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UK Contax usersAVOID this UK Contax dealer


Well-Known Member
Hi All,
Just my advice, but suggest you avoid like the plague 'CLASSIC CAMERA EXCHANGE' in Harrogate UK. They are an official Contax dealer and hopeless!!! I recently made a phone enquiry having seen a long list of both new & used items on their website. It took me 15 mins to establish with a VERY vague and unhelpful so-called salesperson that the website is updated so rarely that the lists are hopelessly out of date. They had virtually nothing they advertise. To make it worse I was then quoted HIGHER prices than the website showed for items they actually did have. This sounds decidedly dodgy retail practise as they ARE NOT HONOURING their own advertised prices. As a parting shot, the most ridiculous comment from this salesperson was "it is not our fault the website is updated so rarely" who's fault is it then? Santa Claus? Tony Blair? ...what a complete idiot.
Please all UK Contax fans...beware!!


Active Member
Classic Camera Exchange and advise on this Dealer
I speak as a grateful customer who has visited this establishment 3 weeks ago and can give an accurate account of his dealings.
Mr Moseley has made what I consider to be a very inaccurate assesment of this well respected Contax Specialist. Over 3 Years ago I was recommended by Kyocera UK to visit when they were in Clitheroe and I have to say that without the help of Carsten my Contax outfit would never have been so complete without his help.
I would say that perhaps the update and lack of stock is due to poor supplies from Kyocera UK
This is someone who dedicated over half of his business to Contax so with all that has happened in the last 6 months just think how he can survive after moving 12 months ago to new dedicated premises and relying on Contax Sales.
I would suggest you visit and then comment or leave that to Kyocera who are in a position to give a true and accurate comments. A phone call without visiting cannot give you the right to comment with such negative words.
As for the comment on internet prices what else do you expect, everyone knows that internet prices are lower that buying in store or on the phone. If you had any knowledge of the retail trade you would eat your words. Im sure that i will not be the only person to comment on this posting and will wait and watch with interest.
My advise is contact Kyocera UK or frazer Mr Contax in the UK, thankfully there advise was the best I have ever had in years. Thanks to carsten I was able to add from him the 21mm 25mm 55 f1.2 85f1.2 135 f2 200f2 and 300f2.8 I think this shows the standard of a dedicated salesperson.
Contax Fans in the UK no need to beware the only thing to beware of the the person who posted the unfair and inaccurate comment.


Well-Known Member
I also have dealt with Carsten over many years and found him friendly and helpful as well as knowledgeable and offering a good service. He usually has what you want in stock or can get it and his prices have been OK.
I hope that the demise of the Contax brand will not have spoilt his business although I notice that he also now deals in other makes.
As a Yorkshire ex-pat and an ex-Harrogate resident I was pleased to note his move across the border from Lancashire too
although I have yet to visit his new shop.


Well-Known Member
Hello all,

I am glad that other people have found this dealer helpful, but I certainly did not and my comments were a totally honest and accurate assesment of what happened when I rang the dealer.

I have been for several years a retail area manager myself, which is why I was so shocked at the poor standard of service I experienced over the phone. First contact in retail is crucial and for what appears to be an old established dealer to be so bad is what surprised me.

I think my point about pricing has been mis-understood. The dealer is advertising prices on his web site which are the prices you pay however you choose to do business. They are not special internet prices, but purely a price list of available stock. This is quite clear since the dealer has also the same prices advertised in some UK photo mags. If any retailer has advertised prices, you expect them to honour those advertised prices, but according to my phone call, this dealer was NOT prepared to do so. The impression I got was that because Contax equipment is now not available, this dealer has increased prices on items he already had in stock, but did not bother to update the web site to reflect these 'new' prices. Whichever way you cut this, the dealer is either sloppy in his business practise or else taking advantage of the lack of supply. If Argos or Comet refused to honour their advertised prices then trading standards would be all over them.

I noted on the web site about 4 weeks back a Contax S2b with an advertised price of £449. When I looked at the web site 2 weeks later, this had been amended to 'phone for price' (on the SAME item), when I rang the item had been sold....I would be interested to know how much for...reading between the lines and after the conversation I had I would bet it was for more than £449!!

It is unfortunate If this dealer is having problems due to the demise of Contax, bit this is BUSINESS after all. Good retailers move on and retail something else.

I am just expressing my own personal experience...


Well-Known Member
Hi Steve,
Appreciated that you were simply speaking as you found which is fair enough and all any of us can do. May be it was just a blip on the camera shop's part.


Well-Known Member
I have used this dealer before (100mm Makro Planar) and found the service to be very good, although he was definitely not going to budge on price!

