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Zeiss Ikon

Contaflex Super, Super B, Super BC and Contaflex S

Contaflex Super Old Style

1959 was a big year for Zeiss, with the introduction of the eagerly awaited Contarex system, and a redesign of the Contaflex system. The new flagship of the Contaflex line was the Super. The Super, like its lesser counterparts in the Contaflex line, the Rapid and Prima, featured the new interchangeable magazine back which allowed users to carry additional backs with different films, rather than multiple cameras. The same style back was introduced that year on the Contarex as well, although the backs are not interchangeable between systems.

The Super also had the rapid lever film advance and built in accessory shoe on the prism. The Super has a large selenium meter located on the front of the prism, necessitating the camera name being relocated to the top of the shutter just above the lens.

The early style camera features a round dial on the front of the camera, just below the rewind knob. It is the only Contaflex to have this knob, making it very easy to identify. The product code is 10.1262, and was listed in the May 1960 catalog for $199.

In 1962 the camera was improved, the selenium cell on the front was a smooth surface, dark covered rectangle with "Zeiss Ikon" printed in block letters on it. The exposure wheel was eliminated from the front. It was given a new product code, 10.1271, and was produced until 1967.

The Super was joined by the Super B in 1963. It was basically a Super with automatic exposure added. The window for reading the meter on the top plate has numbers in it, as opposed to the red arrows of the Super. This was the world's first 35mm SLR with automatic exposure. The Super B was discontinued in 1968, and was given the product code 10.1272.

The Super BC was a Super B with a TTL CdS meter. The Super BC retained the "Zeiss Ikon" in block letters on the front where the meter would have been. It is easy to identify by the battery door on the front of the camera on the wind side. The battery compartment is of a poor design, the battery entering at an angle. The batteries can be difficult to remove, and should one be allowed to corrode inside the compartment, very hard to clean the contacts. This was the first Contaflex to be available in black finish, which is fairly uncommon. The product codes was 10.1273.

A number of Super B cameras were made for the German army, and are engraved BW (Bundeswehr).

The last of the 35mm Contaflex cameras was the Contaflex S. It is the same as the Super BC, and in fact shared the same product code. "Zeiss Ikon" was replaced on the prism front with "Contaflex S", and the shutter was marked "Automatic" above the lens. Like the Super BC, it was available in black finish as well as chrome. Production was from 1970-72.

The Contaflex Super B, in chrome finish.

Black cameras with normal back (left) and magazine back (right)

Contaflex Super BC in both chrome finish, as well as black

The Contaflex S, last of the line, in black finish

The battery compartment on the Contaflex Super BC and S cameras

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