you have time to pre-think the shot, there will be less of a limit to hit and with some more practice it would be less and less of an issue.

After seeing scans: As expected, the lens is a winner. One frame showed slow shutter speed shake so I'll have to watch better for slow shutter times. A very small and lightweight travel tripod could be very useful with this. 35mm focal length is versatile and through this project I've started to like using moderate wide angles more than I did in the past. It won't give you tight headshots and it won't give you giant expansive scenics like an ultra-wide angle would but neither of those could be done with pretty much any camera/lens combo that can be thrown in a jacket pocket and/or shot on full auto with great results.

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