Anybody here use a Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super BC?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Clumsy Eddie, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    2,611
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Location:
    Elko, Nevada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Great information Brett. Thanks for sharing this.
     
  2. Brett Rogers

    Brett Rogers Member

    Messages:
    197
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Welcome. It would be good to see a few more of these under-rated cameras in regular use. I concede they're not really the best configuration to tackle if someone is new to camera repair, but at the same time I don't think they're the diabolical nightmares to work on that many people seem to think they are. Voigtlander's Bessamatic lens shutter SLR is a delightful and beautifully made camera with which to photograph, but also one that's much more involved to reach the shutter on for the usual servicing needs any Synchro Compur will eventually have. By comparison the Contaflexes are much easier.
    Cheers,
    Brett
     
  3. louarnold

    louarnold Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Shooter:
    Digital
    Well, I have a Contaflex Super B. Some 20 years ago, some salt water hit it on the right-hand side from a whale tank. I was on vacation and could not soak it in fresh water. I called to have it overhauled (2nd time in 30 days), but they would guarantee nothing and again charge $350.
    The shutter is now frozen although almost all controls work to some extent. I immersed it in water and other things, but there is no change.
    Any ideas to help?
    I have nothing to lose by opening it, but things are awful small and I'm 65 yo. Anyone have a repair manual?
     
  4. Germanicus

    Germanicus Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2018
    Location:
    Miami
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The Zeiss Contaflax Super BC is just a fantastic camera. I have two or three. I just have not used them lately, in years! I'm terrified that they might not work. I am concerned about the built-in light meter but most of all about the timing on the shutter. I'm not a technical guy, but timing is everything, right. You don't want to shoot at 250 when you are supposed to shoot at 125. Of course, in full auto mode, that depends on the light meter. Everything has got to work. You've got to have confidence in the camera. In the old days, I would send the camera out to get checked and serviced by a German who lived in one of the southern states; I must till have the correspondence. That man most likely is retired or is an angel. I need to find a replacement. Does anybody have an idea?
     
  5. nosmok

    nosmok Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    316
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Can't speak to the Super BC, but a Contaflex Prima was the first camera I ever bought for myself! My grandpa gave me his Zeiss Contina III with all the interchangeable front lens elements (30mm wide and 75mm tele); when I saw that the Prima took those same front elements I jumped. Haven't used it in years-- just not a reflex guy, but some of those 30 year old negatives print up at 11"x14" beautifully, so I should probably drag it out again. I remember loving the VF, and hating the EV exposure system; as of 1995, the Selenium meter was still accurate. The Prima was a lot more reliable than the Contina III -- difference is btw the Compur shutter on the Prima and the Prontor on the 'tina. IIRC Zeiss actually DID NOT make these interchangeable front element lenses-- Rodenstock did it for them. And they did a bang-up job. The part of grandpa's system I still use is the brightline multi-viewfinder for those Contina lenses-- bright, crisp, parallax corrected and compact.
     
  6. Fotogenic Felix

    Fotogenic Felix Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2019
    Location:
    Shawnee, KS
    Shooter:
    DSLR
    I found a Zeiss Ikon Contaflex S today at an estate sale, and picked it up for a real good price. I have two things I haven't figured out yet. 1st- Where is the battery located, because I need to replace it, and 2nd- How does the lens come off, so I can clean behind it, and change it to the 115mm lens? 4he camera appears to be in wonderful working order (other than the battery), and came with a lot of "extras". It came with the black leather hard case, the 155mm lens, 3 different lens multipliers, shutter cord, flash, and afewvother misc peices. I look forward to using it.
     
  7. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    3,220
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsul
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    From Wiki:
    The Contaflex S was the last variant, introduced in 1968, and was simply a renamed Super BC. It had a black rectangle marked Contaflex S on the front, and a different, newer Zeiss Ikon logo. It proudly sported the word Automatic on the front of the shutter.
    The Super BC and S could take the magazine backs, as well as the usual supplementary lenses.
    Both the Contaflex Super BC and S were sold in chrome or black; they were the only Contaflex models to be produced in black.

    Instruction manuals available here: https://www.butkus.org/chinon/zeiss_ikon.htm
     
  8. Kino

    Kino Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    2,500
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Location:
    Virginia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If it is a Contaflex S, the compartment should be on the front of the camera under a small square on the left side (as you face the front of the camera).

    The lens is released by a lever with a red dot that is at the 6 o'clock position on the face of the shutter. The "normal" lens is very thin; seemingly only an element. This will expose a bayonette mount the aux lenses can mount into.
     
  9. Kodachromeguy

    Kodachromeguy Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    353
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2016
    Location:
    Vicksburg, Mississippi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Interesting discussion. I am not sure if I have ever seen a Super BC in use, at least not in decades in USA. Here is note by a French collector:
    http://www.lumieresenboite.com/collection2.php?l=2&c=zeiss_ikon_contaflex_super_bc

    The Voigtlander Bessamatic looks like it is a similar camera in concept, with a leaf shutter rather than focal plane. But the Bessamatic exchanges the entire lens rather than the front group. I see Bessamatics for sale on ePrey really cheap - wonder if I should try one? I got interested in the Bessamatics after my recent experience with the amazing 50/3.5 Super-Scopar lens on a Vito BL
     
  10. Kino

    Kino Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    2,500
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Location:
    Virginia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If the Contaflex has a reputation for being difficult to repair or service, the Bessamatic is supposedly orders of magnitude WORSE.

    Of course, that's just hearsay; I have never owned a Bessamatic.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies. If you have a Photrio account, please log in (and select 'stay logged in') to prevent recurrence of this notice.