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Just purchased my first Contax
Old 02-12-2019   #1
Steve Ruddy
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Just purchased my first Contax

Hi All,

I just bought a Contax with some extras.
  1. Contax IIIa black dial Serial# V20829
  2. Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 50mm f2 T Nr.3501027
  3. Flash Sync adapter 1366
  4. Zeiss Opton Sonnar 135mm f4 Nr. 661086
Looks like the body is from 7-10/1952. I haven't found anything about the two lenses. No hoods were supplied and I haven't seen any accessories catalog so I'm wondering what was available. I especially would like some lens hoods. The take up spool was missing so I used a dremmel on a portra film cartridge and am going to run a test roll today. I think the shutter maybe running a little fast.

The kit came along with a Leica IIIf but I don't think I'll use it as the Contax seems superior.

Here are a few photos.











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Old 02-12-2019   #2
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You might get some push back on Leica Vs. Contax, but I won't go there. Both of your lenses have a fairly standard 40.5 mm thread. Zeiss made both 40.5 mm Screw in and 42 mm push on shades for the 50 , but both block a lot of the finder. I use vented shades bought on eBay for not much money and they block the finder a lot less. A longer tele 40.5 mm shade will be fine on the 135, although Zeiss made one that fits both the 135 and 85 f/4 Triotar. The Zeiss shades are a bit pricey and hard to find and won't perform any better than the eBay versions.
A couple of other things: I didn't see a separate Zeiss finder for the 135, although the auxiliary finder on the Leica will probably work well enough. Also, you might want to go to a hardware store and get an O ring to attach around the finder of the Contax if you wear glasses and don't want to scratch them.
Good luck with your camera--they don't make cameras like that any more!
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Old 02-12-2019   #3
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Lovely to see both cameras side by side. The Contax is a lot more butch than the Leica, but both are very fine bits of German camera making. Have fun!
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Old 02-12-2019   #4
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Steve - here's a reference for dating some Zeiss lenses. The Contax lenses are at the bottom.
Looks like the 50mm Sonnar was from '52-'53 and made in East Germany, while the 135mm was also about '52 and made in West Germany. Here's another page with some information and nice pics.
One good source of information about Contax from '45 until recently is Kuc's "On the Trail of the Contax", which has a lot of historical information and a good chapter on accessories for Contax. I only see one copy on Amazon right now for $130, but keep your eyes out for a lower-priced copy as I think I only paid $20 for mine. It's not a big book, but a great resource.
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Old 02-12-2019   #5
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Congrats on your purchase!

Per Cascadilla's post, I would also recommend just getting a screw-in 40.5mm vented hood that will work w/both the 50 & the 135. They're very inexpensive & readily available on eBay. The official Zeiss hoods, both screw-in & push-on, from the 1950s are huge (in fact, bigger than the ones for the 1930s-40s Contax II/III for some reason) & really only for collectors.
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Old 02-12-2019   #6
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The 5cm f/2 Sonnar and the Jupiter-8 copy are considered to be a very good lenses.
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Old 02-13-2019   #7
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Thanks to everyone for the replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cascadilla View Post
You might get some push back on Leica Vs. Contax, but I won't go there. Both of your lenses have a fairly standard 40.5 mm thread. Zeiss made both 40.5 mm Screw in and 42 mm push on shades for the 50 , but both block a lot of the finder. I use vented shades bought on eBay for not much money and they block the finder a lot less. A longer tele 40.5 mm shade will be fine on the 135, although Zeiss made one that fits both the 135 and 85 f/4 Triotar. The Zeiss shades are a bit pricey and hard to find and won't perform any better than the eBay versions.
A couple of other things: I didn't see a separate Zeiss finder for the 135, although the auxiliary finder on the Leica will probably work well enough. Also, you might want to go to a hardware store and get an O ring to attach around the finder of the Contax if you wear glasses and don't want to scratch them.
Good luck with your camera--they don't make cameras like that any more!
I'm not sure what a slotted hood is but thanks for the info. I'll look for one. I'm glad you mentioned the viewfinder as I do wear glasses and would have almost certainly scratched them! I found an o-ring that fits in my stash. Do you know why the viewfinder has threads? It also looks like it can be unscrewed bit mine doesn't budge.






Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesDAMorgan View Post
Lovely to see both cameras side by side. The Contax is a lot more butch than the Leica, but both are very fine bits of German camera making. Have fun!
I found a very reasonable repair for the Leica which includes a new curtain for $240 now if I can only find the same for the Contax with no waiting list I'll be happy. I'm doing a test shoot of both cameras today. I'll be taking the same shots with each using their 50mm lenses so I can compare the images. This is a assuming I end up with usable exposures! So far I like the Lieca for it's size, and weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_jm View Post
Steve - here's a reference for dating some Zeiss lenses. The Contax lenses are at the bottom.
Looks like the 50mm Sonnar was from '52-'53 and made in East Germany, while the 135mm was also about '52 and made in West Germany. Here's another page with some information and nice pics.
One good source of information about Contax from '45 until recently is Kuc's "On the Trail of the Contax", which has a lot of historical information and a good chapter on accessories for Contax. I only see one copy on Amazon right now for $130, but keep your eyes out for a lower-priced copy as I think I only paid $20 for mine. It's not a big book, but a great resource.
Thanks Jim, I'm going to check the links out now. Thanks for the book reference too, I definitely want one.
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Old 02-13-2019   #8
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All 3 of the post war Contax bodies that I own have knurling around the eyepiece, and none of them unscrew without a lot of force, which I haven't tried.
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Old 02-13-2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cascadilla View Post
All 3 of the post war Contax bodies that I own have knurling around the eyepiece, and none of them unscrew without a lot of force, which I haven't tried.
Maybe they are replaceable with different diopters.
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Old 02-13-2019   #10
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Congrats to the small but growing Contax family. I picked up a Contax IIA last year. It has become my favorite 35mm film camera. Santa brought me a Voigtlander 21mm f4 Skopar in Nikon/Contax bayonet mount also.

Have you run film through it yet? I had mine CLA'd after the first roll. After the CLA it has been working perfectly.

I suspect you could use the Leitz viewfinder with the Contax (I am using a Nikon Varifocal + a dedicated 21mm Voigtlander brightline)
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Old 02-13-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjwyatt View Post
Congrats to the small but growing Contax family. I picked up a Contax IIA last year. It has become my favorite 35mm film camera. Santa brought me a Voigtlander 21mm f4 Skopar in Nikon/Contax bayonet mount also.

Have you run film through it yet? I had mine CLA'd after the first roll. After the CLA it has been working perfectly.

I suspect you could use the Leitz viewfinder with the COntax (I am using a Nikon Varifocal + a dedicated 21mm Voigtlander brightline)
Thanks Mark, Who did you use for the CLA?
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Old 02-13-2019   #12
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Steve,

The viewfinder has threads because the camera came with a plastic protector that screws on and off and a eye piece correction diopter could be fitted under it. In the 60-70 years since they were made most Contaxes lost these little niceties. I've been using a IIIa since 1967 without a protector all the time with eyeglasses and never experienced a scratched lens.

Bill Jones

Last edited by Bill Jones : 02-13-2019 at 12:50. Reason: typo
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Old 02-13-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ruddy View Post
Thanks Mark, Who did you use for the CLA?
Ross Yerkes in Los Angeles.
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Contax service
Old 02-13-2019   #14
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Contax service

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Originally Posted by Steve Ruddy View Post
Thanks Mark, Who did you use for the CLA?
Mark Hansen has serviced a few cameras for me. He's fast, reasonable, and he does excellent work (and he loves Contax cameras). http://www.zeissikonrolleirepair.com/

I had one camera serviced by Ross Yerkes - never again because I don't like racist propaganda included when the camera is returned.
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Old 02-14-2019   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Jones View Post
Steve,

The viewfinder has threads because the camera came with a plastic protector that screws on and off and an eye piece correction diopter could be fitted under it. In the 60-70 years since they were made most Contaxes lost these little niceties. I've been using a IIIa since 1967 without a protector all the time with eyeglasses and never experienced a scratched lens.

Bill Jones
In my experience, the black rings that originally came on the Contax viewfinders were metal, not plastic, w/the black being a hard enamel-type paint. My theory is that they were a carryover from before WWII, since Zeiss Ikon used the same rings on some pre-war models, like the Tenax II & Super Ikonta B, & then continued using them for other models like the postwar Super Ikonta B (1 of the 1st cameras to be made by the reconstituted Zeiss Ikon & basically just the pre-war model w/a coated lens) while introducing it to new models like the Contax II/III & Contessa.

