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A curious "Contax-II" in auction
Old 03-08-2018   #1
Elmar Lang
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A curious "Contax-II" in auction

Hello,

on the coming Saturday, Westlicht (Vienna), will take its usual, beautiful auction of vintage and historical cameras.

Looking at the pages with the RF Contax cameras, I've noticed lot no. 309, titled as "Contax II special", with the following description:

"Unengraved body, no serial number on shoe or inside, in very good condition, late winding knob, sync post on front, with uncoated Sonnar 2/5cm no.2273209, possibly made for field testing purposes without revealing the brand name".

Where "unengraved" means no "Contax" logo, or serial number on the accessory-shoe.

The position of the flash synch, made me more curious, so I've better checked the fine pictures completing the description: the removable back, immediately reveals that it's the one of a Kiev-4/4A.
More, the rewind-knob, although being a Contax-type one, is fixed with a screw not consistent with those used on a Contax; the focusing-wheel, is of Kiev-type and the leather cover, is typical of the Kievs made in the late 60s.

Here: http://www.auction2000.se/auk/w.Mega...inO=309&inSO=1 the pictures can be seen.

In other words, I think that this camera is a "No-Name Kiev", possibly "upgraded" with an unnumbered, Contax accessory shoe, a Contax, rewind knob and an uncoated, collapsible Zeiss Jena Sonnar 50/2; all easy to cannibalize from a unrepairable Contax-II.

I am surprised, because Westlicht's descriptions are usually very well, and accurately done.

This is why I'd be glad to read the opinion of the Contax-experts in this room.

Best wishes,

E.L.
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Old 03-08-2018   #2
xayraa33
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Flash sync contact is a dead give-away that the camera is a Kiev.

Would not a real Contax II have a logo embossed on the back door leather ?
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Old 03-08-2018   #3
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The focus wheel is another clue
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Old 03-08-2018   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
(...)Would not a real Contax II have a logo embossed on the back door leather ?
Perhaps another thing that persuaded the author of the catalogue description, to write: " (...)possibly made for field testing purposes without revealing the brand name." ...
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Old 03-08-2018   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmar Lang View Post
Perhaps another thing that persuaded the author of the catalogue description, to write: " (...)possibly made for field testing purposes without revealing the brand name." ...
But it's still listed as a Contax II. I'd say Westlicht has some further evidence to provide that this is a Contax.
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Old 03-08-2018   #6
Sumarongi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoNickon View Post
But it's still listed as a Contax II. I'd say Westlicht has some further evidence to provide that this is a Contax.
*If you have any questions regarding a particular lot, please contact us*, they write:
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Bei Fragen zu einzelnen Losen, können Sie uns jederzeit kontaktieren.
Wir helfen auch gerne, Ihre Gebote zu registrieren.

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Old 03-08-2018   #7
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Contact 'em.
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Old 03-09-2018   #8
Elmar Lang
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I will contact them.

They usually reply with excellent information and detail.
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Old 03-09-2018   #9
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Yeah, they would probably appreciate the concerns you present. An auction house relies on reputation.
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Old 03-09-2018   #10
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Except Catawiki, they don't care as long as they make money from both the seller and the buyer...
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Old 03-09-2018   #11
Elmar Lang
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Well, they're humans, so mistakes can occur...

by the way, if an auction house intentionally writes incorrect descriptions (and this isn't the case), only to improve their income from the sellers' and buyers' commissions, such a firm, won't last long.

P.S.: I've never checked Catawiki sales: how are they, regarding quality, accuracy etc.?
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Old 03-09-2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmar Lang View Post
Perhaps another thing that persuaded the author of the catalogue description, to write: " (...)possibly made for field testing purposes without revealing the brand name." ...
That sounds more like a cop-out on their part, to absolve them from the possibility that the camera is intentionally mis-described.

I would expect a bit better product research from a hoity-toity auction house of renown. And that is an easy thing to do in the age of the internet and google, not 100% accurate, yes I agree, but better than a thinly disguised Caveat emptor to protect their posterior.

Many collectors ( and that is who this camera is aimed at) are fully aware of the No Name Kiev from around 1963, sold with the f2 Zeiss Jena Sonnar and also aware about the few rare and desirable and labelled post-war Dresden made Contax II .
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Old 03-09-2018   #13
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That's one of the famous "No name Contax" which used to be sold with a Zeiss-Opton Sonnar in 1963-1964. Those were "no name Kiev 4A" actually.

Here the accessory shoe has no serial number, so it can come from a Contax body. It also can be a blank Kiev part.

Otherwise, this is a Kiev 4A from the 1960 era with, here, a genuine prewar collapsible uncoated Sonnar. It's worth $25 for the body and $90 for the lens if all the lens elements are genuine Zeiss ones with a perfect, unscratched front element.

Read this (scroll down the article chapters) :

http://www3.telus.net/public/rpnchbck/zconrfKiev.htm
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Old 03-09-2018   #14
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The bottom plate is a Kiev giveaway too.
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Old 03-09-2018   #15
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I see that all comments, perfectly coincide with my own observations, written in my opening post.

Due to the very good reputation of Westlicht, I am sure that it was just a human mistake. I haven't seen any other problem, reading the catalogue.

Best wishes,

E.L.
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Old 03-09-2018   #16
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That level of ignorance is pretty shocking.
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Old 03-10-2018   #17
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Sold for 2.000,- Euro, plus buyer's commission.
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Old 03-10-2018   #18
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wow...........
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Old 03-10-2018   #19
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ROFL...


"The message you have entered is too short. Please lengthen your message to at least 10 characters. OK"
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Old 03-10-2018   #20
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There is one idiot waking up on every morning.
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Old 03-10-2018   #21
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No-name Kievs are not cheap, but not that expensive.
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Old 03-10-2018   #22
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I'll close my 1947 Kiev in a bank vault...
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Old 03-10-2018   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukecoke View Post
No-name Kievs are not cheap, but not that expensive.
That one is.
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Old 03-12-2018   #24
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Reaching this hammer price, means that there should have been two bidders at least...
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