Zeiss Ikon Contax Camera Repair

A home for your Zeiss Ikon Contax, Contarex or Super Ikonta camera!

Services For The Contarex Bullseye Camera

The following services are available for the Contarex Bullseye, Special, Super and Professional cameras. We are not able to service the Electronic body. Please feel free to ask any questions using this email link:

Contarex Inquiry

Contarex Camera Services
Service Cost
Bullseye, Special, Super and Professional Shutter Curtain Replacement $275.00
Bullseye: Complete Overhaul $1250.00
Super and Professional: Complete Overhaul $1850.00

Complete Body Service:

  1. If the camera is working properly a total body overhaul is priced as shown above.
  2. If the camera is not working properly the fee is $75.00 per hour for direct and necessary indirect work plus parts.

A complete body servicing consists of the following:


  1. In most Bullseye Bodies the original selenium photocell is in perfect condition. The problem with light meter inaccuracy is caused by age deterioration of the wires that connect the cell to the light meter. During a complete overhaul of the Bullseye the light sensing cell is removed, cleaned, and new solid silver wires are connected to it. This usually restores the light meter to better than original accuracy. This is if the light meter itself has not been tampered with by prior workers.
  2. Complete body disassembly with removal and ultrasonic cleaning of all mechanical body mechanism parts not permanently attached to the body including the shutter and film advance mechanisms. Following cleaning all parts are carefully inspected for damage, wear, and original factory defects. Necessary corrections are made at no additional cost. Except that replacement parts are extra. When all parts are ready the camera is slowly assembled over a period of days while it is tested to ensure critical adjustments will not fall out of alignment due to residual stresses.

    Following final assembly the camera is set to sit for a period of three to five days and then retested to ensure that all adjustments are stable and that the camera is fully reliable.

  3. Hand solvent cleaning of the body shell.
  4. Complete re lubrication of all camera mechanisms using the appropriate modern highest possible quality clock and watch oils and greases.
  5. Complete disassembly and cleaning of the viewfinder screen and prism.
  6. Restoration treatment of exterior leather and permanent removal of Zeiss bumps.
  7. Restoration of deteriorated engraving fill paint.
  8. Cleaning and lubrication of the back closure mechanisms.
  9. Detailed cleaning of all control knobs and surfaces.
  10. Precision shutter adjustment and timing to obtain the maximum performance obtainable.
  11. Flash synchronization adjustment and alignment.
  12. Light meter accuracy check and alignment.
  13. Cleaning and lubrication of all light meter controls.
  14. Inspection and adjustment of the mirror operation control system. Necessary adjustments are made.
  15. Replacement of mirror damping foam.

The reason we do all this and the reason we do this the way we do it is to return your camera to you in a condition where you can put it away for a long time, and then pick it up and use it without fear that in the interval it has lost its calibration or has otherwise become unreliable. We have found by testing that there are no shortcuts to a completely reliable camera. We know that to provide you with a camera that has smoothness of action, precision, accuracy and reliability much work is required. We spend ten days per camera. This is what it takes to provide you with the Zeiss Contarex that it was designed to be.

Very often we are presented with cameras that have been serviced by others and which have failed to satisfy their owners. In many cases we are asked merely to correct those aspects of camera function that the owner finds objectionable. Unfortunately, we are not able to do piece work to correct the work of others. The reason is that it is our experience is that with time and use other problems with these cameras will arise and require correction. We have learned by experience that the only way to completely correct all of the visible and latent problems with such a camera is to take it completely apart and do the job over again correctly. We actually do spend ten days on a single camera. Experience again has taught us that this is what it takes to do the job right so that it is done only once.

The Zeiss Ikon Price List of October 1, 1961 lists the retail price of a Contarex Bullseye Model with the f2.0 50mm Planar lens to be $499.00. This is roughly equivalent to $7984.00 in today's dollars. So when you buy a good looking Contarex on Ebay or at an estate sale for $339.00 or less there is a very good reason for the large discount; and this is the fact the camera is no longer reliable. And just how much good is a camera to you if it will fail when you need it the most? If you invest to have the camera completely restored to its maximum potential you have made a necessary and reasonable investment that will pay off in reliable good picture taking for many years. If you believe my prices are unreasonable I encourage you to shop elsewhere so that you may find out just how low these prices are. I work on only one camera at a time. When you send me your camera it gets 100% of my attention from start to finish. No camera leaves my hands until I am certain it is at its maximum potential for accuracy and reliability My average turnaround time for a Contarex will vary depending upon the condition of the camera and its need for replacement parts.

A Cautionary Notice

When you buy any model of Contarex it is IMPOSSIBLE to tell the internal condition from any single or combination of external cosmetic indicators. Neither you nor I will know the true internal condition of your Contarex until it has been opened and examined. There is absolutely no way that I can cheaply make a totally worn out camera to be like new. Nor is there any way for me to take a camera which was made out of spare discarded parts in a repair shop after Zeiss went out of the camera business and make it perfect. It is not possible for me to correct completely a camera that has been opened many times and worked on by people who were not qualified to work on the camera. When you buy a Contarex you are taking a chance and often it is a big one and sometimes you win and sometimes you loose. I have to say that with the Contarex it is my sad obligation to present bad news to the owner with far more regularity than I present good news. So please be aware of the fact that the Contarex put Zeiss out of the camera business and that your luck with it is not likely to be better than theirs.

It is my experience there are only three kinds of Contarexes on the market, and these are ranked in their order of occurrence:

  1. Those being sold by people who know the one they are selling is not working right and have found out how much it will cost to repair.
  2. Those which have obvious operational defects.
  3. Those being sold out of an estate or being sold by a person who knows he is dying.

In all my years only two people have sent me Contarexes to be serviced which were working perfectly. Both of these were owners of Super Electronic cameras. Every other Contarex that has been received here has had a serious problem.

Good Faith Deposit

The following policy does not apply to the overhaul of Contarex Lenses. No deposit is required for the servicing of Contarex lenses and the prices for the overhaul of these lenses are listed on the Lens page of this Web Site.

The situation with the Contarex is such that I have to differentiate between cameras that work properly which are sent for a thorough protective preservative servicing and those which don't work properly and are being sent for repairs. There are two classes of cameras and the deposit for each varies depending upon which situation your camera fits into:

  1. If your Contarex Special, Bullseye, Super, Professional or Electronic is working properly and my tests confirm that it is working properly it will be accepted for an overhaul without a deposit.
  2. If your If your Contarex Special, Bullseye, Super, Professional or Electronic is NOT working properly there will be a deposit requirement in order for it to be accepted for repairs. The reason for this deposit is that it is virtually certain that it will be necessary to find and purchase a parts body to serve as a source of repair parts for your camera. Effective 2/7/2007 no broken Contarex camera body will be accepted here unless it is accompanied by a $500.00 good faith deposit. When the work on the camera is completed this deposit will be applied to the charges and if there is a credit it will be refunded to the owner with the camera. This does not apply to any cameras that are listed on the waiting list, have been received here or were in transit prior to this date.

I am very sorry to have to implement this policy but the Contarex is an expensive camera to buy and the only supply of spare parts is parts bodies which are rare and expensive. Also, the only parts bodies that contain usable parts are those which are working perfectly. They are very expensive. It is also my experience that in most cases, particularly with the Bullseye, in order to produce one perfect Contax body, two are required. To put it simply the Contarex was originally and still is a very expensive camera.


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