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Zeiss Ikon Contaflex
Old 11-30-2010   #1
Roberto V.
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Zeiss Ikon Contaflex

Hi guys. I haven't seen any mention of the Contaflex SLRs here. I have a Contaflex I which I absolutely love. It's small, about the size of my M4 with the 35mm 'lux pre-asph (tiny lens). It has a fixed Tessar 45mm f/2.8 with synchro-compur shutter which produces some great pictures.
With its small size, great lens, excellent build quality (up there with Leica), and great price on the market, I'm surprised it isn't very popular.
Have any of you guys used them? What are your opinions? And post some pictures if you have them.


Here are a few of mine (the scans from the lab aren't really sharp):


Untitled by Roberto V., on Flickr


Untitled by Roberto V., on Flickr


Untitled by Roberto V., on Flickr


Untitled by Roberto V., on Flickr


Untitled by Roberto V., on Flickr
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Old 11-30-2010   #2
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Here's a picture of mine.


Contaflex by Roberto V., on Flickr
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Old 12-04-2010   #3
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I also forgot to post something important. Its viewfinder is brighter than my M4's!
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Old 12-04-2010   #4
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Beautiful Roberto!
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Old 12-04-2010   #5
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My dad has a Contaflex Super BC, which was maybe the last of the Contaflex line. It is a rock solid built camera with interchangeable magazine backs, and automatic exposure capability, as well as a very sharp Zeiss Tessar lens with a leaf shutter. Takes technically great pictures, but the battery compartment door is uncharacteristically built out of flimsy plastic. My dad loved the camera, although he doesn't use it much anymore after using it for about 25 years.

Last edited by dtcls100 : 12-08-2010 at 22:40. Reason: correction
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Old 12-04-2010   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtcls100 View Post
My dad has a Contaflex Super B, which was maybe the last of the Contaflex line. It is a rock solid built camera with interchangeable magazine backs, and automatic exposure capability, as well as a very sharp Zeiss Tessar lens with a leaf shutter. Takes technically great pictures, but the battery compartment door is uncharacteristically built out of flimsy plastic. My dad loved the camera, although he doesn't use it much anymore after using it for about 25 years.
I've been searching for a Contaflex Rapid for some time now. It's basically like mine, but with the interchangeable magazines, and an advance lever instead of the knob. Great little cameras.

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Beautiful Roberto!
Thanks!
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Old 12-04-2010   #7
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I have a Contaflex IV (selenium light meter working fine) and a Super BC, and "all three" pro-tessar lenses: 35mm, 85mm and 115mm. I also have the Steritar stereo lens for making stereo slides and a small viewmasterlike viewer for the individual slides. I must admit that it was the Contaflex IV that infected me with serious GAS for the first time, my interest so far had been in more modest medium format cameras. But the build quality, mechanical feel, sound of the shutter, the weight and heft of the pro-tessars... Shudder... This in turn made me buy a Contax RF which two years later led to a Leica and here we are...

Below is a picture from the Super BC with just the normal Tessar lens on Kodak Ektar. A street light outside the Royal Dramatical Theatre (Ingmar Bergmans old haunt) in Stockholm, Sweden:

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Old 12-07-2010   #8
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Tic, great picture. I love the standard Tessar on mine. And build quality is just as solid as my Leica! I hope to find a Contaflex Rapid someday to try out those Pro-Tessars. How's the image quality with those?
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Old 12-07-2010   #9
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I think the pro-tessar image quality is quite OK. Below are two shots with the 115mm pro-tessar:



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Old 12-08-2010   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tic View Post
I think the pro-tessar image quality is quite OK. Below are two shots with the 115mm pro-tessar:
Thanks, looks pretty good, maybe I'll try them out some day. I've also had some GAS for an Icarex lately.
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Old 01-08-2011   #11
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hi, i am new to "old" cameras and i would love to buy a contaflex but i do not know which of them.
As far as I understood, they do not need a battery (Contaflex II and the super).
I also do not know what films I can usw. I preferably use the ilford delta 400 (B/W) is that possible with the "old" lightmete with selenium?

I hope you can help me find the right contaflex.
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Old 01-08-2011   #12
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I own a Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super with the 50mm and 115mm lenses, two interchangeable backs and several filters and macro lenses set: a great gift from a great friend!
It is a wonderful camera, I shoot some pictures with a Fuji 800 ASA and one of them was published on an American magazine. I will use it tomorrow, loaded with a Fuji Sensia slide film.
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Old 01-08-2011   #14
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Shahin, the Super B has an ASA dial up to 800 and doesn´t need a battery, the Super BC needs one.
I received my Contaflex Super B from my father-in-law some years ago.
The camera is exactly as old as I am and was originally bought by my wife´s grandfather.



The selenium meter is dead and the shutter needed some exercise; The output is really stunning, even the blackout after releasing the shutter can be handled.

Wide open (2,8):


Through the windshield, scan from print:
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Old 01-08-2011   #15
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I have a very good offer for a contaflex II about 40Euro but the good thing is that it is "almost" new and funktions perfektly even the lightmeter.

is it worth it (can I put in 400 or 800 asa ?)or should I wait for a Contaflex Super?

thank you very much for you help.
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Old 01-09-2011   #17
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40 Euro for a working Contaflex II? I would buy it, but check the shutter speeds carefully, namely the long ones. If the ASA dial doesn´t go to 800 it is easy to measure at 400 and correct the exposure.
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A client gave me a Contaflex Super
Old 01-09-2011   #18
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A client gave me a Contaflex Super

It is a big chunk of stainless steel. My client said the timing was off, but I haven't tried it to see.