Since I can, & have scratched, my glasses (plastic since the '80s) on the bare VF threads, I switch the rings between cameras, including the Contaxes. Because they're metal, they're more abrasive than plastic or rubber, but still better than nothing (they also make the camera look better).
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Old 03-02-2019   #16
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Hello,

I'm lucky enough to have a Contax-IIIa complete with its black eyepiece-ring.

I can say that it's made of a material closely resembling to Bakelite or black, hard plastic.

With surprise, I've seen that this piece is identical to those mounted on the now cheap Contina or on the "luxurious" Contessa.

The O-ring is an excellent solution though.

Best wishes,

Enzo (E.L.)
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Old 03-05-2019   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Flibble View Post
The 5cm f/2 Sonnar and the Jupiter-8 copy are considered to be a very good lenses.
Rick,

Do dates of manufacture make any difference on the Jupiter lenses?
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Old 03-05-2019   #18
Mr_Flibble
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I recall being told that quality control for the FSU lenses was at its best between the early 1950s and the late 70s. Brian Sweeney can probably narrow that down for you.
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Old 04-25-2019   #19
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I just received an email from Mark Hansen. He told me it has sand inside and he is not sure if he can get it all out. He recommended I put it on the shelf. This is hard to swallow as I have $150 purchase price plus another $80 for his fee into it already. Henry has an 8 year waiting list. Maybe I should try Ross. I hate to put this camera on the shelf so I may open it to at least see what he is talking about. Mark said the Sonnar F2 was in good condition. However I'm under the impression the F2 was a kit lens and the better choice would be the F1.5 which is listed in the Contax user manual. Anyone have an opinion on that or what should be done with the camera. Maybe I should abandon these older 35mm cameras and put money into some good lenses and a CLA for my Dad's old Nikkormat.
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Old 04-25-2019   #20
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^^^^That’s a shame. Not sure what I can offer outside of the following bits. I have had Mark Hansen do a couple, or three, of cameras for me over the years, but I have gotten the impression, perhaps mistaken, that he’s not as eager to do any and every camera that comes his way as he might have once been. This impression comes from talking to him and others who have talked to him. So, I would recommend getting a second opinion as the camera is worth fixing if it can be done reasonably. I don’t know Ross Yerkes, who has been mentioned here, but start there?
If you already have the 50/2, don’t feel like you need to be jonesing for the 50/1.5 until you try the 50/2, which is plenty nice and as nice as the 50/1.5 from f/2 on in my experience (I have both). The faster lens is faster and you’d get the benefits of that, but there is nothing wrong with the f/2.

Good luck, and don’t give up just yet.
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Old 04-25-2019   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
^^^^Thatís a shame. Not sure what I can offer outside of the following bits. I have had Mark Hansen do a couple, or three, of cameras for me over the years, but I have gotten the impression, perhaps mistaken, that heís not as eager to do any and every camera that comes his way as he might have once been. This impression comes from talking to him and others who have talked to him. So, I would recommend getting a second opinion as the camera is worth fixing if it can be done reasonably. I donít know Ross Yerkes, who has been mentioned here, but start there?
If you already have the 50/2, donít feel like you need to be jonesing for the 50/1.5 until you try the 50/2, which is plenty nice and as nice as the 50/1.5 from f/2 on in my experience (I have both). The faster lens is faster and youíd get the benefits of that, but there is nothing wrong with the f/2.

Good luck, and donít give up just yet.
Larry, Thanks for the encouragement and lens info. I think getting a second opinion sounds like a great idea.
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Old 04-25-2019   #22
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Could Oleg at OK cameras in Russia offer a cost effective and timely repair. I have vague memories that he does Contax repair but others would know more. Good Luck. Joe
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Old 04-26-2019   #23
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Why not try Stephen Gandy? This is from his web site (pricing and text may be dated, but I'd check with him):

