I am a Patreon of this website called Casual Photophile. It’s a beautifully done website with reviews of interesting old film cameras, discussions about the old photography masters, and an occasional foray into the world of mirrorless cameras. It’s like the Petrolicious of film cameras.
As a diehard film shooter and mildly annoying film shooting evangelist, I’m a top tier supporter at $25 a month. There are two perks on top of supporting one of my favorite websites on the web. Every month, I get sent a roll of film sent to my mailbox — a roll of film that I usually don’t end up shooting, as I’ve got so much film that I’ve purchased and want to shoot instead. So the film perk ends up something I don’t particularly care about.
But every year, I get sent a cheap little camera to play with. And I got my first rewards camera, which is this Zeiss Ikon Contina viewfinder camera.
It’s a very basic camera. Focus is via scale focusing, as it being a viewfinder camera means that there are no provisions for a rangefinder. Top shutter speed is 1/300 of a second, so not a particularly fast shutter. But it has a red dot on the focus scale, and f/8 is marked in red on the aperture ring. Set the camera to f/8 and the focus ring to the red dot, and everything from infinity down to 3 meters is in focus!
Not only does the camera work, with nothing to suggest any show stoppers in use, the camera is also beautiful. There are very few scuffs, the glass is clean and clear, and the viewfinder isn’t fogged up. The leatherette is also in amazingly good condition, though it does have that “old camera smell” to it.
So between the Kodak Retina and this Zeiss Contina, I have two German cameras in the collection. I’m waiting for an opportunity to take both cameras out and shoot a test roll in each…