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Zeiss Contax Forum for the classic Zeiss Contax I, II, III, IIa, IIIa , G series, and if you want to push it, the nice Contax point and shoots. Some spill over from the Kievs, the Soviet copy of the Contax II/III can also be expected. Plus the ONLY production camera ever made in classic Zeiss Contax Rangefinder mount WITH TTL metering ... the Voigtlander Bessa R2C.

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Old 02-19-2009   #41
dexdog
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The lens is not fixed, but a removable bayonet mount. Lens is removed from the helical by pressing down the small lever on the lens mount, and turning the lens clockwise. The Zeiss-Opton lens is considered by many Contax fans as the best of the three variaties of the post-WW2 50mm lenses. The lens movement should not be rough. The sound that you hear is probably the focus wheel (located just above rangerfinder window) spinning as the lens is rotated; a little squeaking may occur too, depending on how dried out the grease on the helical is. If otherwise in good shape, value as judged from eBay sales is in the range of $250-400. Fungus would of course reduce the value.
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Contax RF
Old 02-20-2009   #42
Tim San Francisco
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Contax RF

Dex and XA:

Thanks for your advice; very helpful. I got a few more pictures of the top and back (below), but no S/N to be found. Dex, I did get the lens off, with your instructions, and note the inner glass is clean, and blades look good too. Shutter has a slight wrinkle, but otherwise okay.

If not for the fungus in the lens, I'd jump on this. But with unknown repair costs to clean the fungus, I may pass on this, unless it's a bargain. Any idea of the cost to remove the fungus? Also, with an adapter, would this fit onto my Leica M3? (Glass looks very nice, except for the spots inside).

Tim



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Old 02-20-2009   #43
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I could not make out the serial number of the camera in your picture, but the number 30056 as noted in your post should be proceeded by a letter. Can't tell what the letter in your picture is, but looks kinda like an "I" which doe not track with info from Kuc's book concerning serial numbers. According to Kuc's book, the serial number 30056 is in the range of "Q" series IIa cameras produced in 1956-1957. Perhaps the camera that you have is a mis-engraving. Also, the phillips-head screws on the accessory shoe are probably replacements, the original scews had regular slotted heads.

Cleaning the fungus would require a CLA, normally about $100 in most places. Adapters for Contax RF to leica M mount are available from a couple of eBay sellers for about $250-$300. eBay seller Amedeo.m seems to be a good seller to deal with based on the experience of several RFF members. If you already have M-mount cameras, an adapter makes sense- if not, one can usually pick up a functional post-WW2 Contax camera body for less money.
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Old 02-21-2009   #44
Tim San Francisco
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Dex:

Thanks again. The letter is T 30056, and you're correct; those are phillips screws holding the acc. shoe.

This caught my eye initially because I read in one of the threads that some M mount afficiandos considered the Sonnar 50mm 1.5 as an outstanding fast 50 for the M body (maybe it was Tom A.).

So if I can get this lens cleaned and pick up an affordable adapter, this may be an attractive alternative to a 50mm summilux for me. On the other hand, if I get a good price, perhaps I get the lens cleaned and shoot with the Contax body.

The camera feels solid in the hand, and the lens sparkles.

Tim
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Old 02-21-2009   #45
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The use of phillips head screws indicates that someone has worked on the camera in the past. It might have no bearing on the work performed, other than the original screws were lost or damaged or a combination.

The original screws are somewhat soft and the screw heads can be damaged easily, so extra care is always needed when tightening or loosening them.

The focusing mechanism of the postwar cameras is different than the prewar cameras and often feels a bit rougher, even after the camera has been serviced.

There is a small trick to retighening the screws that should be followed when reattaching the helical assembly to the body. That can go a long way toward making the focusing movement feel smoother.

Like all cameras from the 1950s, it can use an overhaul. And the lens definitely needs work.

It would be very difficult to say whether then lens can be saved without a hands-on inspection. The Contax IIa in its own right is a fabulous camera. I like the smaller body and would choose it over a prewar camera.

Of course, you have knob wind and knob rewind and all of the "drawbacks" that are part of cameras from that era. That's a small part of the charm, perhaps.
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Old 04-22-2010   #46
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Thanks for the information dexdog, I now know that my IIa is one year older than me.

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Old 06-02-2012   #47
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My Contax IIIA V23048 is placed in the Black Dial mechanical flash attachment but the PC attachment is clearly color dial and the 25 and 50 shutter speeds are yellow. A factory conversion perhaps.

David
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