If it was graded BGN or higher then the shutter should be working properly, or at least close enough.
If it was rated anything less, the KEH descriptions say that there may be things wrong, caveat emptor. In either event, the time I had a problem with something from KEH they were very nice and did a quick exchange.
Having said that, if you really love the camera otherwise (higher speeds ok? like the camera?) you can have it serviced, but it costs somewhere around $200.
If they didn't advertise the shutter problems and you decide to keep it anyway, I would ask about a partial refund.
I believe Cameraquest will service Contax IIa/IIIa bodies and their info is at http://www.cameraquest.com/repairs.htm . $195 for a CLA isn't bad and if there is no other damage or parts needed, you'll end up with a perfectly functioning camera. Stephen also has a good article on these cameras and lenses at http://www.cameraquest.com/conrf.htm . He states That the slow speeds are the first thing to go when the shutter needs servicing.
The going prices for the Zeiss lenses seem much more reasonable than comparable Leica lenses these days, plus you can also use any Nikkor RF lens 35mm or wider on a Contax body. Nikon also made longer lenses for Contax, indicated by a "C" on the underside of the barrel. Voigtlander also made lenses in the Nikon RF mount, so you could also use the 35 and wider lenses, which should be great performing lenses.
thanks! I will call keh.com and discuss this over the phone.
I checked the other speeds and it is really hard to tell if they are working correctly so I am going to assume that they are not. They sound somewhat similar but not consistent for the specified speed. I might talk to a contax repair person to see how much a CLA would be incase this is a sign of something worse.
Overall, I like the camera and the build is exquisite. The viewfinder is fine and the patch bright and contrasty but more importantly I quite like the ergonomics.
My debate is whether I should enter the Contax system or get into the Nikon RF system. Ofcourse that is discussed all over the internet and depends in how vast of a system I intend on building...I wanted to try it out for the heck of it and I warmed up to the ergonomics quickly. I don't think it is better than the M per se but certainly different...
the "which is better leica or contax" debate very rapidly descends into the realm of "mac or pc" religious war.
best not to go there.
haha yeah ofcourse not, I didn't intend on going there.
I have mostly Leica cameras...... Barnacks and one M2. I also have 2 Contax cameras a IIa and a IIIa that Henry Scherer did. I want to say that a well sorted out Contax is a true joy to use. They are different than Leicas for sure but IMO there is nothing else that has the feel of a nice Contax. I guess the point is don't let a problem like this deter you from the brand.
It doesn't hurt to try but I doubt they will give you a partial refund. I had a similar case with a barnack from KEH. They will take it back if you choose but they won't take your word for it that the shutter is off. I ended up keeping the camera and getting it repaired. I've gotten great bargains from them over the years so I didn't really mind the bite on this one. I also brought a classic camera back to life and that is a good thing in itself.
I've been watching the Contax and Contarex cameras at KEH for several months now and as yet have not seen one in good working condition. They are either inop of speeds off..
There are no light seals on any Contax.
Unless it is stated,you should always expect that any Contax will need to be serviced.
Anyone know if Essex is back in biz after the hurricane damage?
Mike, do you service the Contax rangefinders??