Zeiss Contaflex Beta Focusing Problem

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Eric V, Sep 30, 2003.

  1. Eric V

    Eric V Guest

    Hi, recently got a Zeiss Contaflex Beta, with the Pantar 2.8 45mm
    interchangeable front lens. The front lens element is used to focus
    the camera, but it is incredibly stiff. There is a tab at the base of
    the lens that is used to take off the lens; I read somewhere else that
    this is a "focus lock", but that doesn't seem to make sense, as when
    it is pushed in, and the focus is turned to 4 or 5 feet, the lens
    element comes off! Am I missing something here? I don't have a
    manual, and can't seem to locate the answer to this question anywhere
    else. Thanks!

    Eric V
    Eric V, Sep 30, 2003
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  2. According to "The Contaflex Way" by H Freytag (Focal Press, 1957), the tab is
    simply for releasing the lens front element when you wish to mount a wide angle
    or tele attachment. If you can see or get at the focus threads, check whether
    there's any grease, or whether it's dried out. Focusing on my (fixed lens)
    Contaflex 1 is still OK, but it's probably a different construction on the Beta.
    I wouldn't recommend that you squirt any oil into this area, as there's a high
    risk of contaminating the aperture blades.
    Malcolm Stewart, Sep 30, 2003
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  3. Eric V

    R.C.Booth Guest

    I don't have a Contaflex Beta but I do have a Contaflex III that had a
    similar problem. I believe these two cameras are very similar so:

    The tab at the lens base is indeed used to remove the front lens element.
    Push the tab in and rotate the lens about 1/4 turn and the front element
    comes off. There are wide and tele lens element that are available that fit
    in place of the 45mm lens element to make wide and tele lenses. Removing
    this element won't help solve your problem of stiff focusing. The stiff
    focus is caused by hardened grease that is used to lubricate helical focus
    mechanism. It needs to be cleaned out and replaced with fresh grease. I've
    done this successfully quite a while ago but wouldn't want to begin to
    outline what needs to be done in this brief email. The Contaflex is a top
    quality camera and if you'd like to have it refurbished to good working
    order there are a few that will do this work.
    R.C.Booth, Sep 30, 2003
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