For a time, I was being a good boy and purchasing camera gear less frequently. Recently, though, I’ve purchased a few vintage cameras–a Busch Pressman 4×5, this Zeiss Ikon Contaflex, and a Canon rangefinder.
I’ve already posted a bit about the Pressman. I was going to wait to post about the Contaflex after I’d developed a roll of film shot through it. But I’ve been busy teaching, and I haven’t yet finished shooting a roll through the Contaflex.
I feel pretty confident, though, that the Contaflex is performing well. The aperture and shutter appear to be working properly, and I can’t think of any obvious reason why it wouldn’t work.
This is a Contaflex II. At the right of the camera (in this image), you can see a little door or flap, which covers a selenium meter. The meter still works, although I haven’t tried to determine whether it’s accurate.
So far, the camera appears to work flawlessly. The controls have a very solid, precise feel. The camera is a fixed-lens single-lens reflex. The viewfinder is bright, and it has a very fine split-ring focusing mechanism. I love split-ring finders: they feel far more precise to me than ground-glass finder.
I’ll try to finish up the roll soon and post some photos taken with the camera–assuming, of course, that all works well.
In the meantime, you may be wondering about the title. For some reason, the name “Contaflex” made me think of “Kokomo”–three-syllable words with the same stress pattern. Both are dactyls (i.e., three syllables, with the first syllable stressed).
For some reason, this similarity (along with the alliteration) brought to mind this great song by Mississippi Fred McDowell:
And, for what it’s worth, I took this photograph with my Samsung NX300, using a Canon FD 50mm lens at f/1.4. I focused on the lettering around the lens itself.