I got the idea from talking to him that he may be a bit of a luddite when it comes to computer technology. He still uses paper records for everything, so I assume that someone else maintains his website.
I think if you are that type of person then it can be difficult to get into the 'rapid response' frame of mind needed for internet trading. In fact, if you look at the website you will note that they still have the old telephone number published!
It also says that trading hours vary and callers should phone first, so I think perhaps he likes a more relaxed lifestyle (who can blame him).

Unfortunately a relaxed lifestyle and luddite attitudes don't really sit well with internet trading, and I can see how it could cause frustration to someone more 'driven'.

I would say use them with confidence, but be prepared for a much more old fashioned experience than you would get from the bigger internet retailers.


Well-Known Member
If I may join in the discussion. I was having a chat about this with a friend of mine and he said this about Carsten;

"Hi Forum Members …… from an old name you might remember!

It is a shame and a real mystery that Grumpoid should feel the need to report such a negative experience with Classic Camera Exchange.

A mystery why it happened to Steve, and a mystery why so many other Contax enthusiasts that I know have reported the exact opposite of his experience (like Robert, John and many so-far anonymous others!).

I know Carsten quite well and can imagine his very philosophic response to such a negative message on this forum. He would say ……. “Let my many satisfied customers speak for me.” …… and I, as one of those satisfied customers, am very willing to do so.

I, too, can echo Robert’s and John’s comments about the advice, service and value for money, I have received from Carsten over the 15 years I have known of him, and I have every reason to believe that Carsten will continue to provide good service for other makes of equipment too (as well as for Contax items, past or future). Several of my current 35mm Contax items, including my favourite and reliable AX, were bought from Carsten, at a very good price, and I would not hesitate to recommend his company for your photographic equipment needs.

Within John’s message of gloom, is a cautionary tale for all small businesses with a website …… and those websites with a price list for many one-off items, new or used, that might come in and go out quickly. Keep it up to date, or risk the wrath of those that would like to treat the lists as tablets of stone!

Yours to serve, Kyocera Kid."

I hope that this doesn't upset anyone too much



Hi Paul et alii,

I appreciate reports about good and bad experiences with dealers. This discussion for ex&le prooves, that it is good to exchange experience among Contax fellows to be able to find out, whether a bad experience with a certain dealer is only an exception or common practice.

Having said this I would ask for everyone's understanding that we do not appreciate, if users who do not want to support this forum (at least until now), can participate here with comments with the help of third parties.

I think it is only fair, if everybody is treated equally. All of you appreciate the existance of and are willing to support it financially with donations and have therefore access to the forum. It would be neither fair for our work and investments, nor for all other members here, if not (yet) supporting users participate on the forum through quotes like this and/or by getting forum-mails forwarded.

We have nothing aginst the old user Kyocera Kid and would welcome him and whoever else back if they decide one day to do so, but under the same rights and obligations like everybody else here

At present, it is a very difficult time for Contax fans and places like are even more important then in the past. But we depend on your financial support to keep alive. Simple as that.

I hope the intention of my explanation comes over in a positive way and all can understand that we have to treat everybody equal here

Thanks in advance for you understanding.


Well-Known Member
Hi Dirk,

I would like to apologise for my error. I was trying to put forward another persons opinion. Maybe I should have omitted his name, but then I might have been accused of falsifying the content to make Carsten look good. I told the person I had been 'reprimanded' about this and he said:

<font color="ffff00">"he apologises to Dirk and paying Forum Members for lack of forethought and fully understands Dirk's reaction!"}

I do hope that this is the end of the matter. I am sorry for my lack of forethought and any upset I might have caused in profering another persons' opinion.



... do not worry. This is nothing big. I just wanted to mention it, so there is no misunderstanding in the future...


Well-Known Member
Hello again,

I have been a little surprised by the response to my initial post and it is clear this dealer has given plenty of help to others in the past and some of the posts are very level-headed and sensible. I would add I always also give a 'pat on the back' to any dealer with super service. I would put Ffordes in Scotland, MXV and especially Richard Caplan on this list.
However as a word of warning, all dealers are in this to make money and are not out there simply to help out us hapless buyers. They are business people pure & simple, which is to be borne in mind at all times...some are more helpful and some less, but all WANT YOUR MONEY!.
They all advertise, whether via adverts, shop displays, tv or web sites and in the UK, according to trading standards law all retailers MUST maintain adverts which are clear, accurate AND not mis-leading. If any advert shows a particular price and that price is then un-available on further investigation, then the advert is deemed to be mis-leading. This is why dealers MUST update listings, web sites etc very regularly. This is not my rule, but UK trading law.
I do not ever take as list as 'written in stone' you simply cannot, but I do not expect to be very misled by any advert.
I am glad I posted initially since this seems to have been an interesting thread, surely the point of forums!
happy snapping to all...regards Steve.