ZEISS IKON · CONTAX II


THE CAMERA:

The Contax II went into production in 1936 until 1942. Mine is from 1937. Some will say the Contax series was superior to the Leica's of the time, I suppose it just depends on your likes. I personally prefer the Leica camera as a shooter but the Contax for it's looks. The wider more accurate rangefinder is a plus but it seems heavier and more clunky. I don't know, shoot, they're both nice. My Leica IIIa is whisper quiet compared to the Contax's I have.

I got mine (body) for under $50 as an "as is, parts camera". Like I've said on other camera pages, I'm not afraid to buy "parts" cameras as I usually can fix them or, as like this camera, they only require a cleaning. I've gotten several cameras that there was nothing wrong with them but the seller didn't know about them so sold them "as-is.

FIXES:

I gave it as much of a CLA as I could without taking the actual shutter mechanism apart. I did remove the top, and shutter cradle and cleaned all the gears and escapements with lighter fluid and lubed a few choice gears. You can see the procedure I did on this Flickr Set.

Thanks to the help of forum friends, I discovered the reason for the RF patch being off at infinity. On the front face plate, there are a total of 6 (visible) screws. 2 are shorter than the other 4. There are 2 screws each on the upper left and upper right. Someone had put longer screws on the left side where the moving optics for the RF would hit them at infinity. I replaced them with the 2 short screws.

I cleaned the RF optics and gave it a good exterior cleaning. I used Kiwi shoe polish to make the leatherette pop!

MANUAL:

There is an online owners manual here.


Here with my post-war Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 5cm 1:2 lens.


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