13 Point & Shoot Cameras With Zeiss Lens

Mar 22, 2018
16 min read

When it comes to Film Photography, if there is one thing that will make the difference is the glass in front of your camera. Inexperienced photographers (I was guilty too!) often think that the bigger the lens is, the better it is.

Why Are Zeiss Lenses so special

With some years of practice and experience, you will realise that smaller cameras, like Point & Shoot, can often mean better pictures without compromising on image quality. They are easy to operate, light to carry and ready in no time when you have to capture THE moment. But to maintain a certain level of excellence, you need the best glass that you can afford and when it comes to exceptional glass, one of the first name that should come to your mind is Zeiss.

Carl Zeiss has been making glass since 1849 for all sorts of instruments but is mostly known for its outstanding lenses. Luckily for us, some of them have landed on compact film cameras and there are still a few gems relatively accessible.

What makes Zeiss Lenses so special?

A good lens doesn’t only mean a sharper image. Zeiss lenses emblazoned with the famous T* (pronounce T-Star) actually mean that they have received a special anti-reflection coating on each lens elements. This has for effect to allow an optimal light absorption, which reduces ghosting at the profit of an increased contrast and saturation. This technology, developed in 1935, is one of the reason why Zeiss lenses are so unique.

All cameras that I’m going to present in this article have received the T* coating (except for a few exceptions at the end) and are more or less similar in terms of optical performances.

Sure there are variations between one model to another, but you have the guaranty to buy a Point & Shoot made with one of the best glass you will ever find on such a compact film camera.

To bring light onto some of these unknown optical treasures, I’ve made a list of all the 13 Point & Shoot Film Cameras With Zeiss Lens to buy.

Some of them are already under the spotlight and out of reach for most of us, but I’m sure that there are a few left in this list that you’ve never heard of and could fulfil your hunger for German glass without breaking the Deutsche Bank!

CONTAX T

The oldest brother of the T family. Unlike its younger sibling the T2 and T3, it comes with a real rangefinder finder in the body of really compact camera but no autofocus so keep that in mind.

The film advance lever is manual which also separate it from point and shoots. It shoots in Aperture priority mode, from 8s up too 1/500th of a second.

This unique design and conception have been realised in partnership with the Porsche Design Group and have been using nothing but the finest materials like its titanium body (that you find on all Contax T series cameras). It lives in the shadow of the newer Contax but is probably one of the best kept secret among the whole T series.

They are getting more and more rare but prices haven’t gone completely crazy yet so it may be good timing to grab one while there are a few left at a decent cost.

buy point and shoot compact film camera Contax T

  • Lens: Fixed
  • Focal: 38mm
  • Aperture: F2.8
  • Shutter Speed: 8 – 1/500sec
  • Exposure Control: Aperture Priority
  • Film Speed: Not DX Coded – 25 to 1000 ISO
  • Focus: Manual
  • Film Winder: Manual
  • Flash: External
  • Exposure Comp: No
  • Battery: 2 x LR44
  • Size: 98 x 66.5 x 32.5mm
  • Weight: 270g

PRICE RANGE: 400 to 700$ on eBay or Amazon

Contax T 35mm Point and Shot Film Camera Sample Image
Shot on Contax T by 小帽(Hat)

CONTAX T2

Do I really need to introduce the T2? I guess if you are here, you’ve probably been lurking at one of them and wondered what’s all the fuss about this legend. Guess what? it’s all about the glass! I’ve had one of these in hands for a while and can only say good things about it. The only regret I have is that I didn’t kept it long enough to appreciate it’s full potential.

This one is a real Point & Shoot, also an aperture priority and with auto-focus. It feels great in hand and will make you want to shoot a lot of film. I even wrote an article giving you 5 reason why you should buy a Contax T2.

