Monday, May 18, 2015

A Real Work of Art - Zeiss Ikon Contaflex 35mm Film Camera from the 1950's

I'm a little worried about myself. Now that I have just about every lens in my kit that I've ever wanted, I am getting the feeling that I will soon turn my attention, and wallet, to collecting classic 35mm film cameras such as this gorgeous Zeiss Ikon Contaflex that I stumbled upon on eBay...

This little camera is a work of art in and of itself. It was manufactured in Germany sometime between 1953 and 1958. As with most things designed and manufactured in Germany, the Zeiss Ikon Contaflex is extremely well-built and sturdy. Although it's at least 60 years old, it looks really great. When I hold it in my hands, I get the feeling like it will easily last another 60 years. It's made almost entirely of metal and that weight is reassuring. It features a fixed 45mm Zeiss Tessar f/2.8 lens which I'm sure will produce remarkable images. Here is a sample image that I found on the web (Photo credit:

The Zeiss Ikon Contaflex is a "Rangefinder" camera. That means that the focus ring is split into two halves, the two halves will align when you manipulate the focus ring and the image is in focus. The name Zeiss is synonymous with exceptional quality in the photography industry. Zeiss lenses are reknown and this camera has the distinction of having both a Zeiss body and lens. 

Fortunately, I found a You Tube video which demonstrates how to load the film into the camera body and I also found a .pdf download of the original manual. I plan to load some film into it after work tonight and I'll be sure to share my first roll of photos with you as soon as I can.

Check out some more pics of this classic beauty...

Zeiss Ikon Contaflex I

I'm still getting my feet wet when it comes to film photography. As you can see in the images below, I got a slight double exposure from my last roll of 120 medium format shots with my Hasselblad 503CW. I'm not sure if I exposed the roll when I opened the film back to remove the film after rewinding or if the film is just a bad roll, after all, it's been expired for a long time (yes, film does have an expiration date).

On the other hand, I have been doing a lot better and am quite pleased with the images from my Minolta X-700 35mm film camera. That probably has more to do with the fact that the Minolta X-700 features an Aperture Priority mode that I really like to use. I manually set the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed so there's no guess work there.

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