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Using Contax IIA with 135 lens?
Old 06-22-2018   #1
contaxNewb
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Using Contax IIA with 135 lens?

All right, it's me, the Contax Newbie again, happy that as I wait for my II to be repaired, I happened upon a really nice, perfectly functioning IIA that came with a 135mm lens. For my first roll, I am testing it with the lens from my II, but I'd love to experiment at the same time with the 135. I've been searching online for any sort of guidance on focusing/using the 135, but wondering if I need an attachment viewfinder as I am reading? Or any reliable way to focus/use the camera in the meantime without it?

Thanks!

And by the way, love the feel of this IIA, so smooth!
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Old 06-22-2018   #2
Bill Jones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by contaxNewb View Post
All right, it's me, the Contax Newbie again, happy that as I wait for my II to be repaired, I happened upon a really nice, perfectly functioning IIA that came with a 135mm lens. For my first roll, I am testing it with the lens from my II, but I'd love to experiment at the same time with the 135. I've been searching online for any sort of guidance on focusing/using the 135, but wondering if I need an attachment viewfinder as I am reading? Or any reliable way to focus/use the camera in the meantime without it?

Thanks!

And by the way, love the feel of this IIA, so smooth!
Newb,

The rangefinder patch will give you an approximation for the field of view of the 135mm lens. In the IIa it is slightly smaller than the actual image but can be used when no finder is available. I did this 50+ years ago with my 1st 135mm Sonnar.

Bill Jones
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Old 06-22-2018   #3
Hatchetman
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It focuses through the camera regardless if you have an auxiliary viewfinder. You can do that. As Bill notes, the little focusing area (patch) is roughly the size of the 135mm frame. Not ideal. I bought one of those turret viewfinders but that is tiny also. Ideally would buy a dedicated magnified viewfinder but those seem to cost a fortune.
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Old 06-22-2018   #4
Robert Lai
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The rangefinder baselength is long enough for accurate focusing. The off to the side viewfinder window is inadequate for framing, even if you use the RF patch. You will be well off with a 135mm lens dedicated viewfinder. Canon and Nikon ones have given a good approximation of the field of view, and magnify the image also. They have parallax correction. I don't find the Leica frame line finders accurate - even on a Leica LTM camera.
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Old 06-22-2018   #5
farlymac
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Zeiss made a combination 85-135mm finder some folks like to call a torpedo because of it's physical shape. The model number is 438. What's good is you only need one finder for tele or portrait work, if you get the 85mm lens to complete the outfit.


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Old 06-23-2018   #6
David Hughes
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Hi,

Zeiss also made a universal viewfinder with parallax adjustment for the range of lenses between the 35 and the 180mm Sonnar but that was pre-war and I doubt if you'd find a working one at a price such that you'd take it out of the safe without worrying. It was part no. 436/4.

Later on KMZ made a version of it that only covered to 135mm but was still adjustable for parallax. A lot of us use that on the Contax, Kiev and even Leicas.

There are a lot of books etc about the Contax available (depending on how deep your pockets are). In your shoes I'd look for one of the Focal Guides, where you'll find all the answers and more. The ones I have cover the range from 1932 to the late 50's.

Regards, David


PS Deep pockets and a lot of patience are an essential accessory with both Contaxes and Leicas.

Last edited by David Hughes : 06-23-2018 at 00:30. Reason: Editted for double LFCR's...
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Old 06-23-2018   #7
contaxNewb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
Zeiss made a combination 85-135mm finder some folks like to call a torpedo because of it's physical shape. The model number is 438. What's good is you only need one finder for tele or portrait work, if you get the 85mm lens to complete the outfit.


PF

Awesome, thank you! Mission accomplished!! Wish me luck!
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