Posts Tagged ‘Carl Zeiss Distagon 2.8 28mm’

A Contax 167MT and a Carl Zeiss Distagon 2.8/28mm in Porto

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019

This time in Porto … some­thing went ter­ribly wrong. Get­ting back my films from the lab, they wrote that some images were under­ex­posed. See­ing the res­ults, around 1/3rd of the frames were near black and I’m still guess­ing what happened.

The Con­tax 167MT with its Carl Zeiss Dis­tagon 2.8/28mm worked quite well with the Kodak Ultramax 400 film and I was really impressed how flaw­less this combo handles, shoot­ing in aper­ture pri­or­ity mode.

On one situ­ation I noticed, that the aper­ture set­ting on the lens and the aper­ture dis­play in the view­find­er did not match. The view­find­er dis­play showed f/4 when f/11 was set on the lens, which res­ults in an under­ex­posed frame, as the cam­era reduces the shut­ter speed to get a prop­er exposure.

I found out that the lens was not locked prop­erly. Seems, as when tak­ing the cam­era out of the bag, I acci­dent­ally hit the lens release but­ton and unlocked the lens. This was a mess, as I did not know how long the lens was unlocked, as I usu­ally do not check the aper­ture in the view­find­er, know­ing what aper­ture I set on the lens.

Well, this might have explained the issue on one film, but I have 1/3 of the frames ruined on both films I made. I’ll shoot anoth­er roll to see if this beha­viour returns when care­fully watch­ing the lens is locked prop­erly. In addi­tion, some of the ‘well exposed’ frames show massive amount of grain, as if the lab has tried to ‘res­cue’ them.

As I made some digit­al frames besides the ana­log ones, the loss is not dis­astrous, but it annoys me that it happened at all, not noti­cing the aper­ture dis­crep­ancy. I was … too care­less this time. Or maybe I was simply too dis­trac­ted by the beauty of that city.


In the mean­time I shot anoth­er role of film in the Con­tax 167 MT with a Carl Zeiss Dis­tagon 2.8/35mm lens attached.
When it came back from the lab, it was dissapointing.
The 36 frame film came back with 17 frames — all more or less heav­ily underexposed.
The lab has tried to res­cue as much as pos­sible dur­ing scan­ning and so there is massive grain visible.
This let’s me assume that in the ori­gin, it was not my fault with a loose lens, but it seems as if the cam­era has some deep­er issues — as also frames were skipped, which might be a hint that the elec­tro­mag­net­ic shut­ter release is no longer work­ing reliable.
So for the moment, the cam­era goes onto the shelf.

Let’s see what comes up from this story when finally post­ing the images made — both ana­log and digital.

In case you’d like to com­ment, it’s appre­ci­ated … and maybe, you want to vis­it my web­site or my flickr page too.

So long … and thanks for all the fish.

Prague w/ a Contax 159MM

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

Spend­ing a day in Decem­ber in Prague, that town fam­ous for its light, its mood and its old archi­tec­ture. This time I choose a Con­tax 159MM to come along with me.

As we only had one day, it felt like speed dat­ing with this town. As it was end of the year, it was ugly cold here. So we decided to vis­it the main attrac­tions like the Hrad­schin with the castle, the cathed­ral, the Golden Alley then down to the Charles Bridge, the old town and then use the rest of the day strolling around and enjoy­ing the atmo­sphere. Cold, sunny and a lot of people around.

Unfor­tu­nately, my Con­tax 159MM seemed to have a light leak … show­ing on all images. Nev­er­the­less, the pic­tures taken have their own charm. I repaired the leak in the mean­time and the cam­era is await­ing its next run. All images can be found in my flickr album.

Do I have some­thing to say about this beau­ti­ful camera?

Well, the whole tech­nic­al stuff can be found on my web­site and numer­ous reviews can be seen on the inter­net — I lis­ted some on my web­site too, so there is no neces­sity to repeat it here.

Indeed … pick­ing up this little gem, it imme­di­ately falls into hand. I have rarely used a cam­era with which I felt so famil­i­ar with from the first con­tact. Com­pared to the older Con­tax 139 Quartz — besides some improved tech­nic­al stuff — it has a slightly pro­trud­ing hand­grip, which simply feels com­fort­able and the meter­ing is activ­ated by half-press­ing the shut­ter but­ton. A ded­ic­ated on/off switch, faster min. shut­ter speed, pro­gram mode (with all Zeiss MM lenses) and a bright, clear and huge view­find­er are some oth­er niceties. Size­wise, it plays in the league of the OM‑1, so you do not need to worry about first book­ing a gym.

My con­clu­sion: The Con­tax 159 MM is one of the best cam­er­as I ever had in my hands. This little gem thrills.

Maybe you’re ask­ing, how I found my way to these Con­tax gems?
There is one, who inspired me with the Con­tax Vir­us — its Dan James with his won­der­ful blog 35hunter. One can find loads of appre­ci­ations for these tech­no­lo­gic­al miracles.

In case you’d like to com­ment, it’s appre­ci­ated … and maybe, you want to vis­it my web­site or my flickr page too.

So long … and thanks for all the fish.