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Contaflex shopping tips needed

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Member
I'm looking at all the great Contaflex cameras and need help!! What are good models to buy? Which ones are best avoided? What to look for. Same questions for lenses. I plan on using B&W and color print film if that helps.
Thanks in advance!!
 

gjames52

Well-Known Member
<I'm looking at all the great Contaflex cameras and need help!!>

Richard:

I like the early Contaflex I; they’re small, easy to use. Just make sure the shutter is OK before your purchase. I also like the later, Super BC’s or Contaflex S, the last one, with built in Cds light meters. Make sure the battery compartment has not been damaged. By the way the battery is only for the light meter.

When you receive your new camera not only will you have a good tool, but a marvel of craftsmanship, just a pleasure to observe, fit and finish, and machine work that is unattainable today.

I hope you find a beautiful ex&le.

Good Luck

Gilbert
 

butlp

Active Member
>Boy, you're shopping for the right camera! Each roll I put through mine (a Super_n) leaves me more awestruck at the capabilities of this camera design. Hard to reckon why it sells for such a discount to a Leica of the same vintage, given its build quality and design features.

My suggestion would be a super_n (also called the super_new), super_b, super_bc or S. These all have the recomputed tessar lens, and excellent layout of controls, etc. All will use the same accessories.

The super_n is identical to the super_b except for lacking the automatic setting. Mine was embarassingly cheap, and in mint condition, except that the film-advance knob had come loose and was falling off. This was easily repaired. The CLA was inexpensive, and it still cost 3 times what the camera did. My super_n has a working light meter (selenium cell, not through-the-lens) but I don't use it, I'm accustomed to metering off a gray card anyway and I do that with this camera just as I do with my other photo gear. I take the light meter readings "under advisement" and they are relatively consistent. The super_bc is a super_b with a CDS meter and TTL metering. I find that most super_bc cameras on the market have non-functioning CDS meters. A shame, as you could take advantage of metering through a filter if you had it. I am unclear as to whether the S models have any identifiable differences with the BC models, except for being the newest as they were made shortly before the 1971 demise of Zeiss Ikon. Again, look for a working meter.

The CLA will be a requirement, and well worth the price, unless you get a camera that has recently had one. It will free up the stiff lens focusing and the slower shutter speeds. The aperature setting (spring-tensioned pre-set mechanism) will be silky smooth afterwards.

Of course, the famous lens separation problem with the pro tessars limits the field; separation free ex&les are still a dime a dozen on ebay. The 115mm and the faster 35mm ones are the newest. Please take advantage of the proxars that go for $5 each on ebay, even if perfect. They work remarkably well. There are 4 different focal lengths.

Paul Butler
 
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