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  1. #1

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    A new contax IIa

    New to me at least, it looked little used at the yard sale....
    .... and the reason it is little used is because of two things:

    Thing 1: the focussing grates like metal on metal probably lacks some lubrication somewhere

    Thing 2: The shutter goes through episodes of unreliability, it will not fire for several (15 or so) actuations, then Voila! I put it on 1/25 and it shot 80 times without a hiccup......

    Oh it has a Zeiss Sonnar f/1.5 and is really clean and I have an M3 so I needed this and... and.... and... it was cheap...

    Who is the best to service this....?

    David

  2. #2

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    I am going down that same route. I recently purchased a nice IIa that has been sitting for 40 yrs. I'm sorry I didn't get your yard sale deal, but I did get a nice camera in need of service. I have been looking through various threads and found a guy named Harry Sherer that has some kind of a crazy 2 year waiting list but also a fellow named Jerry Sorin, jerrysorin3@gmail.com, 347-275-5999 who has a good reputation on Contax rf repair. Good luck. I can't wait to be able to go out and use mine.

  3. #3

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    I discovered that by holding th camera upside down with the wind on wheel at the bottom apex then it winds on reliably. The focussing grind is ok, so I'm going to get some tri-x. And shoot wide open

  4. #4
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    Jerry Sorin is the guy Eddie Smolov began to recommend after he (Eddie) became very ill last year.

    I haven't sent him any work yet, but Eddie thought highly of him.
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  5. #5

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    Essex camera is also a good option
    Nik

  6. #6
    Trask's Avatar
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    Does anyone know if Eddy Smolov has recovered? By the time I got to the third post above I was going to recommend Eddy, but then I saw the comment that he has been unwell. He did a good job on my Contax IIa, and would recommend him.

  7. #7

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    I have thought a lot about the differences between my M3 and the IIa. As a happy coincidence they were made within a year of each other... Not so surprising because it also coincided with economic boom years here in Tulsa Oklahoma. I know that the M3 was owned by an engineer in the oil Industry ( I bought some of his engineering goodies at his estate sale). And the first owner of the Contax was an aircraft engineer. It looks like the Contax was passed on to his son who never used it because it was (and currently is) unreliable and creaky.

    However I consider my Leica to be my "princess Grace" camera: flawless, demure and appropriate for elegant situations. The Contax is my "Marlene Dietrich": a little older, angular, very fast in the dark.

    Neither of them would you take backpacking

  8. #8
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trask View Post
    Does anyone know if Eddy Smolov has recovered? By the time I got to the third post above I was going to recommend Eddy, but then I saw the comment that he has been unwell. He did a good job on my Contax IIa, and would recommend him.
    I do not know. Nor do I really know what Eddy's illness was. I sent him a few emails last year, and when he failed to respond I called the phone number I had for him. He sounded quite ill, and said he wasn't taking in any work. Then he responded to one of my emails with Jerry's contact info.

    I like Eddy's work, too. He doesn't do "museum" restorations, but you get back a very solid, very serviceable user camera that you don't have to worry about. It just works.

    I have sent him a few FEDs, Kiev's, my Pentacon Six TL, and a bag full of FSU lenses over the years. They all work well, and with those the camera is cheap enough that I don't have to worry about it when I take it with me. If I loose one, I buy another and off it goes. I'd cry if I lost a Leica, but I don't worry about a FED. (And I'm not enough of a photographer to claim that the FED is beneath me. It's capable of more than I am.)

    I didn't ever send anything to Jerry, but Eddy did speak very highly of him. So I have no reason to doubt that they are both capable of quality work.
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  9. #9

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    I used Jerry Sorin to service my Contax II. He was quick, not expensive and did a good job. I will use him again.
    Norman

  10. #10
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    The Contax has a much longer bass rangfinder and much faster and accurate to focus than the M3
    Ben

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