... blog post:


If you own and especially if you are contemplating buying any classic cameras that you wish to continue use and not just collect to sit in a cabinet, you need to be aware of the issue of spares.

Take the fabulous, but long defunct, premium range of Contax cameras with their renowned set of Carl Zeiss optics that are still much sought after to this day. If the they have a component fail or wear out after long use and you wish to have them serviced/repaired you will face a very big problem.


Kyocera (the then makers of Contax cameras), got out of the camera business completely back in 2005. Sometime after their committed 10 year spares support period they recalled all their remaining spares, service data and technical charts, sending them to landfill. This means there are no longer any original spares available.


The other possible source might be damaged cameras that could be used for spares but they are now fetching ridiculous prices on auction sites.


If you are really lucky you might get a local independent repairer who has hoarded their own small stock of bits and pieces that meets your particular needs, but that will a matter of pure chance.


Now you might think this is a problem unique to Contax brand owners Kyocera. This is not so. Even current big name camera makers will only guarantee availability of spares for discontinued models for a fixed number of years. After that they get binned as storage space costs money.


So be aware that all things must pass and especially things that are dependant on electronic components that become obsolete very quickly and once spares have been used up can never be replicated in the future. So when the electromagnets or micro-motors controlling the once high tech shutter mechanism of your favourite camera die and there are no replacements with which to fix it, you have just become a victim of the end-of-the-line spares muncher and the owner of a brand new paper weight.

✧ Jokul Frosti ✧

A space containing the thoughts, experiences, photos and collected curiosities of a walkabout photographer with a snapshot style.