Vintage camera DIY part 2: Reskin for Contax 137 MA Quartz

This is my second try at some cosmetic DIY. The first for a Nikon FE was a success.

This time around we are looking at the Contax 137 MA Quartz. Great camera, but one downside is the well-known issue of disintegrating leather.

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One solution is to simply remove the skin. Looks great, but renders the camera a bit slippery.

Solution? Ordered a black lizard print skin for $18 shipping included. Ordered one got two.

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While tempted by the free cowhide skin I stuck with the black lizard print. The 137 MA instructions were missing from the 137 page, but I was able to find the 137 instructions on the 139 page. Steps below are based on those instructions.

Screwdriver for tucking the skin under the film memo holder.

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Alcohol. Brushes. Pack of 30 was 97 cents.

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Now I must come up with some manner of project to make use of the remaining 28. Needed one, used two. One for the alcohol to slow the adhesive while you are placing it (check the instructions).

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Found the rubber cement brush a little bit too large so I used another…

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…to apply the rubber cement to the edges as instructed.

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Result? Success.

Count me as a fan of this product. While I have seen videos that show how to make your own cover from scratch I would gladly pay $18 again to save the trouble if available.

Happy shooting.

-ELW

This Old Camera: Contax (Yashica) 137 MA Quartz + Zeiss Planar 50mm f/1.7

May regret this later, but I am calling it early. Have yet to even get through my first roll of film, but I am calling the Contax 137 MA Quartz as my favorite SLR of all time at any price… And I have and have had quite a few SLRs. And this is one of the least expensive SLRs I have purchased. Does not matter. Why?

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First off that name.

Continue reading This Old Camera: Contax (Yashica) 137 MA Quartz + Zeiss Planar 50mm f/1.7

When not awful is a high compliment: Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS

What are you looking to get out of your next lens?

Me? I wanted a superzoom. Why? After a few times carrying around two camera bodies with two zooms to cover near anything that came my way that got old really quickly.

What to do? Superzoom! One huge problem. From everything I have read superzooms are usually awful or mediocre at best optically… and big and heavy… …and typically expensive. That is not a good combination. But I really wanted some of that one lens does all action. Continue reading When not awful is a high compliment: Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS

Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 65mm f/2: Loved the lens, but was displaced by another before the review was done

What a name. What a lens.

This lens was a weird find. Had not heard of it online. Had not seen any press releases. Had not seen any reviews. Never heard of it. This was found by the power of the local camera shop. It sat there under glass staring at me every time I stopped through until one day I threw it on my camera. This happened. Continue reading Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 65mm f/2: Loved the lens, but was displaced by another before the review was done

This Old Camera: Voigtlander Bessa R2

If you want a Leica and you have the disposable income required to inhabit Leica town my advice is to get a Leica.

If you want a Leica and have full-blown metered red dot fever, but do not have the disposable income required currently do not buy anything else because you will eventually sell it, potentially at a loss, in order to finance a Leica. If you do not mind the maligned aesthetics of the internally metered M5 that is an option. An older body like an M3 may do the trick for you. Not bad a tall with a Leicameter atop. Pricey for the vintage, but waaay less than an M6. And, unlike non-Leicas, it will hold it’s value or even appreciate when you do flip it for an M6 or the like.

There are technically other options also if you wish to consider them. Zeiss, Leitz/Minolta collab, so on and so forth are all fine cameras. But some of those can get pricey quickly as well. They may be right up your alley if you have a bit of a contrarian bent. But if you are determined to get a Leica they may get flipped later as well.

Continue reading This Old Camera: Voigtlander Bessa R2

This old camera: Petri 7S. From “Ha!, like the dish?” to “Why have I never heard of this camera before?” in one day.

Started out innocently enough looking through posts on a Film GAS Facebook page (Disclaimer: Click at your own risk. I am in no way responsible for any purchases made as a result.) Came across a post on the Petri 7S. Thrown by the brand name at first and moved on. Next day I searched Flickr for some samples that impressed me. Once I realized how cheap these cameras are I picked one up from KEH.com for $23. Here are my thoughts, cons first. Continue reading This old camera: Petri 7S. From “Ha!, like the dish?” to “Why have I never heard of this camera before?” in one day.

If photography needs to make sense you might not be doing it right.