"Zeiss Contax IIa & IIIa: CLA general cleaning, lubrication and adjustment of shutter, rangefinder $195, we are not able to repair IIIa meters due to lack of parts. We do not repair the earlier pre-war Contax. Please note the Contax IIa/IIIa were designed by the Zeiss factory NOT to have a vertical rangefinder image adjustment. Therefore no vertical RF image adjustment for the IIa/IIIa is offered. "
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Old 04-26-2019   #24
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Congratulations on getting the two cameras and the lenses. I have a Contax IIa and IIIa. One of my all-time favorite lenses is the Zeiss 5cm/2 or 5cm/1.5. Both lenses are superb lenses overall. Sometimes, the "Zeiss" lenses in ltm are FSU fakes, and they are really J-3 or J-6 lenses in disguise as Zeiss lenses. The FSU copies are also excellent lenses overall. I have a Zeiss 5cm/2 ltm that someone crafted as a lens block inserted into an Elmar lens barrel. Suck old lenses can tell use stories as they can be surrounded by mysteries of their origin. My 5cm/2 "was made in a batch of lenses heading to Sweden in return for iron ore", I was told.
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Old 05-22-2019   #25
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I ended up trying Ross Yerkes. He is close to me, and his quote was only $175 including fixing the bumps. I should have sent it to him first. I'll have it back in a week or two at the most. I'll post some pics then.
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Old 05-23-2019   #26
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Steve, have you found a slotted lens hood yet?
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Old 05-23-2019   #27
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Quote:
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I'm not sure what a slotted hood is but thanks for the info. I'll look for one...
Hi,

There's a slotted or vented lens hood in the top right of this picture. The slots are so you can use the RF.



It's best to get one with straight, not tapered, sides.

Regards, David
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Old 05-23-2019   #28
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Steve, have you found a slotted lens hood yet?
Not yet, I would like an original but will purchase a cheap one when I get my lens back. Actually I should order one now so Iím ready to shoot but Iím confused on what will fit. The Contax catalog with accessories doesnít list the lens size. They list a screw on and push on shade for all 50mm lens options. Screw on is 40.5mm and slip on is 42mm. Maybe my lens will accept either or? If so Iím thinking a screw on maybe better.
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Old 05-23-2019   #29
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Steve, the 40.5mm screw on will work just fine. When doing your search, keep an eye out for something like a Walz hood, as sometimes you can get those with their leather case that also holds a few filters. Mine says "For Sonnar" on the side, so I know it was designed for that particular lens. I've used it on many other lenses, and it's not caused any problems. Made of black enameled metal, it has held up very well over the years.


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Old 05-24-2019   #30
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Quote:
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In my experience, the black rings that originally came on the Contax viewfinders were metal, not plastic, w/the black being a hard enamel-type paint....


Since I can, & have scratched, my glasses (plastic since the '80s) on the bare VF threads, I switch the rings between cameras, including the Contaxes. Because they're metal, they're more abrasive than plastic or rubber, but still better than nothing (they also make the camera look better).
The classic solution is using foam corn plaster. Works surprisingly well.
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Old 05-24-2019   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ruddy View Post
I ended up trying Ross Yerkes. He is close to me, and his quote was only $175 including fixing the bumps. I should have sent it to him first. I'll have it back in a week or two at the most. I'll post some pics then.
I have used Ross a few times, and always good service, reasonable prices, and quick. He is also close to me.

In terms of the Sonnar 50mm f2 (Opton in my case; though not sure it matters), I love the rendering. I find myself using my Voigtlander SC Skopar 21mm f4 much more often, as it fits my shooting style better, and I am very happy with the results. In terms of priority, a 50mm f1.5 is low in priority (though would be nice). I suspect an 85mm (Sonnar or maybe Jupiter 9) may be ahead of it, as well as the 35mm Biogon.
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Old 05-25-2019   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
Steve, the 40.5mm screw on will work just fine. When doing your search, keep an eye out for something like a Walz hood, as sometimes you can get those with their leather case that also holds a few filters. Mine says "For Sonnar" on the side, so I know it was designed for that particular lens. I've used it on many other lenses, and it's not caused any problems. Made of black enameled metal, it has held up very well over the years.


PF
Thanks I would find that very useful, as I always carry a few filters.l Now Iím thinking a push on maybe better for changing filters. Have any opinion about that?

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Originally Posted by steveyork View Post
The classic solution is using foam corn plaster. Works surprisingly well.
Ha ha I had to look that up!

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Originally Posted by markjwyatt View Post
I have used Ross a few times, and always good service, reasonable prices, and quick. He is also close to me.

