Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

No-Name Contax

The No-Name Contax, with original box.

The No-Name Contax was a fraud. These were purported to be Contax II cameras built in Jena just after the war, and some were marked on the back USSR Occupied Germany, they were in fact made in Kiev. And they were made in 1963, long after the occupied Germany marking weas dropped. So what is the difference between a Kiev and a Contax, you might wonder. Not much, and yet a lot. The early Kiev cameras were made using some of the tools and equipemnt used to make the Contax cameras, and were pretty faithfully copied. But the quality of construction and materials was not as good. However, these Kievs are well made, probably with the intent that they should pass as Contax cameras in the west.

One tip-off is that they have flash synch on the front ala Kiev. They were also sold with 50/1.5 Zeiss- Opton Sonnar lenses. They carry no manufacturers markings, and were sold in plain boxes. Production was estimated at about 5000. So even though they were a fraud in 1963, today they are an intereting chapter in Contax and Kiev history.

Note the engraving on the back.