Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Zeiss Ikon Contina III, Contina-matic III and Microscope Camera

In 1955 Zeiss released one of those cameras that nobody else would have thought to market. The Contina was the budget line of 35mm viewfinder cameras, and the top of the line was the new Contina III. It was the same as the Contina II, uncoupled selenium exposure meter and 45/2.8 Pantar lens in a second rate shutter, but with interchangeable front lens element. The lens was the same as from the budget versions of the Contaflex SLRs, the Alpha, Beta and Prima. The front cell could be replaced with 30/4 Pantar and 75/4 Pantar lenses, or the Steritar D. The product code was 529/24.

In 1959 the camera got a facelift like the rest of the line. The finder became larger, and the meter lost the door that covered it. And it got one of the new Zeiss product numbers, 10.0622. These were referred to as Contina-matic III cameras, which were discontinued in 1960. It was priced at $89.00 in 1960.

Zeiss also offered a microscope camera based on the Contina. It is referred to as the Contina III Microscope Camera, although it is based on the same chassis as all of the Contina cameras off that time period. It lacks a meter and finder, is only marked "Zeiss Ikon" on the back leather, and fits the standard Zeiss microscope adapter.

The Contina III, later version.

The Contina-matic III.