Wanted to like this camera. Has some definite perks. As suggested to me by an Instagram acquaintance it has a fantastic viewfinder. But I did not warm up to it at all for some reason. Maybe because it was too normal?
Most likely it is because infinity did not line up when using the Industar 50 it came with. Perhaps because the eveready case flops about on the bottom owing to the non-flush tripod mount. Looks good, but not as tidy and as one of a piece like the wonderfully snug FED 2 and Industar 10 in their case. That set up’s feel and performance belies its frugal pricing.
But one area where this camera does not fall short is the images it creates. Focus was fine even with infinity not aligning properly. Colors were just fine. Easy to set. And… Still did not like the camera. Ok. Enough of that. Pictures. Happy shooting.
This post is all out of order, but I am impressed by a peculiar piece of hardware I picked up recently. More specifically a peculiar piece of camera hardware for a peculiar camera. The camera in question? The (deep breath) Zeiss Ikon Contaflex II.
A camera that I had no idea ever existed not that long ago. Stunning fixed lens SLR camera released in 1954 that is magnificent in its own right and I intend to write a full post on it for KEH.com soon. The hardware? The (deep breath) Zeiss Ikon Teleskop 1.7x Adapter made just for this camera and its predecessor, the non-light metered Contaflex. Pictures cannot possibly do the build quality and feel in hand justice on both pieces. Just what you would expect from German engineering and manufacture. And beautiful. If a fine vintage watch could morph into a camera this would be the result.
What is more amazing is that both the camera and the teleskop adapter each cost less than $60 each. Both a screaming bargain by any measure.
In this humble Industrial Engineer’s opinion, this may be the most beautiful piece of camera equipment I own. And I own some beauties. Add to that the fact that this camera has a feel in hand that no other camera I have owned or held can match… Ok. Enough about the camera. The camera itself provides remarkable IQ (duh, Zeiss) so I was curious whether or not the adapter would add or detract from the experience.
This adapter makes an already amazing looking camera even more amazing looking.
Amazingly this 2 piece (slide on bracket and screw on lens) feels like all of one when mounted on to the camera. No wiggles. No flexing. No sliding. It even feels a bit more balanced since the built in lens sits so flush on the front of the camera.
Set the built in lens to infinity. Slide on the bracket. Screw in the lens. Focus now moved to the easier to find by feel focus ring on the adapter and shutter speed and aperture control on the front of the camera is retained.
Add step of depressing release button at the bottom of the bracket and then simply reverse the steps above.
Just like normal and even the exposure needs no adjustments as it is compensated for with the lens design. Now instead of a 45mm f/2.8 you have a 76.5mm f/2.8.
The native lens is nothing short of amazing and after getting the first test roll back the adapter only enhances the flexibility of an already stellar lens with only a slight drop in sharpness. There is even an interesting almost Helios 44-2 swirliness to the bokeh under certain conditions.
I close here. Here is an online gallery for this adapter and below are samples from the first roll.
First test roll through a recently acquired $15 Zenit E that I unwittingly tried to destroy by attaching a Takumar M42 screw mount to it (Do not ever do this as it quickly jammed itself on the body. There is a pin on the lens that will jam in one of the screw-heads on the face of the Zenit’s mount.) followed by a camera store fix visit with no change followed by my own brief berserker episode w/ a .009 feeler gauge that managed to save camera and lens.
Now matched w/ the intended era correct favorite lens of mine, the Helios 44 2. Continue reading “Scanner files: First Roll Through the Russian Tank Zenit E w/ Kodak Gold 200”
There will be more written about these cameras. Not sure if it will be here or as a contributing writer at KEH Camera’s blog. But there will be much more written about the Contax G1. Why? On a high-level it is so good that…
- I am already on film roll 4 in a weeks time.
- I have not used any digital gear since I received it.
- It prompted me to do something I had no intention of doing. Getting a G2.
Continue reading “Scanner files: Contax G1.. and G2 too.”
My first post with this camera had a preamble if you are so inclined. Suffice it to say the fact that I have already run 4 rolls through this camera and I am currently working on the 5th I really, really like this camera. Not only has this camera cut into my analog time with other film cameras it has also greatly reduced digital saddle time as well. Currently I am using this for day to day and digital for jobs and personal projects. It is that consistent. It is that good.
Continue reading “Scanner Files: Rolls 3 and 4 through the Canon Canonet QL17 GIII w/ Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400”
Usually I plow straight through to showing the scans, but with this camera I must pause for a moment.
The Canon Canonet QL17 GIII is nearly the perfect all around film camera for me. I found it searching broadly for a 35mm rangefinder on KEH. Why? Dunno. Decided I needed one. A more detailed post is due here or at KEH but, in short, it is a nice mix of all the best virtues of my favorite 35mm film cameras. Have also seen it called a “Poor Person’s Leica”. Nah. I would dub it a VW. Since childhood I really like Audis, but by the time I started earning Audi money I could not justify the added expense over the same manufacturer family, top end VW Passat (currently on my 3rd Passat, 4th VW w/ no Audi in sight). Do the top tier Audis have more power, name cred, and features? Of course. Yes. Will those added features add enough to my ownership experience to warrant the added cost in day to day use? No. In both cases if I could bring myself to ignore the mathematical improbability involved to play the lottery and won would I snatch up an Audi or Leica? Perhaps. But back here in reality land the Canonet and VW Passat will do just fine thank you.
Anyhoo. I digress. Wonderful camera that creates wonderful images.
Ongoing gallery here and samples after the jump.
Continue reading “Scanner Files: My first 2 rolls through the Canon Canonet QL17 (quite the name, huh) GIII w/ Fujifilm 200”