I have not shot with film in nearly three decades and this past week a friend loaned me his Contax T3 so I could snap a few rolls of film. Why I wanted to try this particular camera is because for a newbie to film, this is as automated as a film camera can get.
Instead of waiting to do a full review I thought I would share my first impressions — mostly because I don’t think you can review something unless you have lived with it for at least three months. Secondly, in-depth reviews are full of too much information about things only a few can nerd-out on.
It is a great compact point and shoot camera, though it has enough manual controls to make for a great portrait camera. Since I like to shoot in aperture priority mode, I had to press a tiny button in the middle of the controls dial and switch the aperture to my desired f/4. There is manual focus in the camera, but I don’t have the desire to muck around. I still have a lot of learn about this camera, but I find no hesitation in saying that I find it aesthetically quite pleasing.
It is made of titanium and synthetic sapphire. It is light, but not flimsy. It is extremely well made and it is seriously intuitive, though it takes a little thinking before you figure out how to change the aperture. It has built in flash, but I never really use flash for my photography. What really has attracted me to this camera is the clean boxy design. Everything is so well laid out, in its place, my fingers finding each part of the camera almost intuitively.
Contax T3 features a f/2.8 35 mm Zeiss Sonar lens and it takes exceptional photos. The viewfinder is very bright and displays information that seems natural to the eye. It makes it easy to get exposure information — though I realized it after I was done with nearly half of my first roll. I have a sneaking suspicion that some of my photos will be underexposed. Oh well, I will have to wait and see what happens.
This isn’t a review — just first impressions on a camera that is going to stay with me for another day. Here are two really in-depth and great reviews from photographers who shoot with film all the time: 35MMC and Ming Thein. Also if you get a chance, check out the Flickr Group of people who love taking photos with Contax T3. There are some exceptional photos.