Zeiss Ikon Contarex film advance problem

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by rajmohanfotograf, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. Hello everyone,
    I've been having some issues with a Contarex (Bullseye/Cyclops) with which I hope you can help.
    The first body I bought had an interchangeable film back, and the first 2 rolls showed a marked light leak affecting every frame. So I returned it and exchanged it for a body with a non-interchangeable back. Everything looked good and worked well until about frame 20 (on a 36 exp roll). From that point, the film advance seemed to slip/catch on some frames, but not on others, rather ruining the exposures from the last 40% of the roll. I've tried the film advance without film in the camera and it's smooth; the interior is clean and the sprockets are intact. The only explanation I can think of is that the sprocket holes in the film are intermittently slipping off the sprocket teeth in the camera. Has anyone else experienced this issue? Is there a solution short of returning the body or going back to the interchangeable backs (in the hope that another one might not have the light leaks seen with the first one)?
    Many thanks for your help,
  2. First I'd lubricate the rewind shaft.
    Too much "back pressure" can cause your symptom.
    Fork must smoothly allow film to be fed out.
  3. Gus - thank you very much for this suggestion. I'll give it a try.
  4. Highly unlikely that the it's slipping of the sprockets, and I would try Gus' suggestion. Could be that the actual advance mechanism is slipping, in which case it will need to be looked at.
    You could just try another roll and advance the film slowly,making sure that the lever goes all the way around and see how that goes. I do believe that film advance issues are something that does occur on the Contarex from time to time.
  5. Good luck with the repair, Rajmohan. I look forward to seeing your results.
  6. I don't know this camera at all but I just had a bout with three cameras. And last year too. Last year my
    Contina ( mid 50s Zeiss Ikon product) seem to double-up.after starting ok so that for every one picture
    there was two frames. But I was getting error feedback messages on the advance as it should lock and
    cock the shutter via the film travel .. and this was not happening. Either I couldn'T fire the shutter or it
    wouldn'tz advance. I read everything I could on this ..sweated bullets and some months later with a
    short junk roll shot it again with the idea to measure etc the results... Nothing ..flawless operation . This
    Spring I bought a new bulk roll of 35mm- Every loaded camera ( three ) had some kind of problems
    either spacing skipped frames or overlapping. One was in my Kiev . Another was in a Canon QL17. After
    I got through those rolls everything seems sorted out. I hope for your sake it was a fluke .. Worth
    another try and be prepared to measure what a normal travels is with junk (is there such a thing) film. I
    do hope this works itsself out!
  7. Before taking (or even considering) further steps beyond Guy's suggestion, you may wish to sacrify a roll and advance/fire it with the back open. This might admittedly provide misleading results, because the lack of the pressure plate could cause the film to slip off the sprocket even though it would not do so with the back closed. But it might also clearly point at the cause of your problem. Also, once you have sacrified a roll, you can repeat the experiment many times.
  8. I know this is an old thread but these cameras are still alive and I had a thought on the OP's problem. I recently had a contaflex apart and noticed that the film spool "fork" is not directly engaged to the advance mechanism. There is a heavy spring clamped between the fork and the advance mechanism that, under normal operation, doesn't slip but if it did for some reason (loose for example or not properly tensioned), the advance will slip the take up spool but advance and cock the shutter. Maybe the Contarex has a similar clutch arrangement?
  9. Update. I now have a Contarex on the bench and indeed it does have a slip clutch on the take up drive. This is the first place to check if frames are overlapping; the curtain, shutter controller, and mirror will all re-cock but the film drive will slip causing the next image to land somewhere on the previous one. I know this is an old thread but with no information out there on the Contarex, every archive counts. :)
  10. Not sure what the confusion is here. Every camera requires a method of "slipping" the take-up.
    When advancing & as the take-up spool acquires more film, its circumference expands.

    So logically a camera design mandates 'clutch' slippage or the film will begin to have its sprocket holes torn etc...
  11. Okay so this is "camera repair 101". It sounds like confirmation the problem lies in film advance tension or as you suggested earlier, drag on the supply side.

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