Ziess Ikon Camera Contessa

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by lauren_macintosh, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. I bought one of them while I was Over sea back in the 50's and loved it it was
    a great small 35 mm do any know where I can find info on it?
    its a range finder with built in meter and the front folded up wwhen closed I
    think its been a long time since 1958[Whew]
  2. Google is a good place to start:

  3. The Contessa is described on


    -> Classic camera profiles
  4. I had one back in the '50s. The only things that I recall were the incredibly tiny peep-hole for the VF/RF, and that the VF was tinted a grotesque dark green and the RF patch was orange, which made Kodachrome photography nearly impossible for me.
  5. Look at my site for some info http://davidrichert.com/533_24.htm
  6. Lauren, I own 3 of them. One was my dad's. He handed it down to me (reluctantly), and it was my very first camera. I still have some great shots framed on my walls from that camera. He purchased it when he was stationed in Stuttgart during the Korean War. They were made from 1950 to 1955. There are minor nuances between the first versions and the latter ones, like flash sync connections and lens types. I use mine all the time.

    They are very easy to fit in your pocket and built very well. The lenses are quite sharp, being Zeiss Tessars, but due to older coatings, they have a wonderful look to the images, in part because they're not super-contrasty. They're an absolutely pleasure to use.

    The only place I know to buy them is on fleabay and they vary a lot in price without relation to condition. Almost none of them have a working Silicon meter, and when you find one that does, they're not usually accurate. There is a fix to the meter. This one is Mike Elek's site: http://elekm.net/zeiss-ikon/repair/meter-repair/

    Another good link to get you drooling: http://www.cameraquest.com/contessa.htm.

    The funny thing is I purchased a bunch of cameras like the ones I used when I started out. Only the Zeiss Contessa continues to impress me with its functionality and images.
  7. I love this camera and have been putting Ilford XP2 thru it like carazy all summer & fall. Here's a slide show of stuff from this summer w/this camera. Super sharp lens and very compact camera you can take anywhere.

  8. Thanks Guys greatly appreciated and will use the info to maybe find one for my self again:: Have a great holiday Guys: thanks
  9. Hello, read your guys post. My dad just gave me his Contessa he bought in Seoul Korea for 88 bucks with case. It is a wonderful camera. My light meter seems to be working dead on. I am one of the lucky ones. I have been using Kodak B/W 400 CN through it (because I have about 20 rolls of the stuff). It takes amazing pictures, and I recently one a small photo contest with one of the pictures taken with it. Do a search back to around August/September of this year in this forum to see the original receipt and pictures with it.

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