Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Zeiss Ikon Close-Up Sets for Contax

Zeiss initially offered a close-up for the Contax I, which carried over for the Contax II. It was the Contameter 1343. It consisted of a rangefinder with a removable optic. There was an appropriate optic for each of the three close-up lenses in the set. A similar set was made to take into account the difference in parallax on the Contax III, the shoe being raise further away from the lens by the exposure meter.

After the war, the Contameter for the Contax IIa was redesigned, with a wheel on the top with settings for each of the three supplied settings. A version of this set was also produced for the Contax IIIa.

The drawback of the Contameter was that it only allowed for focus at three preset distances. The Contatest, Zeiss code 20.1601 allowed a focusing range of 20" to 40", using a set of rangefinder correction optics mounted to the external bayonet on the camera, with a close-up lens mounted on the internal bayonet normal lens. The lens could be focused, and the correct distance would be indicated with the rangefinder, and parallax compensated for. This set would only fit the postwar cameras (due to a different spacing of the rangefinder windows on prewar and postwar cameras), but would fit both the IIa and IIIa.

The Contameter 1343 for Contax I and II.

The Contameter for the Contax IIa.

The Contatest for the Contax IIa and IIIa.

The case for the Contatest.