Ikon Contessa was the name of a whole series of upper range cameras,
produced by Zeiss Ikon, started in 1950. The S310 was the last model of
the series and it was made by Voigtländer. It was released in 1971 when
Voigtländer belonged to the Zeiss Ikon group. There was a rangefinder
model, the S312. The Voigtländer company was sold in 1972 to Rollei. The
camera was continued as Voigtländer VF 101 until 1976. The "Zeiss Tessar"
lens of the S310 is a renamed Color Skopar.
Its main features are:
F2.8 Tessar lens, F2.8 -F22, min. focus 0,9m
Prontor 500 S electronic shutter, 4sec.-1/500s
Size 100 x 74 x 53 mm, Weight 451 gr. with batteries
25-400 ISO, hot shoe, cable release socket, distance, aperture and
exposure time visible in the viewer
view. Viewer. Film movement control.
from above. Hot shoe, battery control (push the little red button, it
should light for 5s), film counter, shutter
button with cable release
socket and film advance lever.
Lens barrel. Aperture ring and distance setting. Next to the lens: "A"
(automatic) setting and flash mode.
To change the ISO setting, grab the camera from the back with one hand and
hold the aperture ring firmly with one finger from below. Then lift the
front part of the aperture ring with the other hand by putting your thumb
on the tiny little knob (near the "22" on the picture) and putting a
finger on the opposite side. It only lifts half a mm on the knob side, but
then you can turn the front part and adjust ISO. Sounds complicated, but
from below. Battery compartment with tripod socket, back release lever and
big rewind lever.
battery holder unscrewed. The camera was built for PX 625 mercury
batteries, no longer available. I use 4 simple PX 625a batteries. I have
no problem with it, others may. Please note that the + pole is in the
middle. As there is no
switch to shut the circuit when the camera is not used, there is a simple
trick to prevent battery draining. Just turn the little knob next to the
lens from "A" to the flash symbol and the meter is off.
compartment open. To do so, lift the lever and make half a turn. Pull
and the cover comes off.
Film pressure plate open.
It is possible, that the advance lever doesn't come back. Do not force
anything, this is OK. It's the case when the film leader is not completely
out of the film plane. Just push the shutter button and it comes back. If
this happens at the end of the film, same procedure: just push the shutter
button. The shutter will not open and ruin your last photo. Film rewind
will only work after a shutter release.
If you want to advance a half exposed film, there is anothe trick. Release
the shutter once and advance again. If you push the shutter button and
keep it pressed, you can advance your film freely to the desired number.
The Zeiss Ikon S310 is a very compact aperture priority camera with all
settings and functions, well designed and easy to handle.
aperture and exposure time settings are visible in the viewer, handling
is easier than with most of the others.The lens gives superb
sharp and contrasty pictures, the exposure system works
well. The camera provides you with all you need if you
are looking for a non-automatic camera.