NEAR MINT! 1954 Zeiss Ikon Contessa 533/24, FRESHLY SERVICED
Cleaned, Lubricated & Adjusted. Ready for immediate use
Forget the socks... What he really wants for Christmas is vintage camera.
This is a Zeiss-Ikon Contessa produced in circa 1954. These cameras are jewels and rank among some of the finest cameras ever built. The fit, finish and performance is as good as the postwar Contax. If you’ve used one of these cameras before, than you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you don’t... then you’re in for a treat.
The Contessa is a 35mm camera with a coupled rangefinder. It uses normal 35mm film. Built between 1950-1955, the first versions had Compur-Rapid shutters and the slightly later versions were fitted with the Synchro-Compur shutters, which featured a green tipped selector switch that allowed the photographer to use flashbulbs or electronic flash. This camera has a Synchro-Compur which indicates it was produced between 1953- 1955.
The Contessa was originally an expensive luxury camera with a price tag that was considerably higher than the 6x9 Zeiss Super Ikonta C and even the Voigtlander Bessa II with a Heliar. Within the Zeiss-Ikon line the Contessa was only topped by the Contax IIa. And just like the Contax and the Leica, the Contessa has a coupled rangefinder never leaves you guessing about focus or distance. It’s bright, accurate and smooth and a real pleasure to use. Additionally the Contessa featured a simple built in selenium light-meter. It was uncoupled, which of course meant you had to manually set the shutter speeds and aperture to the desired values.
This 63 year old camera is in excellent condition.(Please see photos.) Additionally it’s been carefully cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. The coupled rangefinder image is easy to see and works well. The top of the line Synchro-Compur shutter works smoothly and all speeds (B & 1 sec - 1/500th) are appropriate. The slow speeds buzz along smoothly and the fast speeds are clean and snappy. The shutter speed and diaphragm are manual and easily set to any desired position.
This camera works with a normal electronic flash. The flash will fire correctly at any desired shutter speed. (This is of course very convenient for flash fill.) The uncoupled selenium light meter also works and responds to light. (However please be aware that old selenium light-meters are never accurate because the light cell has a limited lifespan.)
The coated, Zeiss-Opton Tessar 2.8/50mm lens (a classic design with four element in three groups) is exceptionally clean and clear. There is no crystallization, separated elements, fungus or other problems. There are no scratches or polishing marks and it’s capable of lovely photos with modern color and B&W films.
All in all, a fine classic camera that deserves to be used regularly. Load it with your favorite film and keep it handy for that perfect shot you’ve been looking for....