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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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Contax II and III Serial numbers
Old 03-18-2008   #1
ernesto
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Contax II and III Serial numbers

Here you can see the possible serial numbers for these models
http://www.wctatel.net/web/crye/z-i35mm.htm#tax
But I cannot find the number on the camera....
Perhaps it is hidden inside the camera?

Ernesto
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Old 03-18-2008   #2
dexdog
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Serial numbers on these cameras are inside on the removable back to the left of the pressure plate, and stamped on the bottom of the shutter frame.
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Old 03-19-2008   #3
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They are sometimes found on the rewind knob http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...1&d=1204748486 .

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Old 03-19-2008   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikon Bob View Post
They are sometimes found on the rewind knob http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...1&d=1204748486 .

Bob
Good point, I had forgotten about that.
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Old 03-19-2008   #5
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Good point, I had forgotten about that.
I had forgotten about it too until I got the camera back.

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Old 03-19-2008   #6
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I think that the ones with the serial number on the rewind know were the export versions, and often had distance scale in feet rather than meters. I will have to consult my reference books on this issue.
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Old 03-19-2008   #7
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Originally Posted by dexdog View Post
I think that the ones with the serial number on the rewind know were the export versions, and often had distance scale in feet rather than meters. I will have to consult my reference books on this issue.
I think you might be correct as this camera's distance scale on the lens mount is marked in feet. It will go down to slightly under 3 feet so I guess that would be close to .07 meters.

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Old 03-23-2008   #8
ErnestoJL
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For that time Zeiss seemed to be a bit disorganized in terms of camera numbering.
Usually Contax II and III had their serial numbers in the accessory shoe as well as in the bottom of shutter crate and removable back (left side seen when removed). The first character is a letter which is referred to manufacturing year but this letter is not related to a specific model rather than to a general production numbers, so two different cameras of different models may have 1 l.s.d. of difference in serial numbers.
The listing your link points to is just a model code number list (intended for internal Zeiss and vendors use) but it isn´t related to serial numbers. AFAICR there is a listing in the Zeiss Historical Society, which tells you when your camera was made.

Example A XXXX means a Contax made in 1937.

Cheers

ErnestoJL
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Old 04-02-2008   #9
ernesto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErnestoJL View Post
AFAICR there is a listing in the Zeiss Historical Society, which tells you when your camera was made.
Example A XXXX means a Contax made in 1937. Cheers
ErnestoJL
I cannot find it... Can you post a link?
Thanks in advance
E
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Old 04-04-2008   #10
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I´m trying.... because my hard disk crashed a couple of weeks before, so I lost almost everything.....
As soon as I find it again, I´ll post the link.

Cheers

ErnestoJL
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Old 04-04-2008   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernesto View Post
I cannot find it... Can you post a link?
Thanks in advance
E
This page from Cameraquest has serial number-letter match-ups. Scroll down about 80% of the way to the bottom of the page for the info.

http://cameraquest.com/zconrf2.htm
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Old 04-14-2008   #12
ernesto
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Thanks ernesto and dexdog!

E
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Old 08-05-2015   #13
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Pardon me reviving such an old thread. A friend of mine has a Contax II that although it has a serial number at the bottom of the shutter box, it does not have one inside the film back. Could that denote a possible fake?
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Old 08-05-2015   #14
nhchen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikos72 View Post
Pardon me reviving such an old thread. A friend of mine has a Contax II that although it has a serial number at the bottom of the shutter box, it does not have one inside the film back. Could that denote a possible fake?
It could be possible that the film back is from a kiev II/III. The contax II backs also have the zeiss ikon logo stamped onto the leather which the kievs don't, so you could also check for that I guess.

nathan
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Old 08-06-2015   #15
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Hi Nathan,
It has the Zeiss Ikon stamp on the leather on the back and everything on it looks to be genuine. The weird thing is that only the serial is missing from it. Everything else is identical to my Contax II (except the serial of course ).
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Old 08-31-2018   #16
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Under gunpoint Zeiss cameras were given to Russian soldiers at the very end of the WWII. Unnumbered cameras were also smuggled out to get something to exchange for food.
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Old 12-19-2019   #17
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Hi all, I guess it's been almost a decade since I last posted here. Anyways, a few weeks ago a friend of mine who is presumably also an RFF member (Antoine, from France) was visiting the family and we took our Contaxes out (we also swapped back our lenses, me giving him back his J3, and him giving me back my Opton Biogon 35mm).

We spotted a Contax III body in Prague which sported a 50/1.5 Sonnar, Antoine grabbed the set for the lens, and left me the camera body. Interestingly, the body has serial number A51162 (spaced as A 51 16 2), scale in meters, film sensivity in ēDIN, back plate has number K.56987. I guess it's safe to assume that body and back aren't from the same single unit?

Thanks!
Max
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Old 1 Week Ago   #18
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In the eary 50s Zeiss had a repair and upgrading service, anti reflection on Lenses and adding Flash sync on cameras. Leaking backs were refitted and it happened that they had to put on another back. I had a Swedish friend who had that on his III.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #19
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It's possible that someone mixed it up to make a frankenstein. It's also possible that some camera service - swapped it out. However from what I know official service locations would have stamped the new back with the appropriate serial number.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #20
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Interesting story -- but I guess you got a III body gratis? I would be very happy with that, matching serial numbers or not!
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