Contax Rangefinder Carl Zeiss Ikon Jena Sonnar 1.5 5cm

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by Rylock, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. Rylock

    Rylock TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone! I'm new here, and honestly know very little about film cameras.

    I came to own this camera via a family friend and was hoping to get a little info/feedback on it.

    From what I've researched as of yet, it's a Contax Rangefinder Carl Zeiss Ikon with a Zeiss Jena Sonnar 1.5 5cm.

    Any sort of information or pointing me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated! Also, I'll probably end up selling it as I'd rather it be with someone who can get use out of it, than sitting on a display shelf in my home. :)

    Thanks in advance!

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  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would start by poking around here, and reading this article for some background. I am not a Contax expert, but that looks like a IIa to me.

    Zeiss Contax IIa IIIa
     
  3. MrSmith

    MrSmith TPF Noob!

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  4. Rylock

    Rylock TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info, found out a lot. :)

    So do you think I should post it for sale on here and similar forums, or just toss it on eBay? Looks to be about $200-300 price range from past ebay auctions from what I can tell.
     
  5. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What you have is a Contax IIa made in January of 1952 by Zeiss in Stuttgart, Germany. The camera and the lens seem in very decent shape, barring any mechanical/optical damage and should serve you well if you decide to go film. The Meter on top of the camera is not made for the Contax but rather for the Canon RF series, like Canon P and with the Canons this meter will actually get coupled through their shutter speed dial atop of the cameras.

    You should open the camera and with the back removed, wind and activate the shutter to see if it moves correctly. The shutter is a vertically traveling metal roller type like the window shutters. They are known to have some issues in time. Most likely the speeds are going to be off. You should also check for the smoothness of the focus in the lens and range finder synchronization. The focusing ring of the lens can often seem stiff due to the aging of the lubricant.

    As the previous posters indicated, check the value up with Collectiblend but do not be dismayed to actually get less, sometimes substantially less for that camera/lens if you decide to sell it. Most 35mm cameras, even the more expenisve ones like Leica and Contax, came down in price with the advent of the digital and the arrival of the recession. If I were you I would keep it, it will eventually go up in value.

    Congrats on the find!
     
  6. Rylock

    Rylock TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info Mitica100!

    I'm going to go ahead and list it on eBay and see what comes of it. I'll just start it at .99 no reserve, and let it run. :)

    I'm also going to list this Minolta XD11 I found at a thrift store not long ago:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    It looks to me like the camera is in at least Excellent + condition. I'm not a camera collector like Mitica100, but from my experience, I think you could clean this camera up with an hour or two spent detailing the body and lens. By that I mean very carefully and gently using some wooden toothpicks to remove some of the years' worth of accumulated dirt and stuff that is in the grooves, like those on the lens barrel, and the fine grooves on the film reminder dial,and so on. Also, on the front of the body where the body covering is near the lens mounting index dot, I can see a slight bit of green mildew--very,very common on cameras that have been in storage or associated with leather cases or leather straps.

    What do you think miticia100--would the value of the camera be increased by a careful cleaning/detailing of the external workings, or would it be better from a collectible value to leave it with its very slight patina and all-original finish???
     
  8. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well thought Derrel! Yes, the camera in a very presentable way will make the seller more money, no doubt about it. But cleaning must be done well without marring any of the surfaces. There are ways to clean almost every surface of the camera (and to the OP, if you want to know the details just fire me an e-mail). In this case a cleaning will help sell the camera but yes, there are cases where you might just want to let the patina show. Oh, the green substance is actually not mildew, it is a reaction of the metal underneath the covering to the leatherette and glue. Many Zeiss cameras suffer from the 'bumps' or green deposits.
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    wow!

    Don't know about now.. but back in the day that would fetch some serious cash. I'd probably considering buying from you for my own collection but my $$$ is tied up saving for other things.
     
  10. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yeah... Same here. :( My Contax III would love company... But $$$ is a problem.
     

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