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edmund j. kowalski | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> ZI Pentacon in the Autumn Woods tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

ZI Pentacon in the Autumn Woods

The ZI Pentacon is a name variant of the early Contax SLR.
One of the very earliest 35mm prism SLR cameras, designed 1948 in what was left of the Zeiss Ikon factories in postwar Dresden.

I purchased mine used in the 1990s sporting this Meyer Optik Gorlitz Primoplan f:1.9 / 58mm lens.
Internal repair was necessary on the camera body, I had to seal the shutter curtains with black paint and replace some of the string pulling the curtains onto the rollers, and then re-tension the shutter return drum springs.
The lens had major damage to the rear coating surface, and cleaning did not remove the patches.

This week I finally got my chance to test the camera with this lens.
Damage to lens coating seemed to make no discernible impact on the image quality.
Camera handled well enough, but the design is quirky by more modern standards... the film must be advanced to reset the mirror in place, and the unusual low-high range film speed selector dial takes some getting used to.
But the the camera is solidly made with winderful fit and finish, and the "primitive" ground glass finder screen is surprisingly effective, if focusing is done with full aperture before stopping down.

Shooting was done in the woods at Pleasant Valley Nature Preserve, in High Ridge, and here on my own property.

Please click on thumb nails to see enlargement.
All images are 2010 E.J.Kowalski
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