The only complain about this camera is its price. Since celebrities have been seen shooting with, prices have gone crazy and in my opinion they are now way overpriced. Anyway still a great camera for anyone who can afford it.

buy point and shoot compact film camera Contax T2
  • Lens: Fixed
  • Focal: 38mm
  • Aperture: F2.8
  • Shutter Speed: 8 – 1/500sec
  • Exposure Control: Aperture Priority and Program mode
  • Film Speed: DX Coded – 25 to 5000 ISO
  • Focus: Auto + Manual
  • Film Winder: Auto
  • Flash: Built-in
  • Exposure Comp: Yes
  • Battery: 1 x 3V CR123A
  • Size: 119 x 66 x 33mm
  • Weight: 295g

PRICE RANGE: 750 to 1600$ on eBay or Amazon

Contax T2 35mm Point and Shot Film Camera Sample Image
Shot on Contax T2 by Chloe Lin

CONTAX T3

The Holly Grail among the T series. Known as the thinest and most compact Point & Shoot, it has a 35mm lens which sets it appear from the T and T2. This glass is also known for being one of the sharpest ever put on a compact film camera.

Not a ton of features but everything in this camera has been crafted with excellency in mind. The autofocus has been improved over the T2 and they tend to be faster and more reliable.

Some people using it even say that it’s so good that they forget about their other 35mm film cameras!

Slide it in your pocket and hit the street with this guy…if you can afford it!

buy point and shoot compact film camera Contax T3
  • Lens: Fixed
  • Focal: 35mm
  • Aperture: F2.8
  • Shutter Speed: 16 – 1/1200sec
  • Exposure Control: Aperture Priority and Program mode
  • Film Speed: DX Coded – 25 to 5000 ISO
  • Focus: Auto + Manual
  • Film Winder: Auto
  • Flash: Built-in
  • Exposure Comp: Yes
  • Battery: 1 x 3V CR123A
  • Size: 105 x 63 x 30.5mm
  • Weight: 230g

PRICE RANGE: 1400 to 2800$ on eBay or Amazon

Contax T3 Kodak Ektar 100 35mm Film Samples
Shot on Contax T3 by On Film Only

CONTAX TVS

For those of you who aren’t ready to spend a salary month in a camera, this is where it gets interesting. The TVS series is often disregarded because of its zoom lens. It is knows that zooms aren’t as sharp as fixed lenses but we’re talking about Zeiss glass here, so keep that in mind. I’ve owned this version for a few months now and can’t be more happy about it – Special thanks to Antti from Kameratori.com!– The build quality has nothing to envy to the T series and it’s really a joy to use.

I’ve never had to complain about the image quality nor the autofocus (which can be a bit slow I admit). From time to time I get a picture not properly exposed but this is a user error and has nothing to do with the camera itself.

One cool feature of this camera is that you can shoot in panoramic mode. Not a real panoramic per say as it only crops the top and bottom of the frame but you’ll get a taste of what it’s like to compose with an Xpan.

For more info about it, check out my review of the Contax TVS and see why it’s a great alternative to the Contax T2.

buy point and shoot compact film camera Contax TVS
  • Lens: Zoom
  • Focal: 28-56mm
  • Aperture: F3.5-6.5
  • Shutter Speed: 16 – 1/700sec
  • Exposure Control: Aperture Priority and P mode
  • Film Speed: DX Coded – 25 to 5000 ISO
  • Focus: Auto + Manual
  • Film Winder: Auto
  • Flash: Built-in
  • Exposure Comp: Yes
  • Battery: 1 x 3V CR123A
  • Size: 124 x 67 x 41.5mm
  • Weight: 375g

PRICE RANGE: 200 to 450$ on eBayor Amazon

Contax TVS 35mm Point and Shot Film Camera Sample Image
Shot on Contax TVS by On Film Only



CONTAX TVS II

This one offer some minor improvement over the first TVS version. It carries a brighter viewfinder and the lens cap is built-in the body so no risk to loose it.

Appart from that, the glass is identical and zoom range as well. There’s very little information about this specific version and it seems that people recommend to get a TVS version I over this one. I guess the little changes were not enough to justify the upgrade at the time it was released.

Unless the brighter viewfinder is an absolute must for you, I’d say stick with the first version and save a few bucks to buy some film instead.

