Giving my 1937 Zeiss Ikon Contax II as best of a CLA (clean, lube, adjust) as I could without dismantling the mechanism itself, I doused with lighter fluid twice, avoiding the shutter slats, tapes and glue, which is fairly easy as, everything is on one side. then I oiled a few choice spots, avoiding escapements.
With the help from forum friends, I fixed a problem with the Infinity on the RF, the previous hacker put the longer screws on the RF side of the front plate and they were preventing the plano-convex lens from traveling all the way to the side.
I also removed foam light seals from the film back surround. originally there were no light seals (so I’ve read} around the camera back. The Kiev clones used Yak hair as a seal. I’m opting to use my smaller size black yarn just to be safe on this 80 year old camera.
I re-glued a loose flap of leatherette and cleaned with Meguiar’s leather foam. I touched up some rubbed off chrome on the top plate with my faux chrome plating kit.
Here are the steps to open it up, remove the shutter cage from the frame and clean. I did not disassemble the shutter mechanism itself, it is for experts and usually is not necessary to clean it.
remove rewind knob
rewind knob removed
remove body screws
remove winding lever center
remove advance knob
remove speed scale
remove single screw
lift off chrome top plate
frame counter disc
remove cast top plate
remove cast top plate
cast top removed
remove shutter cover
remove screw here
remove this rod-screw
lift out cradle
self timer lever
I use Zippo lighter fluid (any brand will do) for flushing and cleaning the gears and other parts. just be careful to keep the fluid off of the shutter curtain ribbons, they are glued on and could become unglued by the lighter fluid.
For the oil, I use sewing machine oil. You can use watch oil or any light oil of that type. use very sparingly and never use it on the gears of the slow speed escapement.
2 thoughts on “1937 Zeiss Ikon ~ Contax II CLA”
hello, I am recently working on a beat up Contax II, and your post is a great source of information for me.
However, could you please mark the exact parts of the shutter escapement where you have lubricated? I am having trouble in its lubrication right now.
I updated the shutter housing images with arrows… the arrow placement isn’t exact, basically get those areas with the oil (red arrows) just a tiny tiny bit, working the gears as you go. Avoid the slow speed gears (yellow arrows) as the oil can gum up those gears.