Captain Jack's Contax/Pentacon SLR Cameras
 

The Contax S 35mm camera was the first German single lens reflex camera to have a built-in pentaprism (1949). Ihagee did not offer a prism finder for the Exakta until their release of the Exakta Varex in 1950.

Manufactured by Zeiss Ikon VEB, Dresden, the Contax S and its subsequent models (produced under the Pentacon badge), epitomize the classic style that was adopted by just about every other manufacturer of single lens reflex cameras. In my opinion, they are among the most aesthetically pleasing cameras ever produced. Each of the models utilize the M42 interchangeable screw mount for their lenses, fully manual diaphragms at first, then semi-automatic and finally in their later models, fully automatic diaphragms.

A substantial number of different models exist making for an interesting and diverse collection. The major two variations are called Contax or Pentacon. The name Contax was reserved for cameras sold in Germany while the name Pentacon (Pentaprism + Contax) was utilized for export cameras.

Lens makers who offered lenses in M42 mount included Carl Zeiss Jena, Schneider Kreuznach, Albert Schacht, Steinheil München, Angénieux, Meyer-Optik, Enna München, Isco Göttingen, Kilfitt and many others. Praktica, Edixa, Pentax and others also utilized the M42 mount.

Accessories for these early Contax/Pentacons are somewhat limited and consisted of Extension Tubes, Bellows, Eveready Cases, Eyecup, Sportsfinder, Angle Finder, an Eyepiece Magnifier, etc. To view these accessories.  
Click HERE
 

 

 

Camera: Contax S - Ver. 2 (no self-timer)

Serial #: 2871

Hummel #: 087

Lens: Carl Zeiss Jena 5.8 cm f2.0 Biotar (black)

Serial #: 3332533

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: Flash synch socket is in tripod mounting hole. The Contax S - Ver. 1, Hummel #086, has the front of the pentaprism blacked out with the Zeiss Ikon Logo in white.

 

 

 

 

 

Camera: Contax S - Ver. 3 (no self-timer)

Serial #: 5733

Hummel #: 088

Lens: Carl Zeiss Jena 5.8 cm f2.0 Biotar (chrome)

Serial #: 3423619

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: Flash synch socket is in tripod mounting hole. Circular plate over self-timer hole.

 

 

 

Camera: Contax S - Ver. 4 (self-timer)

Serial #: 42815

Hummel #: 089

Lens: Carl Zeiss Jena 5.8 cm f2.0 Biotar (chrome)

Serial #: 3268303

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: Flash synch socket is in tripod mounting hole.

 

 

 

Camera: Contax S, Type "D-1" - "D" under Zeiss Ikon Badge on Prism - without self timer

Serial #: 22536

Hummel #: 090

Lens: Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm f2.8 Tessar

Serial #: 3882033

Notes: Flash synch socket moved to camera top plate. This Contax S can also be found with a self-timer - Type "D-2" - Hummel #091

 

 

 

Camera: Contax S, Type "D-2" - "D" under Zeiss Ikon Badge on Prism - with self timer

Serial #: 32676

Hummel #: 091

Lens: Carl Zeiss Jena 58mm f2.0 Biotar

Serial #: 3479788

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: Flash synch socket moved to camera top plate. This Contax S can also be found without a self-timer - Type "D-1" - Hummel #090

 

   

 

Camera: Contax D, "D" after Contax name on faceplate & VEB under Zeiss Ikon Badge on Prism (Small Knobs)

Serial #: 67148

Hummel #: 092

Lens: E. Ludwig 50mm f2.9 Meritar

Serial #: 1311612

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: This Contax D can also be found without VEB under Zeiss Ikon Badge on Prism, Hummel 093

 

 

 

 

Camera: Contax D, "D" after Contax name on faceplate & without VEB under Zeiss Ikon Badge on Prism (Small Knobs)

Serial #: 69248

Hummel #: 093

Lens: Enna München 50mm f1.9 Sandmar

Serial #: 2057573

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: This Contax D can also be found with VEB under Zeiss Ikon Badge on Prism, Hummel 092

 

 

 

Camera: Contax D, "D" after Contax name on faceplate & with VEB under Zeiss Ikon Badge on Prism (Large Knobs)

Serial #: 54710

Hummel #: 092/1

Lens: Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm f2.8 Tessar

Serial #: 4172198

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: This Contax D can also be found with Small Knobs, Hummel 092 & 93.

