Just got my "new" Zeiss Ikon Contessa LKE, anybody ever use one of these?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Bill Mcdonald, Feb 1, 2004.

  1. At least I was able to figure out how to put the film in. I believe
    you twist the round dial on the top right to reset the frame counter.

    From the net I heard this camera has an exposure meter but I can't
    figure it out.

    At least I found out that you push the button on the bottom, then you
    wind up the film when you're done.

    Does anyone know of a site which details this camera or the manual if

    Thanks very much in advance.

    Bill Mcdonald in Joshua Tree

    P.s. I really got info about my Nikon EM from this newsgroup, so maybe
    lightning will strike twice!
    Bill Mcdonald, Feb 1, 2004
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  2. For the basic operation
    You should see it in the finder and on the top. It's IIRC a matched needel
    system. But as it is based on a old selenium cell it's possible
    it's dead or inacurate. The selenium cells age heavily especially when
    not keept in the dark.

    Christian Kolinski, Feb 2, 2004
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  3. Bill Mcdonald

    Mike Elek Guest

    Is this the folding Contessa? Or the rigid-front Contessa.

    With the folding Contessa, you keep the flap down when metering outdoors and
    lift the flap when metering indoors. For outdoor shots, read from the green
    scale. For indoor shots, use the black scale.

    Regarding selenium meters on the Zeiss-Ikon cameras. Most of the meters die
    because electrical contacts within the camera have oxidyzed and not failure
    of the cell. I've been able to restore the meter on roughly two-thirds of
    the cameras that I open.
    Mike Elek, Feb 3, 2004
  4. Hi Mike, I have the rigid front LKE with the fixed lens.

    I figured out the rangefinder, and I believe the exposure meter is the
    needle between the 2 arrows facing each other on the top of the
    camera, which I believe works, but not well in low light situations.

    There is a dial around the shutter which appears to be a mechanical
    frame counter, I didn't know if it would reset by itself so I turned
    it to 36 and it appears to work counting down.

    My number 1 priority is to obtain a manual for this so I can figure
    out all the bells and whistles, perhaps you might know of a place to
    obtain one?

    Thanks for the tip about the selenium cell, I am just getting into
    these "little jewels" and I need all the headsups I can get!

    Thanks again,

    Bill Mcdonald in Joshua Tree
    Trying to avoid the urge to buy another classic camera!
    Bill Mcdonald, Feb 3, 2004
  5. Bill Mcdonald

    Witold Guest


    You are correct about the exposure meter indication being between the two
    arrows (red in color, with the needle over a white background, if I recall
    correctly) on the top plate of the camera.

    The meter might not work well in low light if the light levels are too low
    for the wide open aperture setting of f/2.8.

    How do the meter readings compare with any other cameras that you might
    have available to you?
    That also sounds correct.
    I did a bit of looking myself, as I had one of these cameras until
    recently, but was unfortunately unable to locate a manual.

    I assume that you know how to set the film ASA speed on the camera, using
    the dial on the lens body? That's a fairly straightfoward thing to do.

    There is also a mechanical self timer mechanism. This is activated by the
    little silver lever, also on the lens body. Hopefully the one on your
    camera works OK.

    You can put a flash unit on the camera that auto senses the exposure for a
    given aperture. The being an iris diaphragm, the shutter will sync with the
    flash up to tha maximum shutter speed of 1/500 second.

    When looking through the viewfinder, you should also be able to see the
    light meter indication. This is the little bar that swings from side to
    side as you adjust shutter speed and/or aperture.

    I hope that you find some of the above useful.


    Witold, Feb 4, 2004
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