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CONTAX - 139Q (1979) &

Reflex Mono-Lens

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 several years.

The 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 secondes.

Other interesting characteristics are :


Quartz-timed electronic self-timer,


TTL cell with LED array in viewfinder,


Speed and aperture display in viewfinder,  


Flash TTL,




Data camera back

… and of course the full range of Zeiss lenses on Yashica mount with in addition a lens 1:2,8 f = 45mm Tessar introduced 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 this one.

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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