 

 

 

Camera: Pentacon (D), with ZI engraved under Pentacon Tower on Prism

Serial #: 33688

Hummel #: 095

Lens: Isco Göttingen 50mm f2.0 Auto Westagon

Serial #: 315545

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: This Pentacon can also be found without the Pentacon Tower - Hummel 094 and without ZI under Pentacon Tower on Prism - Hummel 096

 

 

 

Camera: Pentacon (D), without ZI engraved under Pentacon Tower on Prism

Serial #: 91982

Hummel #: 096

Lens: Aus Jena 50mm f2.8 T (Tessar)

Serial #: 4326407

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: This Pentacon can also be found without the Pentacon Tower - Hummel 094 and with ZI under Pentacon Tower on Prism - Hummel 095

 

 

 

Camera: Contax E (small knobs)

Serial #: 91242

Hummel #: 097

Lens: C.Z. Jena 58mm f2.0 B (Biotar)

Serial #: 4762389

Finder: Built-in Uncoupled Meter Prism

Notes: One of the more difficult to locate models, particularly in pristine condition. There are two versions of the Contax E, one with small knobs, as shown here and one with large knobs, as shown below.

 

 

 

Camera: Contax E (large knobs)

Serial #: 101392

Hummel #: 097

Lens: Aus Jena 75mm f1.5 B (Biotar)

Serial #: 4013213

Finder: Built-in Uncoupled Meter Prism

Notes: One of the more difficult to locate models, particularly in pristine condition. There are two versions of the Contax E, one with small knobs and one with large knobs, as shown here.

A Pentacon E, Hummel 098, was also identified by Richard Hummel, and I have only encountered two in all my years of collecting.

 

 

 

Camera: Pentacon E (small knobs) [RARE]

Serial #: 95123

Hummel #: 098

Lens: Carl Zeiss Jena 35mm f2.8 Flektogon

Serial #: 5889089

Finder: Built-in Uncoupled Meter Prism

Notes: One of the most difficult to locate models in this entire series of cameras. This is one of only two that I have ever encountered in all my years of collecting. The other one is next.

 
 
 

Camera: Pentacon E (large knobs) [RARE]

Serial #: 101175

Hummel #: 098

Lens: Carl Zeiss Jena 80mm f2.8 Tessar

Serial #: 3820965

Finder: Built-in Uncoupled Meter Prism

Notes: One of the most difficult to locate models in this entire series of cameras. This and the prior camera are the only ones I have ever encountered in all my years of collecting.

 

 

 

Camera: Contax F (large tower on prism)

Serial #: 111516

Hummel #: 100

Lens: Carl Zeiss Jena 58mm f2.0 Auto Biotar

Serial #: 480779

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: First Contax with larger winding knobs and semi-automatic diaphragm capabilities.

 

 

 

Camera: Contax F (small tower on prism)

Serial #: 136646

Hummel #: 100

Lens: Meyer Optik Görlitz 50mm f3.5 Primotar E

Serial #: 1906116

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: First Contax with larger winding knobs and semi-automatic diaphragm capabilities.

 

 

 

Camera: Pentacon F (large tower on prism)

Serial #: 123631

Hummel #: 101

Lens: Carl Zeiss Jena 58mm f2.0 Biotar

Serial #: 4441490

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: First Pentacon with larger winding knobs and semi-automatic diaphragm capabilities. This Pentacon can also be found without the "F" under the Pentacon name on the faceplate - Hummel 099 and also with a small tower on the prism.

 

 

 

Camera: Pentacon F (small tower on prism)

Serial #: 162436

Hummel #: 101

Lens: Meyer Optik Görlitz 50mm f3.5 Primotar E

Serial #: 1934625

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: First Pentacon with larger winding knobs and semi-automatic diaphragm capabilities. This Pentacon can also be found without the "F" under the Pentacon name on the faceplate - Hummel 099 and also with a large tower on the prism.

 

 

 

Camera: Contax FB

Serial #: 109599

Hummel #: 102

Lens: Steinheil München 55mm f1.9 Auto Quinon (semi-auto) RARE

Serial #: 1482513

Finder: Built-in Uncoupled Meter Prism

Notes: First Metered Contax with larger winding knobs and semi-automatic diaphragm capabilities.

 

 

 

Camera: Pentacon FB

Serial #: 154655

Hummel #: 103

Lens: Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm f2.8 Auto Tessar (semi-auto)

Serial #: 5662836

Finder: Built-in Uncoupled Meter Prism

Notes: First Metered Pentacon with larger winding knobs and semi-automatic diaphragm capabilities.

 

 

 

Camera: Contax FM (large tower on prism)

Serial #: 121535

Hummel #: 104

Lens: Schneider Kreuznach 50mm f1.9 Auto Xenon LM

Serial #: 7155553

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: First Non-metered Contax with larger winding knobs and fully automatic diaphragm capabilities.

 

 

 

Camera: Pentacon FM (large tower on prism)

Serial #: 119267

Hummel #: 105

Lens: Meyer-Optik Görlitz 50mm f3.5 Auto Primotar

Serial #: 1924811

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: First Non-metered Pentacon with larger winding knobs and fully automatic diaphragm capabilities.

 

 

 

Camera: Pentacon FM (small tower on prism)

Serial #: 182012

Hummel #: 105

Lens: Isco Göttingen 50mm f2.0 Auto Westagon

Serial #: 416492

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: First Non-metered Pentacon with larger winding knobs and fully automatic diaphragm capabilities.