  • Lens: Zoom
  • Focal: 28-56mm
  • Aperture: F3.5-6.5
  • Shutter Speed: 16 – 1/700sec
  • Exposure Control: Aperture Priority and Program mode
  • Film Speed: DX Coded – 25 to 5000 ISO
  • Focus: Auto + Manual
  • Film Winder: Auto
  • Flash: Built-in
  • Exposure Comp: Yes
  • Battery: 1 x 3V CR123A
  • Size: 123 x 67 x 45.5mm
  • Weight: 375g

Source Andy Šedík

PRICE RANGE: 350 to 500$ on eBay or Amazon

Shot on Contax TVS II by Naoharu


CONTAX TVS III

The last generation of the TVS series comes with a design halfway through the Contax T and T3. It was released at the end of the film photography era, which is why, it’s supposed to be one of the most modern compact cameras and benefits of the latests refinements that one could get at the time.

This one is probably the least appealing of the TVS series (at least to me) probably because most controls are electronic. Here you loose the aperture control ring on the lens which was replaced by two buttons (see next to the lens) and the power-zoom is divided into five focal length 30mm, 37.5mm, 45mm, 52.5mm and 60mm.

For me, this is a deal breaker as I like to have manual control over essentials settings as much as possible. I’m very happy with the aperture and zoom system of the TVS I and not sure see the benefits of these “upgrades”.

buy point and shoot compact film camera Contax TVS lll
  • Lens: Zoom
  • Focal: 30-60mm
  • Aperture: F3.7-6.7
  • Shutter Speed: 16 – 1/1000sec
  • Exposure Control: Aperture Priority and Program mode
  • Film Speed: DX Coded – 25 to 5000 ISO
  • Focus: Auto + Manual
  • Film Winder: Auto
  • Flash: Built-in
  • Exposure Comp: Yes
  • Battery: 1 x 3V CR123A
  • Size: 116.5 x 64 x 40mm
  • Weight: 320g

PRICE RANGE: 400 to 700$ on eBayor Amazon

Sample image Contax TVS III 35mm Point and shoot film camera
Shot on Contax TVS III by Film Bean


CONTAX TiX

We will conclude the Contax series with the OVNI of the T family. This one is set appart because of its film system. Instead of the standard 35mm film, it works with APS (Advanced Photo System) film. This system used smaller negatives and digital APS-C cropped sensors took their name from this system.

While a standard 35mm film will give you a 24×36 mm negative, this one only mesures 25.1×16.7 mm. This film system has been discontinued and you can only buy expired rolls from eBay.

This particularity makes the Contax TiX the most affordable of them all even though some people compare it to the T2 in terms of image and built quality.

But before making the jump, make sure that you can develop it yourself or find a lab that can process these films.

Credit Wikipedia
  • Lens: Fixed
  • Focal: 28mm
  • Aperture: F2.8
  • Shutter Speed: 15 – 1/1000sec
  • Exposure Control: Aperture Priority and Program mode
  • Film Speed: DX Coded – 25 to 5000 ISO
  • Focus: Auto
  • Film Winder: Auto
  • Flash: Built-in
  • Exposure Comp: Yes
  • Battery: 1 x 3V CR123A
  • Size: 100.5 x 60.5 x 33mm
  • Weight: 225g

PRICE RANGE: 150 to 300$ on eBay or Amazon

Sample image Contax TiX
Shot on Contax TiX by Ken Funakoshi


YASHICA T AF & AF-D

(a.k.a. Kyocera T AF)

The Yashica T AF and its younger brother the AF-D (D stands for Data Back), are the first Yashica cameras that have been equipped with Zeiss glass. This has been made possible after the acquisition of Yashica by Kyocera who had a partnership with the German lens maker. They quickly took advantage of that and brought Yashica into the Top tier of compact film cameras at the time.

It’s a fully automated camera that will decide everything for you: Focusing, Exposure and Flash. Your only job is to take care of the composition so no excuse here guys for not putting a minimum of effort in framing your shot!

