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Overall 8.5/10 condition
*Comes with 6 months warranty*
The Contax TVS is a compact zoom camera from the mid nineties. Its body is made out of Titanium, it has a superb Zeiss Vario-Sonar zoom lens and a good range of sensible manual controls. The TVS does an amazing job at pretty much all the things I want from a camera like this and it does those things in a pleasurable and tactile way. It’s nicely built, well designed and not outrageously expensive.
The Lens: A Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar f / 3.5-6.5 28mm-56mm is and very very sharp from f5.6. It’s not especially characterful or quirky and might be a little too modern and ‘perfect’ for some tastes. But as someone who owns and uses quite a lot of other characterful, quirky (and also some crappy) lenses the relatively straightforward but high quality results of the TVS Vario-Sonar are right for the uses I make of it. High contrast, virtually no distortion, good colour rendition, almost no tendency to flare and some nice but subtle vignette, especially pronounced at wide apertures.
This is a solid little camera. It weighs just over 400 grams with the battery and film loaded. Holding it with one hand is easy but two plastic thumb and finger grips on the front right and back left encourage two handed use – that’s how I hold the thing.
The Vario-Sonar lens has a modest 28-56mm zoom range which is perfect for this type of photography I think. Groups of people, the odd portrait and street scenes.