 

 

 

Camera: Contax FBM

Serial #: 123966

Hummel #: 106

Lens: Schneider Kreuznach 50mm f1.9 Auto Xenon

Serial #: 9987398

Finder: Built-in Uncoupled Meter Prism

Notes: First Metered Contax with larger winding knobs and fully automatic diaphragm capabilities.

 

 

 

Camera: Pentacon FBM

Serial #: 181506

Hummel #: 107

Lens: Isco Göttingen 50mm f1.9 Auto Westromat

Serial #: 4140271

Finder: Built-in Uncoupled Meter Prism

Notes: First Metered Pentacon with larger winding knobs and fully automatic diaphragm capabilities.

 

 

Special Models

 

Camera: Consol (without ZI engraved under Pentacon Tower on Prism)

Serial #: 82315

Hummel #: N/A

Lens: Carl Zeiss Jena 5.8 cm f2.0 Biotar (Black)

Serial #: 3332533

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: Essentially a Contax D, engraved Consol (for Export) - Uncommon.

 

 

 

Camera: Hexacon (with ZI engraved under Pentacon Tower on Prism)

Serial #: 61408

Hummel #: N/A

Lens: Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm f2.8 Tessar

Serial #: 30667

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: Essentially a Contax D, Plate on which "HEXACON" was engraved was riveted (or in some cases, just glued) to the front plate (for Export) - Uncommon. The Hexacon cameras were imported and sold by Peerless Camera in NY City.

 

 

 

Camera: Hexacon (without ZI engraved under Pentacon Tower on Prism)

Serial #: 74792

Hummel #: N/A

Lens: Hexatar München 45mm f2.8

Serial #: None

Notes: Essentially a Contax D, Plate on which "HEXACON" was engraved was riveted (or in some cases, glued) to the front plate (for Export) - Uncommon. The Hexacon cameras were imported and sold by Peerless Camera in NY City.

 

 

Photo from Klaus Rademaker's Collection

 

Camera: Astraflex 35 (with ZI engraved under Pentacon Tower on Prism) [Rare]

Serial #: 75563

Hummel #: N/A

Lens: C.Z. Jena 58mm f2.0 B(Biotar)

Serial #: 67936

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: Essentially a Contax D, with a plate on which "Astraflex 35" was engraved & attached to the front. Imported by Sterling-Howard Camera, Bronx, NY in the 1950's. (Very Uncommon). An even rarer "Astraflex 55" was also distributed by Sterling-Howard. It was an Exakta VX with an engraved plate attached over the word Exakta. See my Exakta VX & Varex VX page.

 

 

 

 

 

Camera: Astraflex 35 (without ZI engraved under Pentacon Tower on Prism) [Rare]

Serial #:79473

Hummel #: N/A

Lens: C.Z. Jena 50mm f2.8 T (Tessar)

Serial #: 30071

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: Essentially a Contax D, with a plate on which "Astraflex 35" was engraved & attached to the front. Imported by Sterling-Howard Camera, Bronx, NY in the 1950's. (Very Uncommon). An even rarer "Astraflex 55" was also distributed by Sterling-Howard. It was an Exakta VX with an engraved plate attached over the word Exakta. See my Exakta VX & Varex VX page.

 

 

Camera: SUPER-D (with ZI engraved under Pentacon Tower on Prism) [Very Rare]

Serial #: 66683

Hummel #: N/A

Lens: Carl Zeiss Jena 35mm f2.8 Flektogon

Serial #: 4833710

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: Essentially a Contax D, Plate on which "SUPER-D" was engraved was screwed to the front plate (for Export) - Very Uncommon.

 

 

 

Camera: CAL-FLEX (with ZI engraved under Pentacon Tower on Prism) [Very Rare]

Serial #: 62335

Hummel #: N/A

Lens: Meyer-Optik Görlitz 58mm f1.9 Primoplan

Serial #: 1505372

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: Essentially a Contax D. Plate on which "CAL-FLEX" was engraved was screwed to the front plate (for Export) - MOST Uncommon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camera: VERIKON(with ZI engraved under Pentacon Tower on Prism) [Very Rare]

Serial #: 66103

Hummel #: N/A

Lens: Hexatar München 45mm f2.8

Serial #: n/a

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: Essentially a Contax D. Plate on which "VERIKON" was engraved was screwed to the front plate (for Export) - MOST Uncommon.

 

 

Camera: "No Name" Contax/Pentacon (without ZI under Pentacon Tower on Prism)

Serial #: 74735

Hummel #: N/A

Lens: C.Z. Jena 58mm f2.0 Biotar (without name)

Serial #: 61250

Finder: Built-in Pentaprism

Notes: Essentially a Contax D, without engraving on front plate) - Uncommon.

 

 

One other similar camera exists. It bears the name "Ritacon F", (sold by Ritz camera).. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has one of them available for my collection.

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