Zeiss Ikon Contaflex IV

I love this old camera.  It brings out the German-American in me.

Thank you to Karen Nakamura of Photoethnography

I learned of this German delight courtesy of Karen Nakamura’s Photoethnography website.  If you like film cameras, especially film cameras, you need to visit the Photoethnography Equipment page.  Very good technical details of this camera are found at Ms. Nakamura’s website at Zeiss Ikon Contaflex IV.

Richard’s Reasons to Purchase a Zeiss Ikon Contaflex IV

Here’s one reason to purchase a 55 year old Zeiss Ikon Contaflex IV camera.  Taken in my back yard in Chicago, IL, USA.


Zeiss Ikon Contaflex, Flowers w Bokeh

Beautiful Bokeh

This camera is why I purchase old film cameras, test them, and show photos to friends.

It’s a beauty.  The light meter still works and yes its uncoupled.  You flip the light meter cover, check your settings, think and adjust aperture/speed, then press the shutter.

And the shutter makes a wonderful sound.  I can easily take photos at 1/30, maybe even 1/15 and have no camera shake.

$12 dollars on eBay for this wondereful camera.  Looks good, feels good when you shoot, still works like it did in 1956 when it was made.

This is why I purchase old cameras, learn how to use them, and shoot film.  Here’s a quirky shot taken during a torrential downpour in my car going northbound on Milwaukee Avenue around 8:15 AM.  It may look underexposed, but it actually is a good photo.  Enjoy.

Zeiss Ikon Contaflex, Underexposed, Gloria on my Dashboard

Gloria the Hippo in a Chicago Rainstorm

Beware of Film Transport Problem (Germans make mistakes)

Many older film cameras present a problem (or two).  That’s just another reason I like film cameras.  I learn their “interface” (I’m a computer guy, kind of) and learn how to use the camera.  Some cameras are easy to learn, some are hard, and some are buggy.

As I recall I had trouble advancing the film on the Zeiss Ikon Contaflex IV.  Silly me, I followed the manual.

A Mr. Butkus has many old, film camera manuals on-line.  Visit the manual he posted at Zeiss Ikon Contaflex IV manual.  As I recall from looking at it, the instructions on page 28 of the manual were wrong.  Wind the film “opposite” the German instructions.  My best advice, what I always do, is take old expired film and run it through the film transport for practice.  (I purchase old expired 35mm film at garage sales just for this purpose.)

If you visit Mr. Butkus’ website enough, make a PayPal payment as your way of saying thank you.  He does good work.

Will you purchase a Zeiss Ikon Contaflex IV ?

Mine cost $12 on eBay.  It was a bargain.  And yet I’ve seen them “sold” on eBay for $40 to $50.  It’s always nice getting a bargain.  This Zeiss Ikon Contaflex deserves another photo.

Zeiss Ikon Contaflex, Flowerpot

This is fun telling stories about my old film cameras.  I hope you’re enjoying the journey.  Tell your friends about what is a film camera and leave a comment if you have time.  Thanks.


Zeiss Ikon Contaflex IV — 4 Comments

  1. i was wondering i just got the CONTAFLEX I film camera, and i was wondering where the battery is place, or if there is even a battery to use :s

    • Veronica,
      Thanks for visiting.
      My Zeiss Ikon Contaflex has no battery. It has a selenium meter that works automatically. But you’re lucky if the meter works after fifty years.
      Search for the name of your camera and the name “Butkus”. Mr. Butkus has manuals for most cameras online.

  2. Hi: My brother just gave me a Contaflex iv that an old guy gave him along with a Contessa rangefinder. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet. It also came with a telephoto and a wide angle lens, manual and filters. I think I will get the camera checked out by my camera repair man in Barrie Ont. These cameras are in mint condition. I can hardly wait to try them. I too am an old camera buff. Thanks for the info.

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