3-2-1 Contax
December 3, 2011 7:36 PM   Subscribe

Is there any kind of market for used Contax SLR equipment?

I have a Contax Aria, and Carl Zeiss lenses, a 28mm f/2.8 wide angle, a 45mm f/2.8 pancake, and an 80-200 f/4 zoom. I was kind of holding out hope someone would make a full-frame SLR body for old lens mounts, but I'm tired of waiting. If I can get $300-500USD for the lot, I'll sell 'em, but if I can't, the glass is too gorgeous to give up. Can I sell the lot for that kind of money? Would I do better selling them on Craig's List or Ebay, or is there someplace else where selling old Contax kit is a sure thing?
posted by Slap*Happy to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
Contax Aria bodies by themselves seem to be fetching $250 to $350 on Ebay. You should have no problem getting $300 to $500 for the whole lot, but you might make out better selling the glass separately.

Have you tried selling to KEH?
posted by jrchaplin at 8:00 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Don't sell to KEH is you want to make money, that's just crazy talk. The make their margin buying low and selling high. You will certainly get better money through ebay or craigslist of what have you.

With camera like the Sony Nex5N, some of the Ricohs etc, there is now a market that can use Contax lenses by way of an adaptor. Indeed, before resigning yourself to no full-frame I would urge to check out the Sony, you might well be surprised by the quality. I don't have one myself, but make no mistake the picture quality is pretty terrific.

To answer your question, though *some* (and only some) Contax bodies are the new fixed-gear bicycles for a certain photography set, the lenses are not in general fetching amounts anywhere near that high. Thatbeing said, a cursory search of ebay "buy-it-now" prices suggests that if those lenses are the zeiss, diastagon, Tessar, or Vario lenses you will comfortably reach if not surpass that target.

If you decide to go down that route, sell them separately, not as a package, and list them to end on a non-friday weeknight.
posted by smoke at 11:41 PM on December 3, 2011

As Smoke says, you can use Contax lenses on modern SLRs. I've found adapters for Canon and Nikon cameras, including the full-frame ones. I have personally used some old M42 lenses on my Canon 5D.

If you did want to sell, I think you probably could make that kind of money off them. Here in the UK, you should be able to get somewhere in the region of £100-£200 per lens, and £100 for the camera. I would definitely try eBay, unless you know of a camera forum with a good quality sales page.
posted by Magnakai at 2:28 AM on December 4, 2011

If you are interested in selling the glass (with or without the body), do let me know. I use my Canon 5D for video, and would love some Zeiss lenses to go with. The all-manual requirements (and loss of autofocus) of an adapter are what hold most people back, but for video I'm used to it anyway.
posted by shinynewnick at 7:41 PM on December 4, 2011

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