Spreading Fear: The Contax CLA

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by marco_vera|1, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. Another forum member (whom I shall mention only by his first name: Nicolas) brought to
    my attention eBay item: 7511554033

    Now I find it pretty humorous that Mr. HS offers this service, but what I resent is the way
    he is attempting to bring fear into the eyes of every prewar Contax Buyer:

    Be aware: every working CLA'd contax on eBay is probably a Russian fake! Give me twenty
    bucks and I will "certify" it's not! Now it probably takes 2 hours to dismantle a Prewar
    down to the shutter module and reassemble it! $10/hour is a great deal!

    Come on Mr. HS, I have never seen a Contax with a Kiev inside! I am sure some outhere
    exist but let not create a panic! You are a good technician you don't need scare tactics!
  2. Hahaha !

    Maybe an X-rays inspection or a Geiger-counter detection could be faster and less invasive for the patient ?

    BTW we could be charitable with this man, and tell him that the Cold War is over, and that Leonid Brejnev is dead ; he might not be aware of that yet...

    What a world we live in !

  3. I take it that you two are not familiar with the respect that Contax owners/collecters have for Mr. HS.
  4. Well, a precision : I sent the info to Marco, but didn't asked him to share it on the forum - Marco, I don't mind actually.
    Bill, don't you think that to be respected, any "institution person" must behave in a respectable and frank way, not a tricky one ?
    Which fool would leave the X-synchro yellow wire and contacts in a Kiev shutter module before fitting it in a Contax body, as all the X-synchro device can be removed, leaving three small holes in the shutter module left panel only ? Just read and look here to check - of course, if you're allright for looking at a website that is not a monument, but just provides obvious and honest info.
    Anyway, all of that is of no importance at all. Next topic please !
  5. I have plenty of respect for Mr. Scherer, but like Eric Clapton, he's not G*d.
  6. Well I'm absolutely certain that mine have genuine Contax shutters. I take a little offense to this tactic given that I just recently sold a really nice (genuine) Contax II on ebay that I had CLA'd, and I'm left wondering whether this has reduced the price I got.

    I'm motivated to shoot a roll of colour slide film in my Kiev 4A next, inferior piece of junk that it is compared to my Contax II :)
  7. Nicolas: Our small animal X-ray CT system at work would be perfect for imaging cameras if you want to pay $300/hr for instrument time.
  8. Haha Mike, $300.00... I will think of it. I just bought a lottery ticket.
    Mr Contaxgod had asked me $500.00 for a mint Contax II spare front plate (my Contax II #1 f.p. has a bit of brassing here and there, so I was thinking of another front plate as the camera was taken apart) and $700.00 for a pair of Contax IIa accessory shoe M2 screws (mine had dents and corrosion), so the price you tell for an high-tech operation is still pretty reasonable...
    BTW just look here : is this one original ? The main question is : are the documents it's sold with original too, or counterfeits ? Are the flowers in the background genuine, or plastic ? Is the question asked by an alert bidder an original one, or is it a fake intended to have the selling price decreased ? Well... what a mess with selling/buying a Contax II now !
    I'm even not too sure, if I will sleep well tonight... because I wonder if the shutter might have been removed from my Contax II #2 during its very long trip in the mail : were the customs guys some genuine French government agents, or KGB ones who were disguised in, just to hold the camera for one month and a half, in order to fit a Kiev shutter in it before it ended its trip into my mailbox ? Damn... now I have to open my camera up to know the truth...
  9. On closer in(tro)spection, I just realized I am Leonid Brezhnev on the inside.

    Shutter, flash sync and soul.

  10. As a rule, I would never go near any CLA'd cameras or lenses. I don't like to buy any camera gear for display. Some do. That is OK as long as it suits their pocket.
  11. I doubt it would take Henry 2 hours to inspect a Contax II shutter - more like 10 minutes. Take the back off, remove four screws and then the film gate. That should be quite enough for an expert to tell the difference if it's as great as made out. For the record I have an early Kiev 2 with a German shutter :)

  12. I'm kind of curious:

    Why would so many people go to the trouble of tearing down a Contax, throwing away the original shutter, scrapping a Kiev and installing the Kiev's shutter into the Contax? Were the original shutters that unrepairable? Not in my experience. It seems like doing whatever repair might have been necessary on the Contax shutter would be a lot less work, trouble and expense than doing a transplant. And if I WERE going to do a transplant, I doubt that I'd leave that big yellow synch wire in there.......