Don’t let this plasticky design fool you, if you have the chance to grab one in a thrift store or flew market for a few bucks, don’t hesitate. With such a simple conception and great lens, anybody can take good pictures with this camera!

buy point and shoot compact film camera Yashica TAF
  • Lens: Fixed
  • Focal: 35mm
  • Aperture: F3.5
  • Shutter Speed: N/A
  • Exposure Control: Auto Exposure
  • Film Speed: DX Coded
  • Focus: Auto
  • Film Winder: Auto
  • Flash: Built-in
  • Exposure Comp: No
  • Battery: 2 x 1.5V AA, LR6
  • Size: 121x 73 x 45 mm
  • Weight: 340g

PRICE RANGE: 60 to 200$ on eBay or Amazon

YASHICA T AF / AF-D / Kyocera T AF 35mm Point and Shoot Film Camera Sample Image
Shot on Yashica T AF by Jung Yoon


YASHICA T2

(a.k.a. Kyocera T)

This one is also very basic but it offers some improvements ofter the previous generation. The Yashica T2 comes with a focus lock and a focusing distance indicator in the viewfinder when pressing halfway on the shutter release button.

That’s basically as far as it can get in terms of controls over the camera’s decision. When shooting in low light, it will fire its flash automatically (unless you disabled it). If you want to experience Zeiss glass with a minimum of controls at a decent cost this could be a great option.

buy point and shoot compact film camera Yashica T2
  • Lens: Fixed
  • Focal: 35mm
  • Aperture: F3.5
  • Shutter Speed: 1/8 – 1/500sec
  • Exposure Control: Auto Exposure
  • Film Speed: DX Coded – 50 to 1600 ISO
  • Focus: Auto
  • Film Winder: Auto
  • Flash: Built-in
  • Exposure Comp: No
  • Battery: 1 x 6V 2CR5
  • Size: 132 x 73 x 48mm
  • Weight: 320g

PRICE RANGE: 75 to 280$ on eBay or Amazon

Sample image Yashica T2 35mm film camera point and shoot
Shot on Yashica T2 by Amizyo Hairie



YASHICA T3

(a.k.a. Kyocera T Scope)

The Yashica T3 is a bit of an upgrade compared to the first ones. This is the first to come with a f2.8 aperture instead of the kind of slow f3/5.

Another particularity of this camera is that it comes with a waist level viewfinder on the top of the body. Don’t expect a large piece of polished glass like on a Rolleiflex but its tiny window can help you to shoot at very usual angles or from the hip without having to guess your composition. The little extra is the delayed shutter when you hold onto the shutter release button after the shot. It will wait to rewind the film until you release the button so you’re target won’t even notice the you took the shot. Two very useful features for shy photographers like myself!

Last thing worth mentioning is the weather resistant conception. The glass is also protected against water projections so you can put this camera in risky situations without worrying too much.

It seems to exist and another version of this camera, the Yashica T3 Super(a.k.a. Kyocera T Scope 2) but I haven’t found sufficient information to determine the difference between those two. If you have any idea, please let me know!

buy point and shoot compact film camera Yashica T3
  • Lens: Fixed
  • Focal: 35mm
  • Aperture: F2.8
  • Shutter Speed: 1 – 1/630sec
  • Exposure Control: Auto Exposure
  • Film Speed: DX Coded – 64 to 1600 ISO
  • Focus: Auto
  • Film Winder: Auto
  • Flash: Built-in
  • Exposure Comp: No
  • Battery: 1 x 6V 2CR5
  • Size: 128 x 67.5 x 52mm
  • Weight: 275g

PRICE RANGE: 90 to 340$ on eBay or Amazon

YASHICA T3  (a.k.a. Kyocera T Scope) 35mm film camera point and shoot sample image
Shot on Yashica T3 by Nick Fisher

YASHICA T4

(a.k.a. Kyocera Slim T)

Goodbye bulky design and welcome in the 90’s! The Yashica T4 has benefitted of an extreme makeover and heavy diet compared to the older T’s.

This new conception has received some criticism because of the plasticky feel and perception of lower quality but that’s just an impression. It’s weather sealed and can handle more than you would imagine.

