Contarex Lens Mounts for Digital Cameras

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by brent_bennett, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. I do not have a digital camera, yet. With a good set of Zeiss Contarex lenses,
    I would like to explore the possibility of getting an adapter to mate those
    lenses to a DSLR.
    I know there are some being made for the Olympus cameras, selling on Ebay.

    Questions:
    1. Is there a supplier of adapters for other cameras; especially Canon and
    Nikon? I am especially looking for a DSLR with a larger sensor.

    2. What are the disadvantages of using film camera lenses on a DSLR? I assume
    that auto exposure would not be operative. Please correct me if I am wrong,
    and point out other disadvantages. If exposure adjustment is manual, how
    difficult is it to set a non-matching lens to the correct aperture, or change
    the exposure time to make a good exposure with a DSLR?

    3. A chart of sensor sizes shows the EOS 1D as having a 28.7mm x 19.1mm
    sensor. Is this the largest currently made, except fot a "full frame dslr"?
    I understand the full frame cameras are extremely expensive. Besides the EOS
    1D, are there others that have a similar size sensor?

    I appreciate your answers and suggestions.
     
  2. The contarex mount was notoriously difficult to use on any other camera. I doubt you'd find any such adapter, not the least of which because the contarex lenses don't actually have aperture controls (they're on the camera). Usually such conversions require a lot of machining and the donation of a lens mount from the camera to adapt the lens to. If you find one, I'd like to use my contarex lenses too!

    Using film camera lenses for the same mount isn't a problem -- I use my older Minolta AF lenses on my KM 5D and I use film lenses on my Canon 5D (made by Canon). But the higher the tech, the more difficult it is to adapt.

    Full frame sensors have gotten reasonably affordable with the Canon 5D, now approaching $2000 (possibly in preparation for a successor). There are the Canon full frames, one from Nikon, and some slightly larger than APS sized (like the Leica M8). I think there was a Kodak full frame but I think it's out of production.
     
  3. Contarex lens mount has a 46mm register. Nikon and Pentax mounts are deeper. Canon
    EOS mount and 4/3 System mount have shorter register (44 and 38mm respectively) so
    they could theoretically be adapted, but I don't see any adapters available for Contarex
    listed anywhere. There are adapters for Contax/Yashica mount to 4/3 System.

    Adapted lenses on 4/3 System work with manual iris and manual focus. Manual and
    aperture priority AE metering work: you stop down to taking aperture and meter in either
    case. The Panasonic L1 supports focus indication too.

    The EOS 1D sensor size, usually referred to as 1.3x crop, is also used by the (now
    discontinued) Leica R9's DMR and Leica M8. Neither of those are particularly appropriate
    for adapting Contarex lenses, although I suppose a Contarex to Leica M mount could be
    constructed. But then you'd have scale focus only. The Canon 5D has a 24x36mm sensor
    and is "only" $2300.

    Godfrey
     
  4. You can get a Contarex to Leica M8 adapter over at ebay. Not DSLR but digital. Not full frame 35mm but much larger than 1.5 or 1.6X sensor.
     
  5. A general purpose adapter to M for all Contarex lenses would be quite an achievement. I don't see one over there, not even in completed listings.
     
  6. Nah only one small achievement as one single ebay search,

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Zeiss-Contarex-Biogon-21mm-f-4-5-to-Leica-M-Adapter_W0QQitemZ270181013237QQihZ017QQcategoryZ30059QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
     
  7. The 21 has a different sort of arrangement to the other lenses. I don't happen to have a 21 Contarex (though I do have the lens in the rangefinder mount and it's great). Were I to use such an adapter, I'd be looking to use it for the other lenses like the 50 and the 35. But that would be a harder adapter and that was what I was expressing skepticism about ("general purpose adapter" as stated in my post).
     

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