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  1. #1

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    Contax III ny good

    I have just been given a contax III with 4 lenses and a close up set by my father in law....is that any good????

  2. #2

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    Only as good as the pictures you make with it.

    It really doesn't matter, as long as the gear matches the vision you have for your photographs. If this isn't a match, get rid of it. If it is, happy photography.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  3. #3

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    if that's an RTS III then yes its a very good camera. I assume the lenses are all zeiss. If not then perhaps not so good.
    If you don't want it you could give it to me...

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The Contax III rangefinder is a great camera, if that's what you've got. Here is some information about the system--

    http://www.cameraquest.com/zconrf2.htm
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  5. #5
    thebanana's Avatar
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    It's junk. Send it to me for disposal immediately.
    "While you're out there smashing the state, don't forget to keep a smile on your lips and a song in your heart!"

  6. #6
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    I have a Contax IIIc - they are very interesting cameras. Definitely over-engineered in the "German" way they lack certain "creature comforts" that their then 1950's-era contemporary Japanese counterparts (primarily Nikon*) were introducing.

    They have a complicated, and therefore "touchy" dual shutter system (others here will know more about that than I do) that is rather unreliable - particularly given the "advanced age" at this point. But if yours works - it's a classic shooter.

    Your lenses, however, are probably great (Carl Zeiss) glass. If you have a few dollars to spare (about $600 or so) check Steve Gandy's site (Cameraquest) and see if there are any Cosina R2C bodies still available. They will be a direct fit (C-mount) to your lenses. The Cosina bodies are decent-quality new production cameras and would be a great "fit" for you CZ lenses.

    *BTW: the Nikon RF's from the 1950's used an S-mount that was essentially a "clone" of the Contax C-mount (there is a long, intriguing, but OT story, that deals with Cold War intrigue to explain this). The lenses are compatible up to 5.0cm (50mm). They are not beyond that focal length due to film plane differences in the camera bodies. A visit to the Cameraquest site will be very informative on this point.

    Also note, that the FSU Kiev cameras are compatible with Contax lenses. Their bodies, with some exceptions, are m/l terribly unreliable but it's all part of the Cold War intrigue....

  7. #7

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    Looking at the serial number inside it is a 1938 III. going to get it serviced as the shutter is very lazy and then take it out for a test run.

  8. #8
    Mike Kovacs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sausage100uk View Post
    I have just been given a contax III with 4 lenses and a close up set by my father in law....is that any good????
    You're kidding, right? 1938 Contax II, 50/1.5 Sonnar or 35/2.8 Biogon, Ilford HP5+, taken on my Sept 2005 trip to Germany and Austria.







    The camera is relatively slow to use, the viewfinder is dim (and green), the optics are stellar. They are a superb photo taking instrument even 70 years later.
    Last edited by Mike Kovacs; 06-28-2007 at 06:35 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    If it says Zeiss or Rollei, the answer is YES!
    My Flickr Gallery

  9. #9
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sausage100uk View Post
    Looking at the serial number inside it is a 1938 III. going to get it serviced as the shutter is very lazy and then take it out for a test run.
    Smart move.

    I should get my IIIc CLA'd - please let me know who you use and how it works out.

    Nonetheless, as Mike Kovacs's pics show - you have some spectacular "glass". If the III proves too "difficult" to work with after the CLA consider getting the R2C to use that glass (or contact me if you want to off load the lenses! ).

  10. #10

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    What is a Contax IIIc? I never heard of it.

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