In 1932, when the first Contax 35 mm rangefinder
cameras are put on the market, they are considered as the top of the
Zeiss Ikon line.
The Yalta’s treaty having allocated to the USSR the sites of Jena and
Dresden, the soviets quickly dismantle the Zeiss Ikon tooling, arguing
they were war reparations. All the productions machines and spare parts
have been exported to Kiev which produded low quality cameras during
lifeblood of the former company
Zeiss which remained on the West side, in Stuttgart, restarted the
design and the production of cameras. Very quickly, it becomes a success story
especially because of the merger between Carl Zeiss for the lenses, the
Japanese Yashica for the camera bodies and the group Porsche for its
expertize in the ergonomics.
Successor of the Contax RTS, the
Contax 139 Q appears in 1979 still resulting from the collaboration
between Zeiss and Yashica.
Q means Quartz. This one drives the shutter when in the AUTO mode. In
such configuration, the speed may vary in a window of 1/1000 sec to 11
characteristics are :
Quartz-timed electronic self-timer,
LED array in viewfinder,
and aperture display in viewfinder,
… and of course the
full range of Zeiss lenses on Yashica mount with in addition a lens
1:2,8 f = 45mm Tessar
specifically for the 139Q.
This camera has
only one default… but it is well known within
camera collectors and
brokers. The original leather which covers the camera’s body is a poor
vinyl skin which has the unfortunate characteristic to change into dust
through the years. If you find a second-hand 139 Q, it will look like
Luckily, a repair kit exists which allows to give a new look to your
poor Contax 139 Q. The cost is 27$ (including shipment) at
to provide a new skin to this small camera which deserved it.
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