It has set of magnifying lenses that screw onto the 50mm. I also picked up a 35mm & 85mm sait of lenses, in superb condition for $40 at a local junk camera store.

Here is a website with lots of manuals for different models: M. Butkus Library
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Old 01-09-2011   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tstermitz View Post
It is a big chunk of stainless steel. My client said the timing was off, but I haven't tried it to see.

It has set of magnifying lenses that screw onto the 50mm. I also picked up a 35mm & 85mm sait of lenses, in superb condition for $40 at a local junk camera store.

Here is a website with lots of manuals for different models: M. Butkus Library
Keep us updated. I'd love to see more pictures from Contaflex users.
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Old 01-09-2011   #20
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Quote:
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???

I only need a small info about which one is worth a buy and whether the one offered to me is good?

thanks a lot
I'd recommend the meter-less ones. You can use this: http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm to calculate your exposure, and that way you don't need anything but film. You can use any 35mm with them. I've shot up to ISO 3200 with mine.
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Old 01-09-2011   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberto V. View Post
Tic, great picture. I love the standard Tessar on mine. And build quality is just as solid as my Leica! I hope to find a Contaflex Rapid someday to try out those Pro-Tessars. How's the image quality with those?

I have a Contaflex with three lenses. I used it a lot when we had our first baby. The Tessar 45mm lens is an excellent lens. My Contaflex accepts interchangeable lenses.
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Old 01-10-2011   #22
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thank you all a lot for the good info. I will buy a (hopefully) great contaflex as soon as possible and keep you up to date about my experience with it.
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Old 01-11-2011   #23
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Well, I've caught the bug too, just got a Contaflex Super B off ebay. Hopefully the condition of it will accord with the seller's description when it arrives! I already own and love a Bessamatic leaf shutter SLR so I'm looking forward to sampling another one.

Brett
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Old 01-12-2011   #24
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that sound great. i have been offered a contaflex IV with 50mm tessar lens in good working condition with 12month guaranty with original bag and lens shade.

The only problem mentioned by the seller is, that there seems to be a little dust(not much) ... is it possible to clean that later or does it compromise the quality of the pictures?
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Old 01-12-2011   #25
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If it´s only a little dust, it won´t affect the pictures, imo.
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Old 01-12-2011   #26
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roberto, that is a beautiful machine. you have beautiful friends, too.
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Old 01-12-2011   #27
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Agree with Paul, excellent photos! I had the Contaflex IV but film advance and shutter
issues were the big problem and repairs due to complexity would have been quite expensive.
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Old 01-17-2011   #28
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I have very good news, today I bought a Zeiss Contaflex IV with a 50mm Tessar lens, original leater bag and original lensshade and a 12 month warranty for 45 Euro from a camera dealer in Munich.
I talked to the man who sold it to me and he assured me that the lightmeter is tested and works 100%.

I hope it will be delivered this week so i can upload some pictures as soon as possible.
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Old 01-24-2011   #29
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Here it is my new Contaflex IV it was delivered today and I am very happy with it. It seems to work perfektly. I could even celan the dust from the inside very easily.
It is in a very good condition including the original bag.

All together it seems to be a very good buy what do you think?

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Old 01-24-2011   #30
Michiel Fokkema
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I had one as my first serious camera. Not sure which model, but it had a selenium meter and interchangeable lenses. when I look again at the photo's it made I regret I sold it.

Cheers,

Michiel Fokkema
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Old 01-24-2011   #31
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this one has a selenium meter and interchangeable lenses too. i will upload some pictures as soon as possible
maybe it is your old camera.....hrhrhrhr

is there sth that i need to know when i take this camera out for a shooting?
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Old 01-25-2011   #32
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Today I have bought a Agfa B/W film (ASA100) for testing the camera. I also tested the lightmeter of the Contaflex compared to my digital camera and as it turns out it works as it should.

So,please keep your fingeres crossed for everything to work on the camera
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Old 01-25-2011   #33
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These were solidly built cameras, but Zeiss Ikon didn't keep up with the times, and by the time that they did, it was too late. The Japanese had passed them by with interchangeable lenses, rapid return mirrors and lower prices.

I use the Contaflex I often and find it to be very easy to use and reliable. Like other Zeiss Ikon cameras with removable backs, it can use the same Zeiss Ikon film cassette that was first made available with the Contax I.

From what I've read, the Icarex (a Voigtlander design) was to replace the Contaflex in the lower end of the market, while the Contarex would be for the pro and the amateur who had plenty of money.
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Old 01-26-2011   #34
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Also, der erste Tag:

I made a big mistake i dropped the camera into a river....

AND I put in a ASA100 film which is ABSOLUTELY not usable for indoor shooting....
How does the contaflex work with a flash? Do you have any experience?
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Old 01-26-2011   #35
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I'm so in love with my new Contaflex Super B. Meter and auto is working. Takes wonderful pictures. Found it in a thrift shop for $20 a couple of weeks ago.



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Old 01-27-2011   #36
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can i buy it from you....i would even give you 25EUR for it ^_^

The contaflex is a great camera and deliveres fantastic pictures.
would you recommend a negative-film scanner like the rollei ?http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B003...pf_rd_i=301128
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Old 01-27-2011   #37
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Roberto, your photos are fantastic, they really have a soul! I covet a Contaflex and/or a Contarex, it is not a priority but I hope to own one of those in the future. Your wonderful photos comfort me in these coveting thoughts :-)
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Old 01-27-2011   #38
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LOVE the color stuff here... REALLY luscious!

Thanks for posting them and creating more GAS!! :-(
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Old 01-27-2011   #39
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I agree with Jamie... now lurking on a german well known auction site :/
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