Lomopedia: Zeiss Contax I

The first camera by German camera maker Zeiss Ikon and the first model under the Contax camera brand, the Zeiss Contax I was made to rival the then popular Leica rangefinder cameras. Find out more about this historic snapper in this installment of Lomopedia!

Photo via Vintage Camera Club

Introduced by Zeiss Ikon of Dresden in 1932 and manufactured until 1936, the Contax I or original Contax was a 35mm rangefinder camera designed with the goal of surpassing the then successful Leica II camera in mind. According to Camera Quest, a statement from the 1934 Contax Brochure boasted of the Contax having “an entirely new design,” its “very simple construction is quickly understood whereupon the numerous technical advantages will be found to allow of obtaining unexcelled results under all conditions.”

The original Contax was noticeably different from its rival Leica II, sporting a die-cast alloy body with a vertically travelling metal focal plane shutter, similar to the ones found in Contessa-Nettel cameras. It also had interlocking black-finished brass slats, which were aligned by silk ribbons. Its lens, which was of Contax bayonet mount, was designed by Ludwig Bertele.

Zeiss made sure that their rangefinder camera would outdo Leica’s features; the Contax was made to have a longer rangefinder, a faster top shutter speed of 1/1000, faster handling with a removable back for quicker film loading, and a quick bayonet lens mount rather than a thread mount.

Photos by Rance Gensemer on Flickr

All information for this article were sourced from Wikipedia, Camera Quest, and Pacific Rim Camera.

written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-03-26 in #reviews #lomopedia #zeiss #rangefinder #35mm #rangefinder-camera #contax #contax-i

More Interesting Articles

  • LomoPedia: Zeiss Ikon Contax II

    written by cheeo on 2014-06-23 in #reviews
    LomoPedia: Zeiss Ikon Contax II

    The Zeiss Ikon Contax II was a viable contender for the disputed rangefinder throne to rival Leica cameras. This week, we take a peek into what made the Contax II a favorite amongst many rangefinder enthusiasts during the day.

  • Lomopedia: Icarex 35

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-11 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Icarex 35

    An interesting 35mm SLR camera from the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Icarex 35 was the first model of the Icarex line produced by Zeiss Ikon with another well-known camera maker. Find out which in this installment of Lomopedia!

  • Lomopedia: Yashica FX-1

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-09 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Yashica FX-1

    A 35mm SLR camera offered by Yashica in the mid-1970s, the FX-1 was considered as a transition camera for sharing some features with earlier models and the FR series launched later. Find out more about this simple yet dependable analogue snapper in this installment of Lomopedia!

    1
  • Shop News

    Lubi Scooby Doo! Save 15% on Lomography film in the Bundle with the Lubitel!

    Lubi Scooby Doo! Save 15% on Lomography film in the Bundle with the Lubitel!

    This beautiful camera features such ability to let users choose and switch between 35mm or 120 formats! Shoot more, save more! Get this Lubitel camera and get 15% discounts with Lomography Films!

  • Lomopedia: Minolta XG-E

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-12 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Minolta XG-E

    Another trusty 35mm SLR camera from the late 1970s, the Minolta XG-E was the first model in the XG series produced by Minolta until the early 1980s. Find out more about this analogue beauty in this installment of Lomopedia!

  • Lomopedia: Olympus AZ 300 Super Zoom

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-19 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Olympus AZ 300 Super Zoom

    Another quirky snapper from the age of "bridge" cameras, the AZ 300 Super Zoom has been touted as the model that effectively launched the trend for odd-looking intermediate cameras in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Find out more about this camera in this installment of Lomopedia!

  • Lomopedia: Yashica Samurai X3.0

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-14 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Yashica Samurai X3.0

    Curiously named and designed, the fully automatic Yashica Samurai X3.0 is a 35mm SLR half-frame camera that was launched in the late 1980s. Find out more about this quirky snapper in today's installment of Lomopedia!

    1
  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Lomopedia: Olympus Ecru

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-23 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Olympus Ecru

    Another quirky-looking analogue snapper from the 1990s, the all-automatic, all-white Olympus Ecru is certainly one of the most interesting and compact cameras you can add to your collection. Find out more about it in this installment of Lomopedia!

  • Lomopedia: Ricoh Singlex

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-13 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Ricoh Singlex

    Introduced in 1962, the Singlex was Ricoh's first SLR camera with interchangeable lenses. Interestingly, this analogue beauty happens to have a more popular twin. Find out which in this installment of Lomopedia!

  • Lomopedia: Konica Wai Wai

    written by cheeo on 2014-08-13 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Konica Wai Wai

    Wide-angle shooters will surely like this one. Made to be a disposable camera, the modification-ready Konica Wai Wai has made many film photography enthusiasts swoon with its distinctive wide-angle shooting and remarkable effects. Read on to find out more about this peculiar-looking camera in this installment of Lomopedia.

    2
  • Shop News

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    At 25% off you can take dreamy 35mm images with this little black beauty. Beam coloured light into your shots with its accompanying Diana Flash Back accessory and be the analogue king of the night.

  • Lomopedia: Leica AF-C1

    written by cheeo on 2014-07-30 in #reviews

    Leica is known for its ingenuity and craftsmanship as a camera manufacturer. Let's take a closer look at its first autofocus camera, the Leica AF-C1, in this installment of Lomopedia.

  • Lomopedia: Dacora Digna

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-16 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Dacora Digna

    A simple yet elegant looking camera, the Dacora Digna was a medium format camera from the 1950s that was offered with various lenses and leaf shutters. Find out more about this vintage beauty in this installment of Lomopedia!

  • Lomopedia: Agat 18/18K

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-21 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Agat 18/18K

    Loved by lofi-fans for its very compact size, the Agat 18/18K is a 35mm half-frame camera produced in Belarus beginning in the late 1980s. Find out more about this curious-looking Soviet compact snaper in this installment of Lomopedia!

    3