Contax Zeiss Ikon CameraI used to thrift a lot, but over the course of the past few years I’ve sort of let my habit dwindle, only stopping once in awhile to see if I can find a decent pair of pants, a dress shirt, or a vintage tie. I usually scan the book shelves, spin through the electronics isle, and look at what’s usually a sad and discarded pile of CDs.

Today, though, I was at a local thrift store when I saw an old camera laying in a bin of stuff that still needed to be put out on the floor. At first I thought it might be another cheap clunker knockoff, but after checking it out a bit more, I realized that it was the real deal.

So, for $3.99 I got myself a vintage 50s Zeiss Ikon Contax camera. It’s one of the most solid 35mm cameras I’ve hoisted in my hands, blowing away my already nice Canon AE-1. It has a built-in light meter and lots of other neat little features. The best part of the whole deal is that it looks like it’s barely been used at all. The shutter works like a charm at all speeds, the lens doesn’t have a single scratch on it, and it doesn’t seem to have any issues at all. As a photo major in college, I was more than a little bit giddy to run across such a nice find.