Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Zeiss Ikon Contarex Hologon

While Contarex is a line of SLR cameras, the Hologon is one of two models that wasn't (the other being the microscope camera). It is not marked as a Contarex, but is based on the Contarex frame, and is generally grouped with them by collectors.

The Hologon is a fixed focus, fixed lens viewfinder camera, with no diaphragm. The fixed lens, however, is a 15/8 rectilinear, covering 110 degrees, sensational in it's day. Above the lens is a matching finder which incorporates a bubble level. The camera was provided with a graduated density filter to compensate for light fall off toward the edges of the frame, a female thread screw on front cap, and a pistol grip that aided in taking photos without having your fingers in them.

The camera was introduced in 1969, making it the last of the Contarex line. And like the Super and Electronic, cameras were assembled from remaining parts after the demise of Zeisses camera production. Only 1400 units were built, making it the least common. It was available only in black finish It was compatible with the Contarex magazine backs, and had the data strip opening in the back. Serial numbers run from P75501 through P76500, and R97001 through R98000. The last batch of 1000 was not completed.

Unused lenses were marketed in Leica M mount, but did not sell well, and are now among the most sought after and expensive lenses in that mount.