Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa

Carl Zeiss Sonnar f/ 1.5 50mm lens shown here with a Zeiss Ikon slip-on lens hood (shade).

This lovely camera is from 1951 and features a built-in exposure meter.

Shown with the meter flap open for business. This image was taken with my Nikon D800 in my studio as a test shot – no post processing.

I haven’t had a chance to run a roll of film through this beauty yet. All levers, knobs, buttons, and dials are working as is the meter. My list of film test cameras is quite extensive so the likelihood that this one will see film anytime soon is slim, very slim.

A quick search on eBay shows a nice selection of these available in all sorts of condition and states of operation. A recent set with body, lens, and box went for $450 (similar to mine) in working condition. I would think around $350 to $400 is reasonable for a clean example and having the box is always nice and in this case worth the $50. I’d give the Contax IIIa a chase factor of 6 – they’re out there so finding one isn’t a problem but finding a 70-year-old camera in full functioning condition is the hard part. Expect some issues that may need to be addressed and of course without service (CLA) little guarantee of continued function. It does make an awesome display camera amongst my other 35mm rangefinders so it’s got that going for it.

Comments are always welcomed as I’ve learned quite a bit from reader feedback. As always, thanks for stopping by and while you’re at it, feel free to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com (CC Design Studios hosted by Etsy). – Chris Whelan

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris, Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris.

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