The Zeiss Ikon Contaflex 1
Week 13 already!!! Its flying by! This week, after a few weeks of butchering perfectly good film, I was glad to have something more main stream like the Contaflex. One of the first 35mm SLRs to come on to the market the “1” was released in 1953 until 1958 and this is early as soon after release they changed the aperture scale and this has the early version. Its a nice looking camera with some quirky features I will go into as we go. First job was to get it home and study. I went for the load which is slightly different in that the take up spool is the same as you will find in any 35mm cassette and WILL just fall out as you drop the back off as I found out! I am sure many have been lost but this has its original which is nice. If you are a bulk loader then you can actually just feed into an inverted empty cassette which is kind of cool.
I loaded up the first film, an FP4+ 24 exposure and set about giving it my best over 2 mornings trips to and from work. I tried to cover as much of the range of speeds, B to 500, and aperture, f2.8 to 22, as I could and the weather was favourable. Quirk number 2 is – to see through the huge and bright viewfinder you have to prime the mirror by advancing the winder and cocking the shutter or all you see is black… I like to use the viewer when deciding a shot so a bit of a pain. It also advances counter intuitively but you get used to that. They say it is easy to maintain having one weakness being a sticky aperture iris positioned in the fixed lens which sets and resets on firing. I think this one was just starting to show the signs with a bit of exposure inconsistency and mild corner haloing. So with that in mind and a big week at work with a weather front coming in I didn't bother with a second roll.
I found it nice to use and it sat well around the neck, the front strap loops pulling the camera tight to my chest with no bounce. All the twiddly turny things were sure footed and never gave me cause for concern. Aside from 1 or 2 wobbly exposures it hit my marks so a satisfying week which allowed me to enjoy improving my own skills trouble free.
Hope you enjoy the pics of in and around Plymouth… the arches shots are nice for me as access is usually restricted but someone was slack with the gate. I suspect future development might not give many chances like that again.
Click on the camera to see lots more photos