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  1. #1

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    Zeiss ikon Contax RF lens on an M3

    So I have an immaculate Sonnar 50mm f1.5 that I would like to use on my M3 until I get my Contax fixed. Is there a reader of this forum who has experience with any of the adapters which are available?

    David

  2. #2

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    No experience, but everybody seems to love the Amadeo adaptors, and I'm thinking of that myself, though my Contax works great thanks to Henry Scherer. But my M3 with the Sonnar 1.5 would be great. I think they are $249 in plain brass.
    Vic

  3. #3

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    The CameraQuest page on the topic seems to indicate that such adapters are spectacularly rare and correspondingly expensive (four digits). Is somebody making a new one now?

    If not, it seems like a Kiev body might be the more realistic alternative...

    -NT

    (Edit: I didn't know about the Amedeo adapters until now. They do seem significantly more expensive than a Kiev, though.)
    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_

  4. #4

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    I am on Henry Scherer's waiting list. If you look at his website there are several impressions you get: firstly, he knows Contax in the way a neurosurgeon knows the brain. Secondly Zeiss manufacturing of cameras was fundamentally flawed In a way that doomed them to be overwhelmed by the Japanese. Thirdly, even though my Contax IIa color dial (which cost more than a new car in 1954) probably never worked properly, which is why it is_pristine_:it can be rebuilt, better than it was before, without spending six million dollars. Fourthly Kievs are a crap shoot with the emphasis on crap. There are a few voigtlander Contax mount cameras still out there. I was considering the adapter for non analog use also...

    David

  5. #5

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    Amedeo adapter is the way to go. I have one and it focuses perfectly wide open on my Leica m3 and m6 ttl. He has a store on eBay. Just search for Amedeo adapter

  6. #6
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Someonenameddavid View Post
    Fourthly Kievs are a crap shoot with the emphasis on crap.
    Well...

    Early Kievs arguably *are* Contaxes, made with the same machines, overseen by the same technicans and sometimes using parts made in Germany.

    I had 2 Kievs which worked perfectly and sold only because I went the "M" route for ergonomic and practical reasons.

    Undoubtedly there are many "Monday morning" Kievs out there, but also many good ones.
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Someonenameddavid View Post
    ..Secondly Zeiss manufacturing of cameras was fundamentally flawed In a way that doomed them to be overwhelmed by the Japanese. Thirdly, even though my Contax IIa color dial (which cost more than a new car in 1954) probably never worked properly, which is why it is_pristine_:it can be rebuilt, better than it was before, without spending six million dollars. Fourthly Kievs are a crap shoot with the emphasis on crap......

    David
    The German made Zeiss cameras and optics are highly regarded, worldwide, and its like that for ages. Zeiss leading role in optics was a fact, long before the Japanese started to copy Zeiss and many others German companies.
    It might be interesting to know that Hubble's replacement, The James Webb Space Telescope optics are designed, integrated and tested by Carl Zeiss Optronics GmbH of Oberkochen, Germany.

    Zeiss is probably the only company that provides lifetime transferable warranty for their pro optics and its been like that for many decades.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rol_Lei Nut View Post
    Well...

    Early Kievs arguably *are* Contaxes, made with the same machines, overseen by the same technicans and sometimes using parts made in Germany.

    I had 2 Kievs which worked perfectly and sold only because I went the "M" route for ergonomic and practical reasons.

    Undoubtedly there are many "Monday morning" Kievs out there, but also many good ones.
    Absolutely!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Someonenameddavid View Post
    Secondly Zeiss manufacturing of cameras was fundamentally flawed In a way that doomed them to be overwhelmed by the Japanese.
    No arguments on the other issues---chacun a son gout and all that---but I'm curious about this statement. Are you just referring to the relatively high investment in hand labor on a complex product, which didn't scale well to compete with modern mass production (whatever its nationality) but which seems like it wouldn't matter from a user perspective today, or something else having to do with characteristics of the cameras?

    -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_

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Someonenameddavid View Post
    I am on Henry Scherer's waiting list. If you look at his website there are several impressions you get: firstly, he knows Contax in the way a neurosurgeon knows the brain. Secondly Zeiss manufacturing of cameras was fundamentally flawed In a way that doomed them to be overwhelmed by the Japanese. Thirdly, even though my Contax IIa color dial (which cost more than a new car in 1954) probably never worked properly, which is why it is_pristine_:it can be rebuilt, better than it was before, without spending six million dollars. Fourthly Kievs are a crap shoot with the emphasis on crap. There are a few voigtlander Contax mount cameras still out there. I was considering the adapter for non analog use also...

    David
    Scherer's site does contain a number of exaggerations. It was the SLR that overwhelmed Zeiss, not some fundamental flaw in the Contax cameras (Zeiss did come out with a pro-level SLR, but it was over-engineered, expensive, and late to the game). Their rangefinder cameras were highly regarded when they were manufactured, so you should treat Scherer's claims with skepticism. As for the pristine condition of your camera - the things are built like tanks, so they hold up well under use.

  10. #10

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    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

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