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  1. #11

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    Speaking of film loading any contax model I user out there?
    film rewinding: move the lever on the bottom of the camera and hold down the button on the side I still tore through some of the perferation in the film. Should I left some slack in the film before rewinding?

    I noticed on this model two levers would pop out so the film would slide past the perfed wheels
    To get by this I loaded film cassette to cassette I did not bother to rewind

  2. #12

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    As an earlier poster said, your experience (all your Contaxes work, while the Leicas need overhaul) is the opposite of the usual experience. They are beautiful pieces of equipment if they're working; if they're not working, they are a bear to repair since the mechanisms are so complicated. And there are not many people who can work on them competently.

    Yes, you can't burn through the shutter, but that's maybe the only thing the Contaxes have over the Leicas. The separate rangefinder and viewfinder windows isn't a significant inconvenience, in my opinion. And once the M Leicas came out, with their superimposed framelines, that was pretty much the end of the competition, at least for me.

    The Carl Zeiss optics are, of course, at least the equal of the Leica lenses. Small wonder that Zeiss lenses in LTM are so much in demand. The Soviet clone lenses are darned good also, as are of course the Nikkor wides (which will work thanks to depth of field, as you mentioned).

  3. #13
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    I own Contax rangefinders and Leica LTM rangefinders and I enjoy using them both. Overall neither one has been more reliable than the other. I have had to get my Contax IIa shutter and rangefinder cleaned and adjusted so it worked properly. I also have had to have a Leica IIIc shutter repaired and rangefinder cleaned and adjusted. Besides, lets get real here. All these cameras are pushing 60 or more years old. Some of them will need some work and it is probably a bit of a crapshoot to figure out which one that will be next.

    As for use, I really use either camera interchangeably with two exceptions. My Leica II with the Elmar 50/3.5 is wonderfully small and slides easily into and out of my shirt pocket. As a result it is my preferred travel camera. On the flip side, if I expect to do a lot of low light photography I will bring my Contax ii or Contax iia with the Sonnar 50/1.5 and several rolls of Delta 3200.

    Different needs, different cameras.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Merritt View Post
    As an earlier poster said, your experience (all your Contaxes work, while the Leicas need overhaul) is the opposite of the usual experience. They are beautiful pieces of equipment if they're working; if they're not working, they are a bear to repair since the mechanisms are so complicated. And there are not many people who can work on them competently.

    Yes, you can't burn through the shutter, but that's maybe the only thing the Contaxes have over the Leicas. The separate rangefinder and viewfinder windows isn't a significant inconvenience, in my opinion. And once the M Leicas came out, with their superimposed framelines, that was pretty much the end of the competition, at least for me.

    The Carl Zeiss optics are, of course, at least the equal of the Leica lenses. Small wonder that Zeiss lenses in LTM are so much in demand. The Soviet clone lenses are darned good also, as are of course the Nikkor wides (which will work thanks to depth of field, as you mentioned).
    I have two Contax ii rangefinders and three Leica M film cameras. I have other Contax cameras as well but the pre-war Contax ii is more similar to the M3 than the post war Contax iia. My M3 has indeed been a very reliable workhorse and I have nothing but praise for that camera. Likewise, the two Contax ii rangefinders have been very reliable workhorses and I use them extensively as well. However, my other M cameras have had rangefinder adjustment problems, viewfinder flare, shutter holes, shutter timing, and film advance problems at various times. In fact, though the Leica M design is more convenient, I do not find it any more reliable than the older Leica LTM and Contax rangefinders.

    I do agree however that repairing a Contax is far more difficult now days than repairing the Leica rangefinders. It may run very reliably for 20 years or more. But if it does break it will be more difficult to locate a reliable repair person. And if parts are needed that may turn out to be impossible. I will say though that these cameras, if they are regularly used, usually work reliably for a very long time. It is not using them at all for many years that causes most of the problems. Even then, if you get the old grease and lubes cleaned out and replaced with modern lubrication it will almost certainly run for 50 years or more if you take reasonable care of it. If my two Contax ii cameras and Leica M3 last that long they will almost certainly outlive me and my son.

  5. #15
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    As usual, everybody talks about repairability and nobody talks about lenses. I owned two IIIf one front lens uncoated Summitar other coated Summitar and two IIIC with Elmars and I did not buy them because they are expensive and Leica but as I see their superior performances to all other cameras in photographic annals. I saw better lenses on 8x10 Wollensak and Ektar but in 35mm world I did not see a better rendition compared them. I believe all SUM familiy is better performer than all other lenses of Leica. But Telyt and Hektor is stellar also. I owned an Leicaflex with Summicron and Leica Mini Zoom with Vario Elmar. All because of Lenses.

  6. #16

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    Zeiss vs Leitz lenses is something of a religious divide. To my eye, the character of the 50/1.5 Sonnar just looks "right", whatever that means; but basically it's a matter of taste. Some people claim to be able to discern general differences of character between the manufacturers---Zeiss is better at X, Leitz is better at Y---but I'm agnostic on that part.

    It is, though, a whole lot easier to find Zeiss lenses in Leica mount than the other way round!

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
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    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    Zeiss vs Leitz lenses is something of a religious divide. To my eye, the character of the 50/1.5 Sonnar just looks "right", whatever that means; but basically it's a matter of taste. Some people claim to be able to discern general differences of character between the manufacturers---Zeiss is better at X, Leitz is better at Y---but I'm agnostic on that part.

    It is, though, a whole lot easier to find Zeiss lenses in Leica mount than the other way round!

    -NT
    This goes back to the 1930s, there was a divide even then. Zeiss lenses were adapted to Leicas and vice versa, to give the owners the best of both worlds.
    My position is that both cameras are gorgeous, but different - same for the lenses.
    As for Zeiss-made lenses in LTM, the only ones I'm aware of were made during WWII and are vanishingly rare.

  8. #18

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    I prefer my sonnar over the Summitar

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by randy6 View Post
    I prefer my sonnar over the Summitar
    Well, at the moment, I have a 'Sonnar' (Jupiter 8) on a Canon clone of a Leica. I'v seen only a couple pictures from it so far, but it looks like a keeper - it behaves very similarly to the echte Sonnar I had on a Contax II.

  10. #20
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    I prefer my sonnar over the Summitar
    Why ?

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