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Zeiss Ikon Contarex (10.2401)
France Version française
Photos by Sylvain Halgand text by Sylvain Halgand. From the collection of Sylvain Halgand. Last update 2021-02-08 par Sylvain Halgand.

Manufactured or assembled in Germany from 1959 to 1966.
Index of rarity in France: Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
Inventory number: 12072

See the complete technical specifications
Chronology of cameras Zeiss Ikon 
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Traduction de Manuel M

Zeiss makes an incursion into the domain of the reflex camera “pro”

The first experience of Zeiss Ikon (Stuttgart) as regards reflex camera was rather successful: The Contaflex was a good camera, reliable and well finished], but handicapped by its conception for a professional use.: the central shutter was placed with the centre of the lens, and only the last versions offer some to interchangeable frontal optical units “Pro-Tessar”, this name coming owing to the fact that they had mounted in front of the Tessar.

It was necessary to make much better for blocking the Japanese offensive, whose the threat was specified under the form of the Nikon F.

Contarex Bullseye

The Contarex launched in 1959 is a totally new camera, with a horizontal textile roller-blind shutter, a specific bayonet, and especially this extraordinary second eye which will be worth the nickname of “bullseye”, translatable by “eye of bull”: a selenium cell including a ultra-sophisticated mechanism of miniature diaphragm coupled with the diaphragm of the lens (see photo).

The back is removable in the manner of Contax and Contarex, and an interchangeable back during the taking of view is available in accessory.

Zeiss offers a superb range of lenses specially designed for Contarex, from the 15 mm Distagon to the 1000 mm Mirotar.

Excessively heavy, expensive and exclusive, the Contarex does not meet the expected success. A version Contarex Super with CdS cell rectifies the biggest defect of the first generation… but takes off all itscharms.

Technological store, but commercial failure: swansong of the prestigious Germanic brand!

Zeiss Ikon Contarex