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Zeiss Ikon Contessa 35

Discussion in 'Classic Models & Marques' started by AlexMonro, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    I think that's probably just another "unconventional" aspect of the Zeiss folding 35mm cameras and is a consequence of the advance and rewind knobs being on the bottom. I don't find it at all uncomfortable, and the knob wind is surprisingly quick and easy, especially as you get towards the end of the roll (more film on take up spool = larger diameter = greater length moved per turn).

    Take up spool on the right probably became standard with lever wind, having the advance lever on the right is probably easier for right handed people.

    Roll film cameras seem fairly arbitrary as to which side is feed and which is take up, with sometimes different format versions of the same model (e.g. 6x4.5 and 6x6) having them on opposite sides.

    I think I've heard of that one. What gets me is how some minilabs number the frames (and files from scans) in reverse order - they can't have thought everyone was using an EOS!
  2. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    It seems to have been a Zeiss thing - my Werras also have the film "back to front". I wonder which side the original Contax spooled from/to?

  3. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    I don't have a Contax as such, but the related Super Nettel and Kiev have the take up spool on the right.
  4. CD176

    CD176 New Member

    Mr. Monro:

    I am sorry to bother you with a question about a problem that may seem trivial.

    I inherited my long-deceased father's folding Zeiss Contessa that I had not handled in over forty years. In the process of re-acquainting myself with the camera I extended the retractable support foot and I am unable to retract it. Reading the manual (Spanish version) did not help as it does not even mention the feature.

    Seeing your very thorough old article on this camera I thought that you may be able to help.

    Thank you in anticipation.

  5. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Pull it down a little, push it towards the rewind knob and then push it upwards.

  6. CD176

    CD176 New Member

    Got it done!

    Thank you Steve for saving the day :)
  7. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    How did I know? I had the same problem...

  8. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    CD176, glad Steve was able to help you. I also had that problem with my first Contessa, and on another one, the support was very "sticky" and I had the devil's own job before I eventually persuaded it to retract.
  9. I have a Contessa 35, and the fit and finish is wonderful.Today's cameras look crude by comparison. The meter on mine is very iffy, somewhere I found instructions on a DIY repair, but I just carry a meter. I have a Norwood Director which is period appropriate. Now for that Jaguar XK 120....

    BTW, the lens has EXTERNAL threads for a Series filter holder, rather than the customary internal threads. Tim at filterfind.net found the appropriate Series adapter, along with a lens hood, red and yellow filters, and even a little leather filter bank to hold the adapter, hood, and several filters.
  10. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    The meter on mine is the same. There is a metal contact just behind the cell bank which seems to be the problem - there is a video somewhere of someone stripping and cleaning the slight corrosion off the strip and hey presto, perfect metering again. It looked a fairly simple job, but I tend to be a big hammer merchant, so...

    I suspect this is the reason why so many people think silicon meters lose their efficiency over time - it's not the meter, it's the wiring behind it. All my meters give the same reading, no matter what age [assuming they work, and only one or two don't], in fact I have more CdS meters which ar now scrap the silicon ones!

  11. Okay! Here's the link on fixing the Contessa 35 meter. http://elekm.net/zeiss-ikon/repair/meter-repair/ Seems simple enough, but consider: Mike Elek also restore basket case Contaxes, not a job for the faint-hearted. BTW, I think you mean selenium, not silicon meters....
    steveandthedogs likes this.
  12. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    It's early here and I'm not awake yet!

    Apart from having a memory which gives out after five minutes.

  13. Fully understood! I have the "hereafter" syndrome. "I'm here! What am I after??"
    steveandthedogs likes this.

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