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Contarex Bullseye.

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<p>Keep them coming! NEver tire of great B&W photos. I liked you commentary on the engineering and peak for the German industry. There'S something to be said for Hubris. ( I capitalized it in German fashion Haha) No really, I agree these are mareveous, and I love that you shoot yours and now Rajmohan too.... When you read Henry's page you think only one in a million will ever make one work again and without him it will never happen etc. So I'm pleased to see that we normal CMC users can "use" these with formidable results. I am too poor to buy one or the lenses etc so like Leica, I've sworn off ever owning one albeit someone drops one in my lap. <br />Oh and what lovely images you produced here. I recall an Alfa Badge as a demo close-up in a previous and now the drill bit was also very cool! <br>

Thanks for sharing your goodfortune in owning and using one of these!</p>


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<p>Hello folks,<br>

I thought I might continue the Contarex that Tony started by relating my adventures with it!<br>

Over the last few days, I put two rolls through the camera (using the 50mm and 135mm lenses). I discovered, after I had shot the first roll, that I had not loaded the interchangeable back correctly (I had not fed the film under the metal brackets on the pressure plate. The result was that when I inserted the dark slide (which has to be done prior to rewinding and then removing the back), the film was sliced by the edge of the dark slide, leaving the exposed film in the take-up compartment. Since the take-up compartment is sealed except for a panel with a door, I had to wangle the torn edge of the film from the back of the compartment (in the darkness of my bathroom) and yank out the exposed film, before placing it into a light-tight container! <br>

Betting that this process likely ruined my first roll, I quickly ran a second roll through it, applying the film loading lesson learned so well from the misadventure with the first roll. 36 exposures later, the dark slide went in smoothly, and the rewind worked a treat! Out came the film cassette with the exposed film safely inside.<br>

Happy as a puppy, I toddled off to the lab and dropped off both rolls (praying that the first one would be okay).<br>

I picked up the negatives today. The images looked well exposed in both rolls as I pored over them on a lightbox with a loupe. But (and there is always a but), I discovered vertical streaks on almost all frames. The streaks are in the middle and one side of each frame, and they are darker on one side of the film than the other. A segment of one of the negative strips is below:<br>

<img src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5717/21481984032_75f3d3f25a_z.jpg"%20width="600"%20height="140"" alt="" width="600" height="140" /><br>

I asked the tech at the lab, and without hesitation, he said "light leak, worse at the bottom than at the top". So then I started to wonder where this camera could possibly suffer a light leak. I use an interchangeable back, and the most likely cause is a leak in the slot into which the dark slide slips. But try as I might with bright lights in a dark room to see if I could spot the source of the leak, I could not identify one. One solution proposed by occasional users was to tape over the slot - I;m willing to try this for the next roll, but now I would like to ask the group - based on the image of the filmstrip, do you think this is indeed a light leak? If so, what do you think is the source? Should I try and purchase additional backs and try them out? (since the interchangeable backs are notorious for such leaks)<br>

I want to persevere, because I really enjoyed shooting with this camera and its lenses, the weight notwithstanding.<br>

Thank you for putting up with my essay - I hope someone is able to help!</p>

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<p>I have heard that they are prone to light leaks, and that is obviously the problem here. You could get some black electrical tape to put around the edges, that will confirm if the light leak is external...I'm sure it is.<br>

Good luck with your search for a back, I see that you are trying over at Apug, they are a helpful crowd.</p>

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<p>See my other post in your discussion seeking a standard back. I've used magazine backs a lot, and haven't had a single light leak problem with three different backs that have seen dozens of rolls of B & W, E-6 and C-41. Three points.<br>

(1) My Contaflexes usually live inside the lower part of their ever ready cases when I'm using them (unless they're on a tripod, I have the special bracket for the magazine backs to do this).<br>

(2) I put a strip of black electrical tape over the slot for the dark slide when a back is attached to a camera body.<br>

(3) I leave the dark slides out of my magazines if they are empty. I've read that over time they will compress the seals which is a part of the issue with them leaking light. Of course, whenever one is advertised the images always show the dark slide firmly inserted into the back, even though they have storage brackets on their rear for the slide...<br>

<br />I've never tried to use my backs without a strip of tape across the slot. Being on the bottom of the camera the tape is usually out of sight. Maybe this makes a difference, I don't know. But I also can't recall the last time I actually used a late Contaflex with a standard back, and I use Super, Super B, Super BC, S and Rapid from time to time, so my experiences are not confined only to one camera/back combination, quite the contrary. <br /><br />You won't get any leaks from anywhere else in the back (unless, perhaps a numpty has tried to force the latches, which happens when they don't understand the interlocks that operate). The interchangeable backs fit around the camera body in the same way the standard backs do. If there are leaks from other than the dark slide slot, the back is not likely be the culprit. Try again, with some tape fitted over the slot.</p>

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<p>Hi Brett<br>

Thank you for your comments on this and the other thread.<br>

I don't have a case for the Contarex, so it usually comes 'naked', but the black tape is something I will definitely try. I also have the dark slide stored on the outside of the back for the reason you mention.<br>

I did consider other potential sources of light leak, including the little meter window on the top plate, and perhaps even the light meter window itself (I'm not sure if either of these communicates with the film chamber, but they could be potential culprits.</p>

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  • 2 weeks later...

<p>Hi Tony, very nice post and super set of images. I also like the seashore pictures in particular.<br>

I have the same outfit and have also started to use the camera in ernest for the first time just recently. All the items have needed various levels of service, the camera would not work without 'hanging' and all the lenses needed re-lubricating and cleaning. Now they work and i am getting familiar with it.<br>

I wonder how you have found the focus system? I'd be interested in your experiences, also the accuracy of the the aperture adjustment. One surprise was just how the camera seems to be ergonomically sound, I found that after just a few rolls of film it feels good.<br>

I'll post some of my pics once developed.<br>

Kevin </p><div>00dWJH-558691784.thumb.jpg.d322575efbbc8f8655c8ac10eb739930.jpg</div>

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  • 5 months later...
<p>I also have a Contarex Bullseye with the standard 50mm Planar. It certainly was a triumph of engineering. You can hear everything working using the slow speeds. Very heavy it is but easy to use. I also have the case which itself is no lightweight. It is such a lump to lug around though very satisfying.</p>
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