Pre-war Contax III rangefinder camera with Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 5cm f/2.0 lens from 1941!


Vintage German 35mm rangefinder camera – serviced and ready for action!

This product ships from Ukraine with tracking number within 1-2 business days

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Prewar German Contax III rangefinder camera with CZJ Sonnar 1.5/50


This product ships from Ukraine with tracking number within 1-2 business days.



Camera serial number is M30319, lens serial number 2682963, which puts them in 1941.


Camera and lens are in very good to excellent condition.

Minor signs of normal use on the body.
Lens is very good too, might have a few dust particles/wipe marks, but nothing to affect image quality.

Meter works well – see video here.


Went through professional Cleaning Lubricating Adjustment and works like new – very smooth camera to operate!


Comes with original leather case/strap.


f/2.0  5 cm Zeiss Sonnar, iris diaphragm to f/22, Bayonet mount.


Metal vertically running focal-plane, speeds 1/2 – 1/1250, B. 1 second could be obtained by releasing the delayed action with the shutter set to B. The speeds are varied by a combination of changing the slit width and introducing delaying cams and gears.


Leather covered metal body.


36, 24 x 36 mm exposures on 35 mm cine film held in special or standard cassettes. Two cassettes can be used or one with the film being re-wound. Could also be used with Contax Day Light loading spools having paper leaders.


Helical, scale to 3 feet.


Coupled swing-wedge rangefinder. Central double image, gilded surfaces to give colour difference. Direct-vision (lens/lens) view-finder.
Film advance by sprocket wheel. Auto-stop on film advance coupled to shutter. Double and blank exposure prevention. Film advance tensions the shutter.
Uncoupled selenium exposure meter. Calibrated 17 – 35 Sch. Exposure counter.

The Contax II 35mm camera

The Contax II & III were manufactured from 1936-42 as a followup model to the Contax I. The Contax II and III — the III had a light meter on top — were the first cameras to combine the rangefinder and viewfinder into one unit.   The Contax II and III were introduced in response to the Leica rangefinder camera. Because Leica held many design patents, Contax had to re-invent many of its features. The vertically travelling shutter composed of metal one example of this. The advanced features and dependable design of the Contax II quickly made it one of the top choices of journalistic photographers, like Robert Capa.

Contax III appeared slightly later than the II on which it is based and does not appear in the 1936 General Catalogue. The III is essentially a II with the addition of an uncoupled exposure meter and extended re-wind knob which caries the meter controls. It was preceded by the Contaflex in being fitted with a photoelectric exposure meter.

As well a being more expensive than the Leica the Contax was much bigger, heavier and far less easy to use. At £78.5.0 with the f1.5 Sonnar it was an extremely expensive camera.

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