Zeiss-Ikon Contarex Professional

Cameras of Ansel Adams

In his autobiography, Ansel describes his use of his Contarex Professional camera in November of 1981. “… with my old and still excellent 35mm Zeiss Contarex Professional, I made a few images of her (Georgia O’Keeffe) seated in our garden…”

In 1958, Ziess-Ikon introduced the Contarex, a professional-level camera system, with a coupled selenium meter. Despite being an excellent product, it was not popular in comparison to the 1959 Nikon F, which became the professional standard for 35mm SLRs.

However in 1966 Zeiss-Ikon introduced the Contarex Professional, a completely new camera to be the first of a series of several iterations, which would be the last Contarex cameras. The Professional didn’t have an internal meter, though the following models (“Super” and “Electronic”) had through the lens metering.

With a low production run of only 1,500 cameras, the Professional is the rarest of the models, and command high values.