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09-15-2015, 10:23 AM   #3331
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
Easy to criticize that now but I wonder what the thinking was at the time since even the Nikon F had the removable base plate configuration.
QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
I suspect Nikon was doing a Leica me-too, and the thinking was probably to keep the pressure plate snug and the entire body "solid."
In 1965 I attended a 3 day class at the Leica factory in Wetzlar. The instructor (whose last name was Kraut!) told us that Leica did not use a rear door for structural reasons. Also Leica's M bodies and lenses were made in silver to reflect heat. All of that was abandoned when the R series debuted.

09-15-2015, 10:31 AM   #3332
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
I suspect Nikon was doing a Leica me-too, and the thinking was probably to keep the pressure plate snug and the entire body "solid."
Correct, Leica spread their errors around the world for decades!
09-15-2015, 11:30 AM   #3333
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QuoteOriginally posted by g026r Quote
Bah, you're missing half the "fun" of the Kiev with that model: turning the tiny rewind knob* found on some of the earlier models after you've finished off a roll.

* Quite possibly one of the most user-unfriendly rewind knobs I've ever encountered, yet it wasn't replaced for close to two decades.
You must be thinking of the Zorki 4 or a FED. I have owned 3 Kievs and the rewind crank of the 4AM was not nearly as easy as the ample knobs on the other two (below):

Edit: I forgot that the models with the built-in meter have the tiny rewind knob. If it is consolation, the Contax IIa/IIIa had the same feature


Note the serial numbers...I guess they qualify as "earlier"


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-15-2015 at 11:36 AM.
09-15-2015, 11:58 AM   #3334
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
Easy to criticize that now but I wonder what the thinking was at the time since even the Nikon F had the removable base plate configuration.
The Nikon F along with the M/S-series rangefinder cameras feature a fully removable back rather than being bottom-loaders like the Leica M-series (yes, all models). The difference in usability is huge.


Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 09-15-2015 at 12:11 PM.
09-15-2015, 12:10 PM   #3335
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The Nikon F along with the M/S-series rangefinder cameras featured a fully removable back rather than being bottom-loaders like the Leica. The difference in usability is huge.
Steve
I am just developing more appreciation for the design elements with the perspective of the time. It is very cool and that's why I have sampled the cameras that I have.
09-15-2015, 03:29 PM   #3336
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The Nikon F along with the M/S-series rangefinder cameras feature a fully removable back rather than being bottom-loaders like the Leica M-series (yes, all models). The difference in usability is huge.


Steve
I believe both the Contax and later Contarex SLRs had removable backs to accommodate a system of film-containing interchangeable backs that functioned like the backs on a Hasselblad or Bronica. There was a dark slide and a reminder dial on the back for the number of frames already exposed, and the camera's frame counter could be manually twisted to the correct setting when a back was changed (early Pentax models had a rotating frame counter that had to be manually reset each time you changed a cassette of film) . What I don't know is if the regular, non-dark slide back was removed completely when normally changing film, or if it was hinged but the hinge had a slide-pin mechanism for removing it if you had purchased and wished to use the change-in-mid-roll backs. I think these backs were quite expensive, never very popular, and not quite perfectly designed. I also believe that Rollei produced a short-lived, very expensive 35mm that had a boxy, Hasselblad-like shape and L-shaped interchangeable backs.
09-15-2015, 04:40 PM   #3337
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Edit: I forgot that the models with the built-in meter have the tiny rewind knob. If it is consolation, the Contax IIa/IIIa had the same feature
Yep, that's the knob I'm thinking of! The big knob on the others is nice and easy to use; no complaints from me there.

Up until the mid-'50s the really early ones with a meter had a similarly big rewind knob as the meter-less models. No idea why they changed, except perhaps that Zeiss Ikon had switched the smaller knob a few years before.*

* I'm sure it wasn't a deliberate attempt to copy a better regarded camera name, but an independent development based on an unproduced prototype. Like the Salyut.
09-15-2015, 05:07 PM   #3338
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
What I don't know is if the regular, non-dark slide back was removed completely when normally changing film
On the Contax and Kiev, the whole back along with the bottom plate slides off.* There is no hinge. The back is released by one or two rotating latches on the camera base. The same is true for the Contarex variants and Nikon F SLRs. Hot-swappable backs would be sort of hard to imagine given the film transport on those cameras, but I have learned to never say it ain't so, particularly with vintage gear.


