1953 Zeiss Ikon Contax IIa. CLA'd, Freshly Serviced!
35mm Coupled rangefinder, Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted
There are times when camera collecting is incredibly difficult. It comes as moments when you’re asked simple questions like “What’s the best camera…?” or “Which is the most significant camera ever?” The brain starts working, the heart beats nicely and the mouth moves but if an answer appears at all… it’s a long and complicated one, full of design details, historical moments and personal rationalizations.
So here’s a camera that many hearts can agree on, the classic Zeiss-Ikon Contax IIa. A classic post-war, premium quality 35mm rangefinder camera. It’s a camera that still enjoys a strong following. In its heyday during the 1950’s and 1960’s it was often used by fine art photographers, photojournalists and fashion photographers on the go. Many collectors and photographers and collectors still cherish them today because of their delightful characteristics, their relatively quiet shutters and their compatibility with some superb Zeiss lenses.
The serial number on this Contax IIa indicates it was produced in the winter of 1953 in Stuttgart Germany by Zeiss-Ikon. It the so-called ‘color dial’ version which means that there’s a normal flash connector on the rear of the body. (The so-called ‘black dial’ versions required a flash adapter.) The color dial version is the most convenient if you intend to use a flash regularly.
This camera is in excellent condition and it’s fully functional. It features a built in coupled rangefinder that never leaves you guessing about distance or focus.
It comes complete with a film take up spool.
This Contax has been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. The camera works as it should, winds very smoothly and all shutter speeds (T,B, 1 sec – 1/1250th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the faster ones are clean and snappy. The self-timer works. The shutter curtains are light tight. The viewfinder and coupled rangefinder optical array has also been carefully serviced. The image is easy to see and focusing is smooth and accurate and it’s a real pleasure to use. (Not hazy like the average Contax.) In case you wondered, it uses normal 35mm film.
So there you have it, a very enjoyable Contax camera, all ready to be used. Just add your favorite lens & film and you’ll be good to go...
Don’t have any Contax rangefinder lenses in your collection yet? Don’t despair, Contax rangefinder lenses are easy to find on eBay. A quick search will reveal a huge number of lenses in a variety of focal lengths. This camera is compatible with Contax rangefinder mount lenses produced by Carl Zeiss, Voigtlander (Japan) and of course those produced in the former Eastern Bloc.
All in all, a wonderful camera. The perfect companion for your search for that perfect picture and that perfect moment.
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