Zeiss Ikon IIIa with Box – 1951

We were lucky enough to collect this wonderful Contax with an original box (we love old cameras and their boxes)!

The Contax IIIa (and IIa) are interchangable lens 35mm rangefinder cameras.

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The Contax IIIa was made by Zeiss Ikon AG. Stuttgart, West Germany.

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We haven’t run a roll of film through it yet but we hope to soon. The lens is a Carl Zeiss 50mm f/ 1.5 and the exposure meter (top) appears to be working after all these years.

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Exposure meter flap in the open position. The meter has selenium cells that are powered by light – no batteries necessary. The only downside is that over time they do give out and they can be a bit fragile after nearly 70-years-old.

The Carl Zeiss f/ 1.5 lens is considered to be fast even by today’s standards.

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Here’s the Contax IIa – same features but without the built-in exposure meter.

Here’s another camera in our collection that’s available to purchase. From 1955, the Minolta A2 (or A-2) 35mm non-interchangeable lens rangefinder camera.

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The Minolta is available in our Etsy camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day! – Chris

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.

Copyright © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa – 1951

A wonderful classic 35mm rangefinder camera made in Stuttgart by the Zeiss Ikon company in 1951. The Contax was for a time a strong competitor and innovator with the likes of Leica.

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This lens shade is an A42 slip-on hood.

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This brochure was printed in February 1954.

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Outstanding features for its time. The date is the last 3 digits on the lower left side 2-54.

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Zeiss Ikon AG Stuttgart A 42 1115 lens shade for the Carl Zeiss Sonnar f/ 1.5 50mm lens.

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Only $2.50 originally back in April 1954.

Thanks for stopping by and if you’re looking for an underappreciated 35mm rangefinder with an awesome lens then give the Contax IIa and IIIa a try. – Chris

http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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.

Copyright © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

 

Friday Fotos! – Classic Rangefinders

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Image courtesy of Paul Sokk www.yashicatlr.com

Recently my good friend Paul Sokk added this wonderful Leica IIIc to his collection of 35mm rangefinder cameras from the late 1940s and 1950s. The Leica is an original design made in Germany and the Nicca and Leotax are considered copies or clones made in Japan.

The Leica IIIc (front) is from 1946-47, the Nicca 3-F (middle) is from 1956, and the Leotax K is from 1955-58. These cameras use what is known as L39 (LTM) screw mount lenses of which literally thousands were made and thousands are still available today in a wide range of focal lengths.

If you’re looking to get into film photography with a totally manual camera then these should be on your list to take a closer look at.

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On the left, the Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa and on the right the Nicca built Tower Type-3.

Pictured above are a couple of contenders from 1951. The Contax is an original design from the 1930s and was manufactured in Germany. The Tower branded camera was made by Nicca in Japan and features a Nippon Kogaku Nikkor f/ 2 5cm lens. The Contax sports a Carl Zeiss Sonnar f/ 1.5 50mm lens. The Contax also has an attached selenium cell exposure meter that can be useful for setting the correct aperture and shutter speed. A word of caution about these 70-year-old meters, if they are working (responding to light) then assume that it’s not accurate until you can check it against a modern meter. Most of these types of meters have long since failed.

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Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa with selenium meter (top center) flap opened.

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Paul’s beautiful Leica IIIc

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Paul’s gorgeous Leotax F with Topcor f/ 3.5 5cm lens.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope my post stirs some interest in these wonderful cameras. I do have a Tower (Nicca) set available in my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com if you care to take a look at it, pop on over.

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Take care and stay safe! – Chris

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.

Copyright © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

1951 Classics – Contax & Tower (Nicca)

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Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa and Tower (Nicca) Type-3

Two extremely different cameras that accomplish the same thing – recording an image on 135 film. The Contax is a much bigger camera and for the most part, it is an original design by Zeiss Ikon of Stuttgart. The Tower was made by Nicca Camera for the Sears, Roebuck Company for sale in the US and Canada. The Nicca was inspired by an original design by Leica and it’s often considered to be one of the better Leica “copies”.

Both cameras feature interchangeable lenses and both are rangefinders. The Contax has an attached exposure meter (non-coupled) and with the Tower, you would use a separate meter for determining proper exposures.

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The Contax is a slightly larger camera and it’s a tad bit heavier due to the additional weight of the exposure meter. The Contax weighs 773 grams and the Tower weighs 591 grams.

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The standard lens on the Contax is a Carl Zeiss Sonnar f/ 1.5 50mm and the Tower has a Nikkor H.C f/ 2 5cm.

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What’s interesting is that back in 1951 these cameras were considered to be “miniature” 35mm cameras per their advertising of the time.

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contax IIIa and IIa

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Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – Chris

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.

Copyright © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Contax IIIa – 1951

My Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa is a 35mm rangefinder camera that was first introduced in March 1951. What differentiates the IIIa from the IIa is the addition of an exposure meter.

Here’s my Contax.

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By the serial number of the body, this camera appears like it was made in the early part of 1951. It features the black dial and non-synced flash connection typical of the first models. This one works perfectly and the only cosmetic issue is a slight dent on the lens filter ring. Just above the Contax name is the selenium cells for the exposure meter shown with the flap open.

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The camera features interchangeable lenses in a simple but sturdy bayonet mount. Exposure meter flap in the closed position.

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The lens is a Carl Zeiss Sonnar f/1.5 50mm.

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A camera shop provided cleaning cloth featuring the Contax IIIa.

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It may be a bit hard to tell from this scan but here’s a view of the camera from the instruction manual. The camera’s serial number is T 36017 and mine is T 36625. Pretty close so I’m thinking that mine is an early production model.

Thanks for stopping by! I’ll have much more about this camera soon. – Chris

http://www.ccstudio2380.com