In terms of the Sonnar 50mm f2 (Opton in my case; though not sure it matters), I love the rendering. I find myself using my Voigtlander SC Skopar 21mm f4 much more often, as it fits my shooting style better, and I am very happy with the results. In terms of priority, a 50mm f1.5 is low in priority (though would be nice). I suspect an 85mm (Sonnar or maybe Jupiter 9) may be ahead of it, as well as the 35mm Biogon.
Thanks, for the info. I think I would use an 85mm a lot too. I have a 135mm that doesnít seem to get much love. I really like my 200mm canon lens so I think I may like the 135. I have a few Leica lenses but I donít know if there is a Contax to Leica adaptor.
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Old 05-25-2019   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
Hi,

There's a slotted or vented lens hood in the top right of this picture. The slots are so you can use the RF.



It's best to get one with straight, not tapered, sides.

Regards, David
Oh, I was just to purchase a cheap one but itís tapered. Thank for the photo. Whatís the adapter in the middle for?
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Old 05-25-2019   #34
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Originally Posted by Steve Ruddy View Post
Oh, I was just to purchase a cheap one but it’s tapered. Thank for the photo. What’s the adapter in the middle for?

Hi,

It's a Leica FISON, meaning a lens hood for the Elmar f/3.5 5cm lens. Made from 1933 onwards and incredibly expensive these days for what it is...


The large thing under it is a camera cradle for a Leica from, I think, R G Lewis in London.


Regards, David
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Old 06-08-2019   #35
Steve Ruddy
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I ended up buying an original Zeiss #1119 Lens hood. I made a paper copy before purchasing it and it will cover a bit of the lower corner of the rangfinder/veiwfinder. I only use that finder for focusing as I have a Leitz brightliner in my flash shoe for composing. I really like the originality and look of the vintage hood. If I find I don't like it during use I can always buy the $5 slotted aftermarket and keep the original for display. :-)

I just got the camera back and don't feel the service was top notch as excess oil was running out of the cover latches and I see flakes in the rangfinder that should have been removed. However I'm happy about the speedy turn around and cost! He said the meter was not tracking correctly, but he did an adjustment on it, and I should compare the readings to a know good meter. I put in a roll of FP4+ and during my testing the first few shots I used my iphone pocket meter app. I was outside, midday, no clouds so I decided to shoot the rest of the roll with just the camera meter. I ended up with about half of my exposures good. I did make a few mistakes like forgetting to change speed when changing aperture. My first impression is that the lens is not as sharp as I expected and the Bokeh not as creamy as I would have liked. I think the contrast is great. However the center to edge sharpness seems wonky. Sharper on the left than right.

Here is a phone shot of my negatives. See link below for my LR Gallery with processed images.



Here is a link to some processd. I have dslr scanned and processed in LR.

https://adobe.ly/2IqVg2E

I also see more grain clumping than I'm used to compared with the same film in my Rolleiflex, using same developer, so I'll start a new thread about that.
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Old 06-08-2019   #36
retinax
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Some of them look quite sharp, others not so much. Bokeh looks good to me in the cat photo. The sharpness gradient is really odd. Could that be a dslr-scanning issue? Not perfectly parallel? Although the grain looks consistent, that could be an artifact from sharpening. Or perhaps you shake the camera more on one side, maybe something to do with the unusual Contax grip? As the plane of sharpness looks even on that thin dof cat photo, it's probably no film flatness in camera issue.
If you haven't done that yet, you could try scanning one of the frames with a sharpness gradient again in higher resolution, without sharpening, then turn it around in the holder and scan again, to eliminate flatness or parallel-ness issues. Or try focusing on the side that seems unsharp, possibly move it so that edge of the frame is in the centre of the scan.
If that's not it, make test shots on a tripod and also with another lens. Take notes! At least me, I'm usually overly optimistic about remembering what was what.
Was the grain clumpier one the Rollei shots at the same magnification? In any case again, these shots are too low resolution to say anything about it, except that more grain is to be expected from 135 at the same image size and scanning resolution and sharpening play a huge role for the appearance of grain (actually grain aliasing as the grain is not resolved at the usual scanning resolutions).
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Old 06-08-2019   #37
Steve Bellayr
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I am interested in that red o-ring you have on viewfinder. Is it a diving storage o-ring? What size is it?
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Old 06-08-2019   #38
Steve Ruddy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
Some of them look quite sharp, others not so much. Bokeh looks good to me in the cat photo. The sharpness gradient is really odd. Could that be a dslr-scanning issue? Not perfectly parallel? Although the grain looks consistent, that could be an artifact from sharpening. Or perhaps you shake the camera more on one side, maybe something to do with the unusual Contax grip? As the plane of sharpness looks even on that thin dof cat photo, it's probably no film flatness in camera issue.
If you haven't done that yet, you could try scanning one of the frames with a sharpness gradient again in higher resolution, without sharpening, then turn it around in the holder and scan again, to eliminate flatness or parallel-ness issues. Or try focusing on the side that seems unsharp, possibly move it so that edge of the frame is in the centre of the scan.
If that's not it, make test shots on a tripod and also with another lens. Take notes! At least me, I'm usually overly optimistic about remembering what was what.
Was the grain clumpier one the Rollei shots at the same magnification? In any case again, these shots are too low resolution to say anything about it, except that more grain is to be expected from 135 at the same image size and scanning resolution and sharpening play a huge role for the appearance of grain (actually grain aliasing as the grain is not resolved at the usual scanning resolutions).
Good point on the scanning causing the uneven sharpness. I used a 6x6 rig because I haven't made one for 35mm yet. I definitely had flatness issues that I figured dof would cover. I will re scan a few especially the cat and water bubbler. If they still look softer on the right I'll set up a shot with tripod in my studio. I'll use some strobes and try shooting a target and a table top still life. I also noticed this shot is under exposed along the whole right side. I shoot raw and the only sharpening you see is input sharpening from the raw converter. No additional or post sharpening.



