Zeiss Contaflex II Repairs
I started working on this camera for a friend of mine a few days ago. It was a little tough, but then that's how I learn what to look for.

The Contaflex II is the metered version of the original Contaflex I, but not to be confused with the ORIGINAL Contaflex, which was a 35mm TLR based on the Contax shutter. I love it when camera manufacturers get all stuck on a name. The Ricoh 500 shall never die!

Enough about ranting on the name. It's a beautifully designed camera, with the extra added quirk of being a leaf shutter SLR. That means the shutter has to close before the mirror goes up, then open again for the exposure, then close again. Zeiss didn't bother to complicate things even more by installing a rapid return mirror, so the viewfinder blacks out between exposures. But the aperture is automatic, so the viewfinder doesn't darken as you set the f stop.

People talk about it being such a big camera, but it's only about a millimeter or two wider than an Agfa Super Silette, and no deeper. It is most definitely heavier though, but that is because of the pentaprism, and the added mechanical linkages to run it all.

It has a fixed mount, front cell focusing Carl Zeiss 45mm f2.8 Tessar (minimum f22) in a Synchro-Compur MXV shutter (1 to 1/500 and B). A built in selenium meter with an ASA/DIN range of 5/12 to 650/33. This particular camera has the optional 861/02 accessory shoe.

The entire camera is in remarkable shape for being sixty years old. When it came to me, the shutter would not operate at all, so I was hoping just a cleaning of the escapement and self timer would be necessary. No such luck. It had some issues with burrs on the parts that have been hammering away at each other all those years, sort of like arthritis in humans. But I tore it down so many times, I could probably do one in my sleep. At least I didn't have to go any deeper than the shutter, as the rest of the camera is in good condition. Even the meter is working, and may be accurate, as I estimated what the exposure would be over by my work bench window, and that's what the meter read. We'll see what it does outside if it ever stops raining.

After the shutter work, I gave it a bit of leather treatment, and now it almost looks brand new. I think the owner is going to like it.


I'll be adding notes over the next couple of days, so check back later if you don't see anything when you mouse over the photo.
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