  13. Of course...

    But you know, as said the fox to the Little Prince in Saint-Exupery's book : "We use to see all kinds of things on earth...".

  14. At the risk of getting flamed for commenting on anything HS related . . .

    I'm not sure that Mr. HS is really trying to sell this service. Why bother for $20. He may be trying to communicate that there is a lesss-than-reliable seller out there. Look at the photos in the listing - the camera was serviced by e**y seller Petrakla. This jibes with a post that I saw here last year from a buyer who claimed that Petralka sold him a Franken-Contax. So maybe Mr. HS is trying to notify buyers of this. Either that, or he's trying to get more business. Maybe both. You decide. Or maybe I should take that back - many of you already have decided.

    Does Contax fraud happen often? I do not know. My IIIa works fine.

  15. okay, i know there's fraud out there. But 99%? Frankly, that's ridiculous. If that's even remotely close to the truth, he is receiving a very unrepresentative population of cameras for service.

    surely zorki-based fake leicas are at least as common as kiev-based fake contaxes, and from what i've seen i'd say they are much more common. do you see people advertising 'zorki detection' services, or claiming that 99% of all screw mount leicas are actually zorkis or feds?

    sorry, i know he's something of a deity, but this is just over the top. i have serviced many prewar contaxes and a good number of kievs, and i have yet to find a contax with a kiev shutter in it.

  16. Robert, I fully agree with you about the Contax II being presently sold by the seller you named (and which I pointed out too). It's almost too nice a Contax II and the printed matter sold with the camera is in too good a condition for some 1940's papers IMHO - unless they have be safely kept in a library reserve under proper higrometry and temperature conditions, but I wonder why they would have been. But the seller clearly states that the shutter ribbons have been replaced, so it's probably true. Now, is the ribbon used during that service the same as the original, probably not, but as far as I was concerned myself with the ribbons replacement problem, I can say that there are many types of 3mm wide ribbons easily available from craft stores that can work as well as the original. I attach here a picture of a GENUINE Contax III shutter with a new left ribbon fitted in 1984 by a French repairman. As you can see this new silk ribbon (on the left) is very different from the original one, still there on the right. But the shutter works well at all speeds, even with these two different ribbons. On the other hand, my Contax II #2 I just got after it was delayed in the mail and hold by the customs is in near mint to mint condition, and it has never been touched by a screwdriver since it left the factory in 1938, I'm fully sure of what I say. I don't claim I'm an expert etc. but quite frankly it's not hard to see that when you handle a vintage camera. So I do think it's still fully possible to get a beautiful genuine prewar Contax without any Kiev parts in it at an affordable price. I paid $155.00 for it and this price included an incredibly clean prewar coated Sonnar 1.5/50 T. Of course the camera needs service (the shutter is too slow, the VF/RF is dirty, there are bumps under the leather of the back, etc.) and I will do it in a next future. If your camera is a IIIa then there is absolutely NO chance for a Russian fakery. Kievs and postwar Contaxes are fully different and definitely not compatible. Ah, yes, I recently brought back to life my IIIa lightmeter using a Kiev 4 selenium cell, which I had to adjust because it was too thick, but I don't call that a fakery. It seems to work fine now, and this helped me not to pay $50.00 for a new cell from Megatron Ltd (the English company Mr Whoyouknow probably buys his replacement cells from, as he copied a drawing from the Megatron Ltd website onto his own website). When the Russian cell is dead, I will be able to get a new British cell as well. I'm almost 40, and as I won't use the IIIa everyday, I might have gone in retirement when it's time to do that already, as the Russian cell seems to have still plenty of life in it. I'm aware of the fakes, as every vintage cameras amateur, just read the post I had left on this forum about a more than suspect Contax III on which we could clearly see some external Kiev parts, and sold by a seller who has specialized himself in counterfeits. But quite frankly, regarding this $20.00 "expertise", I just think Mr Contaxrepairandservice is just trying to gather more customers by spreading a fear that is not justified at all by the facts. As you can see you didn't get flammed. Now I consider that this matter is over. I won't post any comments regarding Mr WhomIwon'tname's activity and/or behavior here or somewhere else any more. I've said and written what I had to. Yours sincerely.
  17. Here is the shutter ribbons replacement operation, that was finally successful on my Contax II #1, with 3mm wide acetate ribbon found by my wife at her favorite craft store (about $0.85 for 3.00m in length), according to Rick's explanations. I took the second photo while a neighbour helped me holding the lower curtain roller spring in tension. I had just finished the sewing job. Thanks again Rick ! :)=
  18. I actually sent an e-mail to Henry regarding his recent Ebay postings. Henry stated that a friend of his got burned on a purchase from the Holland seller a while back (the friends camera had a Kiev shutter instead of a Zeiss -- the seller denied installing it and accused the buyer and/or Henry of switching it out to a Kiev). I guess this started WWIII and Henry is warning others about this seller.