Steve

* This slide-off back is a common feature for most FSU rangefinder cameras.

09-15-2015, 05:34 PM - 1 Like   #3339
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
On the Contax and Kiev, the whole back along with the bottom plate slides off.* There is no hinge. The back is released by one or two rotating latches on the camera base. The same is true for the Contarex variants and Nikon F SLRs. Hot-swappable backs would be sort of hard to imagine given the film transport on those cameras, but I have learned to never say it ain't so, particularly with vintage gear.

Steve

* This slide-off back is a common feature for most FSU rangefinder cameras.
I was only aware of the Mamiya 35 as having interchangeable backs in 35mm format.

09-15-2015, 11:09 PM - 1 Like   #3340
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This is the earliest version of the first Yashica 35mm camera (1958. It has “Yashima OPT IND. Co. LTD” on the back, later that year changed to “Yashica Co. LTD.”. Another difference, the red load indicator is seen through a hole in the top. Also, the film counter is unique in that it advances when the exposure button is pushed rather than film advance in the model later that year..








Last edited by arnold; 09-15-2015 at 11:16 PM.
09-16-2015, 04:55 AM   #3341
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I just did a little checking about interchangeable backs. Could not find anything for the original Contax, but the original Contarex could be fitted with interchangeable backs after removing the simple back supplied with the camera. Zeiss offered a kit with two backs in a beautiful custom-fitted leather case with a non-detachable shoulder strap. The Rollei was the 2000SL, but my memory was wrong about the design of the exchangeable backs. They were boxy, much the shape of a 'blad back, but the camera body was L-shaped. It protruded back above the interchangeable film module to provide an eye-level viewer, but it also had a waist-level viewer at the front. A very interesting, innovative design, but SFAIK, a very slow seller with only a limited number of available lenses, all now very rare.
09-16-2015, 07:52 AM   #3342
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
but the original Contarex could be fitted with interchangeable backs after removing the simple back supplied with the camera. Zeiss offered a kit with two backs
Do you have any details about the optional backs?


Steve
09-16-2015, 08:14 AM   #3343
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
I was only aware of the Mamiya 35 as having interchangeable backs in 35mm format.
Interchangeable backs have been common enough, but hot-swapable with dark-slide requires that the back support the full film path including transport and frame gate as with the Mamiya 35 or the Rollei SL2000/3003. (Edit: Apparently not...see comment below) The little Mamiya reminds me of the Ricoh GR.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-16-2015 at 10:04 AM.
09-16-2015, 08:34 AM   #3344
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
but the original Contarex could be fitted with interchangeable backs after removing the simple back supplied with the camera. Zeiss offered a kit with two backs
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Do you have any details about the optional backs?
No need! After some diligent searching I found a Web site detailing how the backs work and how they are used.

https://sites.google.com/site/harrissonphotographica/home/zeiss-ikon-interch...-the-contaflex

The pressure plate is recessed into a "bump" on the rear of the back. When the large dark-slide is removed, the pressure plate is free to push forward and presses the film onto the frame rails. Inserting the dark-slide pushes the pressure plate assembly into its stowage "bump".



The manual is available on the Butkus site, but is in German only...

http://www.butkus.org/chinon/zeiss_ikon/zeiss_ikon_interchangeable_back/zeis...eable_back.htm

Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-16-2015 at 10:01 AM.
09-16-2015, 08:55 AM   #3345
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Contarex 2-back set

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
No need! After some diligent searching I found a photo of the hot-swapable back. Whether it accepts standard cassettes is not clear, but how the dark-slide and film transport works is.
It appears that when the dark-slide is removed, a recessed pressure plate places the film between the frame rails. When the dark slide is inserted, the film magically lifts back off. I would love to see the inside of the manual.


Steve
Hi Steve:

Sorry that I could not relocate the website that showed the 2-back set and the leather carry-car, which appeared to be in LN condition.

WPRESTO
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