Hiking around Flossenbürg with a Contax 139 Quartz

After dressing this beauty in new clothes, I was keen to see a first film in this 40 years old camera. So I mounted a Carl Zeiss Planar 1.7/50mm, loaded an Agfa Vista 200 and … enjoyed a photo walk;)

OK, this is not the 1.7/50mm lens attached ;)

… this is the right one ;)

Again we choose Flossenbürg as our destination and this time it was a 3 hour hike. We started at the old castle – dated from around 1200 AD. From the castle tower you have a fantastic view in the surrounding landscape.

From there we headed downwards over Hammerbühl, Altenhammer and Gaismühle to the Small Gaisweiher and the Large Gaisweiher. After having lunch, we hiked back uphill to the end of our tour. All images from the trip can be seen here in the original Agfa Vista colours … and  here in a black&white version.

A very good review of this camera done by James Tocchio can be found on Casual Photophile, so there’s no need to repeat the obvious.
To me, this beautiful little camera is a pleasure to use … with a single weak point. The meter is not activated by half-pressing the shutter release button like on many other cameras, but by a separate button located on the camera front. While having your index finger on the shutter release button, you can have your middle finger laying on this button. You need to get used to it, but it works.

What I also learned was, that in the viewfinder, not only the shutter speed is displayed, but also the aperture value should be visible … not in this camera. Seems as if something is broken. After contacting Peter Robinson from contax139.co.uk he assured me that this is repairable, sending also repair information – very good information indeed. As this means to disassemble the body to fix a broken wire, I think it’s better having this job done by an expert ;)

My conclusion: This beautiful little Contax 139 Quartz is so easy to use and its a pleasure to shoot with.

In case you’d like to comment, it’s appreciated … and maybe, you want to check out my website too!


P.S. … and don’t forget my Flickr page.


  1. This camera is 100% on my must-try list. (Have I said this here before?) Every blogger I follow who’s tried one says it’s great.

    1. Hi Jim,
      I recommend this beautiful little camera. The only point to get used to is the separate button for metering. This is, why I prefer the Contax 159MM over the 139 Quartz. It meters by half pressing the shutter release button, has a protruding hand grip and allows not only manual mode and aperturte priority, but also shutter priority – and all that at the nearly same size and weight, which is not far away from an Olympus OM-1. If it would not be around 7271 km distance, I would throw you one over the fence ;)

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