The 137MD was the third camera produced for Contax by Yashica,
and it was the first and at the time the world's smallest integrated
motor drive camera body. The motor drive could run at the rate
of 2 fames per second. It offered an aperture preferred automatic
mode and an AE lock, but no manual mode; this was cured by the
introduction of the 137MA 2 years later. This camera was only
3mm taller than the RTS, which astonished the press at the time,
since it was motor driven. Film rewinding was still manual with
a rewind crank, which I prefer anyway, since it lets me leave
the film leader out when I wish. It also had an exposure compensation
dial. There were two other cameras on the market at that time
that were automatic only; they were the Nikon EM and Canon AV-1.
One unusual feature of this camera and the 137MA is that as long
as the power is turned on, the power LED lights up and the metering
is lit up. It doesn't turn off afer some period of time like
most others. It uses 4 penlight batteries and is very easy to
turn on an off with the larger than norman power switch, so I
have never had a bettery life poblem with it. I like it a lot.
It is a great little motor drive camera.
TYPE: 35mm direct drive SLR featuring auto-exposure; TTL
auto flash control.
IMAGE SIZE: 24 x 36mm
LENS MOUNT: Contax/Yashica mount.
SHUTTER: Quartz-timed, electronically controlled horizontal travel,
cloth focal plane type. Remote release on front
SHUTTER SPEEDS: Semi-continuously variable from 11 sec. to 1/1000
sec. on Auto, X (1/60) and B on manual.
SYNCHRO CONTACT: X contact (160th sec)
ELECTRONIC SELF-TIMER: Quartz-timed, electronic self-timer with
precise 10 sec. delay. LED flashes to indicate operation, accelerates
2 sec. before shutter is released.
SHUTTER RELEASE: Real Time Electromagnetic Release System featuring
quartz-timed operating sequence. Remote release on front.
EXPOSURE CONTROL: TTL center-weighted with SPD sensor. EV 0 to
18. Film speed ASA 12 to 3200. Coupled to main switching circuit
to turn metering on.
EXPOSURE COMPENSATION: +-2EV by rotating exposure compensation
dial. Click stops at 1/4X (-2), 1/2X (-1), 1X (0), 2X (+1), 4X
(+2) with intermediate settings.
AE LOCK: Using main switch, exposure is held in memory.
FLASH EXPOSURE CONTROL: Direct TTL metering with TLA units. SPD
sensor detects reflection off of the film plane and regulates
light output of flash. Synch, at 1/60 sec.
VIEWFINDER: Eye-level penta-prism; field shows 95% of picture
area. Magnification of .86x
FOCUSING SCREENS: Horizontal split prism standard. Not interchangeable
VIEWFINDER DISPLAY: 16 LED shutter speed display shows speeds,
over and under exposure indications, mark shows flash charged,
flash intensity adjustment indication, aperture scale, exposure
counter, exposure compensation warning LED, shutter speed LED's
flash to indicate AE lock.
FILM ADVANCE: Fully automatic with Real Time Direct Drive using
micro-motor, single exposure or continuous at up to 2FPS.
FILM REWIND: Film rewind crank-handle with clutch action, and
film rewind release button (under a cover on top of camera).
EXPOSURE COUNTER: One on the body, and one in viewfinder. Automatic
MULTIPLE EXPOSURES: Depression of the film rewind button on top.
ACCESSORY SHOE: Direct X and X contacts.
CAMERA BACK: Opens by pulling film rewind knob all the way out.
Provided with memo holder. Removable.
MAIN LAMP: Indicates when power is turned on with red LED. Lights
green for battery check, flashes red for self-timer.
DEPTH-OF-FIELD PREVIEW BUTTON: Button type.
MIRROR LOCK: None provided.
POWER SOURCE: 4 AA penlight batteries. Switched.
BATTERY CHECK: Indicated via green LED on top of camera via main
OTHER FEATURES: LED for Data Back.
SIZE AND WEIGHT: 143mm x 92.5mm x 51mm. 665 grams with batteries.