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SLRs - the unRF For those of you who must talk about SLRs, if only to confirm they are not RF.

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Old 03-13-2019   #41
Sarcophilus Harrisii
Brett Rogers
 
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Originally Posted by raydm6 View Post
Brett, very nice shot!

In an apparent gas attack, I ended up buying a Contaflex Super B w/2.8 50mm Tessar but haven't shot with it yet. It's been back a few times for repair and I think it's working ok now but just need to find some time to shoot.

I also purchased the supplementary lenses (all in their original lens bubbles):
  • Pro-Tessar 35mm f3.2
  • Pro-Tessar 85mm f3.2
  • Pro-Tessar 115mm f4
All in beautiful condition and exquisite build quality.

During my gas attack I also purchased a Zeiss Contina-matic III w/removable 45mm f2.8 Pantar lens, and a Zeiss Contessa (45mm f2.8 Tessar).

The engineering in these cameras is very admirable.

I also bought some accessories; hoods, filters, and really need to stop now! ....and go out and shoot...
You're most kind, thank you.

The Super B is a lovely model, those later 50mm Tessars are quite sharp. I've been surprised at how well the 35mm and 85mm lenses in particular perform, too.

I mentioned some basic checks you can do to assess whether or not the shutters are working correctly. You'd be best to do this by manually selecting f/22 on the setting ring. But if you want to verify a Super B is 100% you will need to see if the meter is responding to different light levels and opening and closing the aperture accordingly. You can do this quite effectively by looking through the film gate as the shutter is released. Naturally if you point the cell at a front lit middle tone in full sun the needle should indicate close to sunny 16, but you should actually verify the appropriately sized aperture as the shutter opens and closes. That ought to assure the basic accuracy of the system is good. With that done you can select a range of shutter speeds either outside or indoors and under a constant light source each time you select a faster speed, the aperture should open up one stop automatically to maintain exposure and vice-versa. The auto control is coupled to all speeds from one second to 1/500, you can also ensure the backlighting exposure compensation is working by comparing the aperture at a constant light level with it engaged and disengaged at any particular speed.

The auto control functions fairly simply in the shutter via a drive keyway and key from the meter system in the body that determines how far the blades can close down on release. As long as the shutter itself is clean and functioning, if the cell and galvanometer are good, it's unlikely to misbehave. Although it is a selenium cell meter it has a decent sized cell and was well calibrated by Zeiss. In good working condition it is definitely up to exposing transparency well on auto aperture mode. And the Zeiss lens coatings deliver gorgeous colour rendition (this image was made with a Super BC and 85mm Pro Tessar on Fuji Velvia a few years ago, only basic adjustments to contrast, highlights and shadows and sharpening were done).
Cheers,
Brett

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Old 03-13-2019   #42
Sarcophilus Harrisii
Brett Rogers
 
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Originally Posted by Contarama View Post
Ty for sharing the Preana with us sir.. when I come across stories like this I sometimes wonder if we are missing something better nowadays
She is stunning with the array of brass portholes, classic bow and hull design and smoke stack. Considering she was badly neglected and even sunk for a while her present condition is a testament to the many hundreds of hours put into the restoration.
Cheers,
Brett
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Old 12-26-2019   #43
Ste_S
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Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
You must have owned something different than I do. The viewfinder in my Contaflex II is very nice. Certainly bright enough for easy focusing even indoors.

And I could be wrong but I was never aware that the Contina had anything faster then a 45/2.8 lens.
I've received a Contaflex III as a present and one of the (many) nice things about it is the viewfinder and screen. Certainly one of my faves in an SLR.

Hopefully mine is a worker, it seemed ok at stopping the lens down. Running a roll through it at the moment, if it turns out fine I'll probably be getting the Pro Tessars. Such a nice camera.

Is their any compatibly issues with the Pro Tessars ? Will my III accept the f3.2 versions as well as the f4 ones ?
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Old 12-26-2019   #44
Sarcophilus Harrisii
Brett Rogers
 
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Originally Posted by Ste_S View Post
I've received a Contaflex III as a present and one of the (many) nice things about it is the viewfinder and screen. Certainly one of my faves in an SLR.

