Fandom

Camerapedia Wiki

Contax rangefinder lenses

5,979pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk1 Share

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.

The Zeiss Ikon Contax I introduced a new lens mount in 1932, today known as Contax rangefinder mount. The Contax II and III used the same mount, as well as the postwar Contax IIa and Contax IIIa models.

This mount was also used by the Kiev followers of the Contax, from the first models to the Kiev 5.

Nikon copied the mount for their own rangefinder cameras just after the war but, being this a voluntary difference or a simple mistake, their lens mount is slightly different and only the wide angle lenses are interchangeable, the standard and tele lenses having a wrong focus coupling. See Nikon rangefinder lenses.

This mount is in fact the combination of two bayonets. There is a focusing helical built in the body and the standard lenses mount directly in that focusing ramp via an internal bayonet. So the standard lenses have no focusing ring of their own. The other lenses mount on an external bayonet and have their own focusing ring, only the rangefinder coupling is done via the body's focusing ramp.

Quite surprisingly, the new Voigtländer company, owned by Cosina, also launched a new rangefinder body in 2002 using the Contax RF mount, called the Bessa R2C, together with a range of lenses in Nikon RF mount. The wide angle lenses are marked SC (for Nikon S and Contax), and can be mounted on a Contax body.

This mount should not be confused with the lens mount of the Contax G, see Contax G lenses.

Zeiss lenses Edit

Contax IIIa 19
Contax IIIa 16

Carl Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f/2 (pre-WW2 model) on Contax IIIa (1956)

Carl Zeiss Jena Edit

All are marked Carl Zeiss Jena.

Black and nickel lenses, at the time of the Contax I:

  • Tessar 2.8cm f:8 (uncoupled to the rangefinder)
  • Biotar 4cm f:2
  • Sonnar 5cm f:1.5 (rigid)
  • Sonnar 5cm f:2 (rigid)
  • Tessar 5cm f:2.8 (collapsible)
  • Tessar 5cm f:3.5 (collapsible)
  • Sonnar 8.5cm f:2
  • Triotar 8.5cm f:4
  • Sonnar 13.5cm f:4
  • Tele-Tessar K 18cm f:6.3
  • Tele-Tessar K 30cm f:8 (direct mount, rare)
  • Fernobjektiv 50cm F:8, (only direct mount, rare)

Chrome models, at the time of the Contax II and III:

  • Tessar 2.8cm f:8 (uncoupled to the rangefinder)
  • Biogon 3.5cm f:2.8 (large rear element, does not mount on Contax IIa or IIIa)
  • Herar 3.5cm f:3.5 (rare)
  • Orthometar 3.5cm f:4.5 (uncommon)
  • Biotar 4cm f:2 and 4 1/4cm f:2 (rare)
  • Sonnar 5cm f:1.5 (rigid)
  • Sonnar 5cm f:2 (collapsible or rigid (rare))
  • Tessar 5cm f:2.8 (collapsible)
  • Tessar 5cm f:3.5 (collapsible or rigid)
  • Sonnar 8.5cm f:2
  • Triotar 8.5cm f:4
  • Sonnar 13.5cm f:4
  • Tele-Tessar K 18cm f:6.3
  • Tele-Tessar K 30cm f:8 Flektoskop mount, (rare)
  • Sonnar 18cm f:2.8, first direct mount (rare), then in Flektoskop mount
  • Sonnar 30cm f:4 in Flektoskop mount (rare)
  • Fernobjektiv 50cm F:8, first direct mount (rare), then Flektoskop mount (rare)

After the war, the Eastern part of Carl Zeiss continued to produce lenses for the Contax, mostly alloy versions:

