Contax 137MD - One of the best values in analog

One of my favorite film cameras from the late 1980s is the Contax 137MD. In its day, it featured breakthrough technology such as quartz timing and a built-in motor drive. I like it because it's a blast to shoot with and it captures great images. Here's the scoop on it.


Contax 137 MD Quartz Real Time Direct Drive Using A Fully-Integrated Micro-Motor

The Real Time Drive system of the Contax 137 MD Quartz is entirely new in the world of cameras. All major camera functions are controlled and coordinated by clock pulses generated by a quartz crystal at the perfectly constant frequency of 32.768 Hz. And, unlike conventional cameras, camera operations such as mirror, aperture and shutter are driven directly by a single precision micro-motor built into the camera body. Even with the built-in motordrive, the 137 MD Quartz is no larger than a normal 35 mm SLR camera, so handling is easy and fast. The superb Carl Zeiss lenses and many of the Real Time accessories can be used of course. 

Type: 35 mm SLR with quartz-timed, electronically controlled operation through Real Time Direct Drive.

Mount: Contax/Yashica bayonet.

Viewfinder: silver-coated pentaprism showing 95% of actual image at 0.86X magnification.

Shutter: quartz-timed, electronically-operated horizontal cloth focal plane shutter with auto speeds from LT (11 sec) to 1/1000 sec plus X (1/60) and B.

Shutter Release: electromagnetic with 0.7 mm stroke.

Exposure Control: center-weighted, full aperture metering using SPD (silicon photo diode) sensors or normal and flash exposures. EV0 to EV18 (ASA100 at 1/1.4) +- 2EV exposure compensation. 

Viewfinder Display: LED display of shutter speeds with AE Lock warning, flash ready (also indicating correct exposure) and exposure compensation. Numerical display of aperture and frame counter. 

AE Lock: locks in shutter speed, aperture can be varied, continuous operation possible.

Power source: four 1.5 V AA-size batteries.

Film advance: single-frame or continuous automatic.

Self-Timer: electronic, quartz-timed with precise 10 second delay, LED indication of operation.

Size: 143 x 92.5 x 51 mm.

Weight: 665 grams, body only.

Standard accessories: Body only: battery case, batteries, eyecup, body cap, R25 strap. Standard set: body,. Eveready case.

Optional accessories: TLA-20, 137 Data Back, 137 Power Pack Set, 137 Spare Battery Case, cases/front covers.

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