T Series - Tvs III - FAQ's
Q. When I turn on my Tvs III, the LCD always shows the Auto Flash mode. I never use flash and want to have the camera turn on in the "Flash Off" mode. How can I do this?
A. To change the default mode for flash, simply depress the flash button until the icon showing the flash mode blinks. While it is blinking select the icon for the mode you want to set as the default mode. Now turn the camera off, when the camera is turned back on, it will be in the mode that you selected.
Q. I see that the numbers inside the viewfinder indicating shutter speeds only show 15, 60, 250 and 1000. Are these the only shutter speeds the camera can accommodate?
A. No, the Contax Tvs III offers continuous shutter speeds from 1/1000 to 16 seconds. The camera will use whatever shutter speed is necessary to make a proper exposure. When you are using the camera with the flash off in a dark environment a tripod will be useful. The camera cannot display exactly how long the shutter is staying open, it could be as long as 16 seconds and you need to have the camera steady for these shots with long exposures.
When two shutter speeds display at the same time this indicates that the shutter speed is in-between. Also, if 'LT' is lighted, this means that the shutter speed set is between 1/15 sec. and 16 seconds. When 'LT' or '1000' blinks, this means that the camera cannot make a proper exposure under these lighting conditions and the photograph will be Under-exposed ('LT' is blinking) or Over-exposed ('1000' is blinking).
Q. I need more flash power than the built-in flash can deliver. What can I do?
A. CONTAX makes an accessory adapter that works with the Tvs III called the SA-1 Flash Adapter. This adapter bolts to the tripod socket of the camera, and wraps around the left side of the camera ending with a hot shoe for the addition of an auxiliary flash. You'll note that there is a small chrome dot just adjacent to the on-board flash of the camera. This is a light sensor, it recognises when the camera's flash fires and relays the command to the hot shoe flash to fire.
A flash used for this application (on the SA-1) should be an automatic flash with it's own sensor eye or thyristor sensor. This sensor eye will control the flash output providing the proper exposure. The subject in this case should be beyond the flash capability of the camera's built-in flash.
Q. Sometimes, I get a series of blinking numbers in the viewfinder of my Tvs III. The camera won't let me shoot when this blinking occurs. How can I get the camera to fire?
A. The numbers that you see are symbols for "infinity to 5" and "1 to .5" meters, blinking at the same time. When this happens the camera is warning the user that it cannot get the subject in focus, usually because there is not enough contrast in the centre horizontal box of the viewfinder. Shift your focus point a bit to include a little contrast in the scene or some lines crossing the focus box. The small focusing dot will illuminate and the camera will take the picture. If you still can't focus it may be too dark, in this case look for a subject that is better lit or more reflective.
Q. How can I determine the distance to subject when I focus manually?
A. When in the manual focus mode on the Tvs III, you will need to select the distance appropriate for your subject. The display on the inside of the viewfinder will give you basic distance grouping, while the digital display on the LCD will show exact distance to subject. There is no built-in measurement device when the camera is in manual mode. You must select the distance based upon your own estimate. Please remember these numbers are in meters.
Q. My friend had a TVSII and was able to speed up the focusing by adjusting his camera to focus at the half-depression of the shutter, can I do this on my TVSIII?
A. Yes, this is done with Custom Function 2. There are 6 Custom Functions available in the Tvs III as follows:
CF1: Position of the film leader on rewind.
CF2: The timing of when the lens moves forward.
CF3: Setting of AF (Spot or Multi Focus) in combination with Exposure Mode.
CF4: Default exposure mode and lens position.
CF5: Focus Adjustment during Manual Focus.
CF6: Change exposure compensation from 1/3 EV stops to 1/2 EV stops.
To access the Custom Function Settings, turn the camera OFF and depress the
Flash and Set buttons at the same time until you see "CF 1-0", in
this mode you can change any of the custom functions (Please refer to your
manual for exact settings).