5 frames with...

5 Frames with a semi-broken Contax T on Neopan 400 – By Xiaosu Han

I had my eyes on this particular compact for a while already, seeing reports here and there, and once you see someone share really good results with a certain camera or lens, it really is hard to get it out of your head again.

Then the day came, while I was working in China, when I found a bargain Contax T on Chinese eBay called ‘闲鱼’, ‘Xianyu’ – which translates to ‘fresh fish’. It arrived fast and I couldn’t believe how small it was, yet how well it was build at the same time. Unfortunately it seemed to be have tempered with, as there were quite heavy scuff marks on the top plate and some other glue marks around the body. As I love stuff with patina and user cameras, I checked if the lens was ok, and that it was, and then was happy enough to not return it.

As I used the first roll, I noticed some problems with the film advance. I tinkered some more with it, finally finding out that a very small piece of plastic around the film rewind lever on top of the camera has broken off, thus resulting in me having to hold down this part when advancing the film.

I was frustrated of course, but hesitated to return the camera, even in its broken state. It was just a too beautifully crafted piece of gear, had decent ergonomics (besides having to hold down the rewind lever when advancing film!). When the results came in, the verdict was in. Incredible lens, on point rangefinding and good light metering. It was a keeper.

Here are my 5 frames from the first roll with my flawed but beloved Contax T, developed by myself (Rodinal) and scanned with a Pakon 135.

 

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7 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Calum
    January 15, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Love the double exposures — were you looking for them, or just serendipity?

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Xiaosu Han
      January 18, 2019 at 10:08 am

      They actually happened because the film didn’t keep going but I thought it went already 😉 – so no, they were actually happy accidents.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Adam Smith
    January 15, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    These are beautiful results! You certainly have an eye for composition. I can relate to your thoughts on wanting a camera once you see what it is capable of. Infact, this is how I have come to own most of the cameras in my collection. I am interested to see further images produced by your Contax too. 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Adam Smith
    January 15, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    These are beautiful results! You certainly have an eye for composition. I can relate to your thoughts on wanting a camera once you see what it is capable of. Infact, this is how I have come to own most of the cameras in my collection.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    John Lockwood
    January 15, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Mmm, Pakon 135. Miss mine but when they hit collector status I sold. What a quick machine.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Lilianna
    January 15, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    Love the composition and tonality!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Daniel Fjäll
    January 17, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    The Pakon f135 spits out b&w jpegs with a slight sepia hue. Make sure to convert to true b&w in post.

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