With the Contarex SLR system Zeiss Ikon had the intention to make the finest cameras to support the lenses made by Carl Zeiss, the finest lens maker in the business.
The Contarex system will remain for many the epitome of the 35mm camera-craftsman's art, combining over its relatively brief life span the finest elements of mechanical finesse, engineering sofistication, electronic daring, and, most emphatically, optical precision and brilliance, in all senses of the terms.
One can distinguish three generations:
- I: Model 1 ("Bullseye"), Special, and Model D
- II: Super, and Professional
- III: Super Electronic, and Hologon
Apart from the 'normal' cameras the Scientific cameras were produced.