Scruffy looking Contax 167MT + 4 Kiron lens

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by jmccl@yahoo.com, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. jmccl@yahoo.com

    jmccl@yahoo.com Member

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  2. faustotesta

    faustotesta Member

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    i've had two contax167. One has been working for about 20yrs. The other i got lasted about twenty months, but i got it from KEH in AS-IS conditions for 5 us$. On this part of the ocean you can get decent 167s for about 90 €. I would check KEH.COM. Then i wouldn't go for kiron lenses.
    A contax deserves zeiss lenses tha same way a lasagna deserves a tomato sauce and original parmigiano reggiano....
     
  3. naaldvoerder

    naaldvoerder Member

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    The Contax 167 is a sturdy machine, but a bit of an odd one in the Contax line up, with regards to ergonomics, buttons and levers etc. I would prefer a RX, ST or Aria, the RX being the cream of the crop. The big selling point for Contax are the CZ lenses. I wouldn't invest much in Kiron lenses, if I were you.

    I myself own RTSIII, RTSII and 2 Aria's, but if I could only have one to replace them all, I would want an RX.

    The RTSIII is the only model with 100% viewfinder, which I love, but it's to heavy to travel with...

    Regards,

    Jaap Jan
     
  4. kitanikon

    kitanikon Member

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    Scruffy is right...too scruffy for me...
     
  5. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    I love the "deteriorated foam" look. It's gonna need some cleanup. Offer $75 and see if they bite...
     
  6. pstake

    pstake Member

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    Ya it's not a bad kit, especially if one of the lenses is the Kiron 28 f2.

    The 167MT is all auto, I think, which would bring the price down in my book. I think rthomas has a good plan. I might offer $100 if everything works and the lenses are clean.
     
  7. faustotesta

    faustotesta Member

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  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    The 167 MT is NOT "all auto". It was the first camera to offer auto-bracketing, and it does have a program mode, but other than that, it's every bit as good an SLR as anyone here could want. The Kiron lenses are probably worthless, but I did see one of the lenses is actually a Contax 50mm f1.7. THAT, plus the body, are worth the $150. The flash included, if it is in fact working and not stuffed full of corroded batteries, is a good flash, even if not particularly valuable (in the $20-$30 range).
     
  9. pstake

    pstake Member

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    I don't see an advance lever on the camera body ... this is why I thought it was all auto. And when I say all auto, I don't necessarily mean you can't set controls manually. I just mean that most functions are electronically controlled rather than mechanically controlled. So I should have been more specific.

    Contax never made an SLR on which you can't manually set exposure, as far as I know. And its electronics were second to none and known to last. I just prefer mechanical and electronic parts are hard to find if repair is needed, so it would be less desirable than say a 139Q, in my book.
     
  10. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    I was told that the Contax 167MT was the best camera that Contax ever made when it came to reliability. Part of this was due to the automatic film advance. I have owned them and they are great cameras.

    If the camera is working, the body is probably worth $100.00 to $150.00. The lenses are worthless in today's market.

    Back in the day Kiron was a good bang for your buck lens. Good quality for little coin.
     
  11. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    Yes, the 167 MT does have a built-in motor drive. It's capable of somewhere around 3fps. I owned two of them, and later an RX. Never had the least peep out of them for service, except once the clip that held the interchangeable focus screen frame broke. Of course it happened while I was in Belize, where even if it had been a Nikon or Canon I wouldn't have been able to get it fixed. I was able to tape the screen in place and it worked just fine for the duration of my trip. I have no idea WHY that happened, but after getting it fixed, it never happened again, and I had those cameras for a good 8 years more.

    As to the 139Q, the electronics in it are getting OLD, so I'd much rather have a 167MT on that count. Just like the original RTS - great camera, when it's working, but if it conks on you, it's a bookend because it's so old even mechanical parts are scarce to non-existent for some components, and double that for the metering system.
     
  12. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning;

    Do not discount the Kiron lenses totally and especially out of hand. While I will agree that they may not be the equal of the best that Carl Zeiss could do, Kino Precision produced many lenses that are considered superb. They made the LESTER-A.-DINE 105mm f/2.8 MACRO 1:1 lens which is still regarded as one of the best 1:1 macro lenses that you can find for many of the manually focusing cameras out there. It was originally marketed as a medical imaging lens. While I do not have very many Kiron lenses, those that are here have performed very well, and they are certainly in the same ballpark as my Canon, Minolta, Nikon, and Asahi-Pentax lenses.

    And, Kiron lenses in the Contax mount are not at all common. This is the first time that I have actually heard of someone having them.

    You know, just above, i made a subjective evaluation. I will put them on the lens test bench and come up with some numbers to actually see what mine are doing.

    And, while I am here on this subject, may I also ask how many other "evaluators" out there actually have the equipment or an objective method for testing the lenses about which they are commenting? While I may agree that my question may be a bit harsh, I also point out that simply declaring that any maker's lenses are "worthless" without having any objective data to back up and support such a claim may be totally unwarranted. Even if the comment is mainly about the state of the market prices, even that does not agree with the fact that Kiron lenses tend to run in the same league as the Vivitar Series One and the Tamron Super Performance lenses as far as pricing is concerned. Referring back to the lens tests published in MODERN PHOTOGRAPHY, POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY, and others, will show that these lenses did run right with the OEM lenses, and often even bettered the OEM lens performance.
     
  13. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    Ralph - while they may in fact be optically excellent, they are valueless in today's economy. They're from a second-tier (at best) manufacturer, they're early zooms from a time when zooms were not as good as primes, and they're in a relatively exotic mount. So the market for them is somewhere between very small and non-existent. They may in fact be useable, and may in fact produce good images. But they add about $0 to the market value of the kit, if not subtract from it.
     
  14. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    Put those Kiron lenses on Ebay and you will see that they are not even worth listing.

    I'm not saying that they are not any good. They were good. Back in the 80's a friend of mine bought a Pentax ME Super Program. He wanted a zoom lens but couldn't afford the Pentax. I recommended that he buy a Kiron which he did. He loved the lens and claimed the Kiron zoom was sharper than his Pentax 50mm prime lens. Did I believe him? Well lets just say I was happy that he was happy! :smile:
     
  15. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Flying Camera;

    By the way, I use a Cessna C-172 for that.

    First, I do want to thank you for the admission that they [KIRON lenses] may in fact be optically excellent.

    However each person evaluates a camera is still up to them. They can decide even whether or not they are going to buy a camera, and they and the seller must agree on the sales dollar amount. In the end, between those two, that will determine the "value" of the camera and/or lens/lenses. However, their chosen "value" is not necessarily binding on others, although it can be influential.

    Still their financial evaluation does not affect the intrinsic value of the lenses.

    And to someone who has a Contax camera, those Kino Precision KIRON lenses, even if not made by Carl Zeiss or one of the other "bespoke" lens makers, could very well represent an excellent value. To maximize the dollar amount to be exchanged, it is helpful for the seller to find someone who has a true need, or at least a very strong desire, to find lenses that will fit his camera. Then while the dollar amount may be higher, each one may feel that they got a good "value" for the sales amount involved. Getting those two people together is the real challenge.

    And, as a comment about the significance of the Contax-S, the ENTIRE Single Lens Reflex camera industry and community -- including the modern Digital variant -- has the Contax-S designed in the very late 1930s just before World War II, but not produced and brought to the market by VEB Zeiss Ikon until 1949, to thank for their basic design and shape which has persisted as a testament to functionality up to this very day. The Zeiss Ikon Contax-S brought together the elements in one camera body that defined the SLR camera as we know it.
     
  16. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Alan Gales;

    Again, I did say that the main thing is still the difficulty of getting the buyer with a need, together with the seller. e-Bay "MIGHT" help. My experience with e-Bay has been very disappointing. It does seem that not many sellers on e-Bay read that part of the e-Bay definition of a "used" item where it refers to it as being "fully operational and functions as originally intended." I realize that at this time, e-Bay and Craig's List are probably the best ways to even find something that will work with many of these older cameras.

    And, unlike your friend, I have not said that zoom lenses are the equal of, or better than, single or "prime" focal length lenses. However, I have noted that with the continuing development and refinement in the computer lens design programs for zoom lenses or variable focal length lenses in the last decade or two, the differential is getting smaller.

    And, yes, I will also agree that for many people today, any camera body that uses "film" for its image storage medium, by definition is "obsolete." I have even benefited by this attitude, with the result that just two weeks ago, a Canon EOS-620 was handed to me, for free, with the comment; "It might even work." When I put a $15.00 USD 2CR5 Li-Ion battery into the EOS-620, it did work.

    And, noting the existence of that pervasive attitude about film cameras out there, someone must have gotten through to all of us, or why would we even be here on APUG?

    OK. I'm done. No more.
     
  17. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    Hi Ralph, I wasn't trying to insinuate that you thought that a Kiron zoom would be as sharp as a prime lens. I was just agreeing with you that Kiron were indeed good lenses. I was just using my friends opinion as an example. I'm sorry that you misunderstood me.

    I'm a small time Ebay seller to help afford my photography hobby. I have noticed that aftermarket lenses such as Kiron, Tamron SP, Tokina ATX and Vivitar Series I (although fine performers) just don't bring any money if you try to sell them. It seems the demand is just not there anymore.

    Best regards,

    Alan
     
  18. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    In a $100 package with the Contax body and several Kiron lenses keep it in perspective.
    Most aftermarket lenses have no value individually but can add some value to a camera body + X lenses.

    Kiron was considered to be one of the best aftermarket brands and made lenses for several brands.
    Lester A Dine macros and some of the better Vivitar Series 1 lenses that are still selling for almost $100.00. Look at the 70-210mm f3.5 Series 1 as an example. It's an exception to the give away lenses that abound.
     
  19. kitanikon

    kitanikon Member

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