Leica IIIf vs Contax IIa

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by john|15, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. I have a Contax II and Leica IIIc
    I find that my Leica IIIc rangefcinder is much better than Contax II rangefinder, Leica IIIc rangefinder has brighter double image hence easier to use, Contax II
    rangefiner double image is not bright enough
  2. I don't agree, but you do have to be sure all the controls are set accurately (see A Boy and his Rollei 35). The white-on-black letters of the black model are easier.

    The real problem these days is not which was theoretically best when it was new, but which ones will continue to function properly.

    I prefer my Contax IIa to the Leica, but my camera's shutter went south.....

    FEDs and Kievs have really proved more durable, if cruder and rougher, in my experience than their German originals.
    I have the German ones too
    Julio Fernandez and James Bryant like this.
  3. "Play toys"? I have for four decades used a 3f for street use as well as an M-3. Both are excellent street shooters and not at all "play toys".
  4. ]


    I favor Leica IIIf over Contax IIa, but love and admire both. Leica more reliable with age. Simpler mechanically.
    luis triguez likes this.
  5. As for complexity of repair on Contax IIa, which is of a different design than that in Contax and Contax II, the original manual for IIa simply advises any skilled repairman (not a Zeiss repairman).
    I have Leica C, Leica F, and Contax IIa. Cutting tongue for loading Leicas not a problem. This is why God invented the Swiss Army knife. Contax uses the seperable camera bottom as in Nikon. That can also be an annoyance.
    Leitz lenses were no match compared to Zeiss lenses during the period when these cameras were made. And of course Contax was much, much more expensive.
    Both cameras have their charm, and I use both.
  6. I have used both and found the CONTAX IIIa a bit harder to become accustomed to ergonomically while my 3F feels and is better handling especially for fast shooting. I loved my CONTAX however sold it in favor of my 3F.
  7. At one point I owned both a Leica IIIf and Contax IIa. The IIIf is long gone, but the IIa and I have been partners for over three decades now. I get my LTM jollies out of a couple of canon bodies these days. Both have far superior rangefinder/viewfinder arrangements than the Leica had.
  8. ". Contax uses the separable camera bottom as in Nikon. That can also be an annoyance."

    .. Umm I think Nikon got it from Contax :) I find both the Leica drop in and Contax drop the back, both cumbersome . I've loved the Leica size but frooled after the Contax... Will take either thank you :)

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