    I like Henry...I purchased a nice Contax IIIa from him 2 1/2 years ago and like it. However, I know I paid top dollar and would never recover it if I sold it on Ebay. What can I say....I was new to Contax cameras and got lured in by the fluffy write up on the camera. Today I know a lot more about Contax cameras and would probably do things differently. I am happy with his service and will continue to use him because I know he is an expert at what he does. I am also too busy (and lazy) to try and do any of the repairs myself. Having said all that, I don't think Henry has "hung the moon"! I am sure there are other expert repair sources out there that provide good service. Henry just happens to be the one that I stumbled into and he hasn't let me down yet! I do think his Ebay postings and website are designed to entice people into thinking they could be doomed with anything less than H.S. experience. I can see where this become annoying to long time veterens of Contax/Contaflex cameras.
  19. By the way....does this rare chance of getting a Kiev shutter in your Contax apply to the Contax I as well or just the later II/III pre and post war models?

    Nicolas...I must say I enjoy all your postings with photos and descriptions. Are you into Contax I models too? I have been toying with the idea of getting one basically because of historical interest.
  20. Regarding question #1 : not at all. Kievs were exclusively Contax II and III copies.

    Regarding question #2 : no.
    They are generally not working, in very poor condition, and the rare ones that are in good condition are much too expensive. I leave them to rich collectors. All the cameras I have are working. I wouldn't invest $$$ in a non-working and non repairable camera.

    But I assume it can be serviced too, as all cameras are. As far as I know the Contax I shutter is built upon the same philosophy as in the later II and III model, with silk ribbons linking vertical travelling metallic rolls, but I have never handled one personally.

    Mike Elek might have serviced one ?

  21. If the purpose was to impeech that Netherlands seller to sell out any other Contax II with good profit, well there is no success regarding that actual attempt : the current bid is over (caugh caugh caugh)... $800.00 !!!!!!!

    Never seen that for a prewar nor a postwar model, even with a Tessar... this one might not have a Kiev shutter inside, but a platinium made, limited edition, one...

    Who lies to whom here ???????
  22. I've been burned at the big auction house a couple of times. I bought a "mint" Rollei closeup lenses with fungus (from Holland)! I even bought a "mint" Contaflex lense that had separated elements. It was misrepresented and, yes, I did email the seller before bidding and asked very specific questions and described how to spot problems. So now I'm willing to pay a bit more to buy from reliable sellers and dealers. And yes, I've had qite a few good deals, too. But who wants to deal with the bad ones? It takes too much time!

    What percentage of Contax cameras are fakes? I don't know. But if it's even 2-3%, I don't need the trouble. BUt I'm glad that other folks have done well. And that several people have pulled off good repairs and put some fine vintage cameras back in service!

  23. Nicolas (Douez),

    Dunno if it is fake or not but that's exactly the camera that was sold on marktplaats.nl, a dutch ebay-type website, a few months ago. I was eyeing with that camera/lens, but had no $$$ for it. I think it sold at around 300 euro (!).

    The original description contained some stuff about selling it from a dad's collection and fully working but precision not guaranteed and needing a cleaning and so on, a totally unprofessional text but seemingly honest. It can very well be that it's a genuine contax.

Share This Page