Here is the same shot but slightly different time of day. Does this look like the difference in format or maybe something in development? I haven't shot B&W 35mm film for about 7 or more years but I definitely had smoother results than this.





Quote:
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I am interested in that red o-ring you have on viewfinder. Is it a diving storage o-ring? What size is it?
It very well could be as I'm a diver. I just found it in my misc o-ring drawer. I think it looks cool and feels much better when my glasses rest against it.
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Old 06-08-2019   #39
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The uneven exposure looks like shutter trouble, that was shot a a fast shutter speed, right? Maybe a trip back to the repair person is in order if it was supposed to be all good. I don't generally use the 1000th speed on old cameras because it just spells trouble, but if it was supposed to be fixed...

The difference in graininess could well be down to the format difference. If you really want to know, scan a section of the 120 shot so you have the same reproduction ratio as 135. That doesn't mean there isn't more to be had in 135, it's just that your scanning method is not getting it out right now. I agree that a 100 ISO film should look a little better, but it's not so easy to get great scans. But judging from what other people post here, using a digital camera is the way to go. I'd try turning off all sharpening, input or not. Try different demosaicing algorithms perhaps. The method for downsizing for posting online could also have an effect.
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Old 06-08-2019   #40
Steve Ruddy
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Quote:
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The uneven exposure looks like shutter trouble, that was shot a a fast shutter speed, right? Maybe a trip back to the repair person is in order if it was supposed to be all good. I don't generally use the 1000th speed on old cameras because it just spells trouble, but if it was supposed to be fixed...

The difference in graininess could well be down to the format difference. If you really want to know, scan a section of the 120 shot so you have the same reproduction ratio as 135. That doesn't mean there isn't more to be had in 135, it's just that your scanning method is not getting it out right now. I agree that a 100 ISO film should look a little better, but it's not so easy to get great scans. But judging from what other people post here, using a digital camera is the way to go. I'd try turning off all sharpening, input or not. Try different demosaicing algorithms perhaps. The method for downsizing for posting online could also have an effect.
I use a DSLR to scan and the only difference would be that the 35mm wasn't laying perfectly flat as I was using my 6x6 holder for it. Sharpening isn't an issue as I don't apply sharpening during export. I pulled out some old 35mm Tri-X negs that are definitely smoother looking than these, so something is amiss. A few weeks ago I shot a roll of fp4+ using an Agfa Reflex and immediately noticed grittier grain than I'm used to as well. All my prevision 35mm negs look fine. I'm thinking it's most likely a developed issue but don't have a clue yet. This time of the year my cold water is about 65 degrees which is about 9 degrees colder than the rest of my chemicals. The only other thing is that a year ago I switched to HC110 from D76. But the HC110 has been giving me great results with my 120 negs.
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