The upgrade here lays in the build quality, a more compact body and slicker design which slides better in and out of your skinny jeans pockets. From all the Yashica T’s this is probably the most famous, and expensive, because a well known photographer has made it his camera of choice for his fashion work.

buy point and shoot compact film camera Yashica T4
  • Lens: Fixed
  • Focal: 35mm
  • Aperture: F3.5
  • Shutter Speed: 1 – 1/700sec
  • Exposure Control: Auto Exposure
  • Film Speed: DX Coded – 50 to 3200 ISO
  • Focus: Auto
  • Film Winder: Auto
  • Flash: Built-in
  • Exposure Comp: No
  • Battery: 1 x 3V CR123A
  • Size: 116,5 x 63,5 x 37 mm
  • Weight: 170g

PRICE RANGE: 300 to 660$ on eBay or Amazon

Sample image Yashica T4
Shot on Yashica T4 by Joanna Skrzypczak


YASHICA T4 Zoom

(a.k.a. Yashica T Zoom OR Kyocera T Zoom)

The only zoom lens of the Yashica T family. Often looked down because of that and the lower optical performances when compared to the primes, it still remains a very capable point and shoot.

The power zoom is controlled on the back of the camera and will give you 5 different focals to work with: 28, 40, 50, 60 and 70mm. But this versatility comes at the price of a variable aperture and a disappointing f/8 aperture when zoomed in at 70mm.

The body is mostly made of aluminium, which is a serious upgrade when compared to the older plasticky generations. The rest is fully automatic but you there’s still an exposure compensation and long exposure function. If you are looking for a multipurpose camera and don’t want to be stuck with a fixed lens, this could be your compact of choice.

buy point and shoot compact film camera Kyocera T Zoom
Credit Open-arms
  • Lens: Zoom​
  • Focal: 28-70mm
  • Aperture: F4.5-8
  • Shutter Speed: 2 – 1/360sec
  • Exposure Control: Auto Exposure
  • Film Speed: DX Coded – 50 to 3200 ISO
  • Focus: Auto
  • Film Winder: Auto
  • Flash: Built-in
  • Exposure Comp: No
  • Battery: 1 x 3V CR123A
  • Size: 113 x 62.5 x 39.5 mm
  • Weight: 195g

PRICE RANGE: 320 to 440$ on eBay or Amazon

Sample image Yashica T4 zoom
Shot on Yashica T4 Zoom by Eva.lu


YASHICA T5

(a.k.a. Yashica T4 Super OR Kyocera T Proof)

The Yashica T5 is the last one from the Yashica compact T family to benefit from the legendary T* Zeiss coating. Technical specs are essentially the same than the T4 but it’s slightly bigger because of an improved weather sealing. The major difference between the T4 and the T5 is that it took the same waist level viewfinder that you can find on the T3. Wow that was a lot of T’s !

Writing this article was too much temptation for me to handle and I couldn’t resist to buy one these. You’ll hear soon about it in a coming article and video!

buy Yashica T5 35mm point and shoot film camera
  • Lens: Fixed
  • Focal: 35mm
  • Aperture: F3.5
  • Shutter Speed: 1 – 1/700sec
  • Exposure Control: Auto Exposure
  • Film Speed: DX Coded – 50 to 3200 ISO
  • Focus: Auto
  • Film Winder: Auto
  • Flash: Built-in
  • Exposure Comp: No
  • Battery:1 x 3V CR123A
  • Size: 118 x 64.5 x 39.5 mm
  • Weight: 190g

PRICE RANGE: 350 to 600$ on eBay or Amazon

Yashica T5 and Agfa Vista 200 35mm Film Sample Image
Shot on Yashica T5 by On Film Only


Here’s my list of all point and shoots I could find with Zeiss T* lens. There are also other compact cameras that got the privilege to receive this special treatment but they aren’t as easy to use as point and shoots listed here. The Rollei 35 series are also great little cameras but they are almost entirely manuals. Meaning that there’s no auto-exposure or auto-focus. They require a little more knowledge and aren’t as ready to shoot unless you’re comfortable using zone-focusing.

Most camera pictures were kindly provided by my Finnish friends from Kameratori.com.

If you ever need to buy or trade gear, these guys are rock stars and will give you the best deal you can get!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *