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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 10-30-2016   #121
Erik van Straten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
I have had the opportunity to study Maizenberg's repair manual for Russian cameras and he discusses the Kiev 2, 3 and 4 cameras in fair detail, but he never gets into the barrel itself or the replacement/adjustment of those springs. I suspect that this was considered a "modular part" and was replaced completely by technicians rather than disassembled and repaired.
Yes, I've a downloaded copy of Maizenbergs book, but there is no mention of the construction of this very elementary part AFAIK. I think you are right, maybe this part was considered irretrievable.

Erik.
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Old 10-30-2016   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
I have had the opportunity to study Maizenberg's repair manual for Russian cameras and he discusses the Kiev 2, 3 and 4 cameras in fair detail, but he never gets into the barrel itself or the replacement/adjustment of those springs. I suspect that this was considered a "modular part" and was replaced completely by technicians rather than disassembled and repaired.
We live at different time, soon all "modular part" for old cameras will disappeared. We have to learn how to repair them..:-)
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Old 10-30-2016   #123
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Originally Posted by Deklari View Post
We live at different time, soon all "modular part" for old cameras will disappeared. We have to learn how to repair them..:-)
Oh, I fully agree. But, like Erik, I can find lots of information around the repair and adjustment of the Contax rangefinders, but nothing at all regarding this crucial part of the camera.

You would think that detailed construction diagrams or drawings would exist, but if they do I haven't seen them. Beyond that I would believe that there existed jigs and other assembly assists that would have been used by technicians in the factory. Where have those gone? Some of the drawings shown here are the first detailed drawings that I have seen let alone any other items surrounding their construction.

It all just seems a bit odd. I have breakdown drawings and assembly instructions for all kinds of different types of shutters, but only parts and pieces of this one. Are there patent drawings and descriptions, or were those destroyed in the War?
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Old 10-30-2016   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
Oh, I fully agree. But, like Erik, I can find lots of information around the repair and adjustment of the Contax rangefinders, but nothing at all regarding this crucial part of the camera.

You would think that detailed construction diagrams or drawings would exist, but if they do I haven't seen them. Beyond that I would believe that there existed jigs and other assembly assists that would have been used by technicians in the factory. Where have those gone? Some of the drawings shown here are the first detailed drawings that I have seen let alone any other items surrounding their construction.

It all just seems a bit odd. I have breakdown drawings and assembly instructions for all kinds of different types of shutters, but only parts and pieces of this one. Are there patent drawings and descriptions, or were those destroyed in the War?
Who knows...My be in Aresenal or Zeiss archive. I own pre-war Zeiss Jena coated lens with big "red dot" (no "T" as usual). I have contact Zeiss directly about this lens. They found all information about this lens in archive (base on S/N) and tell me whole story. They still have all (or most) information. How many total Contax I are manufactured?
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Old 10-30-2016   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
Oh, I fully agree. But, like Erik, I can find lots of information around the repair and adjustment of the Contax rangefinders, but nothing at all regarding this crucial part of the camera.

You would think that detailed construction diagrams or drawings would exist, but if they do I haven't seen them. Beyond that I would believe that there existed jigs and other assembly assists that would have been used by technicians in the factory. Where have those gone? Some of the drawings shown here are the first detailed drawings that I have seen let alone any other items surrounding their construction.

It all just seems a bit odd. I have breakdown drawings and assembly instructions for all kinds of different types of shutters, but only parts and pieces of this one. Are there patent drawings and descriptions, or were those destroyed in the War?
Some things, including blueprints, were destroyed during Allied bombing raids on Dresden. That much I can recall from reading various articles in the Zeiss Historica journal. For exactly which products I'm not sure, for that matter I don't know if anyone is. It's surely possible documents for the original Contax may have been among those lost though. Back issues of the journal are available to read at issuu. You might be able to elucidate further details from them?
Cheers
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Edit
Direct link to Zeiss Historica at issuu here.

Last edited by Sarcophilus Harrisii : 10-30-2016 at 23:34. Reason: Insert hyperlink
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Old 10-31-2016   #126
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Quote:
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How many total Contax I are manufactured?
Roughly 30.000. Quite a lot.

Erik.
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Old 10-31-2016   #127
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If there were a manual this would not be so much fun would it?!

As to the question of a 'modular' part. I suspect Zeiss subcontracted these rollers to a wandering band of magical multi fingered dwarves who would weave intricate springs for various manufacturers while sitting around the campfire singing songs of their long forgotten home.

All traces of these legendary itinerants are long gone and they are now only remembered by the few surviving examples of their work.

Michael
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Old 10-31-2016   #128
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In Kuc' book is stated that only women were allowed to work on the shutters.

Erik.
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Old 10-31-2016   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
In Kuc' book is stated that only women were allowed to work on the shutters.

Erik.
they fingers skinnier .. I have used stero microscope then repairing my Contax :-)
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Old 10-31-2016   #130
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Ok, I moving forward
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_3428.jpg (15.3 KB, 19 views)
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Old 10-31-2016   #131
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it is very delicate work ..IMG_3429.jpg
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Old 10-31-2016   #132
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Finally, I have removed ... now I need a new one..IMG_3431.jpg..IMG_3432.jpg
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Old 10-31-2016   #133
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Yup, got there last night!

IMG_2844 by dralowid, on Flickr

I've made a bit of a mess of the outer spring, they are indeed tricky to remove and I don't have Deklari's dexterity but I'm sure it could be coaxed back into approximate shape.

It is the end of a voyage of discovery. Knowing that I won't have the skill to put the roller back together I'll be searching around for parts cameras. Surely there a lots of broken, partly dismantled Contax Is hidden away in boxes and surely they can't all have broken springs...or can they?!?

Michael
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Old 10-31-2016   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dralowid View Post
I'll be searching around for parts cameras. Surely there a lots of broken, partly dismantled Contax Is hidden away in boxes and surely they can't all have broken springs...or can they?!?
The problem of the cameras on eBay is that you don't know what is in them.

Erik.
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Old 10-31-2016   #135
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The problem of the cameras on eBay is that you don't know what is in them.

Erik.
...and they are way too expensive for this exercise.

Isn't it 'strange' that the Ebay sellers of Contax Is mention rangefinder, focussing, cosmetics, case etc but often fail to mention the shutter?
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Old 10-31-2016   #136
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Welp...I'm now having to follow this thread too.
First roll of film shows issues with the shutter speeds at several settings. I got maybe 7 or 8 usable images on the roll.
And when I tested the shutter after taking out the roll of film the right strap broke.
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Old 10-31-2016   #137
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...and they are way too expensive for this exercise.

Isn't it 'strange' that the Ebay sellers of Contax Is mention rangefinder, focussing, cosmetics, case etc but often fail to mention the shutter?
I will go for Kiev for this part. To avoid same problem, I will buy working Kiev from Russia. I have good experience with Contax III, I got a parts from Kiev and it work for me. But still a risk. What if I mess with Kiev's spring during installation...
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Old 10-31-2016   #138
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Originally Posted by Dralowid View Post
Yup, got there last night!

IMG_2844 by dralowid, on Flickr

I've made a bit of a mess of the outer spring, they are indeed tricky to remove and I don't have Deklari's dexterity but I'm sure it could be coaxed back into approximate shape.

It is the end of a voyage of discovery. Knowing that I won't have the skill to put the roller back together I'll be searching around for parts cameras. Surely there a lots of broken, partly dismantled Contax Is hidden away in boxes and surely they can't all have broken springs...or can they?!?

Michael
I've fortunately fixed several Contax II shutters having the same bottom drum spring unit problem by using good Kiev spring units.

Unfortunately, there is no postwar copy of the Contax I shutter, and so you cannot get a more recent shutter with a spring unit in better condition than yours.

The Contax I is now a very old camera. A kind of a prototype with, like Erik said, innards designed by people having no real experience of how designing a shutter so that it would be reasonably reliable.
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Old 10-31-2016   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dralowid View Post
...and they are way too expensive for this exercise.

Isn't it 'strange' that the Ebay sellers of Contax Is mention rangefinder, focussing, cosmetics, case etc but often fail to mention the shutter?
They selling them for display. They know what shutter is bad, but they want to sell it.
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Old 10-31-2016   #140
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Originally Posted by Mr_Flibble View Post
Welp...I'm now having to follow this thread too.
First roll of film shows issues with the shutter speeds at several settings. I got maybe 7 or 8 usable images on the roll.
And when I tested the shutter after taking out the roll of film the right strap broke.
Rick,

Welcome to an exclusive club you really didn't want to belong to, indeed none of the existing members want to belong to this club either.

Bad luck and I hope you will be able to restrict the problem to the ribbons.

Keep us informed,

Michael
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Old 10-31-2016   #141
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Well, no reason left not take it apart now
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Old 10-31-2016   #142
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If you know a good machinist it may be possible to recreate these springs from new music wire of the correct size. Either that or you may find something on McMaster Carr's website.

It is certainly worth a try. Since it is more likely that these springs are the parts that will break or wear down on this part, new ones could return the entire drum to the same condition as the newly manufactured ones.
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Old 10-31-2016   #143
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I have been following this thread with interest and admiration for the skill and patience you folks have displayed. Pioneer is on the right track. New springs need to be found and I would suggest buying commercially made springs. I'm a retired machinist, I've made springs in the past and it is just as much art as science. There should be a great variety of commercially made springs available and finding some and fitting them might be the answer. Good Luck. Joe
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Old 10-31-2016   #144
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Perhaps these fellows can help with restoring/making/finding new ones if you are in Europe:

https://www.federnshop.com/de/
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Old 10-31-2016   #145
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Now that I've looked at the pictures of the previous page, the Contax I drum unit looks like the same as the Contax II drum unit.

Are they really identical ?

If yes, that would be excellent.

Here are some sketches and instructions by Rick Oleson about how it works :






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Old 10-31-2016   #146
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I will add that most of those prewar Contax spring units are now broken because repairmen decided to fix reluctant shutters by overtensioning the bottom drum unit over the years and decades instead of taking the whole shutter apart and carefully cleaning the grime off the shafts and gears.
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Old 10-31-2016   #147
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[quote=Highway 61;2662571]
Are they really identical ?

Excellent! Yes, they almost identical, Except central axle
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Old 10-31-2016   #148
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this is a difference

IMG_3437.jpg
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Old 10-31-2016   #149
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And there is no way to flip them. They are not symmetrical.
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Old 10-31-2016   #150
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The trick would be to shorten then re-machine the right end of the central axle of a good Kiev drum unit to install it in a Contax I shutter unit, if possible.

Not too sure, though. Re-machining the axle end so that it can have a slot for the tensioning step would be easy, but what about the position of the ribbons spools on this drum unit once installed in a a Contax I ?
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Old 10-31-2016   #151
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Quote:
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what about the position of the ribbons spools on this drum unit once installed in a Contax I ?
Maybe the spool ends of a Contax I will fit to an axis of a Kiev, but this all remains guesswork. We need a good instrument maker.

I wish I had the time to experiment now I see all this new information, but I will be very busy with work until January.

Maybe the axis of a Kiev can simply be turned (left to right) and the left and right springs switched.

Erik.
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Old 10-31-2016   #152
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The trick would be to shorten then re-machine the right end of the central axle of a good Kiev drum unit to install it in a Contax I shutter unit, if possible.

Not too sure, though. Re-machining the axle end so that it can have a slot for the tensioning step would be easy, but what about the position of the ribbons spools on this drum unit once installed in a a Contax I ?
No problem for left site, it is possible to make slot for the tension there... problem will be with existing right slot, no room for cut there.
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Old 10-31-2016   #153
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Ok, I moving forward
I trying re-pair old spring ..
I have put spring on cylinder.. and heat (on gas stove) for 20-30 seconds...
IMG_3433a.jpg
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Old 10-31-2016   #154
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The manufacture of custom springs is no great problem, apart from significant cost. There a specialists in the UK who could do it but machine 'set up' costs would be high. I doubt the cost would drop much with any volume that might be achievable.

The problems I see are:

1) We do not have a good spring to copy. The thing is an awkward double spiral that turns back on itself

2) The chances of deforming the springs during installation are high. OK so my dexterity is nothing like Deklari's but I fear we would mess up a few before we had an acceptable result. The anchorage to the shaft is also very fiddly.

It is interesting that neither Deklari's nor my spring are actually broken. As far as I can tell it looks as if the outer coil or spiral which is unsupported has collapsed towards the anchorage end. Both anchorages are at the same end.

Seeing Deklari is trying heat I have thought of trying to reform it using a gas soldering iron...but have no idea whether this will affect the quality of the spring itself (and I'd just burn my fingers!).

Another thought. Watchmakers or watch and clock restorers. Does anyone have a contact?

Michael
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Old 10-31-2016   #155
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The manufacture of custom springs is no great problem, apart from significant cost. There a specialists in the UK who could do it but machine 'set up' costs would be high. I doubt the cost would drop much with any volume that might be achievable.

The problems I see are:

1) We do not have a good spring to copy. The thing is an awkward double spiral that turns back on itself

2) The chances of deforming the springs during installation are high. OK so my dexterity is nothing like Deklari's but I fear we would mess up a few before we had an acceptable result. The anchorage to the shaft is also very fiddly.

It is interesting that neither Deklari's nor my spring are actually broken. As far as I can tell it looks as if the outer coil or spiral which is unsupported has collapsed towards the anchorage end. Both anchorages are at the same end.

Seeing Deklari is trying heat I have thought of trying to reform it using a gas soldering iron...but have no idea whether this will affect the quality of the spring itself (and I'd just burn my fingers!).

Another thought. Watchmakers or watch and clock restorers. Does anyone have a contact?

Michael
Michael, It is correct both anchorage are at the same end (this how it designed). Also heating will defiantly result the quality. I just play around, it is nothing to lose. I personally see only one solution, re-place the spring from working Kiev or Contax II/III. P.S. And sorry I should tell what it really hot.
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Old 10-31-2016   #156
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[quote=Dralowid;2662619]
2) The chances of deforming the springs during installation are high. OK so my dexterity is nothing like Deklari's but I fear we would mess up a few before we had an acceptable result. The anchorage to the shaft is also very fiddly.

My only hope, what I need this repair ones. From my bad experience, this problems comes from ribbons installation. When I loosing tension on the bottom roller. Do anyone know average of ribbons lifetime on this camera?
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Old 10-31-2016   #157
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What I know, is that when you have in 2016 a working camera with original straps they break almost instantly in use. I think they do not break because of wear, but because they desintegrate from age and the influence of lubricants.

Erik.
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Old 10-31-2016   #158
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Contax I v7, Jupiter 8M 50mm f/2, 400-2TMY.

Erik.

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Old 10-31-2016   #159
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Contax I v7, Jupiter 8M 50mm f/2, 400-2TMY.

Erik.

Excellent work !! Contax I and Jupiter 8m grate combination
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Old 10-31-2016   #160
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What I know, is that when you have in 2016 a working camera with original straps they break almost instantly in use. I think they do not break because of wear, but because they desintegrate from age and the influence of lubricants.

Erik.
That's an interesting point. I tend to agree with you. The first Contax II I changed the ribbons of was a 1936 model. The ribbons were very weak. They looked quite OK, but when you applied some tension to them, they disintegrated. The fibres no longer had any structural integrity. They were too old. The last one I did was a one owner Contax II I bought it. I have the ribbons, intact, from this one. I picked the stitching apart and extracted them from the curtains and the rollers. These are not falling apart. They feel quite strong and look in sound condition. Same colour, same weave, same blue thread used in the stitching that I have seen in other Contaxes with genuine ribbons. This example is also a 1936. How odd. If you didn't know better you might have been tempted not to replace them. I did, of course, with Aki Asahi material, for peace of mind. Two Contaxes, same year of manufacture, same material, ribbons in completely different condition. No conclusions I can come to about why they have aged so differently. I have no idea. Just reporting what I've observed.
Cheers,
Brett
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