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Help Needed with 18mm f4 MM


Well-Known Member

I have recently purchased a like new copy of this lens made in West Germany. I tested the lens with my Aria and it worked flawlessly. Today I was shooting with the S2 and needed an ultra-wide lens, so I mounted the 18mm and took a photo. The mirror refused to go down, until I removed the lens that is. I tried several times, same result. I discovered that the mirror is hitting the rear element on the way back which is quite strange actually. Now I have a scratch on the rear element caused by the camera hitting it when I remove the lens. Is this a known issue with this camera/lens combination? Any advice? Thanks in advance.


Hello Edward,
There does seem to be an occasional problem with some of the older 'floating element' wide-angles.

I sold a 28 f2 to a member of this forum - I had been using it with an old RTS without problem but when he mounted it on a different Contax it too snagged the mirror on the return stroke. I took it back and still use it on various bodies and my Olympus E-1 - focus is not an issue.

All I can think is that with the weight of glass and the mechanics required for the floating element, over a long period of time there is a half-millimetre slippage. Take it to any good repairer and it can be tightened - no more problem.

It is interesting to note the slight dimensional differences of the mirror/shutter assembly in the various Contax models. Unless you own a large number of different camera models, the chances are you'd never know there was a problem with the lens.




Well-Known Member

Thank you for your input.

I think that I have located the problem after close examination and comparison to my Aria and some S2 photos found on the net. The mirror of my S2 is protruding beyond the metal support on which it is glued. It is not supposed to be so.

I have bought this camera brand new from a local collector, but the mirror has been obviously t&ered with. That's so frustrating.


New Member
> When you stored the S2 upright (i.e. top plate facing ceiling, > bottom plate on the shelf, gravity might have pulled the mirror > down slightly. All you have to do is to send the S2 to a camera > technician to have the mirror relocated and fixed.) In the future, > you may want to store the camera with its back on the shelf and > mount facing ceiling.


Well-Known Member
Hi, I have had this problem with three C/Y lenses. The latest to give issues was the 50/1.4. I had the problems with my Contax ST and my RTS2. The problems were caused by out of alignment lenses..the rear element assemblies. Before you send your S2 away I would check this problem very closely as it may well be the lens. I know many will disagree, but I see this as a design fault with the Kyocera/Zeiss C/Y system. It is quite clear to me that the mirrors of some of the Contax SLR's have too little clearance from some of the lens rear elements. The clearance is too small and so you only need a very tiny misalignment and you get problems. I have never come across similar continuing problems with any other manual focus SLR system. cheers Steve.


Well-Known Member
I took the camera to a repair shop just before they closed this evening. They confirmed that the mirror has slipped by a fair amount, maybe 2-3 millimeters. I know for a fact that the previous owner, a Contax collector, kept the camera for years in the original box. It was probably kept in a non-airconditioned room, and temperatures can easily rise above 40 degrees here in Bangkok. The glue might have slightly melted and with time, the mirror slipped by this amount. I believe this is what actually happened.

Now the repair shop are afraid that the mirror is held by a very strong glue and might break while attempting to remove it. Let's hope no accidents happen.

Luckily my apartment is strongly airconditioned, and even when I'm out, temperatures rarely exceed 30 degrees during the hot season. So hopefully this won't happen again.


Well-Known Member
I just got back the S2 this afternoon. The problem was as expected. They had to remove the mirror and re-glue it in the correct position. This is a very strange thing unheard of before, the mirror sliding off its support. I wonder what kind of glue did they use at Contax which melts so easily, or is it the unbearable heat of Thailand. Anyways,


If I were you I would ask my clients to verify this problem before you accept the lens returns. I mean this is a typical Contax defect like I have seen so many during the years, but I have never had so far a bad Zeiss lens.