The Contax S2 was originally introduced in October 1992 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Contax cameras. It is a fully mechanical, manual-focus, manually-operated 35mm SLR camera, using batteries only to power the light meter, and features titanium top and bottom plates. Like all modern Contax manual-focus SLR cameras, the S2 used the Contax/Yashica bayonet mount in order to accept Carl Zeiss T* lenses. The camera was intended as a 'purist' model for use by customers who were experienced photographers. It is unusual among modern 35mm cameras in that the light meter was designed as a spot meter, without center-weighted or matrix metering options. The use of only a spot meter required some knowledge and expertise by the owner for accurate exposures. A simple camera with a mechanical shutter, the S2 featured shutter speeds up to 1/4000 second and 1/250 second flash synchronization.
In response to customer demands for an S2 with a more versatile light meter, Contax introduced the S2b in 1994, which was sold concurrently with the S2. The S2b is virtually identical to the S2 with the exception of a different external finish, and a light meter that is center-weighted to provide accurate exposure under an average range of lighting conditions. Both the S2 and S2b were discontinued by Contax in 2000.