not with a bang, but a whimper

Zeiss Contarex Bullseye Advertisement brochure

Toronto. Talk about bad timing laced with bad decisions! Zeiss introduced the Contarex SLR just as Nippon Kogaku introduced it’s Nikon F. The Contarex was an engineer’s dream – a massive three pounds; over 1,000 parts per camera body; every part of high precision and tolerance; and so complex only a talented and well trained technician could do any repair/adjustment needed. And it was both very expensive and difficult for the photographer to use.

In Larry Gubas’s epic book, “Zeiss and Photography“, all of chapter 37 is devoted to this line of cameras. McKeown’s list availability as 1959-1972 with the bullseye version shown here running 1959-1966.

Unfortunately for Zeiss, the Nikon F was well built, much less expensive, lighter, and easier to use and adjust. It became a world-wide winner. The Contarex fizzled.

Note. The title of this post is the last line of T S Eliot’s famous 1925 poem, “The Hollow Men“. I always enjoyed reading his works.

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