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Zeiss Ikon Contaflex II (862/24)
France Version française
Photos by Sylvain Halgand text by Sylvain Halgand. From the collection of Sylvain Halgand. Last update 2016-03-27 par Sylvain Halgand.

Manufactured or assembled in Germany from 1954 to 1959.
Index of rarity in France: Infrequent (among non-specialized garage sales)
Inventory number: 58

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Traduction de Sylvain Halgand.

Here what wrote Photo-Revue, at the time of the launch of Contaflex in 1954 :

“SLR camera with central shutter

We know that there was during the pre-war period a Contaflex camera, which was Reflex with two lenses, of format 24 x36, being able to receive interchangeable lenses. This made necessary a system of reduction ensuring the exactitude of the focusing for all the focal distances. Framwork marked on frosted glass delimited the field for these various lenses. This camera of complex mechanism, relatively heavy and bulky, had not met a great success near the amateurs and its construction was not taken again after the war. Today, we see appearing built by Zeiss Ikon AG, of Stuttgart, a new model taken this same name of Contaflex, although not having more any relationship with the model of pre-war period.
Current Contaflex is a SLR camera with image rectified by prism in top. The characteristic of this camera is to be provided with a central shutter.
Generally, the SLR cameras are equipped with a film gate shutter , this one having the advantage of preventing the passage of the light when the lenses are interchanged. Let us recall that one of the great advantages of the SLR cameras is to be able to receive lenses of varied focal distances, the identity of the image formed on the frosted one with that formed on significant surface being rigorously assured. But, in addition, the central shutter present of the facilities of synchronization with the electronic devices, facilitated that has only to a small extent, the focal shutter. If in a SLR camera we use a central shutter of normal manufacture, it is necessary for the time of center the image, to put the shutter at the exposure in two times, to open this shutter, then after framing and focusing, to close again it to let pull up the mirror, wind and start all operations which are too much long and complicated and are likely to involve errors. However, very recently special shutters for reflex cameras were built, which are normally open, are closed again at the time of pressing the shutter release and reopen themselves again when the pressure keeping on the button of the shutter release . A model of these shutters was built by Gauthie AG under the name of Prontor Reflex, another by the manufacturer of Compur.

As SLR cameras using the shutters of this type, we know Mecaflex of format 24 X 24, which left made of prototype and will undoubtedly be soon deliverable commercially and recently Contaflex of format 24 X 36. By operating the film advance knob, this one advances of a division, mark a point moreover with the counter, a mask protecting film is set up and the mirror goes down in position from viewfinding. If now we press on the shutter release, the shutter is closed again, the diaphragm returns to the aperture chosen, the mirror goes up at the same time as the mask of film. The shutter is then started.
The lens is a Tessar Opton 1:2,8 of focal distance 45 mm, manufactured in Wurtemberg. We do not think that the camera can receive interchangeable lenses. “

It is the advertisement of the launch of Contaflex I. Contaflex II will launch in 1954, while having in addition to I, a built-in cell. Contaflex III (1957) will be with interchangeable lenses.

Zeiss Ikon Contaflex II