Used Contarex Bullseye


Condition: Excellent Condition


Out of stock

Product Description

The Contarex[1] is a 35mm SLR camera presented in 1958 scheduled for delivery in the spring of 1959, but it was not made generally available until March 1960. It is popularly known as the Contarex I, the Bullseye or the Cyclops,[2] It was Zeiss Ikon’s contribution to professional photography, designed to handle any photographic task whatsoever. It is quite heavy, 910 g without lens, and beautifully made.

The camera body is complex, comprising some 1100 parts, with seven principal alloy pressure castings and additional stamped cover plates to complete the structure. However, it is rugged and roller bearings are used in the aperturemechanism. Inevitably it requires a specialist for its repair; 43 parts has to be dismantled to remove the top plate for internal access.

The Contarex was the first 35mm SLR focal plane shutter camera providing direct meter coupling to the shutter-, aperture-, and film speed-settings; they are interconnected by cords. An aperture simulator for the exposure meter in the Cyclops window uses an iris in front of the selenium meter cell. The meter needle, to be aligned with an index triangle, is visible both in a top plate window and to the right in the viewfinder.

A thumb-wheel on the camera controls the lens aperture, and the value is shown in a window on top of the centrally located meter cell (the Cyclops window). The aperture in the interchangeable automatic lens closes when the shutter release is depressed and reopens when the camera is wound on for the next exposure. Due to the limited meter range, not every camera setting combination is possible to accommodate on the Contarex I exposure meter.[3]

The standard lens[edit]

The standard lens is the Carl Zeiss Planar 1:2 f=50mm in bright aluminium finish with a chrome 49 mm thread filter ring and an outer bayonet for ZI filters. The lens focuses to 30 cm, which is closer than the usual 50 cm. The focusing helical is remarkably smooth and precise. There is no aperture ring on the Contarex lens itself. It is set on the camera aperture wheel. The Contarex lens mount takes only Contarex lenses and accessories.[4]

Accessories Included:

  • Lens Cap
  • Camera Case



Additional Information

Product Condition

“Like New Minus” – the rating of the equipment is at 97 to 99 percent of original condition. Only the closest inspections will reveal slight wear. Perfect glass, but the box and accessories are usually not included.
“Excellent Plus” – rates 90 to 96 percent of original condition. Exceptionally nice, but may have slight wear on finish visible only under close inspection. Glass will be very clean.
“Excellent” – 80 to 89 percent of original. Shows moderate wear for the age of the item, with the possibility of small dings or blemishes. Glass may have slight blemishes but will not affect picture quality.
“Bargain” – items are 70 to 79 percent of original condition. More than average wear for the age of the item, and may have dents, dings or finish loss. Glass may have marks or blemishes, but should not affect picture quality.
“Ugly” – The look only a photographer would love. “UGLY” means equipment is rough, with multiple impressions in metal, excessive finish loss and brassing. Glass will have marks, fungus and/or haze which will affect picture quality.


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