Nico Bastone Photography "The Eyes... The Soul"




Contax 139 Quartz with Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f/1,7
139 Quartz


Carl Zeiss
Planar 50mm f/1.7









TYPE: 35mm SLR featuring auto/manual exposure; direct TTL auto flash control.

LENS MOUNT: Large-diameter Contax/Yashica Mount accepting CARL ZEISS T* interchangeable Lenses.


SHUTTER: Quartz-timed, electronically operated vertical-travel metal focal-plane shutter. Speeds continuously variable on AUTO from 1/1000 to 11 seconds. Manual shutter speeds from 1/1000 to 1 sec, plus X at 1/100 and B. X-synch.

SHUTTER RELEASE: Real Time EIectromagnetic Release System featuring quartz-timed operating sequence; auxiliary remote release via "release socket" (electronic accessory connection) on camera body.

SELF-TIMER: Quartz-timed electronic self-timer with 10 sec. delay. LED flashes during operation and accelerates 2 sec. before shutter release.

EXPOSURE CONTROL: TTL via SPD cell; center weighted metering pattern. EV 0 to EV 18 at ASA of 100 w/1.4 lens.

EXPOSURE CHECK: Exposure check push button on front of camera lights LED array in viewfinder; shuts off automatically after 10 sec.

EXPOSURE COMPENSATION: 2 EV via exposure compensation dial that locks at X1 setting. Exposure memory via AE lock lever.

AUTO FLASH CONTROL: TTL flash control system. Automatic 1/100 synch. with TLA system.

VIEWFINDER: Fixed eye-level penta-prism with horizontal split-image/micro-prism focusing screen; field shows 95% of the picture area, .86x magnification.

VIEWFINDER DISPLAY: Auto/Manual LED dot shutter speed display, aperture readout window, exposure compensation indication, LED flash data indicator, LED over/under exposure warning. AE lock warning.

FILM ADVANCE: Single-frame advance with rapid-advance lever. 135 degree setting angle, 30 degree rest. Film rewind via rewind release button and crank.

MULTIPLE EXPOSURE: Via multiple exposure button that disengages film counter. (It is the exposure compensation lock button. Hold forward while cocking shutter).

OTHER FEATURES: Couplings for exclusive 139 Winder and TLA auto flash, 139 Data Back, DOF preview button.

POWER SOURCE: Two 1.5v silver-oxide batteries, EV S76 or equivalent.

BATTERY CHECK: Via exposure check button.

SIZE & WEIGHT: 135 x 85.5 x 50mm (5 5/16 x 3 3/8 x 2 inches); 500 grams (16.1 oz)


The Contax 139 Quartz was the second camera that Contax produced. It arrived in 1979 and had Quartz timed shutter speeds and other functions. TTL flash was also introduced with this camera. A 45mm f/2.8 Tessar T* was introduced specifically to mate with the 139Q and provide the smallest top quality SLR in the world. Other new features included an AE lock which stored the metered shutter speed, and a faster flash sync (1/100th sec.). It is a nice lightweight camera for use as a backup body or even a main body for non-professional use.