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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 11-28-2018   #1
markjwyatt
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New Contax User

Hello All:

I just joined the forum and thought I would introduce myself here, since it is the Contax (and a Kiev) that ultimately led me here.

In summary, I am an old time photographer mainly using 35mm SLRs and medium format TLRs in the past. I restarted seriously into photography this year with a Fuji XT-2, but also want to shoot film. I picked up a nice looking Kiev 4a, which I ran some film through. It more or less works but has some film advance issues. I then ended up winning an auction for a Contax iia on ebay. I had the camera CLA'd by Ross Yerkes, and it is working beautifully. I look forward to discussions about these cameras here. Here are pics of my Kiev and Contax.


Kiev 4A Type2 (Black) by Mark Wyatt, on Flickr

Here are some images from both these cameras: https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_...ax%20OR%20Kiev
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File Type: jpg Contax_iia.jpg (36.6 KB, 41 views)

Last edited by markjwyatt : 11-28-2018 at 09:28. Reason: add line
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Old 11-28-2018   #2
xayraa33
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Welcome to the forum.

The Contax RF cameras and their lenses are great pieces of engineering.

The same can be said for their Kiev cousins, not as glamorous as the Contax but equally fun in actual use.
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Old 11-28-2018   #3
markjwyatt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
Welcome to the forum.

The Contax RF cameras and their lenses are great pieces of engineering.

The same can be said for their Kiev cousins, not as glamorous as the Contax but equally fun in actual use.
Thanks, xayraa33. The Contax (and Kiev) are easy to carry around and fun to shoot. The Contax design is one of the classics for sure.
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Old 11-30-2018   #4
Philip Whiteman
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The terrific thing about 1970s and 80s Kievs is that they were my introduction to Contax RF photography, back in the 1970s and again in the 21st century. The terrific thing about Contaxes is that they work! For the life of me I cannot get either of my 70s/80s Kievs to wind on without frame spacing issues, light leaks spoiling exposures and even great chunks of sprocket perforations being torn.

By contrast, treating my prewar Contax to new Japanese shutter ribbons and general cleaning and lubrication had rewarded me with a camera that works perfectly (using a mixture of Jupiter and Zeiss lenses, which do seem to be very close in optical, if not mechanical quality).

The one 1950s Kiev I have is, however, evidence that when the Ukrainians tried, boy could they make a camera well. As many people have observed here, if you can lay your hands on an early Kiev it is really very close to prewar Zeiss quality.

So far I resisted a IIA, but I feel the pull of Zeiss gravity...
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Old 12-01-2018   #5
David Hughes
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The earlier Kievs were made when CZ staff had trained the staff and were probably overseeing and taking part in the assembly. So quality would have been to CZ standards, or perhaps not quite so high. After the CZ staff left for home the staff would have gone on more or less the same way but I guess new staff would not be trained quite so well, simply because it was now second-hand and without so much experience behind the instructors. Add a few more decades and a bit of interference from above and the west and you can guess the results.

Even so, I've had early and middling Kievs with no problems and many Contax cameras from the 30's have been repaired with Kiev parts.

Regards, David
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Old 12-30-2018   #6
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My Kiev is from 1978. It sort of works, but I usually have some issues towards the end of a roll. I took it in to be looked at when I got the Contax IIa CLA'd, and was to told it also needed a CLA, and would cost the same as the Contax. The repairman put a larger knob on it and said he was able to get a few test rolls through it, so I may need to try again. The Contax IIa is working well since the CLA. It is a nice camera to shoot, and takes good pictures with the Sonnar. Santa brought me a Voigtlander 21mm f4, so the 50mm f2 is no longer alone. I may get some Jupiters along the way (maybe a Jupiter 9). I would like to have both cameras working so I could have different film in them and/or different lenses also.
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Old 12-31-2018   #7
David Hughes
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Oleg is the man to go to for Kiev repairs etc etc. He's a member of this forum and you can find him at:-


http://www.okvintagecamera.com/


Regards, David
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