February 09



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 Contax IIIA




There is nothing like the feel of a 1930's German camera and lenses.  Early screw mount Leicas dominate the market and can be really expensive in good condition.  However, there is still a good supply of Zeiss Contax camera and lenses available in the used market and are substantially less expensive.


Above is a later model Contax IIIA with Tessar 28mm F8, Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm F1.5, CZJ 85mm F2.0, and CZJ 135 F4.0.  The above equipment is not in very good condition but it sure looks and feels nice.  The camera shutter emits the sound of pure mechanical precision.  Nice. 


While some owners of modern digital SLRs complain about the weight of their equipment, the old Zeiss equipment is made from steel and leaded glass and is surprisingly heavy for its relatively small size. 


I do not normally shoot still subjects but I couldn't think of a better opportunity.  The body and lenses were placed on a foldout Sharpics background and lit with a single 30" soft box containing 4 120 watt CFLs producing the equivalent of over 1,000 watts of soft light.  Very smooth, very simple.