Hopefully mine is a worker, it seemed ok at stopping the lens down. Running a roll through it at the moment, if it turns out fine I'll probably be getting the Pro Tessars. Such a nice camera.

Is their any compatibly issues with the Pro Tessars ? Will my III accept the f3.2 versions as well as the f4 ones ?
Congratulations. The Contaflex III was the first model to implement unitary lens focusing. It's one of the less common models, too. From memory perhaps 20,000 units?

There are some incompatibilities to be aware of relating to the lenses from the Contaflex III to S. Zeiss did make changes to the bayonet mount in the body but these were very subtle and short of close examination all appear identical.

The 35mm f/3.2 & f/4, 85mm f/3.2 and f/4 and 115mm f/4 Pro Tessars should be fine for all the unit focus Tessar models. The lugs on those lenses were specifically made to be of a dimension that's universal.

What won't work for instance (supposing you misplaced the standard front 50mm component from your III for example) is trying to substitute a front 50mm from models such as the Super B onwards. Maybe even from the Super and Rapid. III to IV or vice versa front cells ought to interchange, these two models were very similar and released close together. But the lugs on early and late 50mm components won't interchange, so if you were unfortunate enough to lose the 50mm component from your III, don't think you could just replace it with one from a Super BC or Super B—they won't fit.

The other incompatibility to be aware of relates to the M1:1 Macro Pro Tessar. These were made in early and late versions because the standard 50mm Tessar lens was re-computed for late model Contaflexes and the Macro had to be adjusted to suit. Again, the lens lugs have different dimensions, not visibly obvious, but just enough to prevent interchangeability to the wrong bodies.

The Macro is the only Pro-Tessar I don't have yet but it's said to be very good. This image on Flickr (not my own) is a valuable reference because it shows early and late M1:1 versions side by side and the comments have some helpful details.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5894175413

Cheers,
Brett
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Old 12-26-2019   #45
Ronald M
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Probably all belong in a display case due to lack of qualified techs and parts.
When I was in college early 19601s, I saw two slide shows that impressed me to no end. One was a friends family trips to europe and the other was a trip to Switzerland and Bavaria taken by an assistant professor. Both used Contaxes and I could tell there was something special about the photos . I know know German glass was what I liked.
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Old 12-27-2019   #46
Ste_S
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Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
The 35mm f/3.2 & f/4, 85mm f/3.2 and f/4 and 115mm f/4 Pro Tessars should be fine for all the unit focus Tessar models. The lugs on those lenses were specifically made to be of a dimension that's universal.
Great, thank you Brett. Very informative. The compatibility of the f3.2 and f4 lenses was what I was most interested in.

Looking forward to seeing the results from my (C41) test roll. Shame all the labs around here are closed until 6th Jan
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Old 12-28-2019   #47
Sarcophilus Harrisii
Brett Rogers
 
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Originally Posted by Ste_S View Post
Great, thank you Brett. Very informative. The compatibility of the f3.2 and f4 lenses was what I was most interested in.

Looking forward to seeing the results from my (C41) test roll. Shame all the labs around here are closed until 6th Jan
Welcome.
I would suggest looking to the 35mm and 85mm Pro-Tessar lenses in the first instance. The 115mm can be sharp if stopped down, but a bit less so wide open at infinity, and its minimum focus distance is substantially greater than the 85mm making it less useful for close distances. On the other hand the 35mm and 85mm seem to perform well overall, actually better than many people who have not tried them on a well set up Contaflex would expect, given the component approach to interchangeability Zeiss used. Watch out for examples manifesting cement separation. Any Pro-Tessar (and the Teleskop attachment for the Contaflex I and II) can suffer from it, but the 85mm is especially prone and it seems to be the exception for an example not to be affected. Of course if one is almost free and the damage is not extensive, you might choose to accept it and use until a better one presents because you will not see any evidence in your images. But sound examples may still be found and as long as a seller has provided good, clear images it is a problem that can usually be easily seen and avoided if present.
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