Contax used for classic images?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Rob Skeoch, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    There are a lot of great and famous pictures taken in the past that are considered fine examples of rangefinder photography and Leica photography.

    I'm putting together a list of classic images taken with a Contax rangefinder. Im sure some of the top shooters in the golden days must have used a Contax instead of a Leica. Let me know of any of the classics that were taken with a contax.

    Thanks for your help.

    -Rob
     
  2. mabman

    mabman Member

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    Robert Capa used a Contax, so any of his images would apply. I like the contrast of "Spanish Soldier" and "Outside the Cafe de Flore", both interesting images, but completely different contexts and feels.

    I can't think of any other Contax users off the top of my head...
     
  3. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I think there is an informal shot of O'Keeffe and a companion that was taken with a contax by Ansel Adams. There is also a lovely informal of Stieglitz taken with the same camera. Adams wrote that he preferred the Contax to the Leica of the day, but I don't think he elaborated.
     
  4. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    Ansel definitely used a Contax. Ilse Bing was another that I can think of off the top of my head.
     
  5. Wayne R. Scott

    Wayne R. Scott Member

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    Rob,

    Have you read "My Way With the Miniature" by Lancelot Vining? I think he worked for the London "Daily Mirror" in the 1940's.

    He has some interesting photos.

    I think some Hollywood Stars used Contax also, Tony Curtis is one I think.

    I think there is a book called "Shooting Stars" about Hollywood actors and their photos.

    Wayne
     
  6. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Contax was the favorite for action shooting, and low light. In the era of EI 12 film
    and uncoated lenses, the f/1.5 Sonnar opened up the world for Contax shooters.
    Bertele's designs made fast lenses with fewer air-glass surfaces,
    so there was simply more light transmission and less flare.
    There was no other choice.

    But as for finding out who shot what, you'll have to start digging through annuals,
    and bound magazines.
     
  7. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Gene Smith used Contax as well as Leica, Walker Evans, though not known for 35mm work also used a Contax.
     
  8. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Many of the Life photographers shot with a Contax, including George Silk, Bill Ray, David E. Scherman,Yale Joel, Hank Walker and others.

    And of course it should be remembered that Henri Cartier-Bresson often used a Leica with a screw-mount f/1.5 Zeiss Sonnar.

    The f/1.5 Sonnar (prewar or postwar) is one of the finest lenses of all time.
     
  9. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Now that I think about it, the Sonnar is one of the greatest lens designs of all time, regardless of the focal length.
     
  10. lens_hacker

    lens_hacker Member

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    The pre-war F1.5 Sonnar is a great lens. Not too many in LTM. This one did not start out as an LTM lens.