  • Topogon 2,5cm f:4 (rare)
  • Biogon 3,5cm f:2.8 (large rear element, does not mount on Contax IIa or IIIa)
  • Biometar 3,5cm f:2.8 (rare)
  • Sonnar 5cm f:1.5 (rigid)
  • Sonnar 5cm f:2 (rigid)
  • Tessar 5cm f:3.5 (rigid)
  • Biotar 7,5cm f:1.5 (rare)
  • Sonnar 8,5cm f:2
  • Triotar 8,5cm f:4
  • Triotar 13,5cm f:4 (rare, usually for M42 or Exakta mount)
  • Sonnar 13,5cm f:4
  • Sonnar 18cm f:2.8, first Flektoskop mount, then Flektometer mount
  • Sonnar 30cm f:4, first in Flektoskop mount, then Flektometer mount
  • Fernobjektiv 50cm f:8, only Flektometer mount


Experimental lenses for Contax included:

  • Sphaerogon 1.9cm f:8, 50 ex. made in 1936, two examples survived so far, both located in Sweden
  • Perimetar 2.5cm f:6.3, 50 ex. made in 1936, one example survived so far, located in Sweden
  • Topogon 2.5cm f:4.5, 50 ex. made in 1936, several examples survived so far
  • Goerz-Dagor 2.5cm f:9, made in 1932, in Contax mount, one example survived so far, located in Sweden
  • Hypergon 2.5cm f:8, made in 1940
  • Hypergon 3.75cm f:5.6, made in 1940

Carl Zeiss Oberkochen Edit

All are chrome models, produced after the war by the Western part of Carl Zeiss. Earlier ones are marked Zeiss Opton, later on marked Carl Zeiss.

  • Biogon 21mm f:4.5
  • Biogon 35mm f:2.8 (shorter rear element, mounts on all Contax types)
  • Planar 35mm f:3.5 (rather rare)
  • Sonnar 50mm f:1.5 (rigid)
  • Sonnar 50mm f:2 (rigid)
  • Tessar 50mm f:3.5 (rigid)
  • Tessar 50mm f:3.5 macro lens
  • Sonnar 85mm f:2
  • Tessar 115mm f:3.5, black finish, to use with the Panflex reflex housing and bellows
  • Sonnar 135mm f:4

The Panflex reflex housing was released in 1951.

Other lenses Edit

Various Japanese wide-angle lenses primarily made for the Nikon rangefinder models are perfectly compatible on the Contax cameras; these are not necessarily listed here (see Nikon rangefinder lenses).

Angénieux Edit

  • 35/2.5 retrofocus, black and chrome
  • 50/1.8 S1, black
  • 35/3.5 X1, black and chrome
  • 90/2.5 Y1, black and chrome

Berthiot Edit

  • Angulor 28/4.5, chrome (Westlicht Auction #9, 20 May 2006, marked R.LEMASSON ing Paris on the barrel)
  • Olor 38/5.7, chrome
  • Flor 75/2.8, chrome
  • Flor 90/3.5, chrome
  • Tele 145/4.5
  • Flor 200/4.5, with mirror reflex box

Roger Lemasson appeared to have been an engineer who adapted mainly Berthiot lenses for Contax (he also adapted the same lenses for Leica). Lemasson was mostly active from 1948-1952.

Canon Edit

Canon made one lens in Contax rangefinder mount: a 28mm f:3.5 marked CT for Contax.

Goerz Edit

  • Dogmar 18cm f:4.5, rangefinder coupled, all chrome barrel, looking original (seen at eBay, s/n 467263, unsure if Contax or Nikon mount, Contax probable)  
  • Note: Goerz was a part of Zeiss Ikon prior to the making of Contax cameras.  Their lenses were made by and marked Carl Zeiss after 1926.  This,lens would have been an old lens privately modified to Contax mount.

Kiev Edit

All the lenses made by Kiev for their own rangefinder bodies were fully compatible with the Contax mount.

  • 28/6 Orion-15, also in prototype form with GOI markings, rangefinder uncoupled
  • 50/2 Jupiter-8 (Sonnar optical scheme)
  • 50/2 Jupiter-8M (Sonnar optical scheme with click stops)
  • 50/1.5 Jupiter-3 (Sonnar optical scheme)
  • 35/2.8 Jupiter-12, non-retrofocus wideangle lens (Biogon optical scheme, in two versions: black and chrome finish does not fit Contax IIa or Contax IIIa)
  • 85/2 Jupiter 9 (Sonnar optical scheme)
  • 135/4 Jupiter 11 (Sonnar optical scheme)
  • 53/1.8 Helios-103
  • Note: the lenses showing a Zeiss optical scheme were actually Zeiss designs given to the Soviets as part of the WW2 war reparations and originally were made in plants set-up by Zeiss technicans.  The same is true of Kiev cameras.  They were Contaxes made in Kiev.

Sankyō Kōki / Komura Edit

  • 80/1.8, black with wide chrome stripes (seen at eBay, unsure if Contax or Nikon mount)
  • 135/ 3.5, black with wide chrome stripes (seen at eBay)

Hugo Meyer & Co, Görlitz Edit

  • 5cm f:1.5 Kino Plasmat (rare)
  • 5cm f:1.9 Primoplan, chrome (see this page at Syarakuse)
  • 10.5cm f:2.8 Trioplan (rare)

Nikon Edit

Nikon also made some of their rangefinder lenses in Contax mount. They are marked with a C on the barrel, that has nothing to see with the red C on the front ring of the coated lenses.

  • 135/3.5 Nikkor-Q C, all chrome
  • 10.5cm /2.5 Nikkor-S C black and chrome
  • 8.5cm/2.0 Nikkor-S C black and chrome

Old Delft Edit

A 400mm mirror lens by Old Delft is known to exist in Contax mount (see this page at Syarakuse), it is unclear if the aperture is f/5 or f:5.6.

An Old Delft Delca 50cm/6.3 mirror lens, s/n TD50, with built-in reflex finder, at Westlicht Auction #9, 20 May 2006.

Recently, a Fototel (same look, but not called Delca!) 45cm/5.6 lens with Contax mount was sold on Ebay (Sept. 2007). This one possibly corresponds to the lens from the "Syarakuse" site.

Ross Edit

  • 3 1/2 " f:3.5 or 89mm f:3.5 Definex, black and chrome or all black, mount made by Stewartry

Schneider-Kreuznach Edit

  • 5cm f 1:2.3 Xenon, aluminium-made, in collapsible mount like pre-war 5cm Sonnar
  • 13.5cm f 1:4.5 Xenar, non-coupled, heavy lens
  • 13.5cm f:3.5 Xenar, coupled, heavy lens

Steinheil Edit

  • 135mm f:4.5 Triplar made by Steinheil in München (Germany), rare

Tanaka Edit

See the main article on Tanar lenses.

  • W Tanar 35mm f/2.8, black and chrome, external finder (primarily for Nikon, but perfectly fits the Contax)
  • Tele-Tanar 13.5cm f/3.5, black and chrome, external finder (also made in Nikon mount; the Contax edition has a small C at the rear end)

Voigtländer Edit

Voigtländer made the Nokton 50mm f:1.5 lens of the Prominent in Contax mount (see this page at Syarakuse), Leica screw mount and Rectaflex mount. The Contax version is said to be the rarest. Beware of fakes made with a Kiev lens mount; most of these come from a seller in Warsaw (Poland) and are occasionally offered on eBay.

More recently, Cosina released a range of Voigtländer-brand lenses in Nikon RF mount. The wide angles can be focused on a Contax body. See Nikon rangefinder lenses.

Zunow Edit

  • 50/1.1, chrome (Westlicht Auction #9, 20 May 2006, s/n 6073, also seen at eBay, s/n 5477)

Reflex housings Edit

In addition to the original Zeiss Ikon Flektoskop and Panflex models, a few third party reflex housings were made in Contax mount, such as the Mirax-B by Orion Seiki and later Miranda Camera. Novoflex also made a reflex housing for Contax.

The reflex housings made in Nikon mount should be compatible with the Contax bodies too, notably the original Nippon Kōgaku models.

Links Edit

In English:

In Japanese:

  • The Syarakuse website (with English titles to navigate)<object type="cosymantecnisbfw" cotype="cs" id="SILOBFWOBJECTID" style="width: 0px; height: 0px; display: block;"></object>

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki