Car Zeiss Jena 18cm f/2.8 Olympia Sonnar, 1938 link to main index page for MORE .......

The Contax name, like other things Zeiss-Ikon, has a complicated history.

The Contax I introduced the Contax RF bayonet mount (actually two bayonets, one used only for 50mm lenses and the other for teles and wide angles) in 1932. This bayonet system remained unchanged throughout the Contax rangefinder series - I, II, III, IIa and IIIa - and it was also adopted, with a small modification, by Nikon for their I, M, S, S2, S3 and SP rangefinder cameras. Like other rangefinder lens mounts, it cannot be used on an SLR because the lens flange is too close to the film to allow room for the mirror in an SLR.

After WWII, there were suddenly two Zeiss-Ikon companies, one in East and the other in West Germany. The West German branch, in Stuttgart, developed an all-new line of rangefinder cameras using the Contax bayonet lens mount, and launched the Contax IIa in 1950. Meanwhile, the East German group completed work on an all-new SLR camera that had been in development since the beginning of the War. This camera was introduced at the 1948 Leipzig Fair as the Contax S. The Contax S was the originator of the M42 lens mount, which was immediately adopted by KW as they reintroduced the prewar Praktiflex as the Praktica with the new mount. In addition to introducing the M42 mount, the Contax S also gave us the first eye-level pentaprism viewfinder, and it was also the first optical viewfinder system to provide (with the standard 58/2.0 lens attached) a 1:1 magnification in the finder.

" Contaxt Bayonet Mount"First developed in late 1920 during initial design works on Contax 1 under rising star Dr. Hienz Kuppenbender. It is a simple yet rugged mechanism design which uses a double connexion and internal mount for short and long focus lenses. Unlike the Leica cammed mechanism (until today with the M; Contax mount used relatively massive cylinder incorporated into the camera body, its turning coupled internally with the camera rangefinder. Contax 1, 1932 first used this mechanism which allows interchangeability with that of the first Leica equipped with M39 threaded mount where plenty of controversy arose which were the better ones. The ease of the Contax system in use was to cause the bayonet fitment to replace the threaded mount as market standard by 1960. It ended up Leica/Leitz, whose M system cameras use their own proprietary bayonet mount, to abandon their 39mm threaded mount design. ...." - extracted from MIR's
Rangefinder camera Message board -

A later version of the Contax S, the Contax F, introduced the first auto-diaphragm M42 lens, with the pin-actuated diaphragm system that became the standard for Pentax and other later M42 cameras. In fact, even the Pentax name came from Zeiss-Ikon Dresden: when legal disputes with Z-I Stuttgart forced them to give up the Contax name in the 1950s, Z-I Dresden copyrighted two new names based on the "Pentaprism Contax" camera series: one of these was "Pentacon", which became the new name for the German SLRs, and the other was "Pentax", which they released to Asahi Optical Company of Japan to use as the new name for their Asahiflex camera line when they added a pentaprism viewfinder around 1957.

-Rick Oleson - <>

OldCarl Zeiss JENA Logo black outline -  free download

Carl Zeiss Jena / Zeiss Ikon Finder Group
Page One | Page Two | Page Three

Zeiss IKON 15mm 1:8 HOLOGON ultrawide camera
w/infor on original Hologon lens for LEICA-M, G-spec & 110mm 1:8 for Linhof
Index Page | Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five

Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 20mm f/4.0 (Exakta-mount)

Carl Zeiss JENA BIOGON 21mm f/4.5 / Zeiss-Opton 4.5/21mm
Contarex Carl Zeiss BIOGON 1:4.5 f=21mm

Carl Zeiss JENA TOPOGON 25mm f/4.0
Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 1:8 f=2.8cm
Zeiss IKON Stereotar.C 1:3.5 f=35mm

Contax 35mm Lens Group

Carl Zeiss JENA 1:1.5 f=7.5cm BIOTAR / Modified 75mm f/1.4 version

Carl Zeiss 80/85mm lens group
Carl Zeiss Sonnar/ Opton-Sonnar / CZJ Triotar / Zeiss-Opton Triotar
Page One | Page Two | Page Three | Page Four

Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm f/2.8 T
for Contax S / Pentax M42 mount
Steinheil (Quinar) 3.5/85mm
Carl Zeiss JENA 1:2 f=10cm BIOTAR
Carl Zeiss Tessar 3.5/115mm DIRECT MOUNT / Carl Zeiss Tessar 3.5/115mm w/ Bellows 1524
Carl Zeiss Jena 135mm focal length lenses:- Tessar, Triotar, Sonnar & other labels
Part I / Part II / Part III / Part IV

Showcase for Carl Zeiss Olympia Sonnar 180mm f/2.8
ONE | TWO | THREE | FOUR | FIVE - Index Page
Showcase on Carl Zeiss JENA TELE-TESSAR 180mm f/6.3
Carl Zeiss Contarex Olympia Sonnar 250mm f/4
Contax Carl Zeiss JENA Fernobjektiv 1:8 f=50cm (500mm f/8.0) super Telephoto lens

Old Delft Delca Mirror 50cm f/6.3 lens

original cutaway model of the Biogon 21mm f/4.5 for Contax LINK FOR BIGGER VIEW

NOTE:- Basic visual references only for some of the popular series, other combinations/variations may exist.

For other issues, you may use the relevant
| Message Board | lenses | Message Board | cameras

Old Zeiss Ikon Logo black background -  free download Old Zeiss Ikon Logo black outline, white background type - free download Old Zeiss Ikon Logo black outline in gray background -  free download OldCarl Zeiss JENA Logo black outline -  free download

Getting older Zeiss Ikon / Carl Zeiss JENA logos via the Network can be diffficult at times and most are not desirable in terms of quality. The above 4-logos are transparent Gif files. You can freely use these logos (123k Jpeg file) for your site, content briefing and/or for your personal site construction. Just CLICK on respective emblem and select your choice (BIGGER Jpeg views, you can scale them from there). No credit is required. Enjoy.

| Leica/Leitz | Contax/Zeiss | Nippon Kogaku-Nikon/Nikkor | Seiki Kogaku/Canon |

Photography in Malaysia

MIR Logo.gif