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Thread: Contaflex III

  1. #1

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    Contaflex III

    Just got a Contaflex III w/50 & 85(f4) lenses today. Any tips on using it? thanks, Chip

  2. #2

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    First and foremost, make sure it works. Make sure all of the shutter speeds work, particularly the slow speeds. Check that the viewfinder isn't too dirty.

    When the shutter is released, the shutter closes, the mirror flips up, the aperture closes to the desired opening and the shutter then fires. All of this should happen almost simultaneously.

    If the shutter needs to be serviced, the shutter will close, the mirror will flip up, the aperture will close and then nothing. Or the shutter will fire after a short delay.

    See if the selenium meter still works. If it's snappy, then it probably works. If it is sluggish, use a handheld meter.

    The camera does not have a rapid-return mirror. When the shutter is released, the mirror flips up and stays up until you wind on to the next frame.

  3. #3

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    yeah, sadly, those cameras have shutters that have not aged well, mostly because of all the mechanical things that go on when you push the button -- if anything in the series is not working smoothly it gums up the works.

    Open the camera back and, while looking through, fire the shutter at various speeds. You should see the shutter opens and closes at all speeds (although if the slowest speeds don't work, don't worry too much -- how often do you use one second?) for what looks like the appropriate amount of time. If the mirror flips up, the shutter blinds close and stay shut, ur screwed, and servicing is very expensive.

  4. #4

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    Actually, the III is meterless, the VI has the meter.

  5. #5

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    It wa s all checked out by the camera store owner, and everything seems to be fine. I will put a roll of C-41 thru it soon and take it to a 1-hr lab. The view thru it is Pretty, just Like a Hasselblad.

  6. #6

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    Hi Chip,
    Just wondering how things turned out with the Contaflex III. I inherited one myself about 9 months ago, and I've really enjoyed it. I had it CLAd and it seems to work like a dream now. The lens is sharp and I like having to use some muscle to operate the machine. I shot Sunny 16 and had spot-on results. People ask me questions about it all the time while I'm shooting.

    Buzz

  7. #7
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    The front element is removable and there are several lens enhancements that can be added. Also, there are add on WA and Telephoto lenses that can be added directly to the front element. I have several from a past life, coinciently associated with a person named Chip.

    PE

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    My Contaflex Super remains one of my favorite cameras. The camera may be a bit complex but the lenses are absolutely wonderful. Zeiss Ikon knew their optics, that is for sure.
    Dan

    The simplest tools can be the hardest to master.

  9. #9

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    Lovely lens, too bad most shutters are dead and I have no idea who will repair them

  10. #10
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    Henry Scherer at Zeiss Camera repairs them but it is costly and the wait time is longer than most members of our instant society want to live with. But he does good work.

    I have two ebay purchases that work fairly well. With one I had to use a hair dryer to warm it and then work the shutter a lot to get it to start working again. As long as I use it every couple months it seems to work okay. Like a lot of old cameras, without regular exercise the shutters begin to slow down. But it does need a good overhaul to be reliable again so I will have to get it on Henry's list.
    Dan

    The simplest tools can be the hardest to master.

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