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  1. #11
    T42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Someonenameddavid View Post
    http://www.zeisscamera.com/articles_oldvsmodern.shtml shows Henry Scherer's point of view on Contax cameras, and in my own experience I own a IIa color dial and a DS M3 both from around 1955: M3 wins hands down on everything except film loading.
    David
    Hello David.

    As one who owns an M3 and a Kiev 4a, I must say that when my 1969 Kiev arrived from Ukraine in 2001, and for a whopping sum of USD $35, I was blown away at what it could do. The pictures are very good coming from its Sonnar Copy 50mm f2 Jupiter 8M.

    The M3 does indeed win on handling/ergonomics, film spacing, precision of fit and finish, smoothness of mechanical operation, quietness of shutter, lack of body motion from shutter, and corresponding pride of ownership.

    That long base rangefinder on the Contax/Kiev is excellent, but the viewfinder is miserable otherwise. The M3's finder is so much better than that wee little peephole excuse for a finder on the Contax/Kiev. I mitigated that finder problem with a Voigtlander Kontur, which allows one to shoot with both eyes open.

    And that "Contax hold" is a bear. All that said, I doubt if most folks could tell the difference between most images made with my "Kiev 4a + Jupiter 8m" and my "Leica M3 + Summicron."

    About a year into my use of the K4a, a ribbon came loose from my winding it too fast. I got some new silk ribbon from Oleg Khalyavin in Moscow. With that and instructions from Rick Oleson's website I replaced the ribbon. It has worked ever since, with no surprises. I have read that is about the only failure to expect from a good Kiev 4a. I read that it may need ribbons every ten or fifteen years or so in normal use.

    A Kiev 4a ain't no Leica M, but honestly the pictures are stunning, IMO. And it really is a fun experience to make the thing deliver them. Despite its 1936 Zeiss Contax heritage, and Soviet era reduction in fit and finish, it nevertheless gets the job done well and in good style.

    Last edited by T42; 12-11-2011 at 01:47 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Henry
    A Certified Dinosaur
    Nikons F, F2, D700, Leica M3, & Kiev 4a

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Someonenameddavid View Post
    http://www.zeisscamera.com/articles_oldvsmodern.shtml shows Henry Scherer's point of view on Contax cameras, and in my own experience I own a IIa color dial and a DS M3 both from around 1955: M3 wins hands down on everything except film loading.
    And price, of course. A broken M3 costs more than a working Contax!

    I think the Scherer article is totally fair, although in my limited experience the Contax shutters have been accurate enough for slide film. (The old selenium meters in the III/IIIa are another question---mine are mostly adequate, but I've been unusually lucky, I think.) You'd never mistake them for a modern camera, and they have some idiosyncrasies like the "Contax grip" that bother some users and not others. Personally I don't find any of that to be a problem, and for those who do, I'll be happy to take those pesky Contax bodies off your hands. :-)

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    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_

  3. #13
    T42
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    Hi Nathan.

    A working Leica M3 with Summicron will easily cost from 15 to 25 times as much as that $35 K4a I was talking about. A working K4a is a tremendous value for anyone with the interest and patience to use it.

    There has been talk about putting a Kiev/Contax mount optic onto an M3. Weren't the same Soviet era optics offered in M39? Wouldn't that go right onto an M3 with M39 adapter?

    Henry
    A Certified Dinosaur
    Nikons F, F2, D700, Leica M3, & Kiev 4a

  4. #14
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    The original question were to use the OP zeiss lens on a M3, while his Contax is being repaired. I think the question has been answered with the use of adapters.
    But I do support the Kiev choice (being an owner) a good Kiev from Oleg or fedka will cost at most 150 dollar with lens. While amadeo adapters cost at least 200 dollars.

  5. #15

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    You should read this before acting...

    This was just found on another thread in this same forum.

    http://www.dantestella.com/technical/compat.html


    Maybe you could find a Voigtlander Contax body copy.

    Inquire; www.CameraQuest.com

  6. #16

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    Scherer has his supporters and detractors. Some view him as a source of knowledge and the No. 1 Contax repair person. Others view him as a bombastic hack. And that's all that I will say.

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