"The Red Cars of Los Angeles" (Super and Super B Contaflex camera).

by John Waco Jr October. 08, 2019 175 views

The Contaflex Super and Contaflex Super B are very similar cameras. Both have a new body design, the Super (new) was launched in 1962, introducing the new body design and a new selenium exposure meter in a prominent rectangle marked Zeiss Ikon in front of the prism. The aperture wheel was replaced by a more traditional aperture command, and the meter read-out was visible both on the exterior and in the finder. The Super B was launched in 1963, and added a shutter-priority automatic aperture, and maybe some other small changes.

The new body allowed them to take magazine backs, interchangeable with a partly exposed film inside. (Magazine backs, rare among 35mm cameras. From the Super (new) and Super B, the Zeiss Tessar 50mm f:2.8 lens was recomputed and supposedly performed better.

I picked up these cameras at a car boot sale last year in downtown Los Angeles. Both camera had shutter problems, now fixed and working well. A roll of film was in one of these cameras. I developed the film and this is what was on the of negs. Agfa Ansco 35mm Film (Expired: April 1955).

Saturday, April 8, 1961: Last of the 'Big Red Cars'

Electric streetcar service comes to an end in Los Angeles, as buses take over the last of the trolley lines, connecting L.A. and Long Beach. The lines had dated back to the late 1800s.

The plot is a clear nod to one of LA's most enduring conspiracy theories, that an alliance of companies that stood to gain from an auto-centric Los Angeles schemed to bring down its sprawling rail network.

In a nutshell, the theory goes like this: Back in 1945, a sinister corporation called National City Lines took over the thriving Los Angeles Railway, which served most of the sprawling region. Then, over the course of the next two decades, LA's extensive streetcar network was eliminated and the iconic Red Cars. Now replaced with shiny new buses.

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

Agfa Ansco 35mm Film

"The Red Cars of Los Angeles" (from the University of Southern California):

Pacific Electric blimp no. 434 heads north along Ocean Avenue in Long Beach as part of “Long Beach Limited” service. 434 will be heading to Morgan Yard just north of here next. The date is February 11, 1958. On weekends, a single car would operate as the “San Vicente Shuttle” every 20 minutes. Originally, this track age was part of the Santa Monica via Beverly Hills line that was discontinued in 1940. Thereafter, this track was kept intact to La Cienega Blvd. for a “back door” access to West Hollywood car house and yard via a single track, “back alley” p-r-w (private right-of-way). Passenger service was provided only as far as Genesee Street. Beyond Genesee, only dead-heading cars to West Hollywood yard used the remaining track.

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Brett Johnson 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Just amazing the old film processed film today, a great piece of otherwise lost "moments in time" you have saved! I have recently purchased two Contaflex's and a Voigtlander Vito CLR (big leap between 50's and 60's) and do love using them. Saw some of your other blogs, will have to have a long look later tonight. Your blog on the TBO's piqued my attention, I was in the Airborne Survey (Photogrametry, LiDAR and Geophysics) business for 30 years - a mining engineer that learned to fly and wam, I found my dream industry segment. Worked globally, flown some in US, (Australian) and will look at your aviation photos with a keen interest. Will be publishing some stuff on aviation soon, but I have vowed to only use film (no digital) for the next 12 months while I get my Photo Mojo back. Anyhow, love what I have seen so far and thanks for sharing!

5 months, 4 weeks ago Edited
John Waco Jr Replied to Brett Johnson 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Thank you very much for your comments they are much appreciated.

5 months, 4 weeks ago Edited
Buster Bruce 6 months ago

Grew up in SoCal- your images stimulate memories mostly long and forgotten. Great series John and enjoyed the narrative.

6 months ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 6 months ago

Great looking cameras with good quality photos.

6 months ago Edited
John Waco Jr Replied to Berckmans Peter 6 months ago

The Camera is not designed for professional jobs where you have to move quickly. But the build quality is very good.

6 months ago Edited
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