The Contessa has arrived, I'm waiting for the film from the freezer to warm up enough to load. KEH had rated the camera as EX, but the use it had received since the early '50s looks minimal. I'd guess it had been kept in an everready case based on the marks in the wind knob where the case's rewind knob would engage. A few tiny paint chips, essentially no chrome damage, the leather is undamaged, even the "Contessa" on the door is intact. Amazingly the tripod socket cover is still there. I'd have expected that to have disappeared.

If it had the original packaging, etc, I could imagine it as having been used for store demonstrations.

Viewfinder/rangefinder is clear and bright, the lens is spotless, the shutter sounds about right at 1 sec, so the other speeds should be about right. Mirabile dictu, the exposure meter responds, although I think its lost some sensitivity.

The feeling of quality of the Contessa is impressive. Better than my Retina IIIc, comparable to the Vitessa L. I wonder what new cameras are made to this standard of fit and finish. Leica?

In any case I almost feel that I am now a curator of a piece of history and have a responsibility to use it wisely.