The Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by tomscott, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. Here is a slightly odd duck with it's between the lens leaf shutter and aperture. When I first got it the shutter seemed to stick a little but with a little exercise it seems to do just fine. It will start sticking again after sitting for a while. This thing has a coupled selenium meter that still works just fine apparently. This model was launched in 1959 (a good year), Alaska and Hawaii became states, and I was born.
    It also has a kind of odd exposure system, by turning the wheel on front to center the meter, you can then turn the shutter speed ring on the lens and it will automatically adjust the aperture to keep the same exposure value. All in all a very complicated bit of mechanics, between the leaf shutter system and the exposure compensation system (I think Zeiss Ikon was fairly well known for their complicated mechanics).
    The camera:
    00X4WQ-268951584.jpg
     
  2. A shot or 3 from around the front yard:
    00X4WU-268951684.jpg
     
  3. Another:
     
  4. Another
    00X4We-268957584.jpg
     
  5. Finally:
    00X4Wg-268959584.jpg
     
  6. Tom: Yes the Contaflex is a repairman's Night Mare because of all the parts in it: But great to use
    I had two of them loved the heck out of them: But love my SLR's more
     
  7. Nice pictorialist sort of effect.
    Your results are fairly close to the one I had with my less elegant Contaflex Prima a year ago (link). Maybe it wasn't entirely the out-dated film I used? ;)
     
  8. I appreciate the Contaflex for the great engineering involved, and the sheer quality of the manufacturing. I posted some stuff on this model a while ago :
    http://www.photo.net/classic-cameras-forum/00VTUM
    That linked exposure system works well when one gets used to it, and the camera's certainly a very solid and positive-feeling piece of machinery; thanks for reminding me that I should really exercise mine! Nice post Tom; thanks.
     
  9. Glad to see your meter is working. Mine took a Sleeping Beaty rest of some 19 years and woke up working just fine, but now two years later it seems to be intermittent Amazing a batteryless auto exposure camera from the late 50s ! Definitely over-engineered. How do you like the GG, I mean it is an SLR in this respect. I stumbled across a discussion on this at the time my model (Super B) was relaleased and the jury was out..some like it other didn't I don'T like it! IT's bright enough but hard to focus. The fresenel rings brighten but detract from the GG.. I need the split-image RF to be sure I'm in focus. Is yours like that too..Fresenel rings etc? Well like Rick said....here'S the wake-up call to go check our slumbering engineering marvels! Thanks for the post Like the F100...this model will never be replaced!
     
  10. Yes, it sounds the same, it is a little hard to focus. I shot a 12 exposure role through and at least half were out of focus. It's not so bad if you really take your time but, no fast focusing. If not for the split prism in the center I probably wouldn't have been able to focus at all.
     
  11. you can then turn the shutter speed ring on the lens and it will automatically adjust the aperture to keep the same exposure value.​
    EV (Exposure Value) interlock was a standard feature on Compur shutters of that vintage. Although your camera has a coupled exposure meter built in, the same shutters were used on medium-format and large-format (view) cameras that had no exposure metering.
    It was common to find exposure meters that read out in EV. You just set the corresponding value on the camera, then adjusted the shutter speed as desired and the aperture would follow.
    I love those cameras. The Contaflex Beta is the model that turned me on to 35mm photography after some years of using roll film.
    - Leigh
     
  12. A nice, compact, well balanced camera with a real feel of quality. Mine is a Contaflex Alpha
    with the Prontor Reflex shutter. Enjoy your Contaflex.
     
  13. Those scans must be poor. That camera has a great lens.
     
  14. Those scans must be poor. That camera has a great​
    These are CVS scans but, I'm not sure what it is you're seeing. They look pretty sharp on my monitor. Please, tell me what I am missing so that maybe I can fix it.
     
  15. I forgot to mention that If anyone is interested in this camera, you can have it for cost of shipping. Just drop me an email. I know it's nearly Autumn but I'm just getting around to spring cleaning.
     
  16. If anyone is interested in this camera, you can have it for cost of shipping.​
    Hi Tom,
    Sent you an email.
    Thanks.
    - Leigh
     
  17. <<These are CVS scans but, I'm not sure what it is you're seeing.>>
    I'm comparing the scans to prints and slides from one of those same Contaflexes. The scans lack the rich colors and acute sharpness delivered by that great machine.
     
  18. The camera arrived in fine shape. Thank you very much, Tom.
    It will probably be a while before I can get it out for a shoot; my schedule is really packed. I'll try to get some scans of the results from the lab that I use and post them. I'm sure the Zeiss lens is incredibly sharp.
    Thanks